Safe Fire

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Great Captain was saved.

Submitted: October 09, 2015

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Submitted: October 09, 2015

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The day The Great Captain fell onto the cold ground was the greatest day the lones would ever remember. He was purple from the hypothermia from riding his horse during those Giut-Arian nights. His skin was broken and his smell travelled so much so that the birds flew away for clearer skies. Still, he had returned to the dependents as he promised he would. 

Immediately after he fell off his horse’s back, the lones dragged him away from the fire his face fell too close to and took him into a tent, where the wise would heal his wounds. The children began to sing, as their parents began to dance, and heavenly cries belted from all their throats. There weren’t many mouths to feed anymore and not enough livestock to waste, but a pig was still slaughtered in celebration that night, and what was going to be another closer, colder night to death turned into the greatest feast in the last couple years. 

The wise ones were able to help The Great Captain and one day after many weeks he was able to reunite with the rest of the lones outside the tents. He stared at the fire as he told the story of his survival and escape. 

“On the first day, they had me chained hard from my arms and legs, lying on the ground, facing up to the skies. They pissed on me and beat me every day, kicked me in the faced whenever they passed to get water for their homes. One tried to prove to another that his dog’s bite could go through man’s bone, and let his dog on my leg to try to prove his point. Another was teaching his youngest how to use the toilet and in the effort to make things more fun for his child, he pushed a spear to my stomach as he told me to open my mouth so his child could defecate in it. His child laughed and jumped because it was a game to him. His father told me to hold it in my mouth until lunch. That was the first afternoon they gave me water and the first night they drugged me.

“The night before I came back home, I was still in my chains when I heard the men talking about having my body charred and set out as a warning for others that thought about rising. They didn’t bother being out of hearing range, I guess they assumed I’d still be locked up. They laughed when they heard me crying. I couldn’t help it, I just broke." At this point, tears were coming out of the Captain and it took a couple moments to let out a sob. The lones understood. The Captain wiped his tears and continued. 

"There was a young girl. I want to say about 11 years old. Maybe 10." He began sobbing more violently at this point, but he didn't stop speaking. "The men let me out of my chains and had me in their arms. They had to hold me because my legs couldn't move after all those days tied up. They dragged me for about five feet when the man on my left fell on the ground with a flaming arrow in his back. Before I could react, the second man fell too. And then I fell because my legs still couldn't support me yet. On the ground, I tried to turn around. That's when I saw her, the girl." His voice changed again, much more stronger than the sentences before. 

"She saved me. She was crouching behind a tent about twenty feet away. She saw me on the ground and said loud enough for me to hear, 'There's a horse that way. It's ready to go.' Then she left. I wasn't understanding, at first. And then I started moving, well, dragging myself at first. I was so hurt, I didn't think I would make it. Then I heard the voices of more men coming, and I found my strength again. I got up on my numb legs and I began to run towards the direction my young savior pointed at. I found the black horse, loosely tied to the post with a saddle on its back, with a hanging canteen and a small bag of green pears. I got up on the black horse and somehow held on as it started to move. I heard them behind me, watching me escape. Half a mile out with the horse, there was air and blood flushing all the sounds in my ear, but I was able to hear a loud gunshot followed by piercing screams from the men's camp, followed by two more gun shots. " He was crying again. "I believe they killed the young girl, and that was her scream. She saved me. I have no idea who she was or why she would think of saving me. Some young girl, a daughter of our enemies whose name I do not know and whose face I may not remember correctly, died saving my life." 

The Great Captain remained silent for a while after that, staring at the fire. No one else could say anything to bring comfort, but perhaps silence was the best gift. Even the children understood that not a sound was to be made at the moment. The Great Captain stared and stared at the fire, until he resumed speaking. "She did not even know about my victories before, or who I was in order to be saved. I do not know why she did it. I do not want to be a captain anymore." 


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