Beneath his back, the ground is wet.

A clay that sticks to the remains of his uniform. There is a sickness in that wet soil, littered with shards and glass, a sickness that he cannot stand.
The mud sticks to his hands, it is clayey, matted with the moisture of blood, that raises bile in his throat.

But there is nothing left in his stomach to throw up, there is no energy in him to rise up, and no will to react to the foul smell that hoards his senses.

He had once been scared of small spaces, scared of being left in isolation and forgotten, but now looking with a blurred eye at the barely breathing bodies of his comrades, for a second he wishes that he were alone, isolated and forgotten, left to the shackles of his own solitude.

Perhaps then, this shard that seems to impale his chest, these cold hands that freeze his very bones, they will not exist.

There is a gasp, it echoes in the void. For a moment he stays still, wondering if it was his own.
Every breath through his nose agonies his shattered ribs. He doesn’t want to breathe, he tries, but there is a anguish in his mind that will not leave him in peace.
The gasp resounds again, this time there is a twitch of fingers that accompany it.

“Captain Trevor,” the voice is small, miserable. Nothing like the brave solider that Noah once prided himself as.
He struggles, getting to his knees, crawling, shuffling, forwards until he can see Noah’s face.

It is battered, nose curved to the side, the flesh of his cheek bare, the parts of his skull visible. There is one lone eye, that stares at him in despair. One eye that wet with the heaviness of it’s own tears.

“Th..” he leans forward trying to catch his murmurs, dropping on the fours, groaning at the pain that shoots from his broken bones, “They are not breathing.”
His face is lowered to the ground, his skull soiled with the goo of Noah’s blood and his eyes shut, trying to hold back his sobs.

Shame. Devastation.

He doesn’t know how to describe how he feels.
He should’ve been the first one to go. He should’ve been the one to protect them all, but here isolated in the cave, blocked from the help of the world by the fury of this mother earth, he can do nothing but see his men, injured and battered on the battlefield, starve to their deaths.
He waits a moment, trying to salvage his courage, for this little boy, for this boy that was too young to be in their platoon.

“Save your energy, I said,” his voice is thick, “They’re following those orders.”

He looks up. He is level with Noah’s gaze.
The misery they convey, he is sure his face looks the same.

“I never,” he gurgles again, “wanted to be a hero.”
None of them did. He wants to say. None of them wanted to die, caved in, isolated, miserable like this.

“I bet they’re sitting in their halls, with their warm meals, comfortable abodes, loud words, and we” he draws in another breath. “we are fighting a war that they begun.”
There is a bitter taste in his mouth when he remembers their base, remembers his commanders, his peers and all those old men, who can only talk and chatter, and send them to do their deeds.

“I wish,” Noah starts, his voice is thick, words desperate. The tears brimming in his eyes make contact with the ground, flowing in a row, shimmering in the glare of their torch.
“I wish, I wish to burn down that base, so that these sacrifices, they’re there no more.”

There is a gasp, and then quiet. Noah’s eyes are still open, still and resolute, glaring at the roof, hateful and defeated.
Trevor’s hands grip the mud, it’s sickness coiling his stomach.
Something clogs at his throat, a wetness that lines his gaze.

In the cave, there are only his screams of agony, desperate and regretful that echo across the range.

He comes to his consciousness several weeks later.
There is a curtain, pure white, that flutters at the window. The walls are creamy, unblemished.
It is serene, his surroundings.
For a moment he remembers nothing.
There is peace in his chest, he is numb to any pain, and his eyes flutter close.

The next time he wakes, the nightmares, the remembrance of past has already shattered his peace.
His nights are lined with sobs, his consciousness with mirages.
They’re everywhere, around him, beside him, talking, joking, laughing, with him.
They smile at him, clean and happy from the windowsill, Noah stands beside his bed smirking at their antics.

He looks around in wonder, his chest swelling with warmth, and then he closes his eyes.
The images of that day burn behind his lid. The putrid smell clogs his brain, the slashes, the injuries have marked their scars, and he opens his eyes, only to be trapped in this painful solitude.
He is alone in his room, staring at the roof, willing, hoping, begging the voices to stop, yet they don’t.

It is by accident he comes across the Lord, the great commander that controls their forces.
He had dreamt of this moment a million times, and everytime he wonders how he would impale this man, how he would make him realise the pain his guys suffered.
Then he comes face to face with Lord Rafael. He is smiling, shaking his hand, and pinning the badge of honor to his crisp uniform.

In that moment he realises that he can do nothing, that these men hidden behind the comfy walls of their castles can never know his pain, and when he is ushured out of the hall, with praises and salutes following his every steps he can feel nothing but regret and anger, a red hot and blistering feeling that keeps clawing up his chest.

