Memento mori. or You are mortal by Karl Cross

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You are mortal
Remember your death
Honour your life.

Am I home?
(My eyes widen and I lick my cracked lips. The skin of them is hard, calloused and ruptured like volcanic soil, it peels off onto my tongue but I do not notice. The land is pleasant and green, Prettaniké. A fire bursts into life and it burns with intensity that it shakes the foundation of me. I have not felt stirrings of such fire since boyhood. My lost home, can you be? Can you really be still?)
Am I home?
(My heart echoes the question; the hope inside me sustains it. I can scarcely believe it, this cannot be, this simply cannot be!)
And no.
(The hope that was so great dies like a flame caught in the wind, whisked away as so it never was)

I know I am not home, I have known that in my heart and I have known that I will never reach home. This land it not pleasant and green. It is not my prettenike, merely another hallucination. The dusty, worn out and worn down waste land before bears no passing resemblance to the home I remember. No matter what may have been there once (and it may well have been a great city or something as small as a rural hamlet)it is now a dead thing, were it a man he would be on his chest, flat on the ground and his face too the side, heaving weak and wet breaths full of nothing but sand and heat.

The trees were gone. The animals were gone. The people were gone. Even the decay that ate them was gone. I have stalked the darkness of this rotten world for years and fled as it stalks me back and still I am no closer to home. In my ears the sound of the bells are still tolling. Those two large silver bells made by those who have past into obscurity, made invisible and forgettable by history. My family prayed in that church, their cries to god proved to be more in vain than the shots I fired at the legions in the war. Those men who were more like ghosts. Phantoms of a bygone era trying to impose their archaic decadence on our world, the new world. It frightens me though, not their appearance (Though horrifying it was) nor the violence they revelled in but their motives. I killed many of them hundreds perhaps and not all of them men and I thought myself right, I wonder sometimes if they too did not think the same. I sometimes wonder if perhaps when they burnt our villages and killed our families if they thought they were doing the right thing. The more I consider the matter the more my heart hardens; I carry the weight of the war as it's survivor. I do not accept guilt for the deaths; it is forced upon me by something within me. The same thing that has me struggle onward clinging to something I can't conceive but knowing I must, and just that, that knowledge is enough. For now. To think of the legions reminds me of the last battle, the last scrum for victory and of it's failure. I remember that battle too well and with too much bitterness. A battle which claimed my kinsmen. My kinsmen- a distant phrase for those that were my brothers and friends.

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