He awoke with a start, the weight of a restless night leaving him suddenly as it was the stench that hit him first. He shot up in bed, still covered from the sweat of his nightmares, and began dry heaving. The thick odor assaulted his senses, causing his eyes to water and his nose to snot. It smelled of decay and death. The strong sickly sweet scent of lilac mixed in as though to try and perfume the foul smell.
It was too much and he vomited onto his dusty wooden floor. Wild fear then took him. He knew what this was and had smelled it before many times. Damn the Gods, he thought, He never thought it would be him. He stumbled out of bed and half-ran, half-fell through his small shack. His constitutions wavering, he threw open the heavy pine door and looked to his feet. He found that could not scream as fear tightened around his throat and his blood ran as cold as the Nordic Winds.
The black charred bones of an infant elk lie at his door step. Frayed and rotting twine held the thing together haphazardly and he could feel the Evil surging from the remains.
He had been Chosen.
He grabbed at the banister, white knuckling the railing, and bent over double once again purging himself out of fear.
With bleary eyes he stared down the road at the plot of scorched earth that marked the remains of the last house that found The Mark at it's door..
This would be his last days on this Plain as a man
He sat next to the Mark and sobbed. Great tears rolled down his face as he thought of all he was about to leave behind. As the Day broke he watched his last sunrise. He muttered his thanks to The Gods, however grim the morning was, it was glorious sight. Just the other day the sun had been met with Falls overcast skies, promising evening storms. Today, however, the sun broke through great white clouds. Brilliant rays of light charging the sky with its intense morning golds and blues.
The light stretched across the forest town of Wilds Watch. Creeping up the dirt roads and casting long shadows from the various wooden and clay structures. Morning dew began to steam from the thatch roofs and tall grasses leaving a gentle fog on the town. The forest in the distant seemed more ominous than ever.
As he thought about the horrors he would soon face doors began to open as the suns light reached out and through the windows of the weathered houses. The people knew what this morning brought. "It" had come ti claim another sacrifice. The unspeakable horror only took strong, youthful men, the rumor being that It needed them to add to It's unholy keep as The Walking Dead. They wore masks with lemon grass, flowers and pine needles stuffed inside and poking through the edges. The unholy stench of The Mark crept far from his house and would linger into the sobering weeks to come.
Their eyes held pity and sorrow. He knew they also breathed a sigh of relief from the scented masks as they had avoided It's Mark for another year.
"So, I am doomed to join the Walking Dead." he thought aloud with spiteful and ragged breath.