Ignis Part 3:
By: James Dubeau
There is nothing like a cool refreshing drink on a hot afternoon. Now, where was I? Oh yes, desert raiders were attacking my father’s caravan.
Believe it or not but I was frozen in fright. As a young son of a wealthy merchant I did not know my way around a blade. Training for me had always been with the goal of becoming a merchant not to become a warrior. The closest I had ever been to blood spilled from men was at the gladiatorial pits. Never have I had another man’s blood spilled upon me before.
Even though I shall never forget that morning the battle was nothing but a blur. Raiders riding out of the rising sun, crimson soaked sand, death wails of the wounded, and thick black smoke from the burning caravan wagons. My feet were frozen, as if I was half sunk in quicksand. I could not move to run or defend myself. Surely my fate was to be the same as my parents and their caravan.
Don’t be flippant boy, of course I survived. I’m here telling you this story now aren’t I? Do you want to hear the rest of my story? Then shut up and listen.
My father grabbed my hand and dragged me away from the fighting. Somehow my feet began to move, marching me with him. It wasn’t until we were on the other side of a burning wagon that his words broke through the cacophony of battle. He ordered me to run, begged me to run. The corners of his harsh eyes were wet with tears, an emotion I had never seen upon his face before or would ever see again.
All that I could do was nod dumbly and run away from the fighting. There were no last words that I could have said to him. I was too young to truly understand what was happening, that I would never see my father or mother again.
Somehow I escaped the battle. I don’t know how or why my tracks in the sand were never followed. My old man must have had a trick or two up his sleeve to conceal my escape. He gave his life to spare mine, sending me alone into the desert with the thick black smoke of the burning caravan disappearing into the horizon behind me. I had no water, no map, and no idea how to survive on my own.
My mother? No, I did not forget to mention her. I prefer not to speak of her death that day. She was standing next to me that morning. An arrow found her heart when the raiders first swarmed from the sun. Her blood was the first that splashed upon me that morning.