“Strive for the forever mists great warrior, here is your home.”
* * *
The bright light of the suns shone red through his closed eye lids. Opening his eyes and painfully shutting them, Lark once again awoke to the world. Rubbing his eyes with his left hand, he tightened his grip on his sword with his right hand. Why did he sleep with his sword? Lark’s mind ached and spindled confusion as his vision slowly adjusted to the first morning sun. His first shock came when he went to lift himself. Putting down his hand, it was submerged in a puddle of muck that he had slept in last night. The second shock came with the realization that the muck was his blood. Lark stretched high with his right arm stabbing his sword firmly into the ground and lifting himself with all the strength of his right arm, his strong arm he thought to himself. As Lark pulled himself upright he gritted his teeth in anticipation of immense pain, but it never came. He was covered in so much blood he couldn’t see any wounds. He couldn’t remember anything but his shirt and tunic had been torn asunder. Wiping away the thick blood from his flesh all he could find was a good sized scar slashing down over the center of his chest directly over his heart. Lark didn’t remember ever getting this scar yet it looked as if it was aged with years. From the looks of the wound someone had caught him good, a right hander, with probably a long sword. Where he was became the next question on the long list of his wonderment. Then it all began to come back, his brothers, the wretched punrigs, his…
Lark dashed away without another thought, streaming as fast as his legs would haul him. Now it was forming back to him, the punrigs attacked, so many of them. The foul and putrid creatures were smaller than him, in fact even half his size. They were pure evil and fought with the ferocity of little cornered beasts.
His brothers ran.
Left him to stand alone.
He wouldn’t let the foul creatures pass.
He had too much to protect.
his mother was behind him.
He fought the growling beasts that carried swords and shield yet had little mind to hold them less use them effectively. They were no match for Lark, they meet his sword with a quickness that their feeble minds could not comprehend. Lark’s slashes drove hard, cutting deep into the small men-like creatures that crumbled and were tossed aside by the driving force of Lark’s blade.
Then the endless rush stopped.
The snarling creatures fell silent and even fell to one knee.
It was the woman who defeated him.
Lark came to a dead stop from his frantic sprint. His eyes could no longer see the path, all he could see was the woman’s face. Then came an immeasurable pain that drove deep inside of him. Clutching over his heart with his left hand, the pain forced him to one knee. Lark would have fallen if not for his right arm which drove his sword deep in the dirt, baring the weight of his pain. Larks hand had never gripped his hilt so tightly, yet he couldn’t feel it, he couldn’t feel anything but the tearing of his heart. The face smiled with content toward his pain.
She wore black armor lined with purple markings, her purple eyes stared deep into him searching for something. Her face was so beautiful it encased him, nothing else mattered, not even himself. She walked gracefully through the masses of the putrid punrigs that parted for her to pass, bowing to her in silence. She drew a dark sword whose blade was black like that of polished marble. She told him he couldn’t save his mother and she struck him down with a speed he couldn’t comprehend.
As Lark knelt beside his sword he came to bear what had happened to him. His left hand rubbed unconsciously over a scar,
Was this all a dream?
Am I being tormented in hell?
Then Lark realized the torment had not even begun.
Lark bolted up tearing his sword from the earth and carrying it firmly at his side running again at a full sprint toward his home. He thought he was close but coming up on his house he could see nothing, not even a roof top. His legged burned as Lark pushed himself to run faster, farther. Still he could see nothing of his home, no smoke, nothing. Finally Lark was going to reach a clearing surely then he could see. Lark all at once fell to the ground, this pain was worse then before, sickening to the stomach as the heart dropped. Lark’s eyes shut tightly as his mind's eye took in all he had seen. As the truth and reality hit tears poured freely from his eyes, the pain so deep and intense that Lark thought there could be nothing worse, nothing. His minds eye stared at his house reduced to tinder and white dust upon the ground. His brothers and father died defending the house, their bodies made a semi circle around the only entrance. His mother and sister lay slain amongst the grey ashes and debrie of the house.
He lived and they died.
He stood when his brothers ran, they were smarter, regrouped.
If I had been smarter I would have been here fighting as a whole, not split up and defenseless. His brothers were not cowards…
They were not cowards.
The pain over took him and darkness flooded his vision.