by Josh Roseman
Wen slumped against a crystal formation and stared up at the dark sky, lit only by greenish-gold auroras. Sweat ran down into her eyes and made her clothes cling in uncomfortable places. She wanted to sit down, wanted to take off the pack for a few minutes, but the last time she’d done that, her feet had ached even worse for the respite.
No. Better to stay standing.
She caught her breath before taking a measured swallow from the canteen that hung at her side. Gulping the water would be a mistake; in this state, she’d just throw up. Staying calm, that was the key.
One more swallow, though she ached to drain the whole thing, and then back onto its clip.
Wen’s borrowed comm pinged. Four hours to sunrise. Four hours until the witchlight above her head gave way to the burning white orb that would blast her with heat and radiation until she was nothing but a memory.
Four hours to live.