Ashes – E. Paige

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It made his throat ache. It made his eyes hurt, it made his water taste like powder. Ashes. He pulled the cloak tighter around his body as she rode the horse beside him. “A bit further, my friend,” she said, frowning at his powder-white face. He was cold. So cold. “Just a bit further.”

She had been saying that for almost an hour, and they were reaching nowhere. He shivered. He had no energy to tell her to shut it. He was trying to keep warm. Their bodies would merge with the earth and feed the soil within minutes. Or at least, his body. They were out of food, and the rest of the group was looking at her with hungry eyes. “Almost there, Zalg.”

Zalg moaned. They were nowhere there. They were not even close. He knew. He coughed.

“Don’t worry, Zalg, the gods will keep us safe.”

He smiled despite himself. The gods were all dead, he wanted to say, for he had killed them.

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