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 Burning

He groaned when someone frantically shook his shoulder, “Hal!” Anice’s voice cut through his grogginess, “HAL!” her voice called out in desperation and he bolted upright, his eyes darted around the room before landing on her. He heard people screaming, running and the distant sound of metal clashing as the heat was becoming unbearable. The stench of burning wood, ash and dust filled his nose making he cough.

She looked disheveled as she stood back, “Hal, get up! The village, it’s bein' attacked!” her eyes were filled with tears that she was too proud to let fall. He heard something quickly approaching them, swiftly standing to his is feet, he grabbed his sword and her wrist and pulled her out of the room as something crashed into his bedroom wall, causing the roof to collapse. Coughing, they managed to avoid the burning beams to escape the house and looked around. The strangers from the camp were fighting men in dark robes and masks covering their faces, orbs shone brightly as they were being used to cause most of the destruction and Hal desperately looked around for his father in the chaos.

His village was burning, red and orange flames engulfed houses, the ash filling the air and sky along with the screams of the town’s people. The fire was spreading fast, feeding greedily on the dry the wood and straw, many of the people didn’t have chance to escape their homes before the fire trapped them inside.

Anice tugged his arm, pulling him away from the fighting and towards the forest, “we ‘ave ta get outta ‘ere Hal!” she shouted, trying to be heard over the fighting but Hal felt like lead.

“Where do you think you’re going?” one of the masked men called out with a dark cackle, “sorry kiddies, but there will be no survivors here” he lunged towards them, his sword drawn and burning bright with a power orb. Quickly, Hal pushed Anice away and drew his sword in time to block the attack but the power behind the attack knocked him back onto the ground. Groaning, he looked up in fear as the man approached, closing his eyes as the man raised his sword, plunging it down towards him. Hal heard a clash above him and opened one eye to see Ragnar facing the stranger, a golden shield on his left arm and his sword drawn.

“It’s cowardly to attack those who cannot defend themselves” he growled menacingly, his anger radiating off him in waves as he glared down his opponent. Lunging himself forward, he knocked the blade from the masked man’s hand and brought down his blade, cleaving the man’s sword arm from his body, the invader released a ear piercing scream as he grabbed the bloody stump of his arm. Ragnar kicked him in his chest, knocking the man down to the ground where he carried on screaming and sobbing, Hal grabbed his sword as Anice ran to his side and helped him stand to his feet.

Ragnar backed towards Hal, all the while keeping his guard up, “Come on, we need to flee” he called out to them, motioning the two to follow him as he made his way towards the forest, clearing the way with his shield to allow them safe passage.

“Where’s me Pa?” Hal called out in panic as he looked around frantically for his father, trying to see if his old man was in the chaos.

“That’s not up for concern, I promised Wyatt I would keep you safe” Ragnar said, grabbing his arm and pulling him along as they reached the edge of the forest, the screams still echoing. Hal caught sight of his father fighting a man in dark armor, dressed differently from the attackers. Yanking his arm from the old warrior’s grasp, he ran back, ignoring Ragnar and Anice’s shouts as he made his way to his father.

He ducked out of the way of people battling, jumping over familiar bodies on the floor, some decapitated, some stabbed and others burned to death, his eyes solely on his father and his attacker. Hal knew his father was talented, but the other man had the upper hand and he desperately wanted to help, wanted to make sure that he father survived this. Stumbling, he fell to the ground, cushioned by a body. Looking down, he left out scream when saw Edgar’s mother, her face contorted in fear, her blood spilling and staining Hal’s clothes. Trembling as he stood up, looking for his father again and saw that he had moved further away from him in his battle. His legs were numb but he pushed forward and ran to Wyatt, his sword swinging around to fend off from anyone and everyone in his attempt to reach his father.

“PA!” he called out, distracting him as his attacker made his move and plunged his blade into Wyatt's chest. Hal screamed as tears fell from his eyes, watching the armed man pulled his blade from his father’s chest and laughing as he fell. Falling to Wyatt’s side, he held his head, his tears falling and hitting his father’s face as the older man raised his hand to brush the tears away.

“Hal…run, get ou’ of ‘ere!” he choked out, blood spilling from his mouth as he spoke, his eyes filled with sadness before the light faded and he went limp in Hal’s arms.

“NO! Nononono!” he whimpered, shaking Wyatt’s shoulders, trying to wake him, “please don’ leave me Pa! Wake UP!” he cried out in angst, this is my fault he thought, if only I didn’t run to him, if only I didn’t distract him.

The armored man started to laugh again at the sight, “aww, did I kill your father boy?” he teased, his sinister smile sparking a deep hatred within Hal. The orb in his sword started to shine as he gently placing his father onto the ground and stood, turning his blazing gaze onto the other male.

Now that Hal was closer to the man, he could see his features. He stood tall at roughly six foot two. His dark hair fell in messy curls around his face, ending at his chin, thick, charcoal black brows and his brown eyes looked at Hal in sick amusement. His chin was covered in dark stubble and his teeth shone brightly against his tanned skin as he laughed gleefully at what was happening around him.

“You…!” his teeth grinded together in his anger, “you monster!” he cried out, running at the attacker, swinging his sword only for it to be easily blocked.

“Don’t worry boy, you’ll join him soon enough” he laughed, pushing Hal away from him before starting his attack, his strikes were powerful and precise. Hal's anger started to increase with every blow he blocked from the armored man, the markings on his skin started to burn through his sleeve and heat started to radiate from his body.

“No, yer th’ one who’s goin’ ta die” he growled, his voice becoming beast like and his pupils narrowed into slits as he stared at the dark haired man who in turn looked at him in shock.

“No…you’re the one…” he mumbled out before flames engulfed Hal’s blade and the young boy lunged at him, plunging his sword through the protection he wore, tearing and burning the skin on his side. Kicking out his foot, the man managed to kick Hal away from him, feeling the blade withdrawing out of his flesh and he grasped his side with his free hand. “Bastard” he mumbled, looking a Hal in hatred and noticing Ragnar making his way towards them through the fighting, “I’ll get you for this, remember me boy. Bathial” he called out to him and fled, leaving his men to fight to their deaths without a care.

Hal made to go after him, but was pulled back when Ragnar grabbed his arm, “come on Hal, we need to get to somewhere safe!” he called out, pulling the boy along with him, making sure not to let him go as Hal struggled.

“HE KILLED MY PA!!” he yelled, struggling against Ragnar’s hold even when they were in the forest, a safe distance away from the fighting and surrounded by a small group of other survivors, mixed between the villagers and those from the camp. Realising that Balthial was long gone by now, Hal stopped struggling and fell to his knees, tears spilling from his eyes as he pounded his fists against the floor. “WHY!?!” he cried out, looking up at Ragnar as he sobbed.


Submitted: April 21, 2014

© Copyright 2022 Riku Green. All rights reserved.

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Kenisha Liyanage

I feel so sorry for Hal. I hope that he could protect the people as he is supposed to. Please let me know when you update...

Wed, April 23rd, 2014 3:52pm

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