“Malory, come on! We need to go!” Malory blinked, looking around herself with a frown. She was in her backyard, surrounded by the forest, as the sun started to set in the distance. She looked down into her hands. A sword was grasped in each one, each hand had a sword within it. She looked up, and saw her brother–Jared, it must be, she could tell by his red sweater–running into the forest. Why was he running? She looked behind her, and only saw the house. “Malory! Malory, come on!” Jared shouted at her once again, and this time, she followed. Her feet and legs carried her as if on autopilot toward her brother as he ran into the forest. Where was Simon? She didn’t see him running with Jared. Maybe he had gone ahead? Or maybe…maybe that’s why they were running. Simon did have a habit of getting himself captured by something. First it was goblins, then a troll, then the same pack of goblins as the first time. God, Simon just couldn’t keep his ass out of trouble, could he?
When Malory looked ahead again, Jared was gone. She slowed to a stop, turning her body in a circle as she looked around the forest. “Jared? Simon?” She called into the silent woods around her. No response. Turning back the direction she had been running before–toward the setting sun–she started running once again, only to skid to a stop as she suddenly entered a clearing. A large circle in the middle of the forest, void of any trees, was instead filled with garbage and animal carcasses. She covered her nose and mouth with the back of her hand as she tried not to gag on the smell. It smelled awful, like rotting flesh and garbage–huh, wonder why?–but that didn’t stop Malory from continuing to walk forward. Her brothers must be here, where else would they be. After a few steps, Malory froze in place. She saw Simon, her younger brother, lying on the ground, a massive, gaping hole in the center of his chest.
“Simon!” Malory dropped her swords and ran to her brother’s side, kneeling before him. Her shaking hands touched the side of his face as she looked into his lifeless eyes, his skin cool beneath her fingertips. “No…no, no, Simon. Simon, wake up. Wake up!” Her vision became fuzzy, her eyes stinging as tears started rolling down her cheeks. She shook Simon’s shoulders, begging her brother’s corpse to come back to life. That was when she heard a familiar sound–her other brother, Jared, Simon’s twin, screaming. “Jared!” Malory stood and ran towards her other, still living brother, but she only stepped in to a more horrifying scene.
Jared was on the ground, on his back, trying to crawl away from…Malory. Another Malory, still holding her swords, with hate and anger and rage in her eyes, her clothing covered in blood. But then, Malory was standing there–the Malory who had been watching, was standing where the other Malory had been, swords still in her hands. Jared looked up at her, terrified for his life. Malory wanted to drop the swords, but her grip on them wouldn’t loosen. Her feet wouldn’t stop taking steps closer to Jared. “Malory, why are you doing this? Stop, please! Don’t hurt me!”
“It’s not me, Jared! I’m not doing this!” Malory said, but no sound came out of her mouth. After a couple more steps forward, Jared was backed into a pile of trash, with no where to go. Stepping in front of him, she knew what her body was going to do next. She brought her hands together above her head, holding the swords next to each other, before she brought them down with a scream, straight into her brother’s chest. His face contorted in pain for just a moment before his features softened, and his body went still.
Malory sat up quickly in a cold sweat, panting hard. She put her hands on her head, trying to take deep breaths to calm herself down. “It was just a dream, it was just a dream…” She mumbled to herself, holding her eyes closed tightly. It had just been a dream, a dream she had had several times before. Malory was often plagued by nightmares, but they came with the job. Fighting and hunting and killing–they didn’t leave you in a very good mindset when you went to bed. With a sigh, Malory got out of her bed and went to her bathroom. Flipping on the light switch, Malory looked at herself in the mirror. She was only twenty six, but she looked more than ten years older. She could see gray hairs growing out of her scalp, and her face looked tired and heavy, the bags under her eyes had bags under them. Turning on the faucet, she leaned forward and splashed some cold water on her face. From the medicine cabinet behind the mirror, Malory took out a bottle of pills. She dumped a few in her hand and popped them into her mouth, swallowing them with a bit of water. Malory again looked at herself in the mirror, her face now damp and even more sad looking.
“When are you gonna stop killing yourself, huh?” She asked her reflection, of course getting no response. Maybe that was for the best–she had no idea what the answer would be, anyways.