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Free-Writing: Giving back
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brathor_cyr
A note: Below the cut, you'll find a free writing prompt I took from Twitter (@writingprompt). I gave myself ten minutes to write as much as I could, then another five minutes to clean up as much as I could.

(I cheated on this one. I wanted to finish out the scene, so I gave myself about ten extra minutes.)



When the blade slipped between his ribs, Edrin was more surprised at the cold than the pain. He had expected the pain the instant he'd caught the glint of steel-- though this was more intense than anything he'd experienced before-- but the coolness of the metal created an unbearable contrast to the burning pain that abruptly seized his torso. He opened his mouth to let out a pained scream, but even sharper pain ripped through his body in violent, sickening waves. The sharp iron tang of blood hit his nose a few seconds before it hit his tongue.

He didn't register the impact of his knees on the hard stone beneath, nor the screams of his bodyguards as they drew their swords and fell upon the fox. He couldn't have been older than ten. Dressed in rags. One of the lords had probably given him the knife and a few coins. He was as much a victim as Edrin.

He wanted to call out, order them to spare the child, but he could only manage a burbling wheeze before he crumpled to the ground. Distantly, he realized the wetness he was feeling beneath him was his own blood. He didn't want to watch the massacre of the child, so, with a concerted effort, he turned his head. Aret was on his knees beside him, he realized. Tears were seeping into his cheek fur, though they hadn't had time to do much else yet. That was when Edrin realized he was going to die.

His body was already demanding air. It took everything he had to pull in even the smallest of breaths. A tremor rocked through him as if to punish him for fighting what was to come. Death comes to us all, he heard in the chant of the elders as it rushed through his mind. He forced another breath-- this one a bit deeper. He had to say it.

He forced his voice to work. Two sounds escaped, though they came as mere grunts. Tears welled in his own eyes from frustration then another spasm tore through him. Taking his last breath may have been the hardest thing Edrin every did. He knew it would be his last, even as the devastating pain threatened to overtake him. The frigid cold from the blade had spread through his torso. His vision was blurry. He forced himself to focus on Aret.

Annunciate he heard his patrician mentor tell him as he first learned to speak. The old man had died a decade earlier. Still, the word and the accompanying memory spurred something. He forced himself to concentrate, to control his tongue and the muscles in his jaw. "...love...you..." he managed. It was breathy and strained, but the slight perk in Aret's ears let him know he'd been heard. The rest of his breath escaped him in a ragged rasp. Another series of spasms passed through his body, and then the prince moved no more. The last thing he felt was the cold.

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