Hey beautiful people! How is life? How has your week been? How is your imagination? Have you escaped from reality yet? Sometimes we need to leave it all behind for just a small moment. To grasp something different, to breathe in another life, another world, another place. To feel something outside of the moment right now that our life knows only too well. So where did I go? I had a challenge this week from a group of excellent writers I know to write a story, and the topic was “Reverse.”
Reverse. J R Manawa.
Some stories can only be told in reverse, from the end back to the beginning. Because in the end, Tamara died.
I cradled her head on my knees and kissed her cool, clammy skin. There were no tears that could blind the moment I saw her soul separated from the world. For a moment I thought I would die with her, for the pain of watching her leave.
Her body failed her moments beforehand, the blood loss so strong that she had painted each blade of grass she passed over with thick dark blood. The kind of blood so dark it told you there was not enough air in her lungs.
It was she all could have done to hold the gash in her stomach closed, but even as I ran across the distance to reach her I knew I was reaching into eternity, each step I placed, every body on the field I manoeuvred around, every moment I slipped and lost my footing, these things widened the gap between us forever.
Before I saw her I had stood to my feet to find the battlefield almost empty. Now they had begun to gather the survivors, and I knew I had not been counted among them, because if I had, they would have killed me too. It was then I saw her, still clinging to life. She saw me too, and tried to move toward me. That was the moment I realised it was all wrong. I had missed our last stand.
It had not taken long after the battle started for us to realise we were not gong to win. But I missed that glorious moment when the few of us who remained stood defiantly before the monsters and fought, until we didn’t any more.
Sometime earlier, I had taken a hard hit to the side of my face and only woke from the stupor to find that Ben had taken the monster down before it could finish me. The two of them lay side by side in the pooling blood, Ben’s sword in the monsters throat, and the monster’s gnarled fist still clenching the rock that had smashed his skull in.
The charge had begun with the passion of men and women who have nothing to lose. Every one of us had let go in their heart of every dark thought that held them back, and every fear was abandoned, because of how the day had begun.
Tamara and I had begun the day, along with Ben and the others at the top of the hill. The pale red dawn had brought mixed feelings because our only link to tomorrow lay in defeating the sleeping horde in the valley below us. We knew too well that our only road was through. No matter what we prayed or dreamed for, I knew as well as anyone else that on the other side of claiming this victory, there would be a new beginning, and something else that first I cannot quite grasp the word for.
Then, I remember. Because in the beginning, the strangest thing had been that the day began with hope.