Twenty days! I’m proud and I feel like I’m actually taking the proper steps to become a better writer. For this story I was heavily influenced by “The Last Horror Story in the History of the World”m by Brian Allen Carr and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
As rough as a rough draft could be..
He hadn’t slept in a day or two, he focused on the heat rising off the barren desert. His horse was dying. With a last heave of its breath the beast knelt to the ground to never rise again. He continued on foot, the sun had begun its decent promising the temporary relief of a cold desert night. He ate some of his horse that night and pulled up the dry grasses looking for water. In the morning he was violently ill, he wiped his mouth and aligned himself to the sun. Maybe today was his last maybe it wasn’t, did he even care anymore, with his eyes set on the craggy peaks to the east he trudged through the heat. A giant vulture landed down next to him and interrupted his nap. He threw rocks at it until it took up into the air and resumed its circular flight of ensuing doom. As the sun set on day four he shivered with dehydration, his vision wasn’t behaving as it should. He rubbed his eyes hard but it didn’t help.
His dreams were mad, or he was mad. The desert around him was bathed in a cool blue light. He walked naked through the planes, the sharp rocks and cacti didn’t bother him he wasn’t thirsty or hungry. The mountains in the east were towering buildings bigger than he had ever seen. He started running towards the promise of civilization. He almost smiled as they grew closer, a rushing river separated him from his teacher. He could finally continue his lessons and they could practice their arts in seclusion. He waded into the river the water heated around him and turned thick and red. He panicked as something grabbed his ankle and pulled him beneath the blood. He wrestled with something slimy and humanoid, his screams muted by the river of blood filling his mouth. He couldn’t breathe, he would die.
He awoke choking and spitting water out on the desert sand, it evaporated almost instantly. the sun was high in the sky and his sunburn was sunburnt. A wiry old man crouched above him and offered a hide sack to him, he put his lips to the spout and drank deeply. The cool water was all he knew for a minute. The old man had two mules loaded with supplies, he spoke in a guttural language and motioned for the boy to follow him. He struck the mules into motion and started east. They walked silently, at night the man fed him and gave him a blanket to ward of the cold desert night. He didn’t dream that night.
In the morning the man was gone and so was his blanket. The mountains loomed over him though he would surely be there by nightfall. His teacher had told him of the river that wound through them and he had memorized which plants could be eaten. He would survive. As he stepped into the shadow of the mountains he heard a faint whisper. “I helped you, someday I’ll need you to return the favor” he looked around and saw nothing.