Means To A Generation

I ground dirt and blood between my teeth. Face down, a foot on the nape of my neck, my futile attempts to escape and fight were met with ever-increasing pressure and, eventually, the barrel of a crude firearm pressed to my parietal.

“Ain’t’cher pa teach you nothin’, boy?” The coarse cackling of many bandits stung my ears.

I squirmed again, attempting to rise to my feet, and was met by heavy boots kicking and stomping at my limps, ribs, and back. The foot at my neck let up only to shove me over at the shoulder. I rolled onto my back and blood caught in my throat.

“Humour me, boy – ”

Through swollen eye and the pain of bruised bone I looked up to the man standing over me, his grisly maw painted with a satisfied grin and his eyes wild with glee.

“How’d’ya dream yer end’d be?”

All I wanted was to take one of them with me. I hoped it would free me of the crushing hatred which hounded me.

I had no plan. I gathered a handulf of dirt and sand and twisted my body to launch it at the bandits face. I had barely flinched before he stomped down on my elbow and trained his weapon on my writhing face. I clenched my eyes shut.

The impact of the bolt shook the earth beneath my head. I felt the pressure of the bandit’s heavy boot leave my arm followed by shrieking horror. My blood ran cold, my heart thundering in my chest. Curiosity clawed at my mind but fear froze me in place – my eyes ancorched shut.

The wailing terror waned, the sound of fleeing steps – one and then many. As the noise died down, and my nerves thickened, a women’s voice broke the silence.

“You’re an idiot.”

I opened my eyes only to meet her cloaked back and thick braided hair- in her hands, a hefty stick, roped and nocked, held low on the grip like a spear.

“You’re a Pilgrim!” I blurted, scrambling to my feet. Her gait did not hesitate as she continued to walk away from me and away from the now abandoned bandit campsite. I gathered myself to follow in her wake only to fall to my knees again from the shooting pain of my extremeties and battered frame.

She stopped and turned back to me; knelt down next to me. I remember looking into the ebon voids of her eyes and but for a moment I felt something far beyond myself – a deep calling to a place outside my knowing.

“Did yer pa teach you nothing – ” She trailed, easing me to sit still and musing over my wounds. “All the Pilgrims died in the War.”


Daily Prompt: Sympathize

Word of the Day: moxie


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