I awoke by the way, down in the high grass that covers this stripe of Earth. But everything seems wrong. The sun is surprisingly low in the west. My head pounds with dull waves of blunt pain. I have the hazy, partial recollection of a tumultuous last night. I walk to the way and sit on a fallen tree. I see on the tops of my hands, scabs and dried blood. There are purple bruises on my elbows. I am horrified.
I look back down the way, to the city, where I had been last night. The city is miles away now. I could not remember how I’ve gotten here but just grateful to be out of that wolves den. The people in the city had been starving for so long they would tear eachother apart in the streets. At this distance the governor’s tower compound stood the only visible part of the city against sprawling chaos.
When I went to dress and found my clothes spattered with blood, pity for the man whose blood it was overwhelms me. I can almost remember the narrow glare as the slits of his eyes stared at me. I can remember his face. I can remember drinking in the biggest bar I’ve seen; thinking I might have to murder this man without blinking. I remember hating him.
I went to my canteen to get some water and found I’d filled it with wine. The noxious tonic nauseated me, but it was all I had. I sat on my grey logbench drinking wine and eating bread and cheese and I nearly fell off when a tall, slender woman native to the province rose and stood in the tall grass exactly where I had. “Would you like some water?”
My head clears. I look up to the sun setting on the confused city. “No, but I still have some wine. Would you like some?”