The wind screamed through the rocks and whipped at the soldiers fighting below. An angry and treacherous sky boiled above the two figures clinging to the jagged rocks above the sea of swords and shields and men and death and mud and spite. The water that fell from the sky could no longer be called rain; it bit into the flesh of men with a million sharpened teeth.
A young man, strong and brave, felt his strength and courage drain from him and slither away down the rocks, washed away by the rain. Abel glanced down at the carnage below him and resisted the urge to vomit. A red dragon had settled down in the middle of the field and was slicing its way through reinforcements with ease. The beast snarled with anger as a ballista launched its huge arrow deep into its hide. The man watched as it set fire to the ballista. The rain seemed a mockery now, doing nothing to calm the dragon fire.
The few moments Abel spared- gazing out at the war he had caused, cost him dearly. Even as he turned to face his foe, steel bit into his shoulder. His cries were lost in the screams of men, dragons and sky. For a moment he wondered why his foe had not struck a mortal blow, then forced his curiosity aside along with the searing pain. The blow dropped him to his side on the wet rock, now wet with rain and blood.
Abel stared up at the face of the aggressor, covered by a full helm. Abel watched as the dark king removed his helm. A broken face, a tortured and twisted face stared back at the young man. The rain coursed down the thick, dark hair… streaked down the broken face… streamed down the armor and found it’s way down the sword, where it ran down the blade and washed Abel’s blood away.
A shaking fist, heavy with its gauntlet and gripping the helm, slowly calmed and opened. The helm fell the ground with a small clatter, the noise all but swept away. The stern figure, standing above Abel and gripping its sword, seemed very frail in a tiny shattered moment of time. The skies screamed, the dragon roared in the distance, the clatter of many swords upon many shields rang out below them, but as the king opened his mouth to speak all other sound fell away.
“Join me,” he said quietly. “Please,” he added, a word that did not seem to fit the image of a dark tyrant lord.
Abel, lying upon the ground with the sharp rocks biting into his body and the rain battering his face and skin, blinked away the rain from his eyes and felt his heart thud. He felt the pain of his wound and saw the pain in the kings eyes.
“We are as brothers,” the king spoke again. “We have always been as brothers.”
“If I join you…” Abel whispered, but his words were swallowed by the sky. “If I join you,” he repeated, his voice louder, if not stronger. “I am just like you.”
“Ah, what a choice,” the king murmured. “To live like me, or to die like you.”
“I do not have to die,” Abel argued. “I could fight you. I could kill you.”
“I do not doubt you,” the king said, a small and sad smile playing across his scarred lips. “But we would kill each other, would we not? Two men, lived as brothers… and died as what? Died as what?”
“Fools,” Abel said, closing his eyes. “Died as fools,” he muttered to the darkness.
“Then join me,” the king repeated. “So we may live as fools instead.”
Abel gritted his teeth and opened his eyes. He stared at the man he had once called a friend, a brother, and he wondered if he could ever have killed this man. Maybe they truly would have killed each other. Maybe they would have lied dead on the cliff above the soldiers. Maybe they’re corpses would have rotted away, or men would have been left to bare them away from this forsaken land. Maybe two men, once friends, once brothers, would have burned in the fires of hell together. Abel would never know what might have been. He had already made his choice.
“Help me up,” he told the dark king. The king smiled and sheathed his sword. He held a hand out to the young warrior and Abel clasped the hand, groaning as he was helped to his feet. The king pointed to the sky and Abel followed his direction.
“Look,” the king said. “Look at them.”
Abel watched as a cloud of dragons tore through the stormy sky and descended upon the forces that Abel had been fighting with. He watched as claws and teeth and fire slaughtered the men he had fought beside. He wondered grimly at the fate of his soul, even as the dark king beside him grinned and laughed.
“We will rule together,” the king laughed, his voice touched with assurance of victory.
“Together,” Abel murmured. “We are lost,” he whispered, but his words too were lost in the screams.
Prompt for the next: (You can use what's on the front page or this prompt! :] ) Something unseen.