(OOC here) Blood. She came awake with a start, aching, the ground cold and damp and reeking underneath her. Her fist was clenched around an object, digging into her palm so hard it felt bruised, but she didn't let go. She pulled her left arm underneath her to sit up from where she lay on her stomach. Where was she, an alley? And the blood. She looked to her right, at the knife handle clenched in her fist, its hilt ornate and well made. Its blade buried deep. That night had been, like many nights, a blur of joyful noise and movement. Jenna was a dancer at The Pond, one of the busier taverns in town, and she loved the bustle of people on those full-house nights, and the jangling of the bells on her costume, and the encouraging racket of lutes and drums trying to be heard over the sounds of drunken merriment. She wore brightly dyed fabric, purple and green and gold, freckles on her face and shoulders and lithely muscular arms, her hair a mess of orange curls. Her skirt was layers and layers of gauzy fabric, crisscrossed and slitted to be a changing riot of colors as she danced. When her performance was over, she had settled in with a mug of mulled wine. A man had approached her, introduced himself as a great wizard! She had laughed at him. She had heard tales of wizards. Perhaps some of them were even true! But those were old, white-haired men in sweeping robes. Not this man. He was young, all slim and toned muscle, his dark hair well kept, his eyes bright and kind. She had flirted with him, laughed at his claims of magic and greatness, drank the wine he had bought her, and the memory blurred... Blood. She pulled herself to her knees, and stared at the man to her right, his eyes open and blank, sunken into a face she didn't recognize. The knife was buried in his belly, the knife she still held. She drew it out of his body, stared blankly at the blade and the blood that coated it. It was large and curved, wicked-looking. And thirsty. That thought popped unbidden into her head, thirsty. Hands shaking, she wiped the blood from the blade on the man's clothing. It was very fine clothing, high quality. His cloak was velvet, deep blue, and he wore rings on his fingers. She found her eyes drawn back to the knife. It was black, a smooth, deep red gem set into the pommel, handle wrapped in supple leather. And it was so thirsty. She couldn't stand it. She tore off a layer of her skirt and bundled the knife up in the gauzy purple fabric; she didn't want to see it, didn't want to touch it. She felt as if she came fully back to her senses as she scrambled to her feet and away from the body, and suddenly noticed that her arms and legs were bloody. She nearly screamed, was nearly sick, before she saw that the blood was her own, not the man's. There was broken glass on the ground, and she was crisscrossed with cuts, most only scratches, a few deeper, painful only now that she noticed them. She turned to put her back to him, breathing hard. She forced herself to be calm as she stepped gingerly toward the street and out of the alley, the bundle held under her arm. Her mind raced. The sky told her it was early, early morning. She shivered in the chill wind, the stones bitter cold on her feet. Her slippers were missing, not that they would have been much protection. Neither was her dancer's garb, thin and breezy, her shoulders and arms fully bared, plus a band of skin around her stomach. But she couldn't bring herself to touch the body again to take his cloak, or to have such a grisly souvenir. She picked a direction at random and walked slowly. She had no money for a room or even a drink to warm her up. She hoped only for a landmark to tell her where she was, as she walked barefoot down the street, and tried not to think about the man going cold behind her, or the knife she still held close, wrapped in fabric, or the gap in her memory that horrified her.