Image of a raven with its wings spread. Text reads Carrier of Souls: Barthelow Mooreshire by Daniel Kuhnley & Jase Rosenburg

CoS – Chapter 2

January’s fury had dealt the world below him a huge blow.  Snow was piled nearly ten feet in areas, burying everything in sight inside its polar blanket.  Very little moved across the ground, and what did was of no interest to Mercian.

Hunger was rare for him, and, when it did strike, only a feast of flesh and blood would suffice.  He was neither a carnivore nor a scavenger, but had rather grown accustomed to the feasting of such things.  In his early years, a meal of fruits and grains would soothe his appetite, but, maybe due to all the death constantly surrounding him, had been tempted one too many times by that beautiful, luscious, bitter-sweet aroma of fresh blood.  Nothing, really, could come close to that wonderful nectar.  The more blood he consumed, the more his wanting of it grew, maybe due to the fact that blood had a very salty taste and never leaves a thirst quenched.  On either hand, Mercian was in love with it.  Just thinking of it brought yearning in his stomach.  His mouth salivated.  A few minutes of sheer pleasure would not make him anymore late than he already was.  The thoughts drove him down toward the snow-covered ground.  His wings were dragging in the snow for quite some time before he realized that he had even descended.

What a time it was for him to be in search of food when nothing moved except the snow drawn in the wind.  He looked left and right as he skated across the top of the snow.  His hunger was growing at a rapid pace, nearly consuming his every thought.  His stomach roared with the intensity of a fire-breathing dragon, needing to be filled before he could continue on.

Thoughts swarmed so fast he had no time to react to the snow-covered wall in front of him.  He plunged into it at full speed, nearly four feet, before his forward motion was abruptly stopped with a thud.  Had there been nothing under him he would’ve dropped straight to the ground, but luckily for him he weighed next to nothing and the snow held his weight.

Pain burst into his skull like a dam breaking.  At first just pulsing and then a constant torment.  His vision blurred to a point where he could no longer make out anything around him.  Everything became nothing.  Darkness welled up around him as if he were sinking in a barrel of ink.  In less than a minute everything was dark.  His thoughts abruptly ceased to exist.