Ready by Claire Louise Amias
I have a dream in which I am looking down on a settlement of small thatched huts, arranged in a rough circle with a ditch and ramparts at the perimeter. It is late evening. Through the blue fug of woodsmoke, I can see an old man in dirty, tattered clothes standing at the gates of the village. Two figures, both dressed in loose, hooded robes, stand either side of him.
The man makes a gesture with his arms, and they depart. One walks to the east. The other goes west, into the red glare of the setting sun. The figure heading east walks with a stumbling gait. It diminishes in size as it goes, as if it were melting away. The other is more powerful. It moves with purposeful strides, and in its wake it leaves a thin red streak along the centre of the road.