The men buried his father while he ate. He’d gone without food for so long he wasn’t even hungry anymore; his ribs and distended belly made him look like a great big horrible frog in the afternoon sunlight.
He choked and gagged; his stomach threatened to purge itself. The woman took hold of his wrist and said, “Slow down afore you get sick.”
Once he’d gotten one of the eggs down and had some water, a trapper came into the tent and knelt by the boy’s cot. “Who did this?” asked the man, burning into his eyes with an intense gaze. Three months ago, Pack wouldn’t have recognized that gaze, but he’d seen it in the broken mirror in the black shell of his house so many times it was like looking at himself now.
“He called himself Tem Lucas,” said Pack, and it seemed like an incantation as the words came out of his mouth. “He had a red bird tattooed across his eyes.” As if summoned by magic, his hunger ripped into him like a wild animal and he picked up the drumstick and biscuit, taking a bite out of each. A bestial snarl came out of his guts.
—The Fiddle and the Fire, vol 1 “The Brine and the Bygone”
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