FlowersThe boy took a labored breath, eyes barely open as he gazed around the dirty, dim lit room. The windows had been barred as well as the door, the stench of rotting flesh heavy in the air. He could see two bodies on the ground not very far from himself, not moving, rats scurrying around. The door had been broken open by looters but when they had found the child's dead parents they had not dared to touch anything. A bit of light was filtering through the crack and fell upon the young child. Stretching his hand out he tried to sit up but his body was much too weak by now, dehydrated and covered in sweat and other fluids.
Something moved towards him from the corner of the room without disturbing the rats or the flies that were landing on the bodies present in the small hut. Lifting his head the child gazed upon a strange yet familiar figure, dressed in a long black robe that covered its feet, the face hidden behind a white plague doctor's mask with its typical beak like shape, eyes invisible behind black glass eyepieces. The stranger held a cane in its hands, topped with a silver bird's head, a parrot from the looks of it.
"Sum ita paenitet." A voice said from behind the mask, sounding as if it was coming from somewhere deep below, strangely soft though as it regarded the dying boy.
The child shook its head then reached out with both hands.
"Please. Take me out of here. To the fields. I don't want to die in here." he pleaded and the creature hesitated for a long moment then set the cane down which begun to simply float upright in midair as its owner picked the boy up and stepped through the opening door into the sunlight.
The village had been ravaged by the illness, barely anybody still alive. Those healthy enough had fled and those that had stayed were dying as well, many bodies littering the streets, some having tried to crawl down the road, away from the horrors of the plague. The boy closed his eyes as he was carried away from his home and towards the fields that were in full bloom now. No scythe would cut them, the flowers and the grass having grown high, soft to the touch and warmed by the sunrays as the child was set down in the middle of it. He could feel the sun on his face before he opened his eyes again, reaching out to pluck one of the many little white and pink flowers growing around him. Then another. And another. His hands were shaking as he started to braid them together, arranging them into a small flower crown. The being in the strange outfit watched silently, clutching its cane again. Then as he was finally done the boy beckoned the other one to bend down, placing the flowers on top of the stranger's head.
"For you." he said before a terrible cough was pulled from his lungs, blood starting to spray from his mouth, running along his chin, his breathing strained as he started to wheeze, "thank you...for...letting me see...the sun before I...have to go.."
The being made a little weak noise, that was filled with a terrible sadness as it clutched the hand that had given him the crown. It could feel how cold the boy's skin already was, watched helplessly as the small, mangled body slipped soundlessly into the grass. His chest heaved a few more times then he laid still, hand still clutched by the black fingers of the one who had brought death to the village.
And while they would meet again, another time in another life, Plague stood there a long moment as if frozen on the spot, unable to cry for another soul lost before it slipped away, back into the shadows. The flower crown was kept on its head, a parting gift from a gentle, innocent hand, the only thing that would never wither under its touch.
credits:profile + coding by User not found: hamada.
Overlay pixel art (c) GlaceLeau
Story (c) me