Somewhere, a beast roars
You look at the frail excuse for a pouflon trying to walk. Sundrop looks like he’s just a bloom for a moment, trying to find his balance on wobbly legs. You sigh, and quickly helps him, extending a wing to put the lon close to you.
His body is cold against you.
You cringe, almost immediately jumping back and far away from the pouflon, as if the very cold emanating from him burns your very skin. But when Sundrop leans into you, giving a tiny sigh, you hesitate. This is just a scared pouflon. He’s likely to have no ideia what happened to him, much less how he got into Marshgrave before.
Truth was, you never saw him around before. You didn't come out of your house frequently, but you still knew of some of the people that lived around, or of the houses carefully hidden around the marshes. This Sundrop, however? Never even heard of such a person. That made you wonder.
“What happened to you?” the question leaves your mouth before you could think twice. With the proximity of Sundrop, you feel him shift against you.
“I-I don’t know.” a shaky voice gives you an answer. “I don’t remember much...”
You fear he might pass out or something, judging by the way he’s leaning more and more into you. Sundrop’s breathing is shallow, and oh so tiny. You can barely see it.
“Talk more about it when we get home.” You say, and he trembles. Poor thing.
The walk to your house is slow. You tried to match his walking pace, as much as it annoyed you, and at the same time, you longed to talk about something. Silence was deafening, in this situation. If you two were talking, at least you wouldn’t begin to wonder what was wrong with yourself.
You've had questions. Doubts. First of all, why did you decide to save Sundrop, and how were you gonna get rid of him now? It was foolish. Possibly the worst ideia you’ve ever had. You didn’t want company. You didn’t want to care for someone, even if this person seemed to be lost and vulnerable after the stars knew what happened to them. You actually just wanted to live your life quietly, and wait for whatever that was happening to pass.
He was still cold against you.
Yet, now that you started it, there was no going back. Your conscience won't let you live with this. So, you quietly guided Sundrop to your house. He is put on your couch, the little thing practically shaking like a twig.
You place a blanket on him, and quickly go to prepare tea. For a few minutes, Sundrop just lays there, breathing slowly. Almost an ethereal sight, a fleeting existence. You do not want to look at him. So, when the tea is ready, you take that to him, staring at the liquid trembling as you walk. His reflection is there, still. You frown at that.
For a moment, his whole reflection glitches into something red. A viscous liquid drips and drags itself into his couch, tainting everything it touches.
As the cup falls to the floor, a scream is trapped in your throat. The liquid spills, taints your floor, the image scattering into a million stains. You don’t want to see this.
Sundrop looks back at you, the real one this time, his yellow coat shimmering. He looks objectively normal, albeit confused.
“Is something wrong?” He asks, trying to get up to help. That quickly fails, Sundrop wobbles, like he’s feeling dizzy, and changes his mind.
“Sorry about that.” You quickly say, gathering the shards with your magic, so you don’t have to look at them. “Everything’s fine.”
Thank god Sundrop doesn't ask any more.
You are sitting across the couch, staring at Sundrop. Since you delivered the second cup of tea, the Pouflon`s been silent, ears dropped, sipping at the tea occasionally. Eventually, he does say something:
“What's exactly happening?” Sundrop makes a gesture with his tail to the door. “Out there. I don't.... I don't know much.”
“I... Actually don't know much, either.” It sounded so pathetic when you finally said it out loud. Admitting that you not only did not care to go out of the safe walls of your home, but you also weren't interested to know what plagued the world in the slightest. No, as long as you were safe, the world could crumble to dust, that you wouldn't care. “The sky cracked. It brought some sort of sickness with it. It's been like this for months.“
A few moments of silence, in which you took to study the other lon reaction. What you see is truly curious, the way his face distorts in a pensive look, eyes shining with emotions that could be just about anything. Ah, how you wish to simply prod at his mind and see what he's thinking about.
He then looks at the window, as if seeing the crack for the first time.
“....What.... What happened to me?”
“You had the plague. I healed you.” I think I did, it's what you want to say, but the words are never said. You are still afraid of what you saw, of what it could mean.
Sundrop stays silent for a while. Takes a careful sip of the tea you prepared.
“What day is it?”
“September 5. Why?”
Sundrop made a collection of disgruntled noises. You watch with mild interest, until he suddenly lets out a laugh. A bitter and cold laugh.
“Last time I remember, it was April. Are you seriously telling me that months, months passed since then?”
You have nothing to do but to keep staring at the pouflon. Considering all else, it didn’t sound all that impossible. The sickness seemed to rob one of its mental awareness, making them nothing but a mindless beast.
“I am.” It’s all you manage to say. You can think of nothing more to console the pouflon. So you decide to offer something else, instead: “You can stay here and heal. Are you hungry?”
“I suppose I should eat something.” He sighs. “Thank you.”