Art&concept by Ol Albireo
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Around the campfire
On the shore of one of the islands where we went for fish, a fire was shining. I went there. This idiot was sitting by the fire, drinking something from a mug.
I said hello.
– Hi, – he smiled brightly, – sit down. Or did you come to Akhshaina?
– Is that his name? – I sat down next to him and he pushed the mug towards me. There was some dark liquid in the mug, like the waters of Sea.
– Well … He called me this name, hey, come to us, – he called the Unclean, who wandered along the edge of the coast.
The Unclean shook his head.
– Oh, wait, – he gently, it seemed to me, touched the water, too gently, and it, as in the biblical myth, parted aside, – run.
The Unclean cautiously glanced at the path to the island and somehow ended up by the fire with one movement. What is dangerous creatures.
– Arev, – he introduced himself, holding out his hand to me.
– Karis, – I replied, shaking his hand. This hand was kind of weird. Some of the knuckles of his fingers were wrapped in black duct tape. Or was it not duct tape?
– Reflect, sit down, don’t be afraid, – Arev smiled as if nothing had happened. As if he didn’t care what happened. At all.
The Unclean sat down next to him and stared at the fire.
– Akhshaina will come soon, he… – Arev flashed a smile again, like a forgotten sun, when it was kind, – looking for something.
Reflect smiled. Yeah, these creatures can imitate anything.
– A present? – asked the Unclean.
– Well, sort of.
– What will it be? – with curiosity asked Reflect. As if the Uncleans might be curious about something.
– A knife. He said he had a silver knife from the time of Hades somewhere.
I chuckled. Indeed, what else can be given now.
Arev reached for the mug and touched Reflect knee with his palm. The Unclean screamed and recoiled. Arev cursed.
– I am sorry, I’ll be more careful. I forgot.
– O-okay, – Reflect sat down neatly, now closer to me.
– What’s happened? – I asked.
Arev raised his hands. Yep, it’s not duct tape. This is water. Water was wrapped around his fingers.
– What is this? – I asked. I tried to ask curiously, not demandingly. I don’t know how I’ve managed it.
Arev seemed confused.
– Are you one of us? – Reflect was surprised, opening his innocent eyes, – the last species… I meant, the water of Akhshaina does not corrode people.
– Are you the Unclean? – I was surprised.
– No, no, – Arev sighed, – no, of course not. I’m just human. It’s… kind of tenderness.
– How is that? – careless, I need to ask more careless.
Reflect wrapped his arms around his shoulders and winced.
– It hurts.
– It hurts only when you aren’t loved, – warmly and, hell, how arrogantly, so condescendingly, smiled Arev, – when you are loved…
This idiot looked thoughtfully at his palm.
– It’s strong, but it doesn’t hurt. Like… a strong hug.
– I would run away, – Reflect said.
Arev laughed, wanted to ruffle his hair, but withdrew his hand.
– You wouldn’t run away if Akhshaina loved you.
Now all the survivors wore survival clothes – camouflage, hunting jackets, everything is waterproof, comfortable, with a lot of pockets, light, warm, and so on. I remember that Arev was also in a sand military uniform. Now I noticed that he was wearing a light longsleeve and simple light pants. Not afraid of getting dirty, cold or danger.
– You changed your clothes, – I nodded.
– Yes, it’s more convenient, I’m tired of the uniform.
– Me too. But without it, it’s dangerous to walk around.
– Well, I don’t go anywhere now.
– Well, you never know, suddenly you might have to.
– Well, even if I have to, I’m quite protected.
He looked down and I followed his sight. He had no shoes on, and Arev’s feet were also wrapped in the blackness of Sea.
The world shook for a while.
– Are these fetters? – I asked, unable to look away.
– No, it’s… instead of feet, so I can walk. You know, all this romantic crap, for I not leaving anymore.
He chuckled. I would like to sympathize with him. But he didn’t seem to need it. A man with gnawed phalanges and torn off feet looked peaceful and confident. He sat, gave us tea from some fragrant herb, chatted friendly with the Unclean and me. Not suspecting that the Unclean, having such an opportunity, would gladly kill him.
AlbireoMKG. Cat in the window.