Of Thorns and Lightning

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Prologue

♦️

Every kind of pain she had felt over the course of her entire life didn’t nearly add up to what she was feeling in those excruciating moments she spent curled up on the cold and cracked cement.

Her long blonde hair was grouped in clumps of dried blood from a wound she couldn’t feel and felt everything of at the same time.

Every breath felt like knives piercing her lungs, her rib cage felt like it was caving in and crushing her and exploding outward with an immense amount of force when she breathed in and out.

Her whole body was weak and cold and shaking. If this is what it felt like to die, she could only hope it would be over quickly.

Each approaching footstep landed on the ground with a heavy impact, radiating through the ground and making her want to scream in pain, but she couldn’t. She had nothing left in her for her to defend herself. She let the pain consume her and kept her eyes squeezed shut in an attempt to make it go away faster or hurt any less, to no avail.

She didn’t see who approached her, but she knew exactly who it was. Despite her knowledge, she still flinched at his touch, afraid it would only hurt her more. He was gentle and had a steady and calming hand. He couldn’t take her pain away, he knew it, but if she was going to die, she wouldn’t have been left behind to die alone. She would die in his arms. Un-abandoned.

William Townsend knelt to the ground. They were the only two left after the fight. Every other team member had already left for the helicopter and instructed William to leave her behind, not to worry about her and get on the chopper. He wasn’t leaving without her.

The raging fire wasn’t dying around them. Smoke was entering their lungs at an alarming rate and William didn’t know the extent of her injuries or how much time he had to save her.
William looked down at her and tried to protect her from the flames with his body.

He didn’t have a plan for the first time in his life. He didn’t know what he could do or should do to the broken God lying on the ground. The Gods were always there for him when he was injured after a battle. Never before had they left a member in the field.

This was different.
She was dying.

All William had were his words, but even those didn’t resonate over her cries of pain.

He said all he could say in terms of a remedy.

“Let’s go home, Maize.”

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