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CC Round Three Pg.4"Please," spoke Zasha, "won't you just help me?"
"There mus' be something that can be done," sputtered Erx.
"No. You know that crazy Beyra, don't you? She doesn't care. She doesn't care about any of us! I can't change that!"
Erx took another step back.
"I'm sorry," he began, "but I cant' submit. Th' rust will never fade away, an' neither will I."
The collie turned and sprung into the hallway, paws scrabbling on the dusty floor. He sprinted around the corner and down the hall before weaving his way through a crumbling wall's ribs of steel, pausing in a derelict room to catch his breath. It resembled the space in which the curs had convened before, albeit smaller in all dimensions. Shattered windows admitted a biting gale, which in turn drove a large sheet of ice onto the floor. Distressingly, it stood between him and the only other doorway. He turned about to try and escape through where he entered, but his foe had caught on to his path. The soft pitter-pat of paws on stone skipp
CC Round Three Pg.3An aide of Beyra's approached Erx in a timely manner. Interestingly, it stood at his own height, unlike the rather imposing brutes of the previous rounds
"You're looking for a dark brown-black dog- she's a few inches taller than you. Name's Zasha. She's wearing a studded collar, if it helps."
"Okay. An' what'm I supposed to do?"
"Beyra didn't say much."
Erx nodded meekly and shuffled away with his tail tucked between his legs. Few of the dogs around him appeared remotely familiar, and of those who he did recognize, he understood little about them. It had always been so, but the stark culling of group made this all the more painfully clear. A fleeting glimpse of a brown dog bearing a collar studded with small nubs of steel caught his eye. The dog stood uneasily, evaluating those around it with suspicion. As if conscious of Erx's prying eyes, it flinched and backed away into the safety of the ruins. Erx scrabbled to his feet and ventured forth to seek out his foe.
Freed of the panic that
CC Round Three Pg.2A number of dogs looked up from the ground as Erx entered a wide room littered with rubble and old scraps of iron. They soon resumed their muffled conversations, which drifted from subject to subject without direction. He sought out a sheltered corner and curled himself into a damp lump, trying mightily to keep himself warm. The faint patter of rain started up, taking on a hollow tone as the night wore on.
Wonder where the others are, he worried. They'll perish if they're left alone. Only the warmth of the united can stave off the winter.
Sleep overcame him after an unbearably long while. His dreams ran their course, surprisingly devoid of fear or panic. A weighty aura of sorrow lingered in their place. Sorrow for those who had perished. Sorrow for those who had yet to perish.
An avenue stretches off into the distance, yet no creature dares to tread upon it, save for myself. A steady rain falls from the sky, but it turns to solid ice before it can strike the earth. Lit
CC Round Three Pg.1The sun began to set over the city of Pripyat with a final feeble attempt at warming the icy land, which lay damp and cold after the day's pounding rains. Heavy clouds blanketed the sky, obscuring most of the orange sunset behind their cotton-like folds of gray. They only grew as the night drew near. Little more than occasional barks and yelps interrupted the uneasy calm.
One or two short of sixteen curs converged beneath the shadow of the building that once shielded thirty-two curs from the rain. They shambled with the slow, shuffling gait of those condemned to death. Death seemed close at hand; the chill in the air had intensified into a biting cold that gnawed at their soaking bodies. No complaints emanated from the crowd- they lacked the energy to do so.
Beyra observed the sorry mess with genuine concern, a most unusual thing for a creature of her sour disposition. Even she, with her stout constitution and heavy coat, felt the sting of the winter's grasp. Whilst the tournament exis
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