Sofka Vladimirov knows no life outside of the Great Worm Cult. Taken at infancy from parents that paid her little mind, Sofka was hardly missed--in a way, her mother counted it a blessing: one less mouth to try and feed. (Whether or not she'd come to regret that mindset and mourn the loss of her child is another story entirely.)
As she aged, the girl developed a cold streak. When Dimi was brought in, she was hateful to the boy at first. She liked her solitary childhood. Overtime, as they grew up, she developed a soft spot for him and viewed him as a younger brother.
Equally brainwashed, Sofka lives and breathes the doctrine of the Cult. She has no qualms with the idea of eating others; in fact, growing up she often ate the bits and pieces that Dimi did not.
Sofka glanced around after she was finished drinking, leaving Dima's query unanswered. Gray eyes settled on a pile of rags and a pack there. Quickly, she scurried across the floor, not unlike a spider, and opened it. Shoving her hand in, the youth's fingers found something cylindrical and she pulled it out. A thermos. Old, and showing signs of heavy use. It was dusty, too. Screwing the cap off, she tilted the thermos to the side and drained it, her nose wrinkling. It could be worse, and the coppery, acidic taste of blood had a way of masking other flavors. It would work. She returned to Dima's side a moment later, placing the mouth of the cup against the open wound in the man's throat. Blood cascaded into it, and when it was full, Sofka raised it to her lips and took a sip before returning the cap to it.
"Hopefully this is one of those good ones," the youth said, her timbre lively. She moved back to the pile of rags and grabbed the bag, dumping it out before slinging it over her shoulder. The thermos was placed inside and the bag tossed across the floor to Dima. "Keep a hold of that. We can put extra meat inside, then let it dry and use it."
Sofka made no mention of cleaning the bag between uses. Honestly, she didn't care. She cared about Dima's stomach, and her own. Especially her own. Absentmindedly, her hand rose to her stomach, feeling the soft bulge of a slowly swelling belly. The young woman was paying a steeper price than she'd intended for that gift, traded in flesh.
Sofka listened. And she rolled her eyes, even mimicked his excuse while she waited for him to cut open the man's throat. When he did, she mirrored him and cupped her own hands, drinking the coppery fluid hungrily. It was still warm, had not yet thickened. It was palatable. She doesn't say anything until she's done, her gaze lifting to Dima.
"Excuses, Dima. Improvise. You have to always be able to improvise," she chastised. It seemed like she could always find something wrong with what he did. But she wasn't going to allow it to lead to another argument while the blood thickened.
Reaching into her back pocket, Sofka withdrew something wrapped in cloth and passed it to Dima, blood staining her chin and hands. "Here, this is for you." As she handed it over, she watched his face. Upon opening the gift, he'd find a new garrote within. High quality, like her knives. Where had she found it? Or better yet, who had she taken it from?
When Dima drew out the set of knives, Sofka's nose wrinkled slightly. Stepping forward, she reached down for one of the knives Dima didn't select and tested its sharpness against her finger tip. A thin line of blood blossomed on her pale skin and she popped the digit into her mouth and suckled the crimson stain. She doesn't offer him accolades for passing this test, though. There would be no good jobs if something ever happened to her, no cheers, no praise. And so she criticized his every move, his every word.
"You could also choke him. With your arms," Sofka pointed out, an exasperated sigh punctuating her words. As the corpse was strung up, her gaze swept the room, as if anticipating what he would say next.
"Seriously, Di? I guess I'll just drink it straight. C'mon, open him up," she said, rolling her eyes. She knelt down in front of the man's corpse and drew a line across where he needed to cut. "Right here."
Sofka shook her head at Dima, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth.
"Tch. Suffocate him next time. You got enough meat on your bones to do that if you step on his throat," she jeered, making fun of his smaller stature. Her gaze flicked over her shoulder momentarily, as if she'd heard something. A few moments passed in which the young woman determined she was hearing things, and she looked back to Dima then the corpse. Curling her arms around the body's torso, she heaved while he hooked and soon enough, the dead man was strung up.
"You got the knives?" she asked, peering at him from the corner of her eye. Just in case he doesn't, Sofka had a pair tucked into her boots. She had to make sure Dima could do these things on his own though. Preparation for if they were ever separated.
Sofka worried about Dima a lot, especially considering the fact that he struck her as meek. It was that big sister mind of hers that convinced her he wasn't yet capable of caring for himself. In some ways, Sofka was a bit of a watch dog.
Sofka was always close. Always. Not to sound like a creep, but that was a definition the ghostly woman fit well. She had a habit of slinking around, of being there, but not actively there, so to speak. So when Dima called her name, she surfaced from the shadows and watched him, amusement twinkling in her eyes. Amusement that soon turned to feigned sadness as she looked down at the corpse betwixt them.
"Really Dima? You had to bash his head in? I'll be picking bones out of his brains forever now," she sighed, exasperated. She loved the consistency of brains, and in a way Dima's inability to consume that particular part of a body was a boon to her: she got his portion of brains in exchange for some of Sofka's serving of flesh.
Noticing the younger one looking around, Sofka swept her gaze over the area in search of whatever it was he sought--and found it. Walking over to the chain, she heaved it up and looked along the ceiling of the tunnel they were in for a pipe to drape it over. She found one, and began the process of swinging the hook around in an attempt to thread it through so that the corpse could be hoisted upward. It took several attempts, and lots of racket, but she finally succeeded and pulled the meat hook down for Dima to pierce the flesh of the victim with.
"Hurry up, so I can get him lifted," Sofka said.
There's nothing here yet