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The Quiet Moments [Glen]

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1 The Quiet Moments [Glen] on Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:15 am

[tw: violence, stabbing, murder]

The quiet moments are the hardest.

After his resurrection and meeting with Vice-Captain Imokina, Glen’s life is simple and straightforward. He gets up, has a modest breakfast of nuts and herbal tea, and goes to help prepare for morning maneuvers. He lays out equipment, he helps set up hydration stations, he inspects, polishes, and tweaks weapons, he treats and cares for armor, he makes arrows. Usually, nobody is out for this part of the day other than the newest of new recruits, being drilled into fitness and fighting sharpness by hardened instructors. Imokina occasionally joins him, but she can see some of the sadness and loneliness in his eyes and knows that he enjoys these moments of feeling useful without interruption, so she leaves him be.

When maneuvers start, he is alive, keenly feeling the blood pumping through his muscles and the air burning in his lungs as he perspires. Not a champion of strength, he is still nimble and deft, making each movement sharp and precise. He dresses in the plain clothes and simple armor of everyone else in the division, not wearing his more durable traveling clothes and studded armor. He is not special; he doesn’t want to be special. He doesn’t want to be different. He’s not a son of murdered parents, a member of a tribe where he doesn’t fit, a member of a family that has moved on, a contractor, an elf, a ranger. He is a soldier. He moves in unison with the others, breaking ranks only to extend a hand if those around him fall from lack of balance or exhaustion. These moments, his mind is at ease, focused on the task at hand.

He does not, however, go back to barracks to his bed with them. He does not want them to see him at night, meditating instead of sleeping and awakening with fierce, hot tears in his eyes.

He staves off meditating as late as he can, applying treatments to his armor, inspecting the string on his bow, testing the edges of his blades, checking for any flaws that need mending in his gear or in his modest, single-room rented house. Finally, when he gets to the brink of exhaustion, Glen finally crosses the day off his calendar, where he has marked the Seventh of Eleint, and he sets down to meditate.

His death was so recent and his new life is so mundane that he does not have many new memories to recount, so his mind goes back to the days, the hours, the moments leading up to his murder.

The warm spring sun is on his face. He remembers traveling with his cloak rolled up in his bag.

He sees the faces of departed comrades-in-arms. He sees their smiles, hears their laughs, remembers their names. He remembers the banter they had together, the kinship forged over many missions and the few skirmishes they’d had together. He remembers the smiling eyes and pleasing shapes of some of the men and women in particular. He will never see their smiles, smell the pleasing scents of nature and sweat on them at the end of a long day, feel their generous slaps on the back with laughter, clasp their hands in friendship again. They are gone. He remains.

He sees now what he could not see then. He sees the knowing glances between the protectees. Now, he takes to heart the sounds and outlines of weapons under their traveling garb. He sees, now, that the coldness in their eyes is not because they are calculating politicians, but murderers.

Before he awakens from his trance, he always feels that brief, sharp, terrifying moment of the knife slipping between his ribs. A fiery, stabbing pain that shoots through his entire body before he opens his eyes from meditation, already crying. Crying at the pain, crying for his lost friends, crying at his own failure. Despite Imokina's words, he knows he failed them. He, the most perceptive of them, should have been able to tell this was wrong. He should have warned them. His guilt and shame and sadness flush his face and burn his eyes.

He rises, the dawn breaking. He splashes cold water on his face. The cycle begins again.

The quiet moments are the hardest.
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