Contest: Encounter with the dead

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Nomine
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Contest: Encounter with the dead

#1 Post by Nomine » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:59 pm

New Starlight contest
We were so lucky to be gifted a couple of items from Blizzard, one Shadowlands collectors edition and one gift envelope containing game time, a poster and hologram cards. On top of that, we are adding 50 000k gold.

Three prizes, three winners
We want for the lucky winner to have their prize in hand, before Shadowlands launch. Therefore we make it simple and easy, with a random draw among all participants of the contest.

You enter through:
Posting: A story (minimum 500 words) or a piece of art, or music (max one number per. contestant, one prize per person - if a number comes up twice, we got something fun/good in mind, such as one years supply of inky black potions).
All entries have to be made for the contest, honour principle.
At the guild meeting the 2.11 we will be doing a prize draw, using roll 1-number of participants. (First entry is 1, the second is 2, etc. Nice and straightforward)
Deadline is 19:30 at the 2.11.2020

As its a random drawing among entries:
Nr. 1 - Barathean
Nr 2 - Devvy
Nr 3 - Wilsby
Nr 4 - Anomen
Nr 5 - Aldus
Nr. 6 - Rey
Nr. 7 - Philias
Nr 8 - Anadelonbrin
Nr 9 - Morrigan
Nr 10 - Nomine

Post below or post a link below :)

Theme:
Encounter with the dead
Shadowlands lets us brave the beyond, Sylvanas has ripped open the way to the afterlife. Azeroths staunchest defenders have been dragged into all-consuming darkness.
Hidden realms of wonder and horror await any who would pass to the other side. The Shadowlands is home to an entire realm of the departed; Its a world between worlds whos delicate balance preserves life and death itself. Who does your character hope to find again for one last encounter, one last whispered conversation filled with hope and love, who do they fear meeting once more.
Or perhaps, they have been here before, drawing steel against former comrades as the lich kings made fallen soldiers rise again.

We leave the interpretation of the theme to you and look forward to seeing what you create.


Contest trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVeiG9PuuCA

Barathean
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#2 Post by Barathean » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:13 am

Content warning: I've depicted gruesome things done to children in the same storyline, and I know this is a heavy subject, so I don't want to leave this lying around here where you might accidentally read glimpses of it if you wish to avoid the subject. Hence, separate link and the warning.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fb5 ... sp=sharing
>Maxwell Barathean< | Rhena Kerridan | Darmiel Brownlocke

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Devvy
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#3 Post by Devvy » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:38 am

Devvy was cleaning up the Happy Hearth. Earlier that day she put up a sign saying "Closed for inventory taking". All the corners were scrubbed, the glasses were cleaned and gleaming, the seals of the insulated icecream cabinets checked.
The little gnome stood in the middle of the room with her hands in her side. Looking around her, checking left and right, she smiled and nodded to herself.
"Nicely done, miss Devvy" she said to herself.

Then she opened the cupboard and got a fresh tablecloth. A light green one. She put it on the corner table, and with her hands put is just right. All the corners hanging over the table in equal lengths and all the creases brushed out.
Next was a small plate and a cup-and-saucer. These were light blue.
Last thing Devvy put on the table was a tiny glass vase with a few flowers in it.
She stepped back and smiled again. This was just as it should be.

Now she opened the door and stepped out on the lawn. The sun was setting, casting a lovely warm light over the lake and the establishment. She checked the time on her pocket watch and went back inside, leaving the door open to catch the summerlight on the interior.
On the counter there was a small pile of papers. Devvy picked them up and checked them. On it, in her neat little handwriting were several notes. She went over them. Yes. All was in order. Still a little time before she had to leave. All well planned.

"Ey Dubs"
"Oh, evening Mi.. Syra!"
Even after years of trying, Devvy still could not bring herself to calling people just by their names. (Except Kalanthe. The elf had threatened to inflicht grevious bodily harm to her if she ever called her "Miss".)
Devvy waved to the table.
"Your regular table is ready for you".
Syrawenn nodded her approval and sat down.
"Another year past." Devvy said. "They do go by quickly."
Syrawenn nodded.
"Devvy was kind of counting the days at the end. She misses you quite often." Devvy added.
"Sorry Dubs," Syra answered. "I can only be here once a year, wish it could be more. But yeah, that is how it is."

