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EPISODE 2: THE AWAKENING
I lay on the floor. By now, my face is sitting in a pool of blood, and by now, I have given up trying to avoid inhaling it and spewing it out again as I breathe. My breaths are so unsteady, and I am shaking all over. The smell of my blood, the pain in my stomach—it’s all I can focus on. And all I can do is keep breathing. I gurgle and swallow, wasting precious time that could be used for inhalation, and gasp as pain sweeps through me.
The light is so dim. In the wake of the Evil, the sun has seemed to retreat. The shadows in the room begin to grow as the fire dies; the darkness rising with the fall of day. These are the Golden Lands, one of the Three Worlds in Terra. The lands are called “golden” because the sun never entirely disappears here; it rises in the East and the sets in the West but never fully sinks beneath the horizon. But now, the sun’s light is so weak, it is set so deep in the sky, I am surprised—no, disturbed—by the lack of light…an addition to my panic-filled thoughts.
I don’t know why I don’t move. I am bleeding out in my own home. The pain is excruciating, but I am growing used to it, slowly surrendering to how it dulls my senses. I feel my life fading, but I have no resolve to stop myself from dying.
An hour passes. I am dripping with sweat, and I can hardly breathe. I only cough and gurgle, drowning in my own blood. At last, tears start to fill my eyes, and I cry in my thoughts, “What am I doing here? Why haven’t I done anything? Do I really want to die? My family, they’re all gone. And the light, it—it’s almost blackness. I don’t understand why I’m not dead yet. But—” tears run from my eyes, blurring my vision even more, “—what do I have to live for? Do I even care?” An image of Frater and Soror screaming and reaching for me flashes in my mind. My thoughts turn to despair and depression, “I don’t even care anymore. I already gave up on them, even before this began.” My vision flickers and dims, and my breath catches. I jerk my head up, searching for air, but I have no strength left, and my head falls back to the floor, splashing blood into my right eye.
I see my parents in my mind, and then my siblings. And looking outside, I see the falling sun. My eyes close, and I think, “I don’t care.”
My whole life has been a joke. My happiness—false. My efforts—in vain. My love—rejected. And now it’s my turn to lay in the middle of the floor, to despair, to be depressed, to not care about life or anyone else—
* * *
I am surprised when I wake up. I cough, which hurts to do so, as I regain consciousness. I am still in pain, but all I can think about is why I am not dead. I should have bled to death. I am uncertain what to make of this.
But one thing is certain. My mood has changed. “What am I doing?” I think furiously to myself. “Those beasts left you to die, to die a slow death. They stole Soror and Frater. And I don’t know why, but maybe they have something to do with mom and dad disappearing!” I clench the floor with my hand, squeezing as hard as I can. “Look at me!” I think, gritting my teeth and huffing. “How dare they make me so pathetic? How dare they make me despair so that I willingly waste away?” I push myself to my feet. I scoop up a handful of blood and let it run out of my hand. With my other hand I grip my sword beside me. And this time I speak aloud, roaring, “And how dare they do this to my life?!”
TO BE CONTINUED…