It does not get any better. As the days turn into weeks, then months, the food runs out and there is precious little water left. The weakest of them dies first, and Aadargha takes a vote of the people to see whether their dead friends should be consumed. There is not too much protest. A few of their friends offer themselves as a sacrifice to the gods, and Aadargha dispatches them with his knife after dedicating them to the Mother. They are then cleaned and sliced like the deer that had once roamed there, and their bones eventually thrown in the chasm. Since the spring was poisoned and then disappeared, there is not even any water to make soup with, just barely enough good water for the dwindling members to have a mouthful a day. The children die first, then are consumed, as are their parents in turn.
Very soon, only Aadargha and Mayra are left. They are the healthiest, which is a curse as well as a blessing. Aadargha turns his head and looks over at his spouse, his beloved helpmate. She is lying on their pallet of skins, a bare shadow of her former self. He himself is weak, but still has a measure of strength left.
He reaches under the skins and takes the knife that he has made himself, crafted of bronze from his homeland. The Mother has blessed it and he has guarded it carefully. It has seen and tasted much blood in the past weeks, but from that blood has come life. He runs the blade across his forearm, watching the warm red gift well out. He holds it out to Mayra.