"Your usual, Mi.. Syra?" The gnome asked.
"Of course, Dubs. Your Cranberry and walnut coupes are the best!"
Devvy beamed at that compliment.
"Coming right up!"
She went over to the side cupboard and took out a tall coupe, made of pink glass. Then she unlocked the display case and dipped a large spoon in a bowl of warm water. She scooped up two bulbs of red icecream, followed by one scoop of lightbrown.
She closed the case again, locked it carefully and put a small paper umbrella on top. It was a blue one with a compass rose in white printed on it.
"One cranberry and walnut for you." Devvy said and put the coupe on the table in front of Syrawenn.
"Aww Dubs, that looks amazing".
Devvy smiled. "How have you been this year?"
"Oh well, you know, Dubs. Time flies, time flies. But always happy to be able to visit you. How is the gang these day?"

They proceeded to discuss the happenings with Starlight, Devvy told syrawenn all the latest gossip, romances, little problems and new members. Also new shops in the trade district, prices at the auction house and the current best place to get good ale and bacon.

After a while Syrawenn got up from the table and said "Sorry Dubs, have to be going again.
Devvy nodded.
"Understood miss. See you again next year?"
"You betcha Dubs. Take care now, and don't get yerself into any trouble right?"
Promise, Mi.. Syra!"
Syrawenn got up, waved and left. Devvy waved back! "See you next year!"

After Syrawenn left, she checked her watch again. Time to go. She took her papers, went outside and locked the door.
She checked if the chickens were all OK and then walked to the harbour. The light was going, but the light of the lighthouse swung over the harbour as usual.
Devvy hailed a small ferry boat and got it.
"Lighthouse please sir."
When the gnome arrived at the lighthouse, most Starlighters were already there. She waved to them.
"Hello nice all, is Devvy! Is all feeling ok today and so?"
"It.. hello Devvy, are you ok too?"
"Best there is."
"Feeling alrright."
"*purrs* Just fine."

Soon, everyone was present. They formed a half circle around Nomine, who was standing with his back to the door of the lighthouse."
"Right, let's get this show on the road"
He looked around to the group in front of him.
"Welcome to the seventh annual memorial gathering for our dear Syrawenn. She is still dearly missed. Several of you have asked to speak some words, either memories, or to express their sadness on her passing away at that young age. And we will of course honour this and I would like to ask Devvy to be the first.
"Right-o sir.
Devvy took her notes from her bag and walked to the centre of the half circle.
“Auri," I asked slowly, "are you joking with me?"
She looked up and grinned. "Yes I am," she said proudly. "Isn't it wonderful?”

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Wilsby
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#4 Post by Wilsby » Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:45 pm

Lord Peter Middleton
A torn page, an entry, found from what is believed to be a diary of a 'Lord Peter Middleton'

Death.
The Dead.
The encounter comes for us all. They will come for us all.

Those pale, washed out eyes, blurred and cloudy from the lack of life within them that stare back at me.
Lifeless. And yet they look so tired. Desperate. Can the dead feel tired? Do they tire? Do they feel desperation?! These are all questions to be understood, for Death, it comes for us all.
No, but they just stare..
I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

The decomposing, mottled skin spreads over the body, which, one assumes is how it starts, until it claims all of their build.
It claims the nails, the hair. Everything really. What was once someone's thick, flowing black locks are now bristled, thinned and sparse. Vacant.
As for the nails, well, if one was to look close enough, you would spot that some are missing. I suspect they all eventually fall off. Peel away. Crumble.
I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

The scar that illustrates the neck.. it's.. So deep. Vicious.
There was struggle. Such a struggle. A fight for their life.
But the barbed Garotte was too wicked. Too powerful.
Slaughtered.
And no matter how long Death has claimed them for, the scar remains red and visible.
A toxic reminder. Why should they be reminded? WHY?!
No. They remember. They remember well. The pain, the sensation, the looming darkness. The Darkness.
Then nothing.
Then something.
I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

