You can find part 1 here.
I couldn’t see the arrow, but I knew that’s what it was at it whizzed past my ear and struck its mark behind me with a thwap. A groan burst from the giant that was atop of me and I felt his weight shift off my legs and the hand on my back grow heavy as he leaned forward. Another whiz and thud as another arrow hit its mark.
I tried not to feel some remorse for the poor devil who had followed me to his doom. It was his fault. If he had just stayed at his post in the first place, this never would have happened.
I was still trembling with the heavy run and the panic induced fear when a heavy weight descended on top of me, sending me into the water. I already needed air and now that My body was forced under the water, I was about ready to burst. Salvation had been near at hand, and I had survived being chased by this thug for a mile and a half and it was going to end by me drowning beneath his weight. The irony of it was not lost on me, even as I faced certain death and my vision started to grow black around the edges as my lungs rivaled the house fire that had taken my family.
A calm blackness overtook me only to be interrupted by a slap in the face and the brightness of a ray of sunlight making its ways through the trees. My vision narrowed on the light. Was this heaven? I had died. My poor family. I know it didn’t often work like that, but maybe I could convince the Lord above that I was needed more at home than I was here. Not that He didn’t know better already, but you never know unless you try.
But the face of my group leader came into view the reality that I hadn’t in fact died became evident. As did the water and burning that suddenly surged up my throat and exploded out of my mouth.
“Woah! Take it easy there, Falon. You almost drowned.”
Leave it to Marius to state the obvious. My snarky response would have been awesome if I hadn’t been doubled over, choking too hard to say anything.
He slapped me on the back. I never understood that gesture when you are trying to save a drowning person. They always slap you on the back. And to be honest, that seemed like a stupid idea. Instead of helping me stop choking, it always made it worse by sending the water back into the back of my throat. I batted his arm away.
Gasping, I stood on my trembling legs, they felt like the bone jelly that my mother used to make. A combination of that gut busting run and the near-death experience. “Where is the man who tried to kill me?” My voice sounded like laundry running up and down the wash board.
Marius looked at his companion, another of the outlaws, Keigan. I knew what they were going to say. “Don’t concern yourself. He pulled his knife first. Don’t torture yourself.”
Angered, I pushed past them as they tried to block my way. I needed to see the man that had attempted to take my life. When you go through something so harrowing, there is something inside of you that begs you to discover that person and who they are. A fight that intense always makes you feel like you know the person, regardless of whether you actually do.
They caught up with me, probably because I wasn’t walking very fast. It’s kind of difficult to walk when you almost die.
“Listen, Falon, just do yourself a favor. You don’t need to be doing this to yourself.” Keigan was now trying to dissuade me. He grabbed my arm and I jumped. Then my anger boiled. He should have known better than to touch Falon Magoure. Nothing got my blood boiling than being grabbed, tossed or hit around. I had had too much of that in my life before and I was in a place where I wouldn’t tolerate it.
I told myself that he didn’t mean any harm and tried to calm my fight or flight instinct as I turned on him. “Don’t touch me. I’m going to see him, and you can’t stop me.” I ground out through gritted teeth.
Marius grabbed Keigan’s arm and gave me a look. He of all people was probably the most aware of my short fuse when it came to be grabbed or pummeled, even in fun.
I turned and headed towards the large bundle of humanity that had two arrows sticking out of his shoulder and chest. I gulped back the sour feeling of my stomach. I didn’t want to see this man that was dying on my account. At one point in our struggle, I had begged that someone rescue me from his clutches, even if that meant him losing his life. But I always regretted it. Having the power to choose whether someone lived or died was a powerful thing and should never be called hastily. Not that I had had much choice in the moment, but it was still a struggle.
His groans and gurgles punctuated the stillness of the forest and the background sound of the river flowing by. I drew a deep breath and asked the Lord for help as I turned him over and reached for the fabric that covered his face. When I pulled the kerchief down, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Blood tricked from the corner of his mouth and his eyes, though dim, were on fire with intense hatred. But it wasn’t the venom that he skewered me with that had my heart beating outside of my chest.
It was the knowledge that this man was my brother.
Dun dun dun! *evil chuckles*
See you next week!
By God’s Grace,