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On. Above in the skies a single cloud drifting.

The traveler watches and waits and when it blocks the sun for a moment happiness evanescent. Scorched skin slathered in ephemeral relief. Release. Creeping smile gone when rays return. *** Young man he was once went to the mountain to pray for rain. Rocky path upward. Shale and sporadic weeds interbred with handfashioned idol a marriage of natural and non. Hope along the road to perdition. Summit marked by a shrine. Lonely sacrifices still stinking in the sun. Dried blood stains smell unbearable. Young mans stomach could not take it. Dropped his own offering returning home with no prayer then no rain no rain for months. Mother dead father broken. Nightfall. Screaming in the dark. Sister bloody with father laughing then crying reveling in that small bit of moisture. Smell of metal. Father ran to the mountain. Bring us rain bring us rain we are yours bring us rain! There he stayed. Siblings scattered now. Breezeblown seeds blown by karmic force. Seen no more. *** The homesteads began. Scattered camps along more sturdy soil. Ragged old and weary souls. Roasting wild game with meat gamy and lacking taste. Enough to live but whats life without taste no and then? Traveler regarded with stares full of questions questioning every step. In sight a broken tower. Highest point for miles though now halved. Top in the dirt and battered by topsoil eroded like an unfortunate stone. Sandstorms are the wrath of Adra. Skeleton lying in the wreck with eyes long gone still looks to the horizon forever. Hey calls a voice. Hey it calls again and the traveler turns. Four with knives slick from their latest kill. Your hand says the largest. A haggard giant with eyes that thirst for more than water. Your hand. You been marked. I see the read. Heathen yare. The traveler spits. Leave me be. The four slide closer still now bearing broken teeth. Breath like flesh. Leave me be!

Slashed by the giant the traveler recoiled. Mostly a miss but close. The others closed and kicked. The traveler falling down hits his head on a stone. Daze that followed turned the world upside down and different colors then all was green again for a moment so sublime and perfect. Pulled back by a blow the the stomach. Thats it, kill em. Traveler bounded upward, rage chocking reason and wisdom. Forward with his own blade and into the giants neck. Gargling voice full of agony. He fell to his knees and in his falling the others fled. Giant screamed and flailed. White blood, white blood.