Death took their voice.
Naturally so, given how deep the throat was cut.
One would almost assume the head was nearly severed, but no, clearly not.
Perhaps if they pushed up against the sagging flesh and skin, and squeezed and lifted, they may be able to produce a noise of sort other than the gargling that fills my ears.
I pity them.
The struggle on their face as they dearly wish they could communicate. To speak. To cry out for help.
For mercy.
Mercy from what?
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy.
Is that all death is when one encounters with it? Pain, reminders, endless suffering and struggle?
I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

Will they ever forget any other memories? Memories of their life?
Does death eventually claim you until you are just NOTHING, and are what is deemed as an empty husk.
That one I have heard somewhere.
Will they remember their wife? Their children?
Florence. David.
Florence. David.
Florence. David.
As times passes and you look at them, you look at them the best you can to TRY and understand, you truly do wonder if they can or will remember.
But-.. I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

Although.. the thing is about Death, is that perhaps they had to watch their loved ones die in the background around them.
They outlived all those who they once knew.
Their wife. Their children.
This curse kept them watching. Kept them watching for so long.
Relative after relative, friend after friend..
They wanted to cry. They know of crying. They remember. But they can't cry. WHY can't they cry.
To watch the one they love move on and love another. And then die.
Yet... no tears. No physical pain. But the pain is here.. in their face.
I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..


What is the point in carrying on?

A question... I ask myself every day as I sit here and write in this diary, and look at my reflection in this mirror.
When my tired, clouded eyes look back at me, and my pained, painless expression looks through me.
When my skin turns as white and mottled, as white and mottled can be,
When I lose my last nail or the last of my hair falls..
When I try so hard to speak. Yet, I cannot speak..
When I want to cry, but simply cannot.

I ask myself... What is the point in carrying on?

War. Duty. Redemption.
The answer is simple.
We Forsaken must prove we do not all stand with Sylvanas.
War has come once again and I sit here in this tent, clad in my plate, waiting.
Waiting to go up into the sky, for the Shadowlands await us.

Until then though, I sit and I wait.
I watch and listen as those alive around me eat, drink, talk, laugh, share stories.

For me it is myself and the mirror. The mirror that reminds me.
This is my encounter with the dead. Me.
And..

I try to look away but how can I.. how can I..

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Anomen
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#5 Post by Anomen » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:22 pm

When someone or something passes away, they leave behind many things.
A father could leave behind the obligations of the man of the house, a king might leave behind their kingdom in a state of decay or a person might leave behind their trusted animal companion.
These are not even a few of the many things we leave behind when we pass.
Yet the act of leaving things behind is not restricted to someone dying.
It can happen because someone chooses to walk out or... because they have been dragged away.

--------

"Why... where am I?"

The man wrapped his arm around his stomach as he slowly pulled himself up, looking around the area to be offered a strange and harrowing sight.

A twisted castle looming while surrounded by a misty forest in the distance, darkness spreading all over as well.

"Is this.. some kind of twisted amalgamation of Gilneas?"

Wincing when he tries to take a step forward, he collapses to a knee while his breathing turns heavy, almost desperate.

Throughout his entire body, he feels stabs of pain that begin at his scars and then spread outwards.

Soon enough, some kind of entity moves closer to the man, wrapping... something around him as it places itself next to him.

Frozen in either pain or fear, maybe even both, he could do nothing to resist it as it began to softly whisper to him.

"Hush, my child. This is not where you belong nor where you came from... and I hope this is not where you shall end up."

Slowly, the miasma surrounding him began to clear up and he could swear that a humanoid shape was holding him in an embrace.

"I know not how long it has been since I last saw you nor do I wish to find out... but I wish for you to know that if you found out the truth... that I am sorry. In the end, I do not wish for forgiveness... but I wish for you to know that I did all I could."

He didn't know why but tears began to flow from his eyes, the warmth around him being one that he had been longing for for as long as he could remember.

"The decision I made that day is one I do not regret. I wasn't able to protect you for so long, my dear boy... In the end, I gave my life so that you could have yours. It was an end that I did not deserve. Yet in my eyes, it was the first time I actually did the right thing. The first time I was ever... your mother."

Everything was telling him to yell at her, to lash out at her, to get revenge for all the suffering he had to endure... yet he couldn't. All he could do was cling to her, desperate for the warmth and odd comfort coming from her.

