Cruel Fate

Cruel Fate

A Story by Aravindhan

The artillery fire was deafening. Bullets whirred past. Caught in the crossfire was Derek, his young 14 year old mind unable to figure out where the assailants hid. He was frightened and anxious to get to safety.

Just as he was finding his way through the thick cover of the overgrown bushes, he heard a sharp crack barely a few feet away behind me. And then a groan, he understood that someone had been hit. Beads of sweat rolled down his eyebrows, clouding his vision. Wiping his brows, he quickened his pace as he raced downhill, hoping to reach Reynolds Creek before the light faded.

He had flashes of his amicable old neighbor urging him to take shelter as she struggled in vain to pull herself out of the rubble of her very own house. His instincts told him that his lanky build wouldn’t be of any help; he had called for help before trying to get to the creek. His mother had died in a similar rebel attack two years ago. Losing his mother tore Derek apart; he became a wallflower. His father had left him and his mother to fend for themselves when he was two.

It was purely the raw instinct to survive that kept his exhausted limbs moving. He had no idea what he would do once he reached Reynolds Creek. But that was the safest place he could think of under the pressing circumstances. Bruised all over, he cut through the non-existent paths and finally reached Reynolds Creek. He huddled into a cave-like rock formation nearby.

As his ragged breathing died down to a steady rhythm, he heard the faint rustling sound just outside. Praying it was someone he knew, he scrupulously edged towards the sound. The man’s back was turned away from him but he recognized him as the town’s barber, Joe. Relieved that it wasn’t one of the assailants, he moved forward with new found confidence and accidentally stepped on a pile of dry leaves that gave out a crisp cracking sound.

Taken aback and caught in the moment, Joe swiftly whirled around and shot Derek at point blank range in his chest, with the pistol he had been loading. Joe’s face contorted in horror as he looked at the face of the falling boy.

© 2015 Aravindhan

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Oh wow, so dark and sad. Gut wrenching, but beautiful prose.

Posted 5 Years Ago


5 Years Ago

Thank you Marie :)

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Added on December 8, 2015
Last Updated on December 8, 2015
Tags: war, twist, crossfire, teen



Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India