Raph al Guul
A piercing humming noise combined with a damp silence in his ears made him feel like he could explode any time. He tried to move his head – he didn’t know where he was. He felt heavy, like a load of cobbles dropped onto an uncharted part of a torn map. He managed to look to the right ever so slightly and realized that he was lying face down on the ground. There was a lot of smoke, so he couldn’t see much else, but he knew that he’d have to try and get up. Gaining control over his arms and legs wasn’t easy. He first moved his shoulders and hips, but the result was a rather random, weak motion that didn’t accomplish anything at all. Only after a few tries and what seemed like two hours, he managed to use his arms to turn around and sit up.
He was sitting in a field of destruction; an empty, steep pit. A few burning logs were sticking in the ground right next to him. There was a lot of smoke and fire around where he was sitting, so he still couldn’t see much. He seemed to be able to make out the silhouettes of small buildings and there was a lot of movement that he couldn’t quite categorize. Slowly, he realized that he heard screaming. Sometimes near, sometimes distant, the shrieking voices of women, the faint cries of children, the deep growls of men. With his hearing, his other senses slowly returned.
He looked down on himself. He didn’t seem to be seriously injured. A little bit of blood on his legs and the upper body. His right leg hurt, but he found that he was able to move it. Using both hands to lift himself, Timbobulus stood up. He didn’t feel confident walking just yet, so he crawled out of the pit. When he reached the top, he immediately threw up on the ground. Suddenly feeling very weak, he let himself fall to the side, trying to get himself in a secure position – he had learned that in case you were to fall unconscious, you should be lying on your side. Feeling like he was going to faint soon, he didn’t notice the voice that had been calling him for quite a while now.
“Dude, are you alright? Can you walk?” He felt someone shaking his shoulder. “Can you hear me? Timbo?” Slowly, he opened his eyes. Still there was fire and smoke around him and Romul’s badly shaved face was hanging in the sky. He felt the taste of blood and vomit in his mouth.
“What-“ he didn’t really know what he wanted to ask in his state of confusion.
“Timbo, we have to get going, man! Can you walk?”
“I- I don’t know.”
“Shit man, you are one lucky bastard. You must have been right in the fucking blast! Alright, put your arm here” he grabbed Timbobulus’ arm and pulled it over his shoulder, “and I will try and carry you.”
In the distance, he heard gunfire. He felt weak and heavy. Romul exclaimed: “God-damnit!” when he pulled him up. “Alright, try to move with me here. What the hell have you been eating?”
“Why are we running?” Timbo didn’t know why they were running. He just wanted to find a place to sit, get that numb feeling out of his extremities. Get a clear thought, drink some- He realized that he was thirsty.
“Just stay with me, Timbo, let’s go!”
“Water…” Timbo mumbled the word, didn’t know how to make it sound like a sentence.
“I’ll get you some water. But first, we have to get out of here! Come on!” Romul looked over his shoulder. He was scared of something.
“What is- where is- why-“
“God damnit, Timbo, get your-“ Abruptly, Romul stopped talking as Timbobulus felt a heavy hit to his back. He fell to the ground and so did Romul. Within seconds, several armed men gathered around them. He was too weak to move, could just lie there and look at what was happening in front of him. Romul had already jumped up again, but the armed men pointed their weapons at him. Timbobulus’ vision blurred, he felt nothing but the creeping sickness somewhere at his very core. Red flashes passed his eyes as he saw Romul gesticulating at the men, repeatedly pointing at him.
He could no longer see anything. He couldn’t think straight. His perception turned into a spotty stream of unconsciousness. He heard Romul scream, he heard the men scream, he saw colors flash in the dark. His physical existence seemed to fade. He couldn’t understand what the men were arguing with Romul about. There was anger in their voices. Timbobulus was scared, cold, and alone. The last thing he heard was gunfire and a lot of unintelligible screaming.
Then the world around him faded into darkness. Darker than anything he could ever have imagined. With a sudden jerk, and a split-second of pain, he freed himself from all his surroundings and from his own carnal existence. A strange stream of warmth embraced him and for the first time ever, Timbobulus knew what peace felt like.