Guide Me Home
The blood pools under me, soaking my ragged tunic and turning the dirt into deep red mud.
This isn’t my war. This isn’t my land. This prairie is a sea of grass that drowns me, and I long for the forest like a warm blanket on a cool night.
I had always feared the pain of being stabbed, the tearing of skin and muscle, but that fear was misplaced. The blade slid into my shoulder so easily I thought I’d imagined it.
The pain was just delayed, though, for it came when the blade was pulled out. I felt every inch of it sliding back through the wound, every imperfection of the blade, every notch and scratch in its metal, tugging at the newly exposed flesh. Through that pain, that burning, I could feel battles long past and soldiers long dead. The cold blade screamed against my searing flesh, a silent scream that left my body stiff and trembling.
I see the grove behind my cottage back home. I can feel the beams of warm sunlight shining down through the trees, illuminating the hidden particles of dust floating in the air, like cracks in a wall revealing a glimpse into another world.
A soldier falls with a cry to my right, and the sounds of the surrounding battle come crashing back over me. I lift myself from the ground and feel the hilt of my sword at my fingertips. I will not die here. I will see home again.