To Talk With A Dead Man
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"It was another soldier...fallen like him. However his face was mangled and twisted, coated with a sheet of dark blood...A white mist descended and he could have sworn that the dead man’s mouth twitched. He...gazed a little closer." one-shot
TO TALK WITH A DEAD MAN
Below the edge of the world, the blood of the sun sank; and though the heavens began to turn to darkness, not a single star awakened in the sky. Down the cold, misty alley of the tone at the base of Hyrule Castle, now solemn and stricken with a curse, came a man. The armor on his chest rubbed together each time he stepped and heavy breaths leapt from his lungs and into the air in a white cloud that flowed like death. He clutched his side, touching his crimson-stained garment, limping and trying to push himself forward. Blood splattered onto the cobble-stones as he groaned, moaning with the wind rushing in the sky to a far-off, invisible star. The man—a soldier—nearly fell, but caught himself on the wall of the alley. His blood spilling, the spear he held fell from his palm while his knees collapsed. Finally the soldier fell to the ground as the weapon let out its last cries as it met the cobblestones also. The man threw his head back, tears of sorrow flying from his dimmed eyes.
“Oh, is this the fall of Hyrule?” He cried, “And what of our precious princess?”
For a moment the man remained there sobbing and wailing with his scarlet blood dripping below him just as the dying rays of the sun. Agony festered as each moment passed while pain and sorrow pulled everything into a smothering embrace. However fear leapt across the soldier’s poor soul when a figure suddenly appeared in his sight.
It was another soldier—also fallen like him. However his face was mangled and twisted, coated with a sheet of dark blood. A frozen tension suddenly rushed through the air, and a pain ripped through the soldier’s arm apart from the aches that mingled on his body. Suddenly there was silence slithering in the corners of the darkness. Oh, how the soldier longed to whip his head away and yet he was frozen so that he was bound. So his eyes were forever locked on this corpse before him, who seemingly stared straight back at him. A white mist descended and the soldier could have sworn that the dead man’s mouth twitched. He narrowed his eyes and gazed a little closer. However when the white sheet had passed over, the carcass was the same as before. After all, he was not alive—the soldier could still smell the stench of death emanating off of him.
The soldier could not only smell death from his company, but from all over the back alley and even to the market place. The stench was thick in the air. Instead the soldier did not feel as sick as before—only sick with solitude. He was the only one—alive. But not for long… he could feel the pain of his wounds burning and stinging even more—and infection. It was a fitting end—to die from the wounds received from trying to defend Hyrule and its princess from that dark man called Ganondorf. However he refused to dwell upon the thought of death so fondly. His focus turned to the dead man once again as the white mist descended again. In a haste to occupy himself, he spoke.
“So where are you from?” The soldier asked aloud, but received no answer, “You don’t look like you’re familiar with the city—you must be from Kakariko. I’m come from there, too.”
The question that the soldier asked seemed to bring some sort of life to the dead man’s face. That twisted mouth seemed to curve into a smile and it showed the soldier that he was happy to find some sort of similarity with him. The soldier beamed. He had found his likeness in another as well. At that moment, he continued to ask some more questions. With each word spoken, the soldier received his reply with a different facial expression.
It had taken some time before the soldier’s company started speaking though—he was a shy fellow. They asked each other questions concerning many things about their homes before this terrible incident. They asked each other about their families and loved ones. The soldier was now much more comfortable—the pain from his wounds was almost gone since he had almost completely forgotten about it. As a result, he began to play games with his companion. It was then at that moment when the soldier noticed a small charm in his friend’s hand. It gleamed a silver light even though it was coated with some dried blood.
“What is that charm you carry?” He inquired.
The face of the man grew solemn at that moment. He told him a rather sad story. It had been a farewell gift from his wife before he had left for duty in Hyrule Castle Town. It was his promise to return it to her when he arrived back home. Evidently, however, that was not to be. A tear coated the soldier’s eye when he heard this, and grew rather cheerless with him as well. All thoughts of escape fled his mind at that moment. It would be cruel to leave such a melancholy man by himself. In fact, it would be a sin. When the soldier had told his companion that he planned to stay with him, his friend grinned in sincere gratitude.
At that moment, the white mist lifted, and the soldier heard footsteps coming from the far end of the alley. His pain returned and he flinched as he warily turned to see a silhouette coming toward him. The sands of time for his life were scarce, and they had almost all fallen below now. The silhouette came closer and he saw that it was a young boy garbed in green. He had remembered such a lad through the princess’ wild descriptions of her dreams. Maybe somehow he could help…
The boy set his eyes on the soldier, and in shock rushed to him. The soldier was somewhat offended since he paid no attention to his friend before him. However his breath was scarce and he uttered,
“Please… help the… princess…” He reached out toward the boy.
Shortly afterward he fell limp, and the stench of death grew ever stronger. The boy went on his knees and shook the soldier’s shoulders to try to wake him. However, the sleep of death does not loose its grasp. A small fairy came from behind the boy’s head and came close to his ear.
“He’s not breathing anymore…” She whispered.
The boy silently stood up and cursed Ganondorf for causing such death. He observed the soldier one last time before moving on… and saw his silver charm that he caressed between his fingers.
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