To catch up: read CampNaNoWriMo Day 1 here. #
Nox didn’t know what happened next. Either he couldn’t remember or he intentionally pushed it from his memories--everything was a blur. The sound of rolling fire roared towards him, burning away all other sounds. He may have screamed, he wasn’t certain. The weight of the demon pressed against him, claws digging painfully into his shoulders where he was pinned to the hard-packed snow. Then smoke clouded his vision and burned at his lungs. His ears rang. The sound of metal and a man’s yelling echoed somewhere beyond the smoke. Nox lay in the snow; the demon was gone, drawn towards the flames. Nox coughed and choked for air until darkness claimed him.
When he finally awoke, his body was covered in a thin layer of fresh snow. His lips were cracked and bloodied from the cold. He head pounded from a hangover. Nox struggled to sit up. The sunlight was fading fast--when he finally pushed himself up, his body ached. He looked around, head whipping from side to side to survey the area. No bodies, demon or otherwise. A mess of dark red snow and churned mud remained, slowly being covered beneath a blanket of fresh snow. Foot prints circled and were being erased by the wind and dying sunlight. He was alone.
Nox circled the ground, careful not to step in any of the bloodied snow. Chunks of shimmering red snow were frozen to the ground mixed with mud from the ground beneath. He could see where Torryn had dismounted at some point, how his boots drug across the ground and were trampled by Beast prints. The prints of the demon were nearly covered by the snow. A long trail of snow was melted down to the ground from Sarya’s last flame attack. Nox froze, suddenly, his stomach clenched tight. Her throat had been cut--the demon had slashed it open. He remembered seeing her blood spill out on to the ground before he was tackled. Her body wasn’t there, nor Torryn’s or the demon’s. Had Torryn managed to fight off the demon somehow? Had the demon killed them both and drug them off? Why was Nox, then, still alive? Nox searched beneath the snow, stiff gloved hands searching beneath the surface of the snow for any clues. He stopped when he found it; Sarya’s water skin, discarded, the cap missing. Blood stained the leather.
Nox tied the water skin to his own belt. He might need it soon. As he finished tying--he noticed the trail of blood that continued up the mountain trail. It was mostly pink, now, covered by the snow. Someone, or something, had been dragged ahead. He couldn’t tell from the foot prints or the impression in the snow if it was Torryn or Sarya, but he could see the Beast’s prints along side it for a ways before the snow completely covered the trail. Someone was still alive.
Someone was still alive and had left Nox to die in the snow.