You Died

She put her hand out again, waiting. Beyond the Undead’s bare fingers the flames creaked and rippled, perhaps the only truly living thing left in this place. With her hand this close, she could see the air around her skin trembling with the heat. She barely felt it. Heat was different, when you were dead; you couldn’t ever really get warm. Even the bonfires couldn’t get through.

This time it had been a knight. He was tall and dressed in the memories of finery, and his armor flashed in the eternal sunshine. It was still in one piece, and she had admired it. Coveted it. Perhaps, she thought as she hefted her spear, she would be able to separate him from it.

So they had dueled there, there on the sloping steps of the church. Her greed was matched by the hollows’ relentless drive to destroy anything human, anything not ruled by the darksign. Blade on leather. Blood on the ancient stones. Today the knight’s will was stronger.

The Undead scowled. The sun on her back held no warmth. The fire barely moved her, for all the fuss about keeping it lit. That poor bitch below her, the one in the cage, she’d lost her tongue for the sake of this fire. What had the point of that been, if it couldn’t even keep one person warm? How powerful could it be?

She said as much to the man sitting on the rocks, just a few yards away, and he laughed in his weary way.

“Oh? Blasphemy? Best you’d watch your tongue, then. I don’t think many round here would take kindly to that line of thought. Are you sure you think you’re the Chosen, with that attitude?”

Cheeky bastard, she told him, and turned back to the fire.

Once more she would have to carve her way through body after body, when she next rose. Once again she would be left to navigate this crumbling place on her own, for the buildings did not give up their secrets easily, nor did the citizens. The wyvern that lingered over the parish like an unforgivable sin would need to be navigated once more, and perhaps this time she would get her armor. Perhaps that would keep her warm.

But for now, at least, the bonfire tried to warm her.