When Teveres hit the ground outside his father’s plantation, he stayed there. Like a slave, like a beaten child, like a rodent he dug his hands and knees into the ground, letting the dirt agitate the skin beneath his fingernails. Spittle dropped from his lips to the moistened soil; he could feel his tongue sending a river of blood down his throat that choked him.
The men and women of the city – his city – cackled around him. They were more like animals than people, circling him in his weakest time. He grew up in their presence, helped them educate their children and tend their fields, yet they lacked the basic decency to treat him like a fellow human being. They disgusted him.
In his fury, he caught only fragments of words. “Whore, just like his mother,” “Slimy son of a bitch,” “Dirty,” “Arrogant,” “Blight-touched,” the words just kept dribbling from their unbridled mouths.
Hair dripping from the rain, he began to shiver. “I’m asking you to stop,” his voice was low-pitched and eerily controlled. The undercurrent of rage was lost on the mob.
“And what will you do, my lord?” the farmer called, “your lands have been taken. Your house is in ruins. You are nothing.”
They think it was me. How could they think this was me?
A woman hit him in the head with a farming implement. His ears rang and his vision blurred, drowning out everything but his sense of touch. Someone spat on him.
“Don’t make me do this,” he hissed.
When one of the men kicked him, Teveres didn’t move. He didn’t have to. He breathed in, out, calmed his heartbeat and closed his eyes. When he finally looked up to the chalk-colored skies, the ringing in his ears was gone and everything was still. The townspeople all lay quietly, peacefully deceased. A smile made a hesitant tug at Teveres’s lips.
In other news, I am now 108,000 words deep in Forsaken Lands 2… and it’s still not done. Maybe this month, my friends. Maybe this month.