I initially wrote this post to enter @GMuxx‘s Art Prompt writing contest. In doing so it also helped to solidify some lessons taken away from the MSP Fiction Workshop.
I hope you enjoy.
The story is based on imagery I saw in the painting by @yusaymon
“Isaac, Isaac, stay with me! Isaac!”
“Still…still here, unable to continue…”
“I’m sorry Isaac, I didn’t see anything, there was no warning.”
Isaac’s eyes fluttered, his body shook, fluids running from his mouth and ears. Isaac turned his head slowly, pointing to the luscious green hills behind them. The green curtain concealed death like a camouflaged coiled viper.
“You, you should take…” Isaac’s body shook again, “take cover.”
Gordon looked over his shoulder, then back to Isaac. He shifted a bit. Isaac’s body was dead weight, fluids oozing all over him. The stickiness along with the smell made him want to vomit.
He definitely worried about sniper fire. He did not want to move. His closest friend lay on his lap. He could not move. His lover was dying.
“I’m not going anywhere, Isaac. I’m here.”
Isaac’s helmet was a mess. It was almost split completely in half. Gordon slowly removed it. Dropped the gore-strewn pieces. He heard noises, muffled and distant.
The squad was yelling at him to take cover. More sniper fire. Oblivious. There was a huge hole in Isaac’s head. Isaac shook again. Time slowed, they were in their own space.
“Gordon, G-G-ordon,” Isaac stuttered, fluid bubbling out of his mouth.
“Yes, Isaac. I’m here. Isaac don’t die, please don’t die.”
With shaking hands Gordon gently brushed Isaac’s hair back, out of his eyes.
“I called in our coordinates. No response,” Isaac’s words gurgled up through his mouth, “rep…rep…co…s,” bubbles forming instead of sounds, indistinguishable from the burble of a brook. Isaac coughed up more fluid.
“That’s great, Isaac, that’s great.”
“Unable to continue.” Isaac reiterated.
Gordon looked into Isaac’s eyes. He longed to hold him one more time but not here, not like this. Back at home where they could be free. They spent time together, laughing and joking. Isaac’s sense of humor. Gordon’s reluctance to completely commit. Tears rolled down his cheek. He wanted more time with him. Time to show him how much he cared, that he was committed. This was not supposed to be how it ended. Two weeks back to Earth and they were done. That was it. No more tours–they were as ‘short’ as you could be, without being ‘gone’.
Gods be damned!
“GODS BE DAMNED!”
His compatriots cowered behind trees and rocks while Isaac lay in his lap, dying. He looked over to them through blurry, tear soaked eyes. Shapes slowly moving, gesturing to him. He perceived the slow movements like saplings blowing in a gentle breeze. More diffused sounds like yelling in a pool.
Isaac’s eyes fluttered, then flashed open. He grabbed Gordon’s arms. Isaac’s grip was strong; Gordon felt it through his armor, compressing, cutting off the blood flow.
Breath spittled from Isaac’s mouth as he formed the words and pushed them out, “Gordon…do not… do not be afraid… I…”
Isaac’s grip relaxed, his head slumped, eyes wide open. He was gone.
“No… no,” Gordon mumbled and shook Isaac, “no, come on Isaac, wake up, WAKE UP!”
The distant forest erupted into a wall of fire, the shock wave and heat hit Gordon in the back. Still staring at Isaac. The ordinance could have been dropped right on him. He didn’t care.
Gordon detected more yelling and movement closer to him. A whack on his helmet got his attention. He turned towards it.
Sarge towered above him, “Gordon! Get your shit together, we’re oscar mike. Leave the fucking synth toaster for the techs, we need the parts. Now, let’s move!”