To Understand

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The little girl loved more than you could ever understand.

When you look at her, you can’t understand. She is strong, stronger than you can ever hope to be; yet she screams and screams and screams, and fights and fights and fights until her very flesh is being torn apart, and her own muscles betray her. She crawls. She tears into her enemy, no, her prey, and her hands are dripping. She kicks those her arms cannot reach, and punches those her nails cannot tear. She uses the fallen and the falling as leverage, yanking herself back into the slaughter.

And she runs. She is desperate, though you cannot understand why. Why she roars and hisses and growls like an animal, as though she is not capable of human speech even though she was the one who got you all there with her gleaming eyes and copper tongue. There is no gleam in her eyes now, at least not that you can see through her blood-soaked hair. One of your comrades steps forward, for what purpose you cannot bring yourself to imagine, but he trips before he gets anywhere near her. You realize that it is probably for the best that he is stopped, for she does not appear to care about who is in her path, only that there are people in her path.

To your right, you hear a whimpering wail, and you recognize the voice as your comrade who tripped just moments ago. You turn your head, and your eyes land on the—body—object that he tripped over, and you avert your eyes to the ground because that could not possibly be a human, you know what a human is, you are a human, and that is not what a human looks like.

You turn your eyes back to her, the cold, emotionless little girl (not so little, but Rionse claimed she smirked whenever they called her that) and you try to understand. Why is she fighting? You came here for supplies because there was no enemy of the crew on this island, yet here she is fighting—slaughtering—and you remember Ledina telling her no, you can’t bring your halberd, we’re not here to start a fight, and you cannot figure out whether or not that was a good idea anymore, as she impales her hand into someone’s—is that the cute barkeeper you made friends with last visit yes it is—chest. She sways back a bit, with her victim—Alez, your brain suppliesfalling into her chest. She pulls her hand out as she takes—falls—a couple steps backward, and the body slumps ungracefully to the ground. Her head is bowed, her arms dangle weakly and she is swaying and bobbing and you expect her to fall—how could she not, she just killed murdered slaughtered more than a hundred people—but she widens her stance, glances over her deed, and continues on her path.

She disappears into the building the crowd was guarding, but it takes a couple moments—minutes? hours?—to realize that you can move, that you are not, in fact, one of those bodies scattered across the main street of town. You hear breathing to both of your sides, and you remember that you came with three others—Tenio, Viane, Ecuninx. You recall Ecuninx tripping, and you peel your legs from the ground—when had you fallen down, you wonder—and stumble over to make sure he is okay. You aren’t a doctor, never wanted to be, but now you decide to ask Anirie to explain how to check if something is wrong. You fall down once you reach him, and you lean into him, seeking warmth. You want to ask, find out if he is okay, do something that can help, but you find that your tongue is stuck to the roof of your mouth, and your jaw is locked and somehow the words you need to ask are lost in your mind. So you sit there, with Ecuninx to your right, and you wait.

Eventually, you feel a weight settle on your left shoulder, and warmth squeeze around your torso. You glance over, just a glance, to find Viane burying her head into your body. You don’t like touching people, not at all, but you can’t seem to figure out how to get her off. Suddenly, your head is being pushed over to the left, and as you gaze over you find Tenio draping xemself over you and Ecuninx. You sit there for a little bit, an eternity, and a couple seconds, until you hear heavy footsteps approaching from behind. You tense, remembering that you are out in the middle of the main street, in the only town on the island, right in front of the scene, until you recognize the sound belongs to your captain. There are lighter footsteps beside him, but you do not know whom they belong to.

“Kialeit,” your captain calls.

You shift your jaw and peel your mouth apart.

“Here,” you rasp. Your voice sounds strange to your ears, but you cannot pinpoint the exact reason why. Nor do you want to.

“Explain. What happened.” Captain’s voice was tight.

You open your mouth but find that you don’t know what to say. How can you? How can you explain the scene you witnessed? The god of death that roared and screamed and roared and—

“The little girl,” you whisper. “She’s inside.”

And really, what else can you say? Your tongue is locked up inside your teeth again.

“I see,” Captain says. “Did she do this?” His voice is lower, you think, but it is hard to tell, and your voice is tied up somewhere. But in your head you see the little girl dancing; so you nod. It is little more than a small jerking motion, but it is enough, you know.

Submitted: April 26, 2018

© Copyright 2023 Lou Lou. All rights reserved.

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