Sunlight cut through dense forest, bathing a sleeping Apollyon in its warm light. A bird’s song broke through the silence of the area shortly followed by a boys groan.
Apollyon was a youth of between 5-7, tall (for his age), gaunt, with fine blue eyes and ebony-black hair. His demeanour marked him as a calm man, yet one that was soon becoming accustomed to dealing with the pain of loss.
Rocking up to a sitting position on the tree branch, his vision took in a wall of trees. Having travelled for what seemed like days, his thoughts started to wander towards the animals in the area. He had read of savages who would hunt animals for food. Hunger welling up inside him. The primal instinct of hunger was overwhelming and displacing any cultural norms that stood in its way.
Leaping down from the tree branch the bruised kid stretched his back, and turned to the stream scratching his head.
The forest was the epitome of any old-wife’s tale; ancient, gigantic and mysterious. It was no surprise it was gossiped about, and sometimes sneakily stepped into, by Apollyon’s various friends. And in all honesty, thought Apollyon as he pulled himself over a broken log, there was due reason to wonder about a place like this. The rhythmic sound of wood on wood had reverberated through the forest late last night, followed by the smell of something akin to burnt meat. His stomach growled out at him in response to this last thought.
Jumping from the log to the nearby creek bed he sliced through the mud and into the rapids.
Instantly his body went into action, and he swam against the flow and he lifted himself out of the creek, soaked, and sat down despondently with his fist supporting his cheek.
He threw a stone across the water, trying to make it skip, and having it fail miserably to do so
Putting his head in his hands he muttered to himself “No one person has ever been this unlucky”.
Looking at the Sigel behind his right thumb, the house of Scaurius’s emblem, he wondered if perhaps he was destined to die here, with the rest of his family. Looking back at the stream made him think of his friends, Jeremy and Skipio, who were now most likely among the many civilians massacred in their sleep. Once he had played with the two boys in a creek much like this. Getting up and walking back along the path he cringed a little as he considered that they had not known why they died, or for whom.
He felt oddly troubled by this thought but brushed it away for now. “We are the sum of our past” Julia would have said, “But you are not without the possibility to change your future. Not if you have choice.”
Above him the sun became covered by the moon and shone down on him instead, clear in the night sky.
He walked on.