Don’t Look Back.

“What have I done to anger you so much? I thought I was doing everything right…”

The screams and cries of the village ran loud through my ears, people running for their lives, looking for loved ones before trying to escape with whatever they could carry. Children called out for their parents and siblings, unaware of the approaching enemy nearby. Dogs barked as they tried to protect their homes, gnawing at anybody who came close to them, but their bites were not enough to keep them alive for long.

“I prayed for days on end, giving up myself in order to please you. I’ve sacrificed much in my life in order to make sure that no harm would come to us, to the village.”

Fire rained down from the skies above, burning through everything in its path, black plumes of smoke nearly blocking out the clear sky and its moon. Ash piles littered the ground no matter where a person stepped. The smell of scorched oak and wood drowned my sense of smell, the harsh aroma forever now burned into my memory.

“But now, it’s clear that I can no longer wait on your guidance, your holiness, your whims. I can no longer trust you.”

I took a deep breath, taking a moment to internalize those very words. For all of my life, I believed that trusting in a higher power would guide me in life, that I would let somebody or something else control my destiny. People once told me that sometimes we are forced to endure a great tragedy in order to strengthen ourselves, to become better people. But if that is true, then whoever is controlling my life is not a thing or person of holiness.

They were of sin, and could not be trusted.

No more waiting for a sign. It’s time I took the reins back of my own life.

Footsteps rushed down the gravel pathway that lead to the front door of my home, the voices of men shouting orders at one another. Angry kicks at the door quickly broke down the front door, the footsteps now invading the house. I couldn’t make out from the sound just how many had broken in, but I knew somebody was heading towards the second floor. I knew I was running out of time before somebody would come into the bedroom and attempt to take my life. And I wasn’t going to let them have it.

I got up onto my feet and looked at the stone statue in front of me. I once felt like this simple thing made of rock helped me reach a connection with the gods or beings who watched down on me. I cherished it, took great care of it.

And now, I don’t care for it.

Heavy kicks reaches the bedroom door, one of the men trying to get inside. There was a small bar against the door, but nothing really sturdy enough to hold back somebody breaking it down; it served more for privacy. The man screamed at the top of his lung for me to come out safely and that he would spare my life. Only an idiot would believe such things.

Readying up to defend myself, I grabbed the statue by its base, and took aim at the door. The next kick quickly broke the bar in half, and the next made the door swing right off from its hinges. Before the man had a chance to even step foot into the room, the statue flew from my hand as I tossed it with as much force as I could muster, striking him in the face. With such a blunt and heavy object hitting him, the man quickly fell to the ground. I approached him and saw the damage: his nose was crushed and leaked blood from both nostrils, his lip gashed and torn, and his left eye quickly swelled black and blue. If he didn’t pass out from the blow to the head, he would surely die in a matter of minutes.

Knowing that I would have to fight my way out the house, I searched his body and found a dagger stashed away in a pouch. I took it and kept it in hand at the ready. Before I went to try and make an escape, I saw the statue lying down, blood splattered along the front. Seeing it desecrated like that didn’t make me feel upset nor ashamed at how I used it. Instead, I felt a strange warmth, almost calming in a sense. Who would have thought that a statue used for prayer would make a nice weapon?

Finished with it, I kicked it aside and left my room, taking the first step in my new life.

“Don’t look back.”


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