Ticket to victory
I reach out for a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on, only to sense the cold flesh of yet another corpse. Sluggishly I drag my hand back towards myself, scraping my fingers against the jagged floor. I must have been knocked out. As my conscientiousness begins to return to me, I attempt to support my body with my arms, and analyse the terrain. Blood. Sweat. Tears. All of these elements are present at this current moment in time. Our raid has just battled with our second faerie, PANDORA13, only just managing to scrape through to victory. The corpse count is only two. A definite improvement from our first battle.
You might expect us to be celebrating and dancing at our victory, but the only sound to be heard is a ringing silence. The raid is mourning. I can smell the ashes on the ground, and, knowing that they belong to two valued friends, I feel my blood boil harder than the fiery chasms surrounding us.
Why us? I think. We did nothing wrong. All of us are young girls. We should be in school! Some of us are at the age where we should be playing dress-up and playing with cute dollies, not fighting monsters and counting dead bodies! What are we doing? Where exactly is this going?!
Collapsing into a pathetic mound of lamentation, all grief within me is now being replaced with a burning rage. I am blinded by my tears, and the only thing I can make out is the flaming red of the sky against the silhouettes of exhausted little children. There is a dry taste at the back of my throat. No wonder this place is nicknamed 'The pits of Hell'. Glancing upwards, I suddenly realise that the rocky cliffs enclosing us were looming over me like giants: ever-watching, all-seeing. It makes me feel intimidated, but also slightly safe- If nobody else will watch over our raid, the rocks will.
I wipe away the remaining tears from my eyes and eventually begin to get up, edging towards the rest of the group, who have huddled together in a safe spot and gone to sleep. The lava has stopped bubbling. The cold wind is chilling my spine, and it's getting late. They must be so, so tired. But who can blame them? We have to wait until morning until we gain new supplies, and we need energy to walk to the pick-up point. I join them, allowing the thought of food and earth to carry me to sleep. Just as I drift away, I see the sun rise above the cliffs, smiling as I think:
There it is. There's our ticket to victory.