Book of Days: April 6, To Save the World

There are stories that say when you die you go to a realm of existence beyond this one, and Lynell hopes that’s true. He’s never been fond of this realm in particular, but all the stories promise a better place, and he’ll take that if he has no choice. Of course, the stories are likely bullshit. They’re probably fairy stories made up by those who want to calm the fears of the dying, and he knows that, but he’s as glad as anyone for the comforting lie.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. There are probably plenty of people who think the same in their last moments, from heroes to villains and all the peons like himself in between, but he can’t think of a less cliched thought. They were supposed to succeed, and he still believes Catrina will pull it off, but all of them thought she’d come out of it with her friends in tow and he feels he’s let her down by dying.

He’s not gone yet, and Siu would lecture him for having given up already, but he’s pretty sure parts of him are on the outside that are supposed to remain on the inside, and no matter how good a medic Siu is, some things just can’t be patched up. So he’s lying here, trying to cram those parts back in where they belong while knowing it’s a losing battle, and accepting this is his end as much as he’d rather not.

They say your life flashes before your eyes, or all the moments with the ones you love in the sappier stories, but he’s got none of that even though he’s got memories he’d happily relive right now. Instead, he thinks about nights around the fire on the long and dangerous mission. He thinks about settling into their small band and finding a place he fit, though everyone including himself were surprised to find it so. He thinks about feeling hope for the first time in more than a decade, and he’s glad to at least have had that before his curtain call.

There were times he thought he’d never be happy again, when he thought all was lost and the world was doomed, and that’s no way to live, not for anyone. It’s basic survival, both on the surface and in the soul, and it carves away at you from the inside out. The mind is kind, at least, and does its best not to let you feel it, not to let you acknowledge it, but it makes its way through those defenses never-the-less, and eventually that despair wins if something better doesn’t come along to replace it first.

But Catrina and her merry band had come along with their grand and delusional plans to save the world, and despite himself he got caught up in it all. A part of him knew, right from the start, it was a doomed endeavour, at least for some of them and likely for him, but even now he can’t regret it. He’s never thought there was anything worth dying for before, and as he watches the temple begin to crumble in the distance, he’s glad to have been wrong.

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by | Apr 6, 2021