"There is no need to speak, dear... the pain going through you from being in this place must be unbearable. Oh, how often I wished for this moment to come... Look at how you have grown up. Yet these scars... I am so sorry, my child."

The only thing that came from him between the sobs was a desperate cry of pain, his body slowly collapsing more and more as the strength to hold on was fading more and more.

"The only thing I ever wanted since I first saw you smile was to allow you to one day... be able to keep it despite all the hardships of life. Having to split you apart from your brother was the hardest decision I have ever had to make and I still wish that there was a way for me to right what I did wrong... to allow you two to have grown up together with no worries nor pain."

Slowly, his vision was fading as he tried to speak. Yet nothing came besides silence. However, with the last of his strength, he looked up to see the face of his mother smiling with tears flowing from her eyes. Green met green as she looked in to his eyes and moved a hand through his hair.

"Promise me you will live your life to the fullest, alright? No matter how many Illina's you have to face... always look towards what makes you smile. And... if you ever return to me... please allow me to at least hear about the girl."

And with that, the man was no longer in that land.
This message was sponsored and double-checked by Pagmir's Court of Critters. If you need to get something done right, contact someone else. But if you want it done horribly yet hilarious, Pagmir's Court of Critters is perfect for you!

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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#6 Post by Aldus » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:47 am

All Aldus remembered was that he was fighting the Forsaken in Gilneas before everything went dark. All he knew for sure was that now, he would work with the House of the Chosen to defend the Shadowlands from whatever threat there might be.

So far, Aldus had used most of his time to train to be a better fighter. Sure, he had talked to a few people, but even those times, it was either about the training or the Shadowlands itself with other newcomers. To him, this place was still a bit of a mystery. In life, he had never really been a follower of anything, and certainly didn’t expect to wake up here one day. But that was what had happened.

Thinking back on his time there, Aldus had come to miss just a few things from Azeroth. That was his family and what few friends he had. He knew his parents had died when he was still young, in Gilneas, but didn’t know where in Shadowlands they would have gone. Didn’t know if it was even possible to meet them. On the other hand, he felt that Anomen, his closest friend, had survived the Cataclysm.

“They’re moving” someone claimed from next to Aldus, startling him from his thoughts. Right. They were monitoring a Legion camp in the underbrush of an unknown world. A world the Legion hadn’t ruined too much. Yet. They were supposed to destroy the camp before the demons could establish a foothold and see if they could find out about the Legion’s plans elsewhere.

On the other side of the camp, Aldus saw another group start their ambush on it. When they did, Aldus’ group got the signal to move out to crush the demons with brute force and numbers. There weren’t many of them; a few dozen demons, at most, and a lot more Necrolords. It would be a quick fight.

-----

Before even an hour had passed, the demons lay dead and the Necrolords were looking for any plans they might have had. Aldus, however, was leaning against a tree, looking into the forest. Another thing he missed; nature. Maldraxxus didn’t have much of that. In fact, Aldus couldn’t remember if he’d even seen a single tree there.


Once again, his commander’s voice interrupted his wallowing in the past: “Found anything?” As a matter of fact, Aldus had not found anything, and said as much. “Well, we’re leaving soon. No reason to linger here with the Legion most likely mounting a swift counterattack. Good job earlier, by the way.”

With that, the commander turned and walked off, leaving Aldus watching after him. Taking one last look at the forest, wishing he could have stayed longer and sighing, Aldus followed the commander to the rest of the group and the chatter and bragging about the fight that came with it.

They scoured the camp and destroyed anything the Legion could have scavenged and used as a weapon, but found no sign of any other plans. With that, it was time for them to head back to Maldraxxus from a victorious, bloodshed-filled day. A day during which they gave time for the denizens of this world to defend themselves.

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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#7 Post by Nomine » Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:37 pm

Thank you for the entries so far (working on my own too)
I have added a number in order of entry, then at the end we will just do /roll 1-X (number of entrants).
One prize per. person :)
max one number per. contestant :) - We love reading/seeing/hearing your entries of course

Rey
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#8 Post by Rey » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:52 am

Hey guys. I decided to be inspired in painting. It is a bit difficult to photograph paintings so do not judge too harshly from my bad mobile photo quality.
I painted two paintings but I know I can only have one entry. I just wanted to share both with you

Painting 1: “Ghostkiss”
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15di89Z ... sp=sharing


Painting 2: “One last drink”
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10JYQ_F ... sp=sharing

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Philias
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#9 Post by Philias » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:18 am

Enjoy reading! I tried to keep my entry brief.
I swear...


