The Starving Knight

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RETRIBUTION

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By: Richard

    The world had stopped revolving. From the scorching, blazing deserts to the barren, deserted tundras, I dwelled. Blind to the world around me, a

little shimmer of gleaming hope had been pinched out. The honor of my name, ‘Kazimir’ had been shattered like glass. Hours upon hours, days upon days, weeks upon weeks, time had no longer been a crucial variable in my life, or what was left of it. At the time, I was subjected to a new world, a world of sins and flames. Screams of innocents screeched in my mind for salvation, each one grasping my body while their burning fingers went deep into my flesh. I screamed myself, all I could see was a light, the cleanest, purest, and almost transparent light. I brought out my arm in an attempt to escape this place of torture, but the light never came to me. It was just an illusion. The light appeared to suddenly back away, further and further away until it was no longer visible. I kicked and shouted with my limbs for my life, but the more I struggled, the more each grip got tighter. Piles upon piles of smoldered rubble. I tried, I tried to push as much  off of me as I could, but somehow made my actions feel increasingly demonic. Soon, I couldn’t push any longer, my strength had been sapped away to only leave a frail skeleton of a human. I gave in. The screams got louder, louder, louder, and even louder. The bombarding onslaught of cacophony was the only sound that pierced my ears, never to end…

    I woke up to a jolt. “Perhaps it was just a dream,” I said to myself in a weak and subtle voice. The sand beneath me had been cold, however not so extreme as to be freezing. From what I could perceive, the environment was serene. I could remember that I had been traveling in this current desert for roughly five days by now. “Wow, five days,” I thought, “Five days since I got blinded. If I were to have any luck left, I would fall off a chasm and die in a swift and peaceful manner.” I didn’t believe that I had been isolated for too long, but at the same time, I thought it was ages since I last communicated with another human. By the temperature of my surroundings, I knew it was dark, the perfect time to start traveling. As I started crawling myself in an unknown direction, dragging my entire body with my strained hands, I heard a noise in the distance. “Ah, it’s just a bird,” I said to no-one. Soon, the audible sounds of footsteps were near. I stayed completely silent, I hoped to god that if it was human, they would end my suffering.

    “Uhhh, hello there traveler…? Didn’t expect to see anybody out here tonight, especially not someone crawling on the ground.” The unknown voice had not been so deep, but not exactly high-toned either. “If you wish to steal from me, I’m afraid nothing of value or use will come your way. But, if you’re still not satisfied, then bury me in the sand dunes where I can pursue my eternal rest and sleep silently…”. I prepared for the worst, clenching my weak fist while scrunching up my body. Nothing happened. “Woah there stranger, I don’t want you to make any assumptions. We mean no harm. Here, let me help you up.” I let out my breath. “So you mean you wish not to take what little I have?” The odd man suddenly chuckled, “Of course not! C’mon, we would never stoop that low to steal from someone crawling in a desert! We have morals.”

    I stayed silent. Uncertainty and fear clouded up my mind and didn’t allow any other thoughts to parade my mind. I could feel my arms twitching uncontrollably while freezing chills were sent down my back. “Why don’t we let you over to our place? Show you around— our treat.” He seemed so comfortable, almost as if he had known me for multiple years. “If he’s so calm, why am I so disturbed,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t see it, but I was assuming that he had reached out his hand for a shake.

    I was so distraught at the moment, I must’ve been a pathetic sight at the time for those people. I reached my hand out, making contact with the stranger’s hand. His hand felt tough and gristly, all covered in large, bushy, and sprouting hairs. At the same time, my hand seemed so frail and fragile in comparison that I felt more ashamed of what little pride I had left. Suddenly, his hand had wrapped around my fingers in a crushing grip. As he pulled me up, I saw a slight crease from what vision I had left. He had enormous bags being hoisted onto his shoulder, a large checkered shirt that had been plastered across his body, and thick boots that had tracks on them. I had abandoned my armor from which I previously had a long time ago, so contrary to what I would like to believe, I most likely appeared as a apparition of a human.

    “When was the last time you ate?,” he asked. “If I’m going to be honest, you look like something that was left out for too long.” I ignored his insightful comments. “Thank you so much, your kindness and hospitality is truly appreciated,” I asserted. “Ah it’s nothing— we have some horses that you can hitch a ride on.” I smiled, although it was only a couple of days, I couldn’t feel more blessed to meet with these travelers.” As I groped around for the sensation of a horse, I hoped my struggling wouldn’t appear as humiliating as I thought. “Say, mate, are you perhaps— excuse me for being rude, blind perchance?” I was shocked, I thought that they had already acknowledged the fact that I had lost the luxury of sight. “Yes, I have gone blind,” I responded. “I’ve been blind for only a couple of days now.”

    In my head, I hoped dearly that they wouldn’t ask. Instead, he batted an eye at my appearance and shrugged it off. I sighed in relief, and followed where ever the sound of footsteps was prevalent. I eventually landed my hand on a trusty steed, and did my best to maneuver myself over a leather saddle. “Welp, we better get going, by this rate, the town ‘ill be worrying ‘bout us.” When I had situated my body on the horse, I felt liberated from the bounds of my own body. As the horse proceeded, all the weight I had previously experienced had been lifted off my shoulders. Soon, we got closer and closer to the village. I initially thought it was a utopian oasis, waiting to save my soul and rest my eternal spirit. But, after a while, I realized the reality of what it was and slumped down into my cold, sturdy saddle.

    Once we arrived, many sounds had made their way to me. The burning sparks erupting from what I supposed was a bonfire, the gentle sand and debris subsiding along with the wind, and the leaves rustling in the dust, crinkling bit by bit until they were no more. “Well, here we are! Everybody is asleep right now, so I can take you to a bed if ya want.” I was entranced by the eerie yet soothing atmosphere. “Yes, thank you— that would be lovely,” I responded. As he took my hand, I recognized the terrible state I was in. My legs were so bony and frail, I was surprised I had even made it that far.

    As I situated my body upon a straw mattress, I fell asleep within an instant. My pains drifted away as I sunk myself into a large galleon of the seas of my dreams. I don’t remember how, but I would recall that night as one of the best nights of my entire life. When morning had dawned upon me, I had taken quite the duration to recognize it. Rubbing my eyes, I woke up to an astounding discovery. I had gotten my sight back.

    Originally, blurry streaks of morphed colors were only present in my vision. But, as time passed, and as the more I rubbed, colors started to merge and form into wild and incomprehensible shapes. Soon, it all came together. I had been resting in a straw area surrounded by smooth stone walls. Dust swayed across each surface while particles bounced around, only visible in the light of a nearby window. I gasped. However, I was only shocked for a couple of seconds. As I got up, I was greeted by a small child who had been holding a small, stray animal.

    “Oh, hello mister! Glad to know that you’re awake! My daddy is making breakfast right now!” I smiled. “Ah, thank you, I’ll be there in a moment.” Once I made my way towards the interior, I came upon the person who had guided me out of the barren wasteland. “Ah, Hey there mate.”

To Be Continued…

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