Five years ago…
Blood dripped into his eyes, blinding him; pain
hammered his body. Bones poked through his skin.
One arm and one leg bent the wrong way. Pain
throbbed in his head, darkening within
’till without faded, awareness dwindled
down to a woman’s voice. “You must decide
to live or die.” She squeezed his hand, kindled
a flicker of will whose blaze had once pried
him from death; it would now if he allowed.
“The Kid’s strong; I can’t help if he objects,”
said the healer. “His magic won’t allow.”
“Sarn,” said his brother, “don’t you dare object.”
Decide now: life or death, what decision
could he make? He chose life and revision.
~ ~ ~
That sinking in his gut, that soul-sucking,
oh-God-I’ve-got-to-flee feeling, that dread.
It chilled his limbs. He backpedaled, seeing
red everywhere. That damned boy bleeding red,
broken, battered, in need of healing, but
still alive. Oh God how had he survived?
They’ll see; they’ll know–he had to go now, but
they’re coming. Footsteps approach, dread revived.
He’d not tied a bandage or set a bone.
That kid’s magic drawn in tight for the fight.
Such power, delay them an hour. He’d honed
his thieving; he could steal all the kid’s light.
Yes, finish what that psycho had begun.
Kill the kid so no one’d know what he’d done…
~ ~ ~
“What are you doing?” Nolo demanded.
Not a whit of healing had taken place.
“I can’t do it.” Healer fled, abandoned
his broken patient; blood wept down Sarn’s face.
“Kid’s still breathing, no thanks to that healer,”
Jerlo said. “You bust your fist on his face?”
“The psycho’s face, yes, but not the healer’s.”
“Su patched him up. Shame about the Kid’s face.”
The Ranger’s medic waved; Nolo entered.
Guilt walked beside him; a promise ventured.
~ ~ ~
The Guilt that Haunts
The wound left a thin scar that reminded,
pricked Nolo ’till he bled guilt; he saw
that scar and to all else he was blinded.
A scar Sarn’d bear because Nolo didn’t draw
the right conclusion. Four times he’d handed,
back to his abuser, a runaway.
If he’d just looked, but he hadn’t; he’d handed
the kid over, and then he’d walked away.
It’s too late but he stayed; guilt presided,
haunted by that cave where a bloody kid
lay dying; Sarn’s battered body shielded
his nine year old brother. Sarn’s green eyes slid
closed darkening the cave, where Nolo’s guilt
waits, imprisoned ’till forgiveness, he’s built.
~ ~ ~
Compiled from flashbacks that Nolo, Ranispara, Inari, Jerlo and others from the Curse Breaker Saga relive whenever something bad happens to Sarn. This sequence takes place five years before the start of the Curse Breaker books.
~ ~ ~
Decide, Dread, Fury and The Guilt that Haunts Me were redacted from the following Curse Breaker stories: Enchanted, The Joust and Trapped. They’re all forthcoming to your e-reader. I read an article today about timelines for this sort of thing that exploded my hoped-for publish date leaving nothing but smithereens behind. So I’m not even going to hazard a guess at this point.
~ ~ ~
Read more about Sarn and his fellow Rangers, Gregori, Nolo and Jerlo in the Curse Breaker Saga. Like vignette-style poems starring Sarn and the Rangers? I’ve got lots more on my Tales of Shayari page.
~ ~ ~
A big thank you to the prompts that inspired this sequence:
Decide – inspired by p / m : decide
Fury – inspired by Pic and a Word Challenge #13 – Fury
The Guilt that Haunts Me – inspired by Daily Post’s prompt: The Guilt that Haunts Me