Chapters 22, 23 & 24: The Lake of Blood, The Underpass, and Bear
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They went to bed with bellies rounded by the meal. Malila slept well … for a few hours.

The dream, when it came, was like all the others: Malila was thigh-deep in warm blood, redolent and thick. The sky, lighting the sea and its empty horizon, was a yellow hue from pole to pole. Malila was walking, had been walking. She sensed the viscous blood clinging to her legs, exhausting her. Each time she stopped, the vista was the same. The oddest thing about the dream was her apathy, watching herself trek through the hideous, shallow sea of blood without a qualm.

A shiver ran through her, and she turned sharply. Immediately behind her now was a stone temple of some ancient and derelict design. Approaching the vast sto...

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