Day two of fighting. Today we are marching all the for freaking way back to the god damn Earth tribe, and we’re going to search the land around it, because that is totally productive. Not.
Regardless, I’m not in charge of the plan making, so I guess I’m just along for the ride at this point. Whatever.
And so yea, we got there, and yea, we searched, and searched and friggin searched for the longest time imaginable. We scared away just about every animal within a three mile radius, because we were not exactly in stealth mode. We never are – we like to make our presence known, that’s for sure. Into theatrics, we are.
Any way, I was about to turn around to Star and Tamwyn and tell them that this is pointless and we should just go home, when a razor sharp arrow came zooming through the trees, straight toward my head.
It was like slow motion. I saw it coming, anticipated where it would strike and how quickly it would kill me (um, instantly), but I had no time to run or move or even duck. But out of nowhere came my savior. Luke launched himself in front of me, and took that arrow straight in to his left shoulder, far too close to his heart.
He screamed, and I screamed, because somewhere along the way this man (or kid or teenager or warrior or Flame tribe person thing or SOMETHING) had become my best friend, and I needed him, and this war needed him, and I couldn’t possibly handle another ghost, nor could I handle being left all alone again, not again, not again…
He was gasping, choking out blood. I tore off a piece of my shirt and pressed it hard to the wound, but it wasn’t enough. It was soaked soon, as were my hands, with his dark, ruby red blood.
“Hang on, Luke, hang on!” I cried, trying not to freak out or lose control completely. “You’ll be okay, Luke, I swear, I promise! You will be fine!”
He made a sound that sounded like coughing, but I realized that it was laughter. “Flame” he whispered. “I know that I’ll be fine. You’re here, and Starfire and Tamwyn are here too. I am not afraid. All that really matters is that you are alive and well.”
“Aw, damn it Luke, don’t say that!” I hollered at him, trying so hard to staunch the bleeding, trying so hard to be a man, to not cry. “You matter just as much as I do! What am I but a name that everyone knows with no substance behind it?! You are a true warrior, and you are actually making a difference in this damn war! I’m just here for decoration! You matter too!
“Help!” I cried out, knowing that someone had to be near, had to know what was happening. “Help, god damn it, somebody freaking help us! PLEASE HELP US!”
From between the trees appeared Starfire, Tamwyn, and Ember, who nearly fainted upon seeing Luke like this, nearly dead. Starfire knelt down, quickly examined the wound, and breathed a sigh of relief for a reason that was beyond me. She ripped the arrow out of his shoulder and mumbled words that were spoken to softly to be heard by me, though I knew that they were not in English. The blood wasn’t just sucked up into his body as I had been foolishly hoping it would, but its stopped flowing and he sighed, extremely weak but alive. Alive, alive, alive. Luke is alive.
“Retreat!” screamed Starfire, and one by one all of our warriors came out from the trees and assembled. We then proceeded to run all the way back to our home.
The second we entered the boundaries of our city, Tamwyn and Starfire, who had both been carrying Luke (who had long since passed out), started screaming one word over and over again: HEALER! We all joined in to the cry, anything to help the cause.
Eventually, we caught someone’s attention. An elderly woman and a young girl who in human years looked to be about nine teen, ran up to us.
“Are you two practiced in healing?” gasped Starfire.
“Yes madam, we are the best there is around,” said the old lady, with no hint of bragging or sarcasm in her face. “What has happened?”
“He was hit by an arrow.” I said to her, and her attention was focused on me immediately. “In the left shoulder, close to his heart.”
“Was the weapon made of silver?” she asked sharply.
“Um- no, it wasn’t” I stammered, thrown off by this question. What does silver have any freaking thing to do with all of this?
She sighed in relief, just like Starfire had not too long ago, upon seeing the weapon used. So, maybe it had something to do with it, but I was not seeing the connection just yet.
The old lady commanded her (what I am assuming is) apprentice to go fetch the appropriate supplies. She returned in record time, and the two of them got to work right away, blocking him from my view so I couldn’t see what was going on. Various herbs were flying around, and they murmuring in that ancient language that Starfire had used to stop the bleeding. I wondered if this was some form of witch craft, except obviously the good kind. It wasn’t normal medicine, that’s for sure.
They pulled away. Luke was coughing, shaking his head groggily, and sitting up.
“Wha - ?” he began, but stopped halfway and screamed “OUCH!”
He had tried to move his left arm, which was now heavily bandaged. (And, you know, had recently had an arrow going through it, but that’s totally irrelevant, right?)
“What the hell is this?” He asked, looking around at us all. Then suddenly, I could see what had happened suddenly dawning on his face. “Flame, are you alright? What happened after the arrow hit? Did we catch the culprit? Did you guys read the note?” he asked this series of questions quickly and franticly.
“I’m fine Luke, it’s all good man. Call me crazy, but I was much, much, much more worried about you than I was about me. The arrow hit you, and we saved you, and that’s pretty much what happened. As for catching the asshole that did it, I’m sorry to say we didn’t even get a glimpse of him. What note are you talking about?”
He looked shocked. “You guys grabbed the arrow, right?”
“Of course” answered Starfire, looking confused. “I have it right here.”
She pulled it out of her quiver, and we all saw the bloodied note attached to it.
“For obvious reasons,” said Luke. “I didn’t get a chance to read it. Well? What are you waiting for? Open it up, let’s see the latest death threat.”
Starfire opened it, scanned it quickly, and laughed loudly. She handed to Tamwyn, who read it and rolled his eyes in an exasperated way. He then passed it to me. I opened it up, trying to avoid the spots of Luke’s blood, and read five words that didn’t seem all that laughable to me. It said:
Go home or burn out
Call me wacky, but that message seemed pretty menacing to me. My view was clearly not shared among the group. Luke had read it too, and was rolling around laughing in the dirt. He stopped long enough to wipe the tears of mirth from his eyes and say “They really need a new threat – this one’s about three million years old, at least!”
I stared at the three of them laughing, feeling immensely perplexed. “I seem to be missing out on some joke here.” I said loudly, trying to get their attention. “What the hell are we laughing about, just out of curiosity?”
Luke looked at me, grinning. “It’s just that in every war, the Earth tribe uses that threat in some sort of note or message. They seem to think it has some sort of effect on us. Honestly, it is getting rather old at this point. Tis quite sad, I must say. But you know, it makes them happy, so why pop their bubble?” he burst into laughter once again. Starfire rolled her eyes, but gave Luke a rare smile and offered her arm to him. She pulled him up, and then cocked her head to one side, considering him. She smiled again, twice in a row which was probably her record.
“Glad to see you are not dead, Blaze.”
“Blaze.” He repeated, as if seeing the way it tasted in his mouth. He began nodding, and smiled wide. “Yea I like it.
“My name is Blaze.
“Ooh yea baby!” He gave a triumphant whoop, and ran to tell just about everybody he met along the way to the other side of the world.
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