Heroes

The bow heaves upon his back but that could mean anything. That had been its home for days upon years. It held him, kept him steady as the world cascaded down around him. His only companion in the dark days that extinguished the brightest light. It kept him safe, warm, as if it had a heartbeat that drummed in perfect tone with his. Friend, lover, keeper, protector... His life was held in its draw string; his hand prints skimmed the wood and the its drum so calm beat along his ignited fingertips.

He swooned, but only for a second, until he heard the final exploding crack.

His eyes brimmed with tears as his lovers remains fell upon him in shattered crumbs. His body contracts into a ball. If only his life hadn't been carried upon the wood of the bow, if only he had moved quicker, in only his friend had been spared..

Then he...

Then he would..

A moan breaks the steady patter of the rain with its dread filled note. It is only then is he aware that he is weeping.

The other man laughs.

The hero squeezes his eyes.

"As I walk through the valley of the shadow of darkness I will fear no evil, for thou are with me. My ro-"

A signal breath of flame[1] enters his brain. He falls, his face crumpling next to his friend, the bow.

Alien tears align his cold skin long after the laughing man has gone. Her hands shake him, beckoning him to awake, to live. But the deed in done.

And, at last, a cry pleads with the darkness, that the man with his bow is not gone. Only a name.

"HARPER!"