It’s been a couple of days since I was able to write in this. I need to make a couple quick observations should this work serve others at some point in the future. The desert that feels like it is going to fry you like cheap meat at the local tavern through the day is downright bone chilling at night. And with a general lack of fuel for a campfire it has forced us to stay closer together than the three of us are comfortable with when we make camp for the night. It keeps us warmer than if we didn’t though so nobody really complains. There was a weird conversation about it on the first night and it was just not a thing after that. It’s just what we do.
Gnoman talks in his sleep. Different accents, voices and languages. I’m confident that one night he was speaking something demonic, but not speaking those languages myself I can only guess. I don’t question it or even say anything. I just accept it. He’s Gnoman, just like all the others that are Gnoman. His hair smells like burnt meat and honey. It makes me miss home.
Another thing we don’t talk about is our dependence on the worgs for survival. They patrol/hunt every night. We get their scraps. It’s not enough for us to live on forever, but it’s better than nothing. It’s usually mangled enough that we can’t tell what it was in life and they refuse to tell us. Which is a whole other thing. Apparently if you aren’t strong enough for them to fear you or respect you, they call you food. It’s a joke to them. They constantly insult us for not being dangerous predators. They also talk constantly to each other as though we aren’t there. Every once in awhile Gnoman will laugh at something they say, but when asked what was funny and he explains it doesn’t make sense to Shojin and I.
I was able to get them to call Shojin Jenny so maybe they aren’t that bad. The smell is though. They smell like a wet whorehouse filled with warm fresh shit. It is not a smell I’m getting used to and I fear the day that I do. I attribute most of this to their returning to camp covered in gore nightly from their hunts. They rarely eat in front of us but when they do there is no mistaking that they are wild beasts. It’s both awe inspiring and utterly disgusting. Tearing flesh from… something. Eagerly licking their lips of whatever blood and other juices is left there. I look forward to never having to watch them again.
The best thing I can say about that trio is that they are fiercely loyal. To each other at least. They regard us only slightly better than they do humans which they view as something, according to them, so beneath them that they are only food should nothing else be available. This is apparently the highest insult amongst their kind.
The only thing that lets us know we’re heading in the right direction are the sunrise and sunset. We know we’re heading due south. Every night I pray to the lady and hope that she shows me something, anything that lets me know that we are heading in the right direction but so far if I am having any dreams I don’t remember them when I wake. Shojin has been dreaming about his mom most nights. I think it’s sweet and I’ve tried to talk to him about it but it’s something he’s not really wanting to talk about. I can tell it makes him sad but I don’t press.
Every night when we make camp, Gnoman does something he calls Caw Ta’s. He moves his body like he would in a fight but much slower. It’s all very deliberate and beautiful to watch. He said it helps him keep centered and “stay in tune with me”. I have no idea what that even means, but on the third night of this I asked if he would teach me. The lack of a real scrap was getting me a little squirrely and so I figured I could use the opportunity to stay on task. I talked Shojin into it as well and it felt good for the three of us to do this together.
All in all, it feels like the solitude of the desert is bringing us together.