Short Story

The other night, in the middle of the night, a fragment of a story popped into my head, and I typed it out. Since then, none of it has come back to me - I can't think of any of the qualities of the characters other than what's laid out in what I had written. So, in the hopes that it might come back to me some day, I'm going to post what I wrote here. Please forgive its roughness, and, obviously, its incompleteness.

We came across a great battle - legions of men fighting, screaming, sweating, bleeding. I recognized the colors of my people - and immediately after, I realized that they were sorely losing.

"Your people are being slaughtered, Dorian. They are no match for these warriors, either in number or in tactics," Jonas said.

"I see that, Jonas, but what can I do for them? Surely you don't mean for the two of us to jump headlong into battle against thousands," I said.

"We needn't do any such thing," Jonas replied. "Close your eyes."

This seemed like a dreadful idea - we had suddenly walked out of the wood and into the middle of a vast battle - eyes open, I was doing my best not to be killed just by being in the vicinity. I pointed this out to Jonas.

"Close your eyes, Dorian," he said again. I closed my eyes. I was shaking gently with fear, waiting for an axe to land in my skull. Waiting to open my eyes and find Dorian gone, or dead. My breathing was ragged, fast, my heart pounding.

"Take a deep breath," he said.

"I can't."

"Do it!"

I tried to take a deep breath, and succeeded in taking a nearly normal one. I tried again, but just couldn't do it. I opened one eye to peer at Jonas.

"Close your eyes!" he shouted, "and take a deep breath!" I closed my eye again, and suddenly he was behind me, one hand clasped hard over my eyes, the other covering my nose and mouth.

I struggled against his grip, pulling at his arms with my hands, trying to wriggle myself free. I started to feel lightheaded as I tried in vain to gasp for air, when none was available. Suddenly he let go, and I gasped, sputtering, filling my lungs completely in one giant breath, and exhaling slowly. "Relax," he said.

I looked around at the battlefield, and everything seemed to be moving so slowly. The sounds had gone from a deafening roar to the murmuring of some distant conflict; yet I could hear Jonas as clear as day.

"Can you see alright?"

"Yes," I said, "I can see fine - why?"

"Your eyes are still closed," he said, and I realized he was right - my eyes were still shut, but I could see the battle raging around me with perfect clarity.

"Do you see their leader over there?" he asked, pointing. I concentrated, and picked him out of the bustle.

"Yes, I see him," I said.

"Good," Jonas replied. "Now kill him."

"But... Jonas, surely you're kidding? He must be a hundred yards away - and even if I made it to him alive, he'd flay me before I could make a move! I'm no soldier, and certainly no assassin!"

"But, Jonas... don't you see? He's not really all that far away, if you think about it. And do you see how slowly he moves? Surely you could step right up to him and run him through before he could turn around. Go ahead, do it."

I took another deep breath, and realized Jonas was right - though I knew he was a hundred yards away, I was sure I could just step right over to him, and in three strides I was there, untouched by any of the clashing warriors around me. And indeed, he was moving incredibly slowly now, and it seemed he hadn't even noticed me walk up to him, blade drawn. I stabbed him hard in the gut, pulled my blade back out, and kicked him hard as I could in the wound, knocking him back hard into one of his own men. Two steps later I was right back at Jonas' side.

"Good work, Dorian," he said. I opened my eyes, and stared in amazement at the field of battle: the death of their leader left the enemy forces confused, disorganized, and demoralized; while at the same time, it gave my own people a second wind, as they pushed forward, turning the tables on the enemy.

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