part 11: On the trail

Part 11: On the trail


Cuchullainn looked out over the endless grasslands of Arathi. Miles upon miles of endless plains stretched out before him. The truth that he had been avoiding all these days, would no longer be denied.

He wasn’t going to make it.

He would die in this place.

Even in his True Form, he had slowed down to a crawl. He hadn’t been quick enough to catch food two days ago, when he still had energy. He was much weaker now, and even if he found something less agile than rabbits, he wouldn’t be able to overcome it. The pain in his empty stomach had passed, to be replaced with a dangerous, subtle weakness. Try as he might, he could not run any further. It would be so nice to lie down, just for a little while, and sleep. You always think better after a little sleep, and something would come to him that would mean breakfast. Just lie down here for a bit. The grass is soft and cool.

Cuchullainn shook himself. If he lay down now, he would not get up again. He smelled water, made his way to a small stream, and drank. Drinking was good. It made his stomach feel full for a little while. As he looked up, muzzle dripping with water, he froze. He took a quick breath. Raised his large wolf’s head. He breathed out, then in, mouth hanging open to smell the better. His tongue stuck out, and he panted, flanks rising and falling. There was no mistake. He’d smelled it. As clear as the day.

Somewhere upwind, there was a fire.

Someone had made a fire.

On the fire was… Cuchullainn’s jaws dripped with saliva. Someone was making… He ran.

Food.


I suppose I should explain here a bit about the people who are hunting Cullan. I needed a small group of warriors, and they needed to have names. So I picked Maceál, William, Dieb and David. Stick those names in Google, and you’ll arrive at the right place. They are my favourite Dutch folk band, Rapalje, and they do a very nice version of Manowar’s The Crown and the Ring. I tried to add a little Rapalje flavour to them. I hope they don’t mind.

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