The memory fades as he is brought to the present, for there is nothing else to remember. He walks a few more steps and stops to lean on a tree. He is exhausted, and for the first time he realizes he is starving. That is not an exaggeration on his part; his stomach aches as though he has not eaten in days. The cut on his arm is still burning, and seems to have grown more painful. He looks up through the trees once more, and sees the sun has only moved a bit since he last saw it. He wonders how he can feel so drained, soweak.

He pushes the thought from his mind. He has no time for doubts, no time for weakness. He pulls himself from his crutch and continues on, driven by a force he knows well: the primal rush of the hunt, and the fire of vengeance. He continues until he comes to a massive tree, unreasonably larger than those around it. A small clearing has formed around it, as though nothing dared encroach on this forest elder. At its base rests Herrick. Corinth’s hunger and his weariness are drown out by a flood of happiness.

Corinth crouches down, taking cover by a bush so he can observe. After a moment he sees Herrick is asleep. Or dead. A frown creeps onto his face. If he has bled out in the snow, Corinth has missed a prime opportunity. He wished for Herrick’s last sight to be Corinth, and the last sound he hears be his laughter as he meets death for the first and last time. He draws his knife and decides to make his move.

He walks calmly towards the tree. Herrick‘s chest rises and falls slowly. He is asleep, still clutching his wounded stomach. A pool of blood has began to form around him. As Corinth reaches him, he looks down at Herrick and realizes how much he has changed over the years. His once thick blonde curls were now faded and stringy, having lost most of their natural curl. He was once tall and well built, not exceptionally strong but certainly not weak. Now Corinth looked down on an emaciated man, gangly and uncomfortable looking in his oversized snow jacket. His face is all angles and bone. Corinth wonders if he even needed to come here. It looks as though his friend was about dead before their encounter, but he knows that knowledge would not have stopped him. This was not a matter of whether heneededto come. He wanted to come here.

Corinth takes a seat beside his friend and quarry. He will wait for him to awaken from his peaceful sleep, for what better way to bring chaos to his world than as he emerges from the calm. Corinth stares out at the forest. The snow falls slowly and all is silent. Not even a breeze makes its way here, as though nothing shall disturb them in this intimate moment.

The End

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