the dirt under my nails is from me digging my own grave

Just for the sake of clarity, Demonhand was having a shitty day. Nothing particularly bad happened, per say, it was more like a bunch of little things just piled on top of each other.

For one thing, he was hot. The air was growing colder as they continued north, but no amount of cold will stop the human body from sweating with exertion after hiking for god knows how many hours. It could be a blizzard and he’d still be like this.

Secondly, there was an incessant itch on his left arm. Which would have been easily remedied, if not for the fact that he lacked a left arm.

Well, a flesh and blood arm, that is. He lifted his left hand and stared at his own reflection in its glassy black palm. This thing functioned as an arm, it was shaped like one, he could move it like one, and it was permanently attached to his body like one. But it did not feel like one. It did not have sensation, the most he felt was its weight push and pull against his side and his shoulder when he moved it.

So basically it shouldn't be itchy. But it was, which was really annoying. He glanced to his right to see if the others were looking at him. Deya was ahead of him and while Offal was to his side, but their pupils looked forward.

He shifted his eyes back down to his left arm. He slowly moved his other arm over and raked the small pointed tips of his claws around the left’s hard spiked elbow. Just to see if it'd work, if it'd maybe trick his brain into thinking that itch was dealt with.

It didn't.

"Dem?" Offal’s voice made him jump like he was caught doing something he wasn't supposed to do. "Are you alright?"

Oh, he was making a face. He tried to force it back to something neutral. He didn't really know how to do that. How was he to know? Your face just does shit when you feel stuff, and he was meant to be constantly vigilant regarding what his face was doing about his emotions? When he was feeling things, he was thinking about his feelings, not his face, so he wasn't sure why it mattered at all. If anything, he-


Right, he needs to respond to people when they talk to him. He isn't sure what to say, so he used the tried and true "I'm fine."

He guessed they didn't believe him, because they shoved the canteen they were holding towards him. What, would he be scowling over thirst? Well… He was pretty thirsty, now that he thinks about it. He grabbed it from them and drank.

"We're almost out." He said.

This time Deya spoke, turning their head around to regard them both, "We're approaching a river, we can refill there!"

He turned his head up and sniffed. Oh right, it did smell like a river now that he thought about it. The sky was turning red, too. Sunsets were so vibrant here. They’ll probably settle down for the night when they stop to refill their water. Hopefully. He was pretty tired too.

— they reach the river –


Some nights he could screw his eyes shut and pretend he was home. The rustling of the trees and cries of alien beasts were actually just the sounds of the neighborhood outside his window as he slept in his warm soft bed.

But tonight that didn’t work. It had started to drizzle, and the cold and the sound of water droplets on his tent broke the already fragile illusion. The temperature had dropped so quickly, he groaned and blearily buried his face in the blanket that was in front of him. He tried to calm himself by taking a deep breath, and he exhaled a content hum during the brief period that it worked.Until he realized that the blanket's soothing and familiar smell was the scent of his friend Offal. Then his eyes shot open as he pushed himself up onto his knees and pressed the back of his hand against his mouth.

He took another breath, a bit shakier this time, and he asked himself why he fucking cared who the blanket smelled like. He asked himself why his face burned and why he had a weird feeling in his chest over how much he enjoyed Offal’s scent paired with a soft warm blanket.



He decided he would take a walk to clear his head.

When he stumbled out of the tent and into the cold rain he felt regret instantly. He knew he had dry clothes to change into when he got back, anyways. At the end of the campsite he turned to walk along the path they’d taken to get here. He wasn’t walking in the midnight rain for sightseeing, he didn’t need to explore a new area or go anywhere, he just needed to move.

So he did. He walked briskly while staring down at the dirt road. The more he tried to clear his head the more thoughts filled it until it eventually began to ache. He shook his head and began to walk even faster, quietly whispering a string of curses as he did.