I was looking at my bookshelf the other day, and realised that I hadn't picked up one of these in a long time and I was musing that my favourite character at the time should have got more page time. This scenario started to pop into my head and I haven't been able to shake it since. This section hasn't had an update this year, so I don't know how many people are going to see this, but as usual the writing if nothing else helps me get rid of these distracting thoughts.
So if you are reading, hello! I hope you enjoy this. I know where this is going - loosely at least - and I look forward to telling this tale. All reviews and comments are welcome, and let me know that there is someone out there reading this :)
Berit was lying in the dust, sun in his eyes and beating down upon him. Sweat was running down his face irritating him, but he couldn't find the strength to wipe it away. Something blocked the sun and for a moment there was relief from its glare, but then once again he was blinded. He didn't mind though as it was a distraction from the red hot pain in his stomach. He tried to raise a hand to cover his eyes, but that sort of movement was beyond him. His sun block reappeared and this time it seemed it was going to stick around as it started talking to him.
"Hang on Berit, they're on their way, don't worry."
"Khalad?" Now he was no longer staring directly at the sun and his eyes had a chance to readjust he was able to focus on the face of his friend above him.
"That's right, just stay still for me."
"What... what..." He couldn't string a full sentence together, just like he couldn't summon the strength to lift a hand to his face. The concern that Berit saw in his friend's eyes deepened.
"That's the shock, making it difficult to think. You caught a Crygan spear in the side... it's nasty... but some of that Styric finger wiggling or a little help from our favourite flower shaped gem and you will be fine and dandy." Khalad sounded confident, but his expression betrayed how serious this was.
Berit and Khalad had been slowly making their way to the city of Cyrgai – being the bait in one trap while walking knowingly into one them selves. A unit of Cryga had appeared from somewhere, and the Peloi horseman who had been following them at a discreet distance had been a bit too far to prevent them being overrun. Berit assumed that they had destroyed the enemy in the end though for Khalad to be unhurt, but that still left Berit dying in the dirt.
He knew he was dying, was certain of it in fact. Not because of the agonising pain that was now spreading to his entire abdomen, or the slick wet feeling that came from lying in a pool of his own blood, or the clammy, shaky feeling that was sapping his strength. It was the look on his friends' face that told him he didn't have long left. He had seen that look before, even given it on a couple of occasions, and knew exactly what it meant. Khalad was trying not to meet his eyes, glancing around frantically to see if help had arrived.
He heard the stamp of horses hooves, so knew they had been surrounded by Peloi horseman, though none approached, keeping a respectful distance.
"It's... OK" he managed to gasp out. Who knew that speaking was such an effort.
"No, it's not OK, but it will be. Just stay awake for me, my friend."
Berit gave a small nod to show that was doing his best, but as the seconds stretched into minutes Berit was finding it more and more difficult. His mind was wondering as he was becoming increasingly light headed, Khalad's snap of "Stay awake for God's sake" bringing him out of a gentle daydream of riding through a quiet wood. With difficulty Berit focused to see the desperation, hopelessness and worst of all the guilt on his friends' face.
Berit wanted to tell Khalad it wasn't his fault. He wanted to say how much he valued the squire's friendship. He wanted to reassure him that he would make an outstanding knight, and that he was sorry he wouldn't be there to see it. He wanted to remind Khalad that death on the battlefield was an honourable one. He wanted to tell him that even knowing where his path led, he wouldn't change anything. He wanted to ask Khalad to tell his friends -his brother knights - that he wished them a safe journey home. He wanted to say so much, but his breathing was getting shallower: he was struggling and gasping.
"Berit, no, he's almost here. Please."
Khalad's broken plea was quiet, as if it came from far away. Berit's eyes lost focus again, and he slipped into darkness.