Ash covered the face of the earth, dark and fallen like a sick snow that had been tainted before reaching the souls below. The sounds of choking surrounded him, their lungs gasping, their hands clawing at the ground and their throats as that ash filled their lungs, searing them from the inside. The colorless hand of the ash drawing those to their meeting with the reaper, Todander, who moved without form across the fields covered in his work.
Nauren’s eyes shook, his body heavy and seeping out the very elixer that kept him alive. That liquid creating a river behind him as he pushed with his right arm hanging lifeless itself. His feet trudged, stepping over bodies of friend and foe, equal in the eyes of whoever saw them.
He had to live, to live.
There was much he still needed to do, there was much he didn’t get to do. Flashes, executions, fire, breakouts. It all needed to change, it all needed to be fixed.
And yet, his body failed him. His legs dropped from under him, his hands gripping at the ground as pain seared through his body and up his spine. Cuts, bruises, broken bones, and torn sinew. He clawed at both earth and life as his form mingled with those who long left this world, whos spark had been snuffed out before him.
It had all gone so well at first everything had been working, and then it had changed. The sky had grown dark, the earth had ruptured from under them with the world being thrown every which way. The fire had dropped from the sky, falling like the cannon balls of the human’s, shattering the ground around its landing and twisting the forms of all without discrimination.
Why had this happened, why had hell been brought upon their earth, with rivers of crimson being drained onto the field under him, the earth soft and the mud beneath him wet with the life of others?
He had to get up and get out, he had to push over the burned and lost souls before him, his body pushing on its three limbs, his face reaching towards the air above him that was filled and tainted with that ash and the smell of flesh seared by the fire that had rained down on them.
His feet dragged him forward a few more meters before his body once more fell to the ground and his legs quit under him, torn too greatly to support the weight that they bared. His hand dizzily reached out, clawing at limbs, torsos, heads, and even the blood-soaked and stained ground under him as the life of this world mixed with that which was at one time inside his own body. Staining his body and clothing as he clawed ever longer.
He soon found the light of the world fading, though, his breath slowing and his hand unable to move anymore. He found the ash covering his form as he laid there now, barely twitching as he tried to cry out in a voice that made no sound. He pleaded for someone to come for him, for this all to have stopped, but his voice made not a squeak. Instead, his vision grew dark as he stared, seeing the light fade from around him and feeling his body finally grow too heavy to move.
He knew what would come next, he knew this was where things ended and yet his mind still tried to claw at a shred of hope while he lay there dying.
He had failed.
He had lost.
And now, he would die without ever saving anyone. He would lose everything he had worked to reclaim and he would be left in the end with this loss, this ending, this tragedy.
Why had he deserved this, why had he been given this chance to simply die. Why was he a weak shell that hadn’t even achieved the simplest of his desires?
He stared at that dark world that now greeted him and thought about one name, one word that he had wanted to defend without failure. And yet that was what had happened, he had failed. After everything that had come to happen, he had failed.
So his mind offered one last apology.