The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 6

Lipmon stumbled sloppily down the slope, his mind crawling through a daze. As he tripped awkwardly the pain of the whole stretch of his wound leapt forward. After having stewed the wound in the creek water of his hiding place, it bit at his skin. He collapsed on a flat of ground after having crossed a long downhill stretch, now angling around the valley towards what looked like a promising place for rest, a place where he knew berries could often be found.

With each painful movement he looked towards the thick trees and undergrowth sprouting around a stream hidden within them and thought to himself about laying down with a handful of berries in his hand, lying next to a craggy brook and relaxing. He must have seen the small relief of that arrival more than a dozen times in his mind before he finally knelt down at the edge of the stream and took a drink. But this small relief was such a relief. He rolled onto his back and he looked around with his eyes for some familiar plant.

He was less than half a day’s walk from the home where he’d grown up and where he’d always lived, and nonetheless he barely knew this area. He’d never ventured in this direction, down this ravine, here to this spot by this little creek, though he’d been told about it.

As he thought about his beautiful home and the people that might have taken care of him and the miles of struggle ahead of him even just to stay alive, he permitted himself a violent sob and a long cry and felt the urge to give up already. He thought he could just stay here and rest, forever. There was no one there to see him, no one watching. No one could reprimand him for his decision, or look derisively down upon him. Only he would know he’d given up.

But he did stand up. What finally made him stand was the thought that when he made it through this whole ordeal he would be able to always say, while he told this story to others, that he never once sat down for any more than a moment’s rest, that he would never have given up even at the verge of death, and that resignation never crossed his mind.

It was a time of small triumph and small bits of hope. He saw a small group of familiar plants and tore them out of the ground to feast on their roots, and though his stomach ached and his head burned, that small relief was huge. He pulled a handful of bitterly sour berries from a familiar shrub and wolfed them down.

He made attempts to clean his wound from the stream water, splashing and rubbing the cold mountain water onto the warm open wound. He peeled off his shirt from off his chest as it clung to the thickening blood, which still trickled out of him a little in spots along the slash. He washed it off some more with water and watched with distress as drips of red still flowed into the river whenever his wound touched the water. As the skin and the wound dried he felt that pain of an open wound tightening as it dried.

He took another large gulp from the stream and then lay down again to rest himself for a while. He touched his forehead and could feel a strong predilection of death as his head burned with fever.

He again continued reclining in the so pleasurable rest, all the while saying to himself, “I’m going to get up right now,” “Now I’m going to stand up and go,” “Right now I’m moving,” and so on. But it was many minutes before he achieved the small triumph of actually obeying the command of that spoken will, rising slowly and unsteadily.

His head swam and was dizzy as the blood rushed from out of his head, and he could feel a strong feeling of sickness in his full stomach.

He ultimately made it nearly as far up the slope toward the Sling Pass as he’d planned, falling to the ground in fatigue in the evening. He tucked himself beneath some underbrush and pushed earth and leaves around him to keep himself warm before he finally let himself drift off into sleep.

<-- Go to Part 5         Go to Part 7 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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