Monday, 16 May 2016

Short story: Flayed ones

Reason had vacated his mind long ago amid the howl of the ordnance away on the blood-slicked hillock.  The screams of dying mortals around him bled through his battle-helm without cease in waves of pain, but he savoured it now when once it was simply ignored.  Half his vision was dull from muzzle bright and half hazed with the blood pounding upon his eyes; so late into the siege he had forgotten about the agony his legs were in.
So late it was.  He had seen the sun set twelve times to his left and that world's distraught parody of day was escaping the sky a thirteenth time with no relief, no end to the horror that had awoken under their feet.  Fated, all had been slain below the mould-riven firmaments and cast out as an infant's ragged corpse from the slit belly of its mother.

The carpet of bodies caught his last empty clip and he cursed to the sky for his lack of foresight.  Would that he had remained with his own squad at the gate, and not try to save those mortals whose open ribcages now splintered underfoot!  At the least he would have ended it all and been worthy of forgiveness!  But that way was cut off now and he was abandoned.
With a scream of defiance, he tore his chain-cleaver from his back and bared his empty bolter at the shimmering mass of blades before him, daring them to scale the last fifty feet of ceramite and cut him down.  Amid them, Three and two, they wore skins of the PDF he had seen marching in a month ago, and he laughed at them; so proud they had been that day, glittering blue and bayonets sharp-- VANITY!  Their faces stretched now, once so pious moaned in hollow apathy now, eyes that shone soulless into his own now, all closing, closing, flayed and glittering, blood and rust, Doom!

But the dawn did not rise upon that awful descent.  That day there was mourning in the darkness and in the rusted depths; five return when five should not have, one departed, led into madness and never to return. 
And the silence bore witness of the silence, the dead mourning the dead in a voice that was never heard and would never still; for he was no longer.


So there we go.  How was it, did you like it?  It was more a paragraph than anything... but it was fun!  I wasn't really sure who I was writing about when I began, and that made it exciting.  Who was this martyr?  The picture wasn't at all accurate for a reason; I want to try and write to inspire you in your own 40K stories.
I've been thinking to write about titans next, so maybe next time I'll have some collegia fluff.
Thanks for reading!


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