20 Chapter 12: Famine: Daki
I've been getting less and less food. Through the hunger all I could think about was that abrupt silence, usually when someone is being quietened it's slow and gradual, the people torturing me did nothing to keep me quiet, was he dead? No, he couldn't be, then all of this wouldn't be worth it. I sit there and try to find an opening I look at the crack in the wall and the light that streamed in. On time we were taken to the church, I was sat next to Lockan, there was a woman tied to a stake. I looked around at faces filled with shock and some filled with nothing. Lockan seemed to have a reaction he was afraid, this was the first time that I saw any kind of emotion on his face, fear. Cultists came with torches, he got up from his seat and ran for the woman "mum!" cultists held him back,
"your mother loves you," she says "remember that" they didn't put him back on the seat, they held him close, they made him watch, I wanted to help but I couldn't, I wouldn't be able to do anything. I watch, like he does, like everybody else does, as the stake is lit, I watch the fire spread. She begins to burn, she dies screaming, he screams and his cries were all I heard, the fire extinguished her life. Lockan was limp now, the only thing keeping him from slumping onto the ground was the fact that the guards were holding him up. Water is chucked onto her when she stops screaming, the woman is black and red. They chop her up and offer her to us. They force her flesh down their throats, they get to me, I knew that fighting would be futile I needed my strength and they needed to them to think that I wasn't resisting, I take the meat and eat it, I attempt to swallow and then I gag it back up after a long while I managed to eat it.
I get put back in the dungeon, Lockan was crying, he needed a distraction a petty, dark part of me wanted to leave him to wallow and break since he didn't offer me one, he needed it more than I did back then. "I remember the time, my father died, hunting accident, my little brother was sad he was afraid of what was going to happen to us, I told him that everything was going to be okay and we still were going to live happily ever after, then the eclipse came," I took a breath, he looked at me, "like the Angelic Script says with it comes cataclysm, my village was destroyed like I assumed most were, I let him play outside with the other children, there were people who were going to look after him, my village would go outside on the night to face the coming threat head on, then they were taken or burnt, my brother was taken, I got taken, so much for 'everything is going to be okay'" I chuckle "he's probably dead now, making it so that my efforts and suffering were for nothing"
"you say that as if you let them take you," he said
"I did, I thought that was the easiest way to get to my brother" he seemed distracted, he moved so that he was next to me "I was taken, a week before the eclipse, I didn't have a strong woman to protect me"
"she was in jail, my father wasn't the best he'd drink and then come home and beat me and my mother, one day I stood up to him, I hit back, the next he came home with a beer bottle in hand, the only thing different was that it was broken, he shouted abuse at me, he sliced me across the face" I remember the scar that I saw on his cheek "I woke up to the sound of my father screaming, my mother had sliced him with the same broken bottle he used on me, nation guards came in and took her" he was starting to tear up "I didn't see her again until now," he started crying, I wrapped an arm around him "we're going to get out of here,"
"I'm not strong enough"
"you don't have a choice, your mother gave up her life, so you could live a happy one, you owe it her to do that" I look at him "survive" I looked at the brand that was on his leg.
I wake up noticing that after sharing so many stories we fell asleep. People came in and took us to the same hall with the same grey statue of The Angel, that seemed to already be falling apart "we are now in a famine, they think starving us will weaken us, weaken the angel, but they're wrong, but we do need sustenance, so to those who coil around their humanity, will be used to help the servants of the Angel of Unravelling survive so that when the Great Battle arrives we are powerful and ready" the man spoke, I remember the prophecy of the Great Battle, Niff was meant to signal the event with an eclipse.
On the night of The Creator's return when Niff will send out a battle cry, the angels will be ready, Eldraxees will awaken his monsters and dragons, the humans will have to fight, the angels with the souls of the dead humans which were deemed worthy will fight against the God, those were deemed unworthy, those who were punished will have a choice join Eldraxees or fight with the angels then the battle will begin. So that was where all the fear came from, they believe that Dialelith was an Angel who was here to save them, that she offered something that the Angels couldn't, power. Their dream was something that was never going to happen, that made no logical sense, but it was a dream nonetheless, something that wasn't shackled to reality, like the dream I had of going to Kentrikos where I'd eventually own an Inn, my brother becomes a blacksmith, I'd be there at his wedding and he'd be there at mine, I started crying when I had realised that it was never going to come true, he was dead. I thought back to the abrupt silence. The suddenness of it, the way it just stopped, I entertained the possibility that he was alive that he was alive, maybe this was just a plan, to make me break, then a child was thrown onto the altar, he was the same height, no, this could be anyone, this could be him. I was conflicted, I had to keep hope, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if he was still here and I abandoned him over misguided assumptions. "I present to you Roan of the village Nihifin" that was my home, this couldn't an elaborate trick, but did they even know my name? Wait they did, when my brother cried for me, I called back, it was my fault that he was a charred corpse. I did this to him. I killed him.