Half My Tears

I could feel the musty, filthy scent wafting around me, the hot breath on the hairs on the back of my neck, making my fur bristle in fury and my face contort in disgust. The air was dark and heavy with the faint metallic scent of blood. Clenching my teeth to the jolting pain tearing my flesh apart, I could still feel the deep crimson liquid leaking down my pelt, although I should be numb to all the pain by now.

We bared our sharp fangs, unsheathed our deadly claws, charging at our enemies with a series of blood-curdling yowls and snarls. They had their massive jaws open, their saliva dripping through their large, thorn-sharp teeth. Their dark slitted eyes that watched our every movement threatened us, but we would not give up. Not now.

We were outnumbered, and they were too strong. But we would not back down.

Clanmates all around were bleeding, wincing from the pain, but getting up and lunging forward again. They still had the courage and mettle inside of them. We were going to defeat the dogs. Slashes and blows struck from all sides. The atmosphere was suffocating and closing in.

I planted my paws in place, whipping my gaze from side to side. My vision was blurring, my hearing was muffled, and I wanted to ignore the shrieks of my Clanmates and focus on surviving first. But that wasn't so easy.

It was then, in the midst of my distraction, that a huge, towering dark shape crashed into my side and pushed me down, pinning me to the ground. I opened one eye wearily and saw two gleaming pale white-amber eyes staring down at me. The hot, filthy breath surrounded me, and I winced. From all the grief and pain, from not saving my Clanmates, and from knowing my life won't last much longer.

Claws were at my throat, shifting and becoming tighter. The narrowed orbs were glowing brighter and closing in. I shut my eyes, bracing myself and silently whispering goodbye.

A sudden vicious slash struck my face. First it felt scorching hot, then excruciatingly painful. I was sure I was dead. I was sure I would be. I clenched my teeth, my sides heaving violently, and I was frozen in place.

Suddenly, the weight was lifted off me in a slash. I opened one eye, the other being strangely incredibly full of pain and also numbness. Through my one good eye, I could see red all over my vision. Crimson, dark, red.

In the fragments where I could still see, I saw my Clanmate, my friend, fighting against the dog that attacked me, saving my life. She rammed into the black-and-white canine's huge, strongly built figure, her own brown pelt stained with wounds and blood.

As the dog finally fled after a harsh blow to the belly, I saw my friend bounding over to me. At first she smiled gratefully. I did too. And then the color drained from my face when I realized the empty, purely terrified expression on hers.

"Skypaw, y-your e-e-eye," she stammered, panting, her words barely audible and her voice cracking. I felt my paws tremble at the horrified sight on her face, the blood and the ripped half of my own face, how it was so brutally torn off, how I knew that scar would last for a lifetime, and I felt a mix of emotions all boiling up. I could see she almost wanted to look away, but I forced myself to speak first.

"It's alright."

Her eyes widened. I only gazed up at me and offered a weak smile, tears brimming her last good eye.

"Half my tears have already been shed, anyway."