Creative Original or Derivative (Fanfiction): Original.
Rating/Warning(s): M (death, gore)
Disclaimer: All copyright, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
To die, had said Peter Pan, shall be the greatest adventure of all.
Another Peter in another time, not to mention another planet, had to disagree.
Why the hell he was even thinking of Peter Pan right now, as bombs rained down upon their heads like the leaves of a tree on a windy day in the thickest of autumn, was beyond him.
Maybe it was shock. He’d heard something about that, a whisper from a medic to a pale nurse in the wing of a half-forgotten hospital. In France? Yes, probably.
He hardly remembered France.
Dying, he thought grimly, flinching back as a bomb fell bulls-eye on a rabbit-hole nearby, is no adventure at all.
Though he supposed, perhaps dying while fighting some adult pirate with a ridiculous curving mustache and a hook in his hand while on the topmast cross of a ship’s big mast in an imaginary world, was much more adventurous than being torn to pieces by a well-aimed mortar.
But well, to each its own. Luck is a crazy lady.
A tree exploded to his right. Startled and fearing the rain of broken wood that would some come down upon him, he rolled to his side and covered his head. Someone shouted for the medic, but medics did not vacate their rabbit-holes in the middle of a mortar chaos. What good would it do to anyone if a medic was blown to bloody rags in front of them?
He rolled to his back to try and assess the situation, huffing indignantly when dirt snuck up his right eye, making him blink stupidly.
He released several curse words in French, that happens to be a great language to curse, and rubbed at the lid furiously.
Another bomb fell in close proximity, spraying dirt over him as if already covering up a grave.
Not yet, he thought fiercely.
A white hot, maddening lightening of pain shot up his thigh, burning up his spine with such blinding intensity that his back arched and he choked on saliva. His throat constricted, strangling his scream before it reached his lips, so that he only emitted a clogged, breathless croak. His mind was awash with pain, unable to register anything else but the hot, sickening agony in his thigh.
But only a moment later, the pain subsided enough that he could drag frozen air into his lungs, snow burning his throat. He arched his back again and turned on his side, taking his hands to the injured thigh. He breathed methodically a few times, calming down and arresting possession of himself, before he dared glance down.
A long, serrated splinter of wood protruded from his flesh, about three foot in length and half a foot in diameter. Blood had already spread generously across his clothes, bright red and hot.
The artery, he thought wearily.
Around him the world was a storm of dirt and noise and madness. He remained quiet and still, watching the snow beneath his leg turn red as the stain spread. His heart roared in his ears, behind his eyes and at the pulse point in his throat. With every furious beat, he saw blood spurt forth around the wood.
The sounds of the chaos seemed muted, blanketed beneath the horror of what was happening. He thought of calling a medic, but he couldn’t lie to himself—none would come, just as none had come for the poor wretched soul that had called before.
He counted the seconds together with the beats of his heart, and dragged his eyes lazily up towards the sky. It was a dreary, dull grey stretched endlessly above him. Silver snowflakes drifted gently down, quiet as if unbothered by the horror going on around them.
His heart beat crossly, doggedly keeping steady.
His eyelids were heavy, and he had trouble breathing… but he was calm. It was alright. The battle had ended, it seemed. Quiet befell the forest; the kind of quiet that can only be heard after an attack, or before a great furious storm.
He watched the sky through the black of his long lashes, tranquil.
Cold had spread through his limbs as if running through his veins. He breathed it in and it settled in his muscles, making his limbs heavy, his muscles turning into lead. His thorax seemed incapable of continuing the struggle to rise and fall under the punishing weight of his chest. He felt asphyxiated, but the cold made it better.
He was so tired.
He let his eyes close drowsily, enjoying the moment of impassive calm and silence.
Dying, he thought vaguely, dying is easy.