Every year, at least once.
And always at the day of the dead, he's coming.
Without a fail, for the past seventeen years.
Caroline hovers anxiously around the grave atop a mountain in Grizzly Hills. The clawmark marred headstone tucked neatly below a large pine tree, sheltering it from the weather.
Her ghostly eyes survey the area.
Lush moss, green grass, the closed up, half-filled bottle of Gilnean Brandy…
Always Vrandy.
His favourite that he had liked to share.
Still does, apparently. At least with her.

Last year he had come alone before the winter's hit.
Spend a few days. Smoked herbs and talked to her.
And again, she could not answer. She never can. Her vocal cords cut by the knife of the man that comes to visit.

As soon as she spies movement, Caroline rearranges the bloody kerchief around her neck to shield the ugly wound. A deep cut right across her throat.
The cut that had her die.

Two Worgen claw their way up the mountainside.
One, white as snow. The familiar face, albeit a bit older, more fuzzy. He'd let himself go again…
The other Worgen she does not know. He looks young. Younger. Curly fur. A smile on his face as they sit down before the grave. And she listens.

The deep rumbly voice of Philias the only thing she hears, other than the constant sounds of nature.

Caroline hovers back over to her headstone, sits down on it in a polite fashion and witnesses the exchange of a pipe between the men.
They chatter.
Philias instructs the younger man on how to smoke the herbs, how to hold the smoke in his lungs for a moment so they take full effect, then does so himself.

It takes two rounds of the pipe being passed along for the young Worgens eyes to open wide in surprise as he sees her.
Granted, it's not the best sight.

Her, in her white gown, drenched with blood, the long copper hair that cascades like an unruly waterfall down her back and shoulders. And the grizzly cut along her throat.
She expects the young one to run. To say something hurtful.
She can hear them after all. But instead, he only sits a bit stiffer in his spot, pulls a small bouquet of flowers out of a satchel and places it next to the headstone.

A stranger bringing her gifts.

Philias smiles up at Caroline. Calls her name and extends his clawed left hand towards the ghost, palm up, fingers leisurely curled in an inviting offer to take his hand.
The ghost does.
She all but glides down the headstone and stands in front of him, hands barely touching, but hovering over one another.

Something is different this year.
Philias smiles at her this time around.
Tells her how sorry he is that he's made it only once this year.
But then there is mention of children. Of a young girl and a baby boy. Dogs. Two. Corgis. A new house. One bought and left. One build and moved into.
The story of him and the younger Worgen meeting and falling in love.

Caroline opens her ghostly lips to speak, to answer all his talk with questions. But no sound comes out. It never does. No matter how hard she tries. Even when she holds her hand to her cut throat.
Not even a wheeze.

At the mention of a union and mating, she can't help herself but cry. Tears run down her cheeks and she smiles back at them.
Happy, for the living to move on, to enjoy life and experience things anew. And sad. Because no matter what, she can't experience these things again.

They talk for hours.
The white Worgen tells his younger partner stories about Caroline and himself. How he was pining for her for years. Running after her like a lovestruck puppy. And she had always rebuffed him.
How she taught him about the importance of raising children and tend to them. Of love given and joy caused. Of sharing and giving if someone had less. Stories of helping and asking for help. Especially in times of need.
Yet he does not talk of the way she died.
Or about his act of mercy towards her in her last moment of life.

Philias uncorks the bottle of brandy by the headstone, pours a glass and places it atop her grave.
A sign the talks are done. The visit nearing the end.

The young Worgen rises to his feet, as does Philias. Though he does accept a helping hand from his partner.

Caroline cries at the sight. So many years…
He's gotten older. Clearly. And yet he was returning.
Each year anew.
Always to see her.
Always to visit.
Despite her death, she has yet to be forgotten, as does he yet have to fail in his loyalty towards her.

