The albino stood on the platform and dragged the knife down his forearm. Blood ran in scarlet rivulets over his hand, his fingers. It dripped the sidereal pattern of his god onto the wooden planks around his feet.
Before him the air shimmered as it struggled to call forth his deity. The hot sun bore down full on his naked back, dampening the potency of the blood. Day was not the time for such magic, but there was no choice for it.
With each heartbeat, more of his life pulsed away, more of his power to prolong the spell ebbing. His was a complex gift, a dangerous magic. Each practice of the blood rites risked death, if the ritual could not be completed before last blood flowed.
The albino chanted, his voice barely a whisper, conserving energy, yet he felt his strength diminish.
He slashed again, savagely, desperately, hoping more blood would fuel the spell’s completion. Still it foundered, and he sagged to the platform.
The albino wept his final breaths. His failure meant that his people would die.
[Originally posted on Ficly.]