In the cold, dark hall there is an eerie quiet. Only the occasional complaint from the dogs outside interrupts the silence. The sand on the floor creating a crunching sound as the various inhabitants move from place to place, shuffling their feet, creating a mesmerizing off beat rhythm.
Linda pulls her frayed shawl closer to her, feeling the softness surrounding her, a buffer from the cold. Shivering despite this warmth, a sense of unease and distrust generating a chill from within.
Small flickering orange flames in the distance, wisps of grey smoke rising from their center drew her attention. She wondered why the other members of the group had not heeded the warning to avoid being seen, risking all of their work for a momentary comfort. She found this baffling, and infuriating.
It was this schism, this crack in their unity that had led them to this place. A fracture that had defied healing, a wound that continued to ooze and spread until their entire organism succumbed. Into that void, the remaining people had fled.
Now, here together, still unable to find the tonic or elixir that would heal them. Some sort of traded beans or vial of liquid. Drink one and get big, eat another and get small. Plant the beans and, in the morning, climb up to meet the giant, come to an agreement and learn how to share the golden eggs.