When he turns to leave and takes the younger Worgens hand, she floats closer.
Hugs the white Worgen from behind.
Oh if she only knew of his loyalty seventeen harsh winters ago…

He walks away. Steps out of the hug without knowing she ever did so.
She's not corporeal. Does not hold any weight to her touches. So she drops.
Floats back to her headstone, knocks the glass of Brandy over in her anger and tilts her head back in a silent scream of rage and frustration.

A chance forfeit and a leap taken.

Now she's alone again.
Left to watch the Brandy seep into the mossy ground.
Left to wait for another year until his next visit.
And maybe then, she will be able to talk by some chance.

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Anadelonbrin
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Re: Contest: Encounter with the dead

#10 Post by Anadelonbrin » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:36 am

It begins with darkness.

It always begins with darkness.

A vast nothing.

Then, somewhere in all the nothing, there is something.

A pulse.

The heartbeat of existence.

It draws me in.

I float in the darkness, but I am not alone.

Two hearts beating.

One is fast.

The other impossibly slow.

We are one.


Projectiles whistle through the air and the ground trembles on impact as the large rocks tear wounds into the ground, spraying dirt and grass all over. A horse neighs in agony as the next rock lands on its flank, breaking the back. Orders are barked. The thuds of plated boots hitting the ground, the clang of sword meeting sword, the sickly crunch of a mace against a skull – together they set the rhythm. Roars of rage mingle with cries of agony in the horrifying cacophony that is the music of a battlefield.

In one of the trenches, two healers are working desperately to save one of their fallen comrades. One of them struggles with a tourniquet to stop the bleeding while the other is chanting ancient words, drawing upon the energies of nature itself to mend the broken body before them in the mud.

There is a thick, sticky scent of blood and dirt, so heavy you can taste the iron.

“Stay with us!” growls the one with the tourniquet, as if the order could be followed. The voice of the chanter is raspy, strained and cracking. They have been at this for too long, but there is no rest in sight. If this one lives or dies, there will soon be another to heal. If they all die, this will all have been for nothing.

Nothing exists but two beating hearts.

Mine.

Yours.

One of them is fading.

Like a fire when there is nothing more to burn.

One of us is slipping away.

Is this all there is?

Is this all there was?

Is this all that will ever be?

Is it enough?


“Status report!” The officer may be superior, but it is hard to keep your dignity when you are crawling on all four in the mud at the bottom of a trench. The chanter looks up for a moment. The chant continues, but as the eyes of the officer and the healer meet, it is clear that they are clinging to their last straw, and the straw is on fire.
“It’s not looking good, sir,” the other healer replies, redundantly. That much is already clear from the amount of blood that’s on the wrong side of the fallen. The body appears to be leaking profusely, and it is more than just the blood that ought to be on the inside but is now on the outside.
“Well… Heal harder!” barks the officer with a frustrated grunt as he shuffles around to crawl back from whence he came. The one with the tourniquet takes a moment to give the officer’s back a rude gesture. It’s the little things in life that made it endurable.

Briefly, the two hearts beat in sync.

It should be faster.

Why is it so slow?

I try to call out, but there is no sound.

You are so close, and yet so far away.

It is only here, in the space between life and death, that I can hear you.

If I die, will you be there?

If you are there, will I even know your face?

Our eyes never had a chance to meet.

If I die now, will I ever find you?

Are you lost forever?

Is holding on to life the same as letting you go?

Again, our hearts are in sync.

They have both stopped.

Only darkness remains.

“She’s not breathing anymore!” The healer with the tourniquet looks at the mirror they are holding up in front of the mouth of the fallen. There is no mist on it this time. The chanter lets out a hacking cough and slumps down in the mud.
“One more shot before we call it?” The chanter nods in reply, exhausted. The other healer turns to their backpack and takes out a set of goblin jumper cables. “Clear!” The chanter leans away as the body of the fallen is zapped with a strong current. The lovely aroma of burnt fur mixes in with the rest of the reek.

My body convulses as my consciousness is drawn back into it. I gasp for air and inhale a mouthful of mud, causing me to cough and retch violently.

Someone helps me straighten up.

I catch a glimpse of my mangled body.

And then the pain sets in.

I am alive.

Again.

You are not.

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