Nightmare Burning, Part 3

As the sun climbed higher into the sky, the blue-eyed warrior clan matriarch scanned the shore and found a stretch of grass between the shore and the forest. Aching in every joint in her body, she drug herself out of the lake and over to the grass. She lay there, seeing the chaotic crowd slowly breaking and organizing at one angle and the distant mountain on the other side of the lake at another.

The War God was so merciful to lead his people to this place. It created a feeling of rest and relaxation that far too few warriors know how to find. And this place evoked memories of her outlander lover. Vaguely she could recall his stories about his people living in a mountainous land beyond that distant mountain on the other side of the lake.

She rested momentarily, preparing to open her channel with the War God. Because she didn’t have a candle for cleansing and focusing her mind, she tried using the waves hitting the lake shore.

She had so many feelings she wanted the War God to know she had yet couldn’t express to a living non-deity.

First she sent the shame and guilt she felt at burning her only true home; she still questioned the instructions she had been given even though she had followed them.

Next she sent all the fear and anxiety that paralyzed her; she knew they would never understand why you would burn your home to keep it out of enemy hands. Her head began to throb.

Finally she sent concern for the townspeople. She did not even have provisions for the children who were saved, let alone the adults who showed up. She had no location for a new town, and these people needed roots with no wandering.

The War God’s only answer was vague love. There were no words or images. Her only response was blind but faithful obedience and service.

As she sighed and closed the connection, some stones clattered together at arm’s length. She glanced. In the distance the odd creatures ran among the adults and the children. In the foreground stood the old green-eyed warrior erect. He asked, “May I join you?”

She knew from the old days it was more order than request. She simply nodded and sat up.

“Let’s talk strategy.”

She sighed. She didn’t want a conversation with no answers.

“I know you can’t tell me where you were last night. I know you can’t tell me why the kids were all here when the catastrophe happened. I might be an old warrior but I’m no fool. I’m going to pretend that you’re a good connection and it’s tied to our fight against DeadLife Nightmare.”

She was stunned at the bluntness of his statement, but she knew warriors just state the truth and let others deal with their consequences.

“I’m hoping that you have a strategy for organizing us and getting us supplies.”

“For organization I’ll rely on you and the older warriors. Although you’re from different lands and clans, combined you should have countless moon cycles of experience to put us in the right direction.”

Sneering, he spat in the other direction.

She continued, “It won’t be easy. As for provisions I’m thinking about that right now. The war God has not given me any solid answers. I might contact the one LifeSpice stall keeper who’s touched and have him try to message my outlander union mate or one of his merchant friends to pull through in this direction.”

“One other thing,” he added. “Have you thought about sudden camp diseases hitting us?”

She wrinkled her nose, squinted, and asked, “Camp disease?”

He explained, “Camp disease was used by my old Commander. It was basically any disease or sickness hitting the whole encampment rapidly.”

She caught her breath, held it for a few moments, and then exhaled. “I don’t think I can. We’ve all lost too much.”

As he turned to walk away, he pushed an almost unthinkable thought, “You might want to. They don’t deserve to lose their lives as well as their homes.”