May 23, 2020 Flashback

The voice was cold and calm but dripped with venom and the promises of pain should it not be obeyed instantly. “Silence your whimpering whelp, I thought you would be grateful to see the physical world.”

The speaker was preternaturally beautiful, with features akin to an elven god with all the color save for his black hair drained from him. His wings tucked about his chest like some ornate bat themed cloak, this was the demonic Lord of Nightmare himself…Rhom Corsith. At his feet, trying his best to stifle his tears was a child no older than 6 shivering in garments better suited to the infernos of the underworld his father inhabited and not the snowy forests of the northern continent. The small child looked up, beseeching his father, “Please, I’ll be good, don’t abandon me father…please let me come home.” The demon smirked and reached under a wing to draw out a thin bladed blackened iron dagger. Dropping it in the snow, he turned to leave. “Survive a year, and maybe I’ll allow you to come home. Perish…well, your mother and I can make another weapon. You weren’t the first attempt after all.” The demon’s physical form blurs as he returns home. The child now totally alone and at the mercy of the cruelest environment possible for a half demonic youth raised in heat and fire.

Gathering the dagger, he wiped away a few tears that were freezing rapidly to his cheek. He needed shelter, or a fire, definitely something warmer to wear. Minutes became hours as the sun plummeted quickly towards the horizon. The child nearly delirious with exhaustion and exposure to the elements. At the end of his strength, he found a rock formation and a small cave to crawl into. It seemed abandoned by whatever had lived here previously, hopefully something else wouldn’t return once the sun set fully. The creatures that had inhabited this space had lined a corner with sticks and grasses long since brown and brittle but offering the freezing boy a space to try to regain some feeling in his wings, tail and feet. Sobbing quietly, he felt agony as his extremities began to regain feeling. Thankfully dreamless sleep claimed him as he bundled himself under the old plant matter. Fresh pain greeted him in the darkness of the night, his body still aching from frostbite but now coupled with hunger, thirst and stiffness from holding his body into a small ball to conserve body heat.

He knew he could do without food a few days at least, hunger was a common enough punishment dealt out by his father and mother both. But a fire and water would be needed very soon or he wouldn’t last more than a day or two tops. Venturing out into the still night, he quickly looked for branches and kindling. Everything was wet or frozen, unsuited to burn. But he had to try. Dragging them in, he arranged them in one corner where he could feel a small draft that might serve to draw away the smoke. But how to spark it? He tried striking his blade on various rocks but none were flint and did nothing to provide ignition. Biting his lip knowing this would hurt, he sliced the skin on his arm…willing his racial gift of flame to surge forth. This hurt as bad as the cut since this flame was supposed to be used in retaliation to being harmed, and he was in essence burning himself for his own injury. But the magic infused flames were strong enough to ignite the wood as the child jerked his hand clear before it lit. He moved back a little looking for that spot where the flames warmed without cooking the one seeking warmth. Finding it, he returned outside after a few minutes and returned with more wood and again for snow. Holding the snow in his hands, he let the fire melt it enough to get a palm full of icy water.

Now…how to find food?