His breath came in gasps, raw against his throat, body weakening, sheened in sweat. Night hung thick with heat, pushing him relentless towards sleep.
He couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t. Sleep equaled death. And death equaled something worse, something much, much, worse.
It hurt to breathe. Hurt. Where had the gods gone?
No matter how hard he’d tried, how much he’d wanted to do right, wrong had always been easier, better, sooner.
Breath was pain. Squeezing out from his body like blood.
The distant howl of night hounds sent shivers up his spine. He staggered one more step then another and another. There were no gods but angry gods.
Somewhere -how -when, he went down, spread-eagle, ground sweat-soaked beneath him, branching horns of the Huntsman velvet dark against the moon-lit sky. Stars blinked malicious.
In. Out. Pain. God. Pain.
There were no gods left, not for him.