So I was given a few words as a prompt for a short story. This is the story that was build from that. Hope you enjoy it.
Dya shifted the bag slung over her shoulder, as she squinted through the sunlight at the ground. Stepping carefully, she managed to get past the mud without too much trouble.
She kept her eyes on the ground though. If she didn’t, she would see It.
She felt a hand on her shoulders, and glanced up. Hal was watching her, his brown eyes gentle.
“You okay?” he asked cautiously. He had every right to be cautious after he almost received a knife to the face.
When she had awoken following the battle, he’d been there. And he’d been the one to tell her that her brother was dead.
She hadn’t meant to throw the knife. It had left her before she realised what she was doing. Then she’d cried. A lot. She’d scared him. She knew that well enough. All she could think at the time was that her brother, that she had loved so much, was gone. And it hurt. It really did. It still did. But she couldn’t let that stop her.
She was here to do her job. To save the lives that were still able to be saved. To save other people’s brothers.
She sent him a nod.
She turned back. She raised her eyes to look. She wished she hadn’t.
It wasn’t the sight of the other healers rushing back and forward. Or even the broken standard lying on the ground.
It was the bodies.
So many bodies. None were alike. They ranged from very young, barely more than children, to old. It wasn’t surprising. Death doesn’t differentiate.
And the blood. It had mostly soaked into the ground and dried now. It was still visible though.
Dya felt sick. She could barely stand to think of her beloved brother falling alongside all these others. What had it been like, she wondered? Had he died quickly or slowly? How many of his friends would he have seen die? How much of the battle had he seen, before his death?
She shook those thoughts out of her head. They would do no good to anyone. They certainly wouldn’t help her grief. And they certainly wouldn’t help any of the wounded.
She scanned the battlefield.
Her eyes were drawn to an old man, maybe sixty, lying facedown in the mud. She didn’t what drew her to him, as he wasn’t moving, but she was drawn.
She knelt by his side, and sighed in relief as she spotted his chest moving. Up and down. Up and down.
She placed her bag down and opened it, pulling out bandages and various other medical implements.
“Hello?” she asked gently.
He didn’t answer.
“I’m just going to give you a quick check, that alright?” she said. She remembered what her teacher had told her about unconscious people. To keep talking to them.
So she did.
Later she found out that he was a grandfather. And the sight of the joyful reunion between the man and his family, made her own pain feel better.
Word Count: 500