Somehow the fire had not dwindled down while I was gone. Regardless whether it was coincidence or Star’s efforts, I thanked her anyway. I owed her my life.
Between petting her between the eyes and speaking to her, I kept glancing over at Benebarak and knew I’d have to resort to exactly what he’d told me to do. I wanted to believe what he did, that consuming him would aid me in my survival in a metaphysical way, but I wasn’t sure. I was certain, however, that eating his body would actually help me in my actual physical survival. So, I retrieved his knife from his side and I began to piece him up just as he’d said.
Brain, then heart, then fingers, and I saved the entrails for last.
Once I had taken the important parts, and after I had made my offering to the great mother, I would piece the rest of him up. It would be a big job, and I needed the energy to make it through.
Silently, as I cut open my captor and oddly enough, my friend, I wondered if it would matter if I cooked the pieces. He hadn’t specified, so I thought I’d try it. I’d had my fill of raw meat, and I needed something warm in my stomach.
I found a suitable stick and cut the brain into chunks, filleted the meat from the fingers, and the heart I quartered, then I made a kebob. A fucking Stormrider kebob. Bloody fucking hell, what was I even doing anymore?
Before I cooked and ate my dinner, I gathered the entrails and placed them on the ground. Standing before them I raised my arms and head skyward, not sure what to say or where to start. I cleared my throat and spoke a little shaky and uncertain at first: “Great mother, I lay this offering before you as thanks for every obstacle you have seen me through, and for any gifts that you see fit to bestow upon me. I leave this offering of one of your chosen warriors to show my appreciation. Thank you.” It didn’t quite feel adequate enough, but I had no idea what else to say or how to do it, since I’d never done it before, but I meant every word I’d said.
The sky above me rumbled slightly and I couldn’t help but worry the Stormriders were coming, but Star didn’t seem on alert like before. Instead, she looked at me and nodded. I swear she’s not a regular horse. All I could do with that thought was shake my head and laugh at myself, before picking up my kebob and roasting it over the open flame.