Vahka finished the armor ritual, her torso clad in twice-fire-hardened chitin, her six legs in recently-tanned leather from the hides of last month’s dead. Their sacrifice would not be in vain, she prayed.
Before her lay the paints, and a full length mirror. With careful precision, she methodically took a jar in one hand and used two other hands to adorn her body in the colors.
A crimson red, containing actual blood from this evening’s meal, she splayed across her three arms, and the shoulder of what was left of the fourth. It symbolized the butchery that was to come.
A deep blue, of crushed flowers and grub ichor, to symbolize the coming night of war, across her chest.
Black, from the tar pits of home, across her face, a shadow of death to her enemies.
And finally, bright yellow, from plant seeds and water, full across her palms of six fingers each. The coming dawn she prayed she would see.
“This war must end tonight,” she said aloud to no one.
(The word prompt today was “Paint.”)