Double Short Story Special 2
The Warrior and The Victim
“Good Night Samuel.”
I return her words with a whimper as the door to the outside creaks close.
Darkness envelops the square room and my mind begins to race.
I don’t want to sleep.
I refuse to close my eyes, instead I seek escape through my phone.
“The battery won’t last forever.”
I ignore it.
I scroll through the endless feed of information. It comforts me.
I focus on the light instead of the time left. The blue glow burns my eyes but I don’t mind, anything to keep conscious.
“65% left….maybe you should look at the time.”
I mistakenly look at the time on my phone, 11:00 pm.
Ignore it….focus on the light.
Staying up 3 days straight is beginning to take its toll.
It’s hard to focus on the words on the screen, they meld together into an illegible mess.
“Why did they leave you?”
I catch….bright orbs in the corner of my eye. Where those-
I refocus my attention to the scribbles on the screen. What’s one more night awake, anything to stay sane.
Noise, as if something is securing around in the darkness.
The sounds get louder and faster, why hasn’t mom opened the door yet?
I can hardly focus on the light anymore. My mind races as to what appeared in my dream that night. What if-
Silence. Deafening quiet.
The scratching stopped as if it never started. They said nothing is there, I….must believe them. If not them, then what can I believe?
Nothing beyond the screen exists, I make real this lie to keep my sanity.
….Darkness….complete isolation. Cut off from the light before my time, before I was ready.
I place the lifeless device on my chest and stare up into the black void.
“Too poor for a personal charger or night light? Why be born in this kind of life?”
Because I was given no choice.
….I should ignore it.
Sleep’s sweet voice calls to me. I struggle to resist it’s touch, but it’s not the only thing touching me.
What time is it, when will the night end? When will the sun grace me with her presence?
I don’t know if I can make it 8 more hours in this life? Why was I born into this existence?
Everyday is the same meaningless thing, the same old pain.
….I’m so tired.
Sleep is good for me….right?
That’s what they say to us all but….is it good for me?
What happens to me when I go to sleep? Am I still….me?
Who will wake up in this bed tomorrow? Will I….even wake up?
“Does it matter?”
….No, I guess it doesn’t matter now, it never did.
Real or not, it doesn’t change the fact-
I’m tired and I don’t want to be here anymore.
My eyes flutter one last time before a deeper darkness overtakes me.
“Goodnight Samuel, sweet dreams.”
I couldn’t ignore it.
A Warrior’s Final Stand
Zhao breathes in a bladed sigh surrounded on all sides and help nowhere to be seen. He stares down his foes with such ferocity, you’d think he hasn’t fought for hours on end. 1,000 stand before him yet 1,000 lay buried still. He mockingly smiles at his frightened enemies, he could do this all day.
Yet, he knows he can barely keep up the bluff. The skies darkened further and the rain hammers down on all their heads. Lightening graces the battlefield with its presence signaling the start of another round.
One brave soldier attempts to swing at Zhao but he quickly whirls around to knock the man to the ground with his spear. The rest of the front line charges Zhao but he remains steadfast. He cleaves the falling water droplets along with the heads of his opponents. His is a dance of death, elegant and merciless. He wastes no movement as he rips through the poor pawns that desperately attack him.
In the distance, a coward’s voice can be heard. “Kill him! It’s just one man, why can’t you kill him.” Zhao wastes no energy on the commander of these men. “He is no warrior, no true leader.” Zhao thinks to himself as he continues to battle as if he has done this a thousand times before.
Instead of fighting Zhao himself, the commander gathered his entire army just to kill one man. A man who left his army, an army that prefers to slaughter innocents and conquer instead of being a force for peace. Zhao could no longer stand to be a part of such a group, so now he stands alone against the tidal wave of blades.
“We’re just following orders.”
“We had no choice.”
“That’s how the world is.”
Zhao had enough of the excuses, he chooses to go his own way. He chooses to be free. But was it even worth it? Zhao, ever valiant, continues to swing his spear in what he believes in. Yet, he is but a man and the body can only take so much.
After giving a lightning-quick slash to the assailants encroaching on his side, his knee slightly gives way. The opportunity was quickly taken by a nameless soldier. They slashed Zhao’s back causing him to grunt in pain and for the blood to mix with the rain and sweat. Zhao countered by stabbing the attacker, lifting him up, and throwing him at the mob surrounding him.
The coward speaks again. “See! He’s just a man, swarm and kill him so we can go on to the next city!” Zhao shook his head and twirled his spear above his head in an intimidating manner. In the end, he took an even fiercer battle stance. He then screamed at the top of his lungs words that will forever be remembered by those that were there.
“I am Zhao, I swore on this spear that I will not fall on this battlefield!! I refuse to kneel to those who would serve a tyrant! Come, face a true warrior and die like how you lived, in the mud!”
For a brief moment, all was still, even the wind and rain seemed to listen to his words. Then the coward spoke once more.“Don’t listen to that traitor, we are in the right here! The one who slays this man will receive not only my favor but also riches beyond imagination.”
Some in the mob were hesitant but most were delighted at the reward and thus abandoned all reason. The mob, even more reckless, threw themselves at Zhao. He didn’t care, if this is to be his final moment then he is happy to die his own man.
Zhao breathes a relaxed sigh and continues his dance of death, for himself and those around him. He slashed, cut, stabbed, and cleaved all those that came within range. He never gave an inch to his enemies, even as the harsh winds bit at his back and clawed at his throat.
After giving his all to this battle, the skies clear and the sun beams down on the remains. 60 stand before him and over 1,000 lay buried. True to his word, Zhao stood standing at the end. The sun, rewarding him with its warmth.
The last 60 stand in awe at his accomplishment, much too scared to fight further. Zhao would give them another smile but he can’t keep up the bluff anymore. He raises his spear to the heavens and declares: “Engrave this sight into your minds, for today I leave here at peace!”
His words echo throughout the field affecting those that understood and enraging others. Before they could process what they heard the coward spoke up once again.“What are you waiting for, kill him!”
After a few moments, 4 men charge Zhao and impale him with their blades. Despite this, he refuses to fall to his knees. Zhao manages one last smile before his vision starts to blur. In his final moments, the last thing he sees is the welcoming sun.
About the Creator
I’m Blankmarks and I love magic and fiction. I’ll write about various magic types and concepts not only for fun but to help writers create new magical worlds. I'll also post short stories, writing tips, and more.
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