Author Topic: The Night the Lights Went Out  (Read 661 times)


  • Underling
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The Night the Lights Went Out
« on: May 06, 2016, 03:17:29 PM »
“Please, Ariel.” 

This is the war to end all wars! We will make our stand here!  We will ensure that the evil that has plagued our universe for years will be swept away!  We will finally be safe from tyranny! They had shouted with xenophobic ardor, as if it was the justification needed to destroy a place we had no business going.  Little did it matter we were the invaders.  These people were going to fight to the last to protect an ideal we found abhorrent so of course they were in the wrong and had to die.

Kneeling in the dirt at my feet was the man that had killed my brother.  He was staring up at me with the blue eyes I once shared and for the briefest of moments I almost faltered because he was the man I loved beyond all others – even though he had condemned me before birth to a life little better than that of a leper.  He was the man that had made me what I was.

What had come between us was a circle of salt and a book written in a language that defied human comprehension and a desire to bring forth the Ravager and let him destroy this place too.

“Please, Ariel.  Please.” 

Everything inside me was breaking.  The crack that had started five years previous when my brother had died propagated through my soul so fast I barely had time to keep the part of me holding the gun aimed at the man’s head from breaking too – but my hand was steady.  Even as the tears rolled down my face and the world around us was falling apart, I managed that at least. It would be crueler to make him suffer if I missed.

“I forgive you.”  I squeezed the trigger and everything slowed down like we were in a bad action movie as I felt the bullet leave the barrel, heard its keen as it ripped through the layers of air around it, watched as it impacted skin and bone and muscle and brain.  The shell of the man slumped over from the force of a point-blank three fifty seven round entering his consciousness and exiting with the remnants of his humanity.

At my feet lay my brother - dead for five years now but finally put to rest. 

I didn’t put the gun to my head consciously.   The pain of living with an animated corpse and the guilt of not being able to stop what had happened bubbled to the surface as I pressed the barrel to my temple and closed my eyes.  The voice in the back of my mind reminded me that this would be a pointless exercise.  I would come back.  I always did.

I dropped my arm slowly and pulled out my phone.  A few taps later and I was taking a picture of his face as he lay there, staring up at me with the blue eyes of our father.  He looked relieved.  I think the part of my brother that hadn’t been consumed by the Ravager was finally at peace.

I left the body on the battlefield, disguised now as a casualty of a war we had no business fighting.  I remember looking back over the ruins of the city as we were pushed through the portals back into Paragon and feeling thankful that my act would never be discovered.

I am a coward.

But I am also a survivor.