Thursday, 6 November 2014

He’s in the room down the hall… alive

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

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"He’s in the room down the hall… alive."
“Alive?” She looked panicked.
“That’s good news, surely?”
“Ah... yeah... yeah, it is.”
He grabbed her arm and dragged her down the hallway a little to a spot where they would not be overheard as easily. He was her group leader and she was used to following his orders. They battled for the city; a hard pitched battle. One that left more casualties every day. “Talk.”
“How bad is he?”
He studied her. She could walk down the hall and check for herself, but she didn’t. She was asking him. That meant there was some reason why she didn't want to face him. “Did your actions cause his injuries?”
“What happened?”
“He tried to...” she cleared her throat, “- his usual stuff.”
“Brave and reckless.”
“That’s the one.”
“So why the fear to see him?”
“I don’t-” She stopped talking when she saw his face. “I never could deceive you,” she grumbled.
“Is he conscious?”
“He wasn’t before...”
“Ah. I see.”
“No.” She made an abrupt gesture. “No, you don’t.”
“I think I do. I’ve known you for a long time. The only thing you can’t face is yourself. Your own feelings.”
She punched the wall.
“Talk,” he said, “And that’s an order.”
She closed her eyes. The words came through gritted teeth. “I thought he was dying... so I told him... I told him everything.”
“You told him that you loved him.”
Eyes flew open. “How?”
“I just know.”
“He’s awake,” she guessed.
A nod. “And asking for you.”
“No... no, no, no. I can’t do it.”
“You can and you must.”
A heavy sigh. “We need him.”
“You want him to heal. And breaking his heart isn’t part of that plan.”
“Don’t be stupid, girl. He’s alive because you told him you loved him. He has dragged himself back from the brink of death for one reason, and one reason only.”
She blinked. “Me?”
“You have given him a reason to be alive.” He grabbed her shoulders, turned her to face the length of the hall down which his room was located. “Go.”
She shook her head. “I c-can’t.”
“He needs you. You have stepped with him into every battle so far. Don’t walk away from him now, because you’re embarrassed.”
She took a step and then another. Before the end of the hallway she was running.
© AM Gray 2014

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