Chapter III: Cullet

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Up above, past the lake’s shroud, there were birds, clouds and stars.  I looked at the gray blackness above, hunting for something outside the mind-numbing tedium of the lake.  My last canteen had drained to a half.  We hadn’t encountered any rockwraiths.
At one point I’d scribbled flat, imagined monsters in the dust while Hinte wrenched at an uncooperative cryst.  My scribbled rockwraith had snarled with massive claws dripping gore, mouth agape with angled sword-teeth and streams of caustic venom flying forth.  I’d smiled but not laughed, and that kept my throat satisfied.
By now I wouldn’t complain to see a real rockwraith.  As long as it prowled far in the distance, downwind of us, and with no chance under the sky of eating me.  But no.  Instead I sifted, seeing the same three things over and over again.  The ash clouds were still cloudy.  The glass crags were still craggy.  And Hinte was still Hinte.