To shed a tear

No matter how much Scarlett tried and struggled, she could not move, even worse, she felt her consciousness slipping into the abyss bit by bit. She heard familiar voices somewhere in the distance, calling her with an inviting tone. ‘Soon, my time will come too. I can feel my life ending. Dylan, take care.’ For a moment it seemed as if Dylan could hear her sister’s dying thoughts. “No way in Nine Hells will I let you die! You hear me? You will not die!” Dylan was screaming frantically. With his sister over his back running to the centre of the town. As soon as he found himself in an open street he started yelling for help. One of the citizens heard him and came to their aid, Dylan quickly explained he needed a healer and was pointed in the direction of the infirmary near the mayor’s office. Without hesitation Dylan made a run for the infirmary. “Hang in there Scarlett, you will not leave me like this!”

Moments later Dylan flew into the infirmary, busting the door open “Help me! She is not moving and her breathing is heavy.” The infirmary was a small building and nobody was inside besides the caretaker, an all-round healer. The caretaker looked at Dylan, with a calm expression and without even batting an eyelid said: “Sir, I am deeply sorry but we do not have the medicine to treat paralysis poisoning in this town.” Dylan felt the world crush down on him; he always knew the price was too high for a mercenary life. However, he was confident that Scarlett would not be the first one to die. ‘I was foolish to let her go alone. I should have been there to…’ Dylan changed from sad to furious in an instant: “How did you know she was paralysed? I never… I did not tell you what was wrong.” The caretaker, now shaken, tried to answer: “You did say, you said she was, um, not moving.” At that moment, Dylan knew what was going on and without even a second thought dropped his sister on the floor, pulled out his sword and with a quick movement pinned the obvious impostor to the wall. “If you value your scum life, tell me where the antidote is?” Dylan’s eyes burned with fire and rage, he was trying with all his might not to kill his opponent, yet. “I do…” The sword got too close to the impostor’s neck and a small stream of bright red blood appeared. “I assure you, if you continue that with a not, it will be your last.” The impostor was shaking while the sword was digging deeper into his neck. “Alright! Alright! Let me go! You have a bottle of antidote on the top shelf, back over there.” The impostor raised his hand, pointing to somewhere behind Dylan’s back. “I can get it for you, if… if you let me go.” His voice and him as well, was shaking and trembling. Dylan finally let go of him.

The impostor started walking with slow and unsure steps, holding his neck to stop the bleeding. Dylan was watching him, making sure nothing happens; the impostor had to only walk a few meters to the cupboard with the shelves. Dylan quickly glanced around the infirmary and noticed bottles and vials lying all around, as if someone was trying to gather them all. Pictures and small descriptions were painted on either labels or on the glass. On the floor he saw a small vial with a painting of a rigid man. The impostor was at the cupboard, fidgeting with the lock, trying to open the doors. He finally managed to open it and reached for a bottle at the top of the shelf. After he had taken the bottle, he paced back fast and offered to pour the content into Scarlett’s half open mouth.

After thinking for a few seconds, Dylan puzzled the pieces together and saw through the clever deceit the impostor was playing. “Drink it.” The impostor’s hand started trembling once agian, but he managed to recover fast, although Dylan noticed. “There will not be enough if I drink it.” The impostor tried to argument that the antidote should not be wasted. “Drink it now. Or your miserable life will be cut short.” Dylan raised his sword, aiming at the neck of the fraud. The impostor gulped and opened the bottle. Raised his head to look at Dylan, looked back at the bottle and threw it away. With his left arm he tried to reach for a hidden dagger. However, it was already too late; Dylan has made his move and drove his sword into the impostor’s left eye. Because that blow did not kill the fraud, Dylan pulled his sword out, letting the now half-dead impostor fall to the ground. While lying on the floor in a pool of blood which was getting bigger and bigger, he crushed the impostor’s windpipe.

Dylan then picked up the vial he saw earlier on the floor. He was thinking: ‘This better work.’ as he opened the vial and poured the dim looking liquid into Scarlett’s mouth. “Please, be better.” Then nothing happened, minutes passed and nothing kept on happening. Dylan felt the weight of the world on his shoulders again, it was crushing him. “No, Scarlett, please, no!” He now fell to his knees and  held his sister, he felt that she was still warm and that she was still breathing, although barely. For the first time in his life, Dylan started crying.

By Dejan Vicai

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