Lily-of-the-Valley's eyes, to anyone making a passing glance, must have looked horribly glazed over. Perhaps those unaware of her past she looked tired. In truth, the woman could at least make walks like this without much effort. A youth spent making many treks like this into the badlands of the Crazy Horn stomping grounds and beyond for plants and ingredients, both mutated and not, had at least steeled her body in part for this expedition. No, Lily's eyes were very specifically downcast. She wasn't paying close attention to what she could see-- instead the short-haired woman listened to the land.
Ghosts spoke to her, wailed at her, with each crunch of soil beneath the hundreds of feet, the land sent warnings. Death awaited. Another thing she'd been steeled toward! Of course, death always awaited out here-- it always waited. They were on the precipice of blood; occasionally she would look down and see it pooling in the sandy loam beneath her feet, occasionally she would look up, and see horribly mutated birds, three of them, fighting over what was once a beautiful sparrow or a dove, but had become a mass of bloody feathers-- feathers that would never reach the ground, and then there was the big horner-- she had been seeing that one for years, thought. A great beast of muscle and rage, 6 long horns stretched out like the sun and it would stand in the distance glaring at her with eyes of green, mutating flame-- no one would ever see it, but it would breath enough grey smoke through its nose to disappear entirely-- and then it would be gone. Despite the blood, it seemed pleased with where she was headed.
Lily had been doing this for some years, you know? The whole run around with cryptic visions. There was the fact that many here would write her off if she was to say all she saw-- all that the land told her. That was a reason she kept it to herself, but another, perhaps more pertinent reason, was that she was good enough at interpreting the messages imparted to her by the bones of dust that the land left of all it touched. Storms of blood approached-- but the threat wasn't immediate. Despite the heat of the sun and the harshness of the ground, Lily, perhaps optimistically, could never accept that the land wanted anyone to die. No-- people would kill others, perhaps-- but the land just wanted to thrive. If it had to use the blood of man to replenish itself, then it would. She knew that lesson all too well.
But right now, all that the land told her of was was the approach. A rattle in the distance warning of danger.
So she tread lightly-- wary of where she stepped, but otherwise focused on the journey, and the challenges ahead. The woman wasn't well armed-- the protection she offered was medical, spiritual, perhaps psychic. The land wouldn't have screamed at her to make this journey for no reason. The stupid big horner wouldn't be smiling on her with each step she took.
Lily was dressed half a scavenger and half a tribal. The poncho she wore was her mother's, the jeans she wore she'd picked up on this trek-- the boots she wore she'd got off a dead body in Reno (They were the nicest things she owned). On her back was a self-made bow and quiver loosely slung, filled with arrows she'd made herself for the trip-- she was a bit rusty with the tribal was-- but at least according to the few Hualapai she'd spoken to (or, tried to speak to-- the gap between languages wasn't too vast, but... there was a gap), she hadn't grown too soft in Vegas. Lily had needed to sell a fair bit of her more modern firepower to afford the pack brahmin for her and her girls. They brought with them clothes, hygiene and beauty products-- Lily had loaded the animal with as many native herbs as she could, knowing she'd have to learn an entire new region for whatever remedies she was useful for.
"God damnit," A shrill voice spoke behind Lily snapping her out of her thoughts, "Need another shoe."
A laugh, "Bitch, another one?" A second voice said between laughs.
"I can make you some sandals when we break..." Lily spoke with a distracted smile.
The first voice; "Oh, so you're a cobbler now?"
The second woman snorted as she stopped her laughing fit, "Bitch what?"
"I'm sorry?" Lily added.
The second woman shook her head, "Yeah, I don't."
Lily smiled, "It sounds kind of tasty."
"SHUT UP." The first woman yelled, loud enough to turn other heads amongst the huddled caravaneer masses.
"Charlotte, I'm sorry, but what is a cobbler?" Lily politely asked.
"Well, it's not mutfruit cobbler, for one." Charlotte rolled her eyes as she spoke, "And no, Moriah, it's not sexual either."
Moriah, notably shorter than Lily, leaned up against the taller, tanner woman laughing. "Please keep telling us all the things it isn't," She giggled, "It's not obvious you don't know what the hell you're talking about, Cee."
"Oh my god, shut up," Her gaze directed toward the sky as she limped along on her heel-less boot, "It's like a shoe maker-- that should have been obvious."
"Should it?" Lily tilted her head, "I would hardly call sandals shoes."
"Lily, I'm gunna fucking kill you."
"If you kill her she can't make you your shoes!" Moriah beamed.
"They're not shoes, though." Lily's earnest smile contrasted Moriah's.
Charlotte exhaled, "LILY. MORIAH. Just shut up, please, I don't need this right now." She gazed toward the sky as she pleaded. Clearly someone was not as used to long treks. "How do you even know how to make shoes?"
"Sandals." Lily added under her breath, "It's just something I picked up."
Moriah wrapped her arm around Lily, taking another sip from her flask as she did, "Our girl has skills and visions!" The woman leaned against her as the pair continued to walk, "And as sweet as a cobbler!"
"Goodness, Valley girl! You're such a little girl, sometimes!" Moriah stumbled ahead, "Everyone knows we're whores! No ones going to do shit about it-- if they do Ol' Horace'll put two between their eyes! Relax."
Lily and Charlotte gave a dry chuckle. Lily spoke.
"We were whores." She fell behind, placing a hand on her Brahmin's side, "But this is our shot-- out here we can figure something out. Be more this time, you know? Just got to make sure we don't drown."
That last bit confused the other two-- drown? They were further away from water than ever before. But they knew not to pry. Lily's eyes glazed over again as she resumed her listening.