They’re all dead.
My mother – dead.
My father – dead.
My sister – probably dead (she’d been abducted. Even if she was alive, chances were she’d probably be dead soon).
And now – my good friend, James Holden, had just died.
“Please,” he’d begged, “Please don’t do this.”
The selfish cowardly traitor.
“You took me away from my family!” I had said, “I could have helped! They could have lived!”
“You… you would have died, sir,” he spluttered.
He was tied to a chair, deep in the cellar of God knows who. It didn’t matter, so long as James paid for what he’d done. Deep wounds cover his bare chest, the blood streaming down, weeping, and seeping into his tan breaches.
Wounds that I had made.
“Then I should have died!” I shouted, slapping his face. His head turned sharply to a side on impact, “Then I should have died!” I said again, my voice failing me, “I… what do I have now, James? Is this better? To… to be without familiarity! To be in the midst of a God-damn, bloody, kn-a-ve!”
“Shut up!” I barked, slashing my knife again across his torso. He cried out, kicking with legs, “I said, shut up, damn you!” I stabbed him in his shoulder, his gore pluming out like a bloody rainbow and splattering onto me. He gasped as I yanked the knife out, and he heaved heavily.
He retched a few times, and then spat on the floor.
He looked up at me, angrily, “I saved your life! This is how you reward me!”
“You left them!” I said, digging my hand into his shoulder wound. He writhed in agony, “You abandoned them when they needed you the most! When they needed me the most!”
If he wanted to reply, there wasn’t the possibility that he could. He was blinded and dumbed by the pain I tore through his shoulder.
“You were a friend to me once,” I’d said, “But no more. No more!” I stabbed the knife into his throat so that it stuck out the other end.
He coughed a little, like a fish out of water, and then his eyes rolled up in his head – his mouth agape pouring forth blood.
Seeing him like this, something stuck me and I let go of the knife – still stuck in his neck. My hands became shaky and my knees gave way. I collapsed and looked at James. I felt tears gather in my eyes, for some reason… I could not place what, exactly.
Was it because I had lost a friend?
Was it because he had betrayed my family?
Or was it because I had killed him?
The feeling was remorse, I knew it all too well – but for what…?
I left the scene, sneaking away from the stranger’s cellar and stole one of his horses – and rode with no sense of direction at all: just trying to put distance between myself and my action.
Between myself and my friend, James Holden.
I wonder now if had been wrong, for what I had done. Even if I think of him now, an… emotion strikes me. It is strange and yet familiar. And, accompanying it, is a sheer numbness.
That I have lost everything.
There is nothing left in the world for me.
I have nothing left to live for.
What is the point? If everything can so simply be removed from me?
They took away my everything and I have put one man to justice.
The rest shall bear the same.