Day 5 of the Fantasy Writing Prompt Blitz-o-Rama brings blood. Yes, there will be blood.
Day 5-Bloody Prompt-Write a story in which a bloody man or woman brings good news.
I like this prompt because blood is so often associated with something bad. So I thought this would be interesting to see it used as something bringing good news. I still only have two participants, who are both kicking ass by the way, but you can still get in on the challenge if you like. Send me your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post it here on my blog if you like. Here is my attempt below:
“I finished it off,” he said. “Good job, Marid.”
I smiled back, wiping the sweat from the back of my neck. I stumbled forward, my legs still weak from hours of crouching. It had been a long hunt, longer than I expected. The boars we hunted in the sweltering summer months were nothing compared to a basilisk. My father told me that it wasn’t even full grown, maybe two or three years old. Probably a rogue that broke away from its pack. I couldn’t imagine facing a full grown one. It was already twice a big as full grown boar. Our hunting soured more and more with the basilisk present. We were finding deer and boar frozen to stone, their bodies brittle and broken. The village demanded action. My father took up the call.
“Did I kill it?” I said.
“It would have died soon,” he said. “I put it out of its misery.” My father placed his hand on my shoulder. “You did well.”
“Can I see it?”
My father stared at the ground. “Maybe it’s not a good idea.”
“A dead basilisk is sometimes more horrifying than a live one.”
This piqued my interest. “How so?”
My father breathed in and out, the blood already drying and flaking up around his nose and mouth. “I guess you are prepared to handle it. You killed it, you should see your handiwork.”
I nodded. “I’m not afraid.”
“I know, son,” he said, tousling my hair. “Over here.”
We went over to the thicket and I immediately saw what my father spoke about. The basilisk’s skin had turned to stone and broken away, but its organs, muscles, and bones were still intact. It looked like one of Yaranda’s meat pies cracked open. And the smell. The organs hissed and bubbled in the sunlight, popping blood up into the air like a mini-geyser.
My father patted me on the shoulder. “Here it is. You did this. The village will be able to eat again because of you.”
I stared at the grisly corpse. “What will happen now?”
“The deer and boar will come back. We’ll have meat again.”
“I mean, what happens to its body? Should I do something else?”
My father was silent for a long while and finally said. “Yes.”
“What is it?”
“A true jalurtha smears the blood of his kill across his face and chest. As I have done.”
I looked up at my father. “But doesn’t basilisk blood burn?”
“It does,” he said. “It will leave scarring, but you’ll be fine.”
“Is that way your face has so many scars? From basilisk blood?”
My father nodded. “From basilisks and other creatures. But it’s the jalurtha way. We must show others that we are strong. That we bind our blood with the blood of our kills.”
“Will I die?”
My father gulped hard. “There is that chance, yes. Some weaker hunters have died in the past.”
“I’m not weak,” I said, stepping toward the body.
“I know, son.”
As I leaned down to get a closer look at the basilisk, I examined its parts. Its skull was long, cracked in some parts. Tight muscles writhed like snakes. Blood slick bones collapsed in on each other. I found a bit of pooling blood near its stomach. Where I struck it. It popped like boiling soup.
“Son–” my father started, but it was too late. I dipped two fingers into the blood and smeared it across my cheeks. I screamed out, the pain searing my skin. I stumbled back as the burning clouded my vision. I blinked but I couldn’t see. Hands grabbed me. I shook them loose and ran, blindly, red and purple swirling in my eyes. I collided with something hard. A tree? I grabbed hold of it and banged my head against it to stop the pain in my cheeks.
I fell down in the dirt, rolling. After several moments, the pain began to subside. It felt as if I had two gaping holes in my cheeks. I sat up, my vision started to come back.
My father stood in front of me, tears streaming down his cheeks.
I took some of the blood from my cheeks. My fingers quivered, burning as if I dipped my hand in acid.
“Smear the blood, my son,” my father said, his voice trembling.
I did so. Three time across my chest. My heart raced as the pain lanced up into my neck. My spin shuddered. Numbness came. All over. A tingling, phantom feeling of being alive.
I sat up. My father clapped his hand on the back of my neck.
“Did I do it?” I said, my tongue felt worthless and numb.
My father didn’t speak. His sobbing told me all I need to know.