T H E O P H A G Y
Written on June 11, 2019 (♊)
Author's Notes: This was the first ficlet I wrote after rediscovering Final Fantasy Tactics during the summer of 2019. I think I wanted to explore religion in relation to the Folles siblings here prior to Wiegraf's actual entanglement with and disillusionment in the Church. As should be apparent, I'm also really into depictions of foraging and things relating to the natural world.
The heath was somehow worse in the light of a full sun. The heat was suffocating, and what small game might roam the brush was still or in hiding. When Wiegraf returned, it was with nothing more substantial than a sheaf of shriveled wild leeks and a fistful of fat brown snails.
"They're better than bark and sawdust," he said bluntly.
Miluda did not expend the energy to nod as she counted them out, dashing each poor writhing beast on a rock as she distributed the night's bounty. One snail for each man of the company--each save one.
She looked to her brother in silence, holding it up towards him before he pushed it away, closing her hands around it.
"Take it." He tried to muster a smile. "I'll imagine I'm roasting Gustav's guts."
She speared her snail on a stick and roughly shoved it among the dim burning coals, chewing on the green end of one of the leeks as she watched its leathern skin begin to blister.
"Why stop with Gustav?" she asked sardonically. "He was full of bile and thin as a reed. Take a noble out of his castle, though... those sleek bastards are fat and soft as shelled snails. I imagine better tasting too."
He looked at the sun, and when it burned a spot in his vision, he traced the lace skeletons of the dead heather beneath it. There was something very strange to him about the scene, as if it were part of a dream he might someday remember having had.
"Why stop at nobles?" He mused. "Take God out of his heaven, and I'd eat his guts too."
She looked up at him again, tense as she waited to see if anyone else had heard.
"If there is a God, Miluda, he also has much to reckon for when I meet him."
She stood up. He closed his eyes as she brushed aside his muddy straw hair and kissed him soft on the forehead.
"Well my sweet heretic," she whispered. "Let's hope we don't meet him soon."