Death was a stranger then.
Moonrock, she galloped through the pasture,
My father’s pale horse, without her rider,
Mama jostled to her, I remember,
Frantic nerves, quivering fingers,
That dug up a soldier’s papyrus.
“Battalion has fallen. Flee. Raid.”
In the chaos that followed, Mama said to me, “You must go, you and your sister.” I hugged her, “Aren’t you coming?”. She lifted me, put me on rock’s saddle and replied, “You will ride faster without me. Okay? You have got to do this. Please. Your Papa-”
I nodded. I understood. She need not finish the sentence.
Death had made his introduction.
Mama had dragged out Lily, my little sister, and sat her before me. “What is happening brother? Why are we on Moonrock? Are we going somewhere?” I hushed her and whispered, “We are going to the palace Lil.” “Really??”
Mama returned with a sack of fruits. “Maa! Are we really going to meet the princess?” Lily asked. Maa looked at us and answered, “Yes, you are my star. But one rule, you must be silent. Shushh. Hurry along and run to her as fast as possible, okay? Quietly.” she winked at Lily as she tied Moonrock’s reigns.
She handed me a knife and last of our coins. “Be safe, keep going south, you know the way, so does Moonrock.”
I nodded. As much fear was gagging my throat, I had to do this. For Lily, for Mama, for Papa. I had to be a man now.
Death seems like a rotten character.
We heard the first hunters approaching.
“Take care of each other my moon and stars. okay?” Mama said hurriedly.
When lily realized, she cried, “Wait! Aren’t you coming? Mama?”
“I promise I will follow soon child, now flee!!” we watched Mama run back to the house.
As arrows began whizzing, I patted Moonrock and we bolted.
“Stop! Isn’t Mama coming? I don’t want to go, Stop! What is happening.” Lily shouted and struggled “MAMAA-“
“Hussh.” I covered her mouth as we entered the dark climes of the forest.
I felt the tears streaming on both our cheeks.
I felt the heat as our fields burned behind us.
I felt the forest’s gloominess creep our skins.
I felt the pounding of million questions in Lily’s head.
I felt the weight of the past and the future.
I felt the dread that mama might not make it.
But as we reached safety, I felt the strength to be a man.
I felt the hope that I might fulfill my promises to Mama.
On the third night, we saw the palace just by the horizon. Lily’s face formed a smile, and all I could do for her is squeeze her. I noticed Moonrock was tired.
Moonrock didn’t stir at all the fourth dawn.
Death travels faster than the living.
We spent the rest of the day staring at the river, where we dispatched our white friend. “Hey Lily, its okay. We are gonna make it home soon. Come rest.” I don’t think she believed me, but her silence was gnawing.
At times I felt like a sheppard, guiding a sheep that has no mind of its own. But all I wanted was to see the slightest curve in Lily’s face, so I kept us going. A step at a time. And we finished our journey.
Almost a week after we reached the palace,the surety of Mama’s fate started sinking in. Lily seemed to never stop crying. She had fits and could speak only these words- ” Where is Mama? She promised she will be here? Is Mama here?”
Death is the only unbroken promise.
War arrived to the king’s home and all young men were conscripted in the militia. I broke my promise to lily, like Mama broke hers. I left Lily to her madness and joined the sentinels. I was a soldier now.
The army directed my grief and hollowness against the attackers. I wish they hadn’t though because,
A man of the enemy fell with my sword in his chest.
And that was when Death became a friend, I wanted to embrace immensely.
Ahem ahem. I don’t know where this came from. I am not even sure what it is. Hope you enjoyed reading it though😅💖
Do you think that you might be able to be one of Death’s friend?