Hidden Remains: Chapter 2: Hazy Skies

He wasn’t sure how long he had been walking. He knew the sun had set at least twice, rising just as many times. He knew there had been no signs of life as he continued walking, oblivious to the animals that had stared at his back after he had passed. He saw smoke in the distance, and unconsciously, his pace quickened, a small part of him hoping that the fire was nothing of concern. Another part of him knew that highly unlikely.

It was when he came upon the village that his knees buckled and his stomach emptied itself of what little he had had. His arms shook as they struggled to support his weight, his whole body quivering as his eyes snapped shut, unwilling to see what was in front of him.

Bodies. Dozens of bodies littered the ground. Arrows had pierced through hearts; throats had been slit; guts skewered. A head stared at him through dead eyes, mere meters from where he was on his knees. Near the remains of house, a mother was curled around a child; a spear had pierced through them both, killing them at the same instance. As the image registered, the teen dry heaved, whimpering as some part of him registered that this was his fault.

“Mom, who’s that?” The voice broke through the red haze that clouded his thoughts, his eyes snapping open to meet the curious eyes of a child. Blinking rapidly, his eyes swung past him to meet the terrified eyes of the mother. “Momm—”

“Don’t go near him!” The mother screeched, drawing the attention of the villagers. The boy blinked, his mind wiping what he had seen from what was actually reality. A mother pulled on her son’s arm, dragging him away as if he could catch some disease. Fathers and sons drew their weapons, their gazes hostile, while their daughters stood next to their wives, fear apparent in their eyes. Several homes were aflame, sending columns of black smoke into the air.

“You’re not wanted here demon!” The boy frowned, his eyes furrowed in confusion. Was the elder referring to him? “Leave!”

The boy jolted, narrowly dodging the dagger that was thrown his way. He scrambled backwards, somehow finding his feet as the men advanced. “You’re the cause of all of this!!”

The boy cringed, images flashing through his head as he bolted from the attacked village, his form blurring along the treeline. A twang sounded in the distance and all the boy felt was something warm coating his fingertips. It was not until his legs crumbled and he dry heaved again that he realized a barb head arrow had pierced through his arm. He whimpered as snippets of his memory flashed in front of his eyes. He dry heaved once before before his arms gave out and his vision grew dark.

Author’s Note: Sorry about the wait on chapter 2 for anyone who was following the story. Things kinda got hectic and I did not have time to write it out. The segment is kinda short but I’ll make up for it on the next one. Till next time.

I am currently a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines, majoring in Chemical Engineering. My hobbies include reading, writing, and playing tennis.

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