Chapter ThreeMature

The peeling off of the tourniquet painfully removed hardening scabs; making Jared flinch. He let the bloodied cloth fall away; revealing a series of deep, oozing wounds, carved along his arm by knifepoint. Yellow pus dripped from the centres of purple-red edged cuts; some half-hidden by brown-red streaks of drying blood.
"Holy crap! What the hell happened to me?" he almost shrieked. Dianna looked away, out of either pity or disgust. Then she began to remove her own tourniquet, wincing because of the stinging pain. She uncovered the same revolting injuries on her arm.

"It looks like there's some kind of patterns carved into the skin, but I can't make it out with all this blood. I'm gonna wash some of it off." Dianna told him, walking over to the water-trough. Jared followed her, clinging to his arm in an attempt to stem the flow of blood and ease the pain.

Dianna began wiping the blood from her injuries, instructing Jared to do the same.

"What if the cuts won't stop bleeding?" he asked her; trying not to sound afraid of what might happen.

"Just wash the blood off of the cloth that was on the cuts already. You'll have to re-use it, but it's better than nothing." she replied; beginning to wash both of the tourniquets. She seemed to know a bit about first-aid.

"I was training to be a nurse before I got here. Wherever here is." Dianna answered Jared's unspoken question. Now able to get a good look at the knife-point patterns carved into their arms, they observed the strange markings.

"Weird, that one looks like an eye." she commented; attempting to decipher the patterns, before re-tying her tourniquet. Jared copied her carefully. He remembered her knife, and handed it back to her. Dianna folded the blade neatly back into its wooden handle. She spotted her jacked, a plain black one with several inside pockets, lying crumpled on the ground nearby. She pulled it on, and stashed the knife in one pocket.

"So what now?" Jared asked. Dianna shrugged, and out of lack of something to do, kicked the barrel that Jared had been looking at earlier. It split open messily.

They both stepped back, looking horrified at what fell out onto the bloodied floor...

The End

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