The Mask Of The Pig

Each hunter narrates a dream about the swine god, Moccus. Did Moccus demand a sacrifice of riches, status, or blood? What did they each sacrifice?
[TW: In-dream suicide]

It is difficult at first to tell at first if this is a dream or a memory.

Old candles that stink of tallow burn along the edges of an old stone altar, their dancing lights casting odd shadows on what little they illuminate. Jonah stands with his sleeves rolled to his elbows, scarred forearms bloodied as he disembowels a shoat in the center of their dim light.

It lies silent - eyes rolling in its skull and occasionally giving a weak, spasming kick as it dies slowly. His own expression is impassive, almost bored, as he casts the entrails over the stone. Next he reaches in to free the young swine's liver, finding it covered in rancid lesions - tumorous growths that leak blood and pus, dark veins spiderwebbed across the meat of it. It becomes clear that this is a dream when the dying piglet speaks - in a shrill squeal of a voice it tells him that "this blood is not enough."

At that, he sets the liver aside and instead takes up the blade he'd used to open its stomach. It's still slick with blood, a black that shines red in the candlelight. Jonah considers it for a moment as the squeals continue, their insistence growing frantic as its voice raises into a shriek "not enough - not enough - not enough-" He understands an order given, even if only in implication. In one swift, precise motion he cuts his own throat, expression unchanging.

In another dream he'd have awoken immediately, but in this one - held fast by some ancient being - he feels every moment of his death and does not wake until his heart stops.