The Wastes: A Huk short story
By: Matt Wall

The howl of the wind finally subsided in Huk's ears. The absence of sound startled him awake. As he opened his eyes he was confused that it was still dark. His eyes stung. He coughed loudly and as the cloud of the sand fluttered up in the air he realized that he was lying face down in the fine grained sand. He lifted his head up, sand poured from his dry mouth.

The sun was high and in the distance he could see the sand storm that was raging above him a short while before. His chiseled physic was now hidden behind a layer of sand that stuck to the sweat of his body. He began to wipe the sand away from his skin and winced as he found the wounds that had been inflicted on him over the last few days. He had nearly forgotten the events that brought him to this desert, but each cut, each bruise, each smear of blood across his flesh, made the memories more clear until the fog of his mind was completely gone and he remembered why he on the path he was. The confusion turned to rage. The exhaustion turned to anger. His eyes peered into the distance as his jaw clenched. His teeth cracked under the pressure and he didn't notice.

There was nothing around him for him to tell where he was or what direction that he came from. He rose to his feet and tried to judge which direction would be the way to go. He also noticed, once on his feet, that he was naked. They had taken everything. There was no water. If he were a normal man, he would die out of the fear of dehydration. If he was another man, he would have given up at the thought of being lost in this uninhabitable wasteland. If he was anyone else, but he was not. He was Huk of Yerna, the last of his people.

The sun was still high, but not high enough to not cast a shadow. He headed off into a direction that he believed to be North. With nothing in sight but sand dunes, he trudged through it all, fighting his thirst. Each step was a step closer to him standing in a pool of blood, a pool split by his own hands.



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