#FTT 11 : Breathe

I waited, trembling, for them to call my name. After what I’d done, I knew they would. I felt the sweat on the backs of my knees as I stared at my hands, watching them vibrate like tuning forks. “Breathe.” I forced myself to inhale deeply. “Just breathe.” I exhaled. “Fear is just a feeling. Nothing more.”

Thoughts raced through my mind as it created one scenario after another, one punishment after another. They could put me outside the shield where I’d eventually be crushed by the weight of the ocean as my body armor gradually failed. I could be sent on a suicide mission in Challenger Deep, fight the Kraken. No one ever returned from that. There was always the coliseum where I’d fight, as a gladiator, until I lost a fight, and died, as a gladiator. Gladiators were undefeated and alive, or defeated and dead. There was nothing else.

“Breathe,” I told myself. “You have no way of knowing that which has not happened yet. All you have is fear of the unknown.” I inhaled deeply, and slowly exhaled. I knew my thoughts were only expressions of my fear. “Fear is just a feeling. Nothing more.”

But there are times fear is a very powerful feeling.

As I waited, I reviewed the events of the past few hours that had led me to this point. How I’d found Bakula, tied to her bed, her hands and feet bound to the bed posts. Naked. A gash in her chest where her heart had been. Her blood soaked the sheets. Sacrificed by one of the religions. It happened all the time. To men, and women.

Bakula had been my mate. To find her with her heart cut out, and gone was too much. I pulled on my armor, pulled my swords from the wall, and did what only a fool would do. I hunted down those that sacrificed my love. Tradition be damned. Religion be damned. Rules be damned. Laws be damned.

They’d taken my love, my life, from me. I took theirs from them.

Bakula was a member of the sect of the Kraken. It was the season of prayer for protection from the monster of the deep. The season always started with the sacrifice of a member. No one volunteered. The Priest of the Kraken controlled the sacrifice. He chose the victim. He’d chosen Bakula.

I’d left a trail of blood behind me as I carved a path through his house guards, to his sanctuary. I’d extracted my vengeance, taking his heart for hers.

Justice was mine. Vengeance was mine.

But the past was past, and I could not undo it. Even if I could, I would not. I would answer when called. I would face what the future held for me. Knowing on the other side of my future, I would be reunited with my love. My Bakula. She who waited for me beyond the veil of life.

491 Words

I wrote this for Week 11 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

The Burial Of The Soda Cans

“I will never forget the sacrifice they made, nor let it be in vain.” I held up the bag of empty soda cans. “They sacrificed their contents so that I would not throw things at other people.” I dumped the contents of the bag into the recycling container. “They surrendered all they were to help me cope with homework, housework, laundry, dishes, and yard work.” The cans made a lot of rather loud pinging, and clanking, and tinking sounds as they bounced around, entering the recycling container. “If not for them, I would not be the person I am today,” I announced as I closed the lid to the container. Then I took a single step backward, and held my hands before my face, as if I held up a trumpet. And I quietly voiced the tune of taps. “May they rest in peace,” I spoke, when my musical salute reached its end. I saluted the recycling container, then turned, and went back inside the house.

My mother, bless her soul, watched my burial of the cans. She was standing in the kitchen, laughing as hard as I could remember her laughing. It was good to hear her laugh. Since Dad’s deployment had started, I don’t think she’d laughed at all. So, doing something silly that brought laughter to my Mom. Well, that made the burial of the cans thing worthwhile.

I captured these words in response to the 45th Motivation Monday prompt. I was the judge this week. So I couldn’t really enter. But I had fun writing this little off the wall tale. Wakefield Mahon hosts Motivation Monday each week. Please go read all the short pieces of fiction people created for this week’s prompt. The are all worth reading. I enjoyed each story.