Like Mother

Written for the game Fire Starter, Writing Prompt #13


The bite in his tongue was deep and bloody, vile viscous red spilling across his upper lip and pooling in the folds of his dropping neck. I gritted my teeth and pushed on, knowing it was the best thing for him. He was barely conscious now, drifting between the now and the dreamworld that our minds send us when reality is too torturous to face. His face was barely visible below the thick fluid now, and I took a second to wipe enough away that he might once more be able to breathe, before restarting on my labours.

My dear, precious boy. It was all my fault. Not directly of course, but this is what happened when you didn’t teach your children the proper times to leave and enter dwell.

The sun was really sinking now, as if stray shrapnel from the above had punctured it, letting out its precious life-gas. The lack of light was making it difficult to continue my work on his leg. But continue I must.

We had been there for hours by this point, and he had passed out from the pain a good half an hour prior. The self-inflicted tongue wound would heal, but he may never recover full speech again. A small price to pay for continued existence.

Another crash and flash lit up the cave for a brief moment, and my work was laid bare for the world to see, had the world been crammed into my tiny cavelet.

A leg so battered, so torn and bruised that not even the vultures would have sniffed at it had it been out in the open. This was my job. Save my son.

Everybody knew not to go outside. Everybody knew about the bite-holes that have littered the ground since the above-war started. Everybody knew, everyone except those that had never been taught.

Had another crash lit up the cave at that moment it would have perfectly illuminated a single tear that fell from my face as crudely and unwanted as a drunk making their unwieldy journey from the drink-house to their dwell. It would have lit up the dirty floor, as the tear rolled across it, before incorporating into the ground.

But there was no crash, and so as far as the world was concerned, as far as that boy, my son, was concerned, as far as I was concerned, no tear fell.

You know what they say, like mother, like son.