He stands on the ledge of Lord Rafael’s room, hidden with the dark of the moonless night, with a gun shaking in his palm.
There is a guffaw from inside, the curtains flutter, this is his chance. Yet he stands there frozen, when he hears his laugh,

“Heroes?” there is a snarl from inside, “They only died an honorable death because of my commands, yet once they die, they’re always the heroes. ”
He stiffens at the words, straining to hear more,

“That Commander Jackson, is what you call common fools,” there is a grunt from the room that marks the presence of Trevor’s Commander also. Like a snake that has bitten his heart, his arm goes lax,

“Their lives don’t matter whether they live or die, and once on that battlefield, whether they did something useful or not, the media prints them as national heroes, even when we have to dispatch people to help those fools. Only death can make them a hero. It’s my time, to show them what a hero looks like.”
He should’ve been angered, that’s what he thinks.
He should be enraged, should clock that gun, and shoot that man right in his face.

But then Noah’s gaze filters by his gaze. Those frail bodies of his companions, beaten and battered, isolated in that cave, waiting for their people to send them some help.
“I wish that I would burn this base”
He closes his eyes, and inhales a sharp breath.
He puts his glock in, this was not his day.

He leans back on his chair, gaze sweeping lazily over the letters.
Picking up the pen, he signs his name, closing the letter and pushes it towards his assistant.
He stands, taking a large drag of his cigar.

“Commander Trevor!”
His subordinate steps forward with a salute, and picking up his fur lined coat from the stand, places it around his shoulder.

“The meeting will start in an hour.” the kid’s voice is meek, scared. Shenanigans of a new recruit.
He gives a sharp nod and with another drag moves towards the door,
He moves through the hall, his shoes snapping across the glinting floor.
It is a long way to the meeting.
His car tumbles across the subarban roads.
It takes an hour and he is again there, standing at the place where the floor had caved, where they had fought their enemies, where they had been trapped, and where the Lord had let them be, for they were common fools.

There is a new building there, an extension of their base. The tall structure gleams, it’s glass planes shinning in the diluted rays of the sun.

He takes a step forward, and his eyes drop to the floor.

He stomps, yet it is sturdy.

It was ironic how this very soil couldn’t bear the weight of five men, yet now it stands resolute.
The base is empty today. It is because of the meeting, the gathering of their high profile commanders.
It something that will determine the future of their society. Something which will determine when this war will end.
He has attended many of these. He knows that it will never end, not when these moles leading their armies are the ones soliciting the flames, the ones that keep flaring up the flame.

His steps echo across the concrete.
The hallways are dark, isolated, and he finds the main room easily.
One well placed shot and the gas pipe screeches. He closes the door.
Leaning on the wall he takes another drag of his cigar.
In its smoke he sees them laughing, like they once used to before the ambitions, the Greed of their Lords destroyed the Happy mirage of their life.

Steps echo in the hallway, they are measured, dignified. He has heard them long, he has traced them for a long time.
The Lord was here with his entrouge.

A smirk makes its way onto his lips. His hands twirl the lighter.

“Commander Trevor, ” the person says.
He cracks his eyes open, staring with a bored look at the Lord,

“Lord Rafael.” his words are drawled. Commander Jackson shoots him a warning look.
He straightens, his hand holding the doorknob. The lighter flares in his grip.
They stare at him. A question prevalent in their gaze.

“You wanted to become a hero,” he says, cracking the door open.
Lord Rafael takes a step forward,

“What is-”
He stops at the smile that overtakes Trevor’s face.
There is laugh, sick and breathless that leaves his body.
Then strangely, his eyes are cold, calculating.

A smirk plays on his lips, “Only death can make you a Hero.”

They’re too late to react.

The fire flickers, the gas sizzles.

The last thing he sees is fear, sticking and prevalent, on Lord Rafael’s face.
He closes his eyes, he is sure that this time, this time he will know the fear.

Their pain.

Their agony.

The fire chipping away his flesh hurts him no more.

Clan of Hyuuga

The cold-blooded clan was what they labeled them but what they never realised was that it was the cost of their existence.

The Hyuuga were hailed as the masters of Byakugan. They were born with the untainted brilliance to perceive but what people forgot was that they were also born with the ability to feel.

Humans strive on the instincts to survive and it was their instinct that sealed their fragility beneath voracious stone.
Because from the beginning of life, no material force has let the purity survive. It is the feat of the world to taint the virtue of a man with the turmoil of the times.

In consequence, no hyuuga had lived with the delicacy of the heart and still lived with the orbs that hadn’t been defiled by the malevolence they saw.

Chain of Virtue

A short story told in first person narrative. (It may