Killzone Excerpt: The Island (Day 56)

by Shan Shaikh

The breeze. The soft, gentle breeze brushed against his skin. He could hear the whistle in the air. He opened his eyes, and only saw green bushes. These bushes looked unfamiliar to him. He thought he had explored every bit of this island. He rose up from the ground, already feeling the headache left from the fall. The bushes had specks of purple. They were berries. He reached out to grab a handful of them, and then placed them into his pocket. He tasted blood. It was coming from his nose and lip. He grabbed a piece of his shirt and tried to wipe the blood from his face, but it wouldn't come off. It was dried up blood, and it needed to be moistened before it could be wiped off. So, he headed for the river nearby. While walking to the river, his mind seemed to be processing things gentler. He no longer seemed to be worrying about anything other than getting to the river. It was different to him, but he didn't think about it. When he got to the river, he reached over and extended his arm into the water, but he stopped suddenly. He saw his reflection in the water. He didn't move an inch. He just stared into the running water. He was unsure what he felt at that moment, if he felt anything at all. It was just quiet. In the midst of this silence, he opened his mouth. "What are you doing here?" There was a silence that filled the entire island. "Why are you here? What do you need!?" The anger was as clear on his face as the blood was on his shirt. "Get out of here! Now! Get back on track alright!? You have a job to do. Do your job! I'm not gonna be babysitting you. No one is ever gonna baby sit you! You grow up by yourself, you live by yourself!" The tears made ripples in the water. "My mom...my mother told me-" He tried to finish, but it was as if his throat was clogged with all the feelings that were trapped inside his aching body. He fell to his knees, weeping. "My mother...I miss my mother. I don't want to fight anymore!" His shouts sent the birds from the trees flying in terror. His shouts shook the rocks from the cliffs. His shouts pushed the waves back from the shore. His shouts shook him until he couldn't feel anymore. "No one will help me. I don't know what to do anymore, mother! What do you want me to do!?" He looked into the skies for an answer. "Prophets! I know you can hear me! I quit! You hear me!? I quit! Just end this already!" He sat there for a while. He sucked back in the tears that wouldn't fall to the ground. He washed his face with river water. After he did, he turned around, and walked to his little camp. Not saying anything anymore. His mind wasn't on "her" anymore. His mind wasn't on his mother anymore. His mind wasn't on the Prophets anymore. He was blank. The hero and savior everyone knew, was really a man who was placed in circumstances he never asked for. Was forced to live through emotional trauma no other human could withstand. Was forced to love, and forget. And now, he questions the only goal he had. The only thing that kept him going. War.