The Lifestone Chronicles: Exile. Serophous' Journey Volume 1
Copyright 2012 by Tommy Duck
Published at Smashwords
Death at an Inn
Darkness covered the land. Not even the light of the stars nor the moon were able to penetrate the clouds between them and the world. It wasn't just the lack of light that fed this darkness. There was something else. Something that seemed to blanket the land, causing many to be cautious this night. No insect made a sound, the owls didn't hoot and the livestock stayed closer to the barn than usual. Nothing stirred, except for one creature.
The pads of his paws were cracked from his long journey, his fur coat mangle and disheveled. If it wasn't for his fur, ribs would outline his skin. It had been months since this wolf had eaten a decent meal, living off of scraps from the garbage behind inns and bars, sometimes even a house if he dared venture towards it. He couldn't remember the last time he had something hot inside his stomach.
Now it was time once again to find some kind of food before sunrise. Few people went outside at night nowadays. It was that fear of dread, of something dangerous yet unseen. The wolf knew about it, he could sense it, but he pushed it aside. For now, he was safe, as long as he kept to the shadows.
A small town was over the next hill as he slowed his pace, just in case there would be guards. It looked to be mostly a farm town, not very big at all. Seeing and hearing no patrols, he made his way down the street, sniffing for anything that might suggest food. He had tried before to get handouts from people when he first started his journey, but that never ended well. No one would want to give food out to a large wolf, let alone one that could talk! Despite trying to tell them he was once human, he was chased away, being accused a demon.
He finally located the inn of the town, the place having seen better days as he made his way into the ally, checking the trash. A bit of quiet digging yielded a tossed out chicken leg, riddled with ants that had already claimed the piece of meat. He quickly swiped them off with his paw as best as he could, the stench making his stomach churn with disgust. The grimy, half-eaten leg of poultry was not suited for human consumption, or any human like creatures. But he had no choice in the matter when trying to survive. He tore what little was on the piece, quickly gulping it down so the taste wouldn't linger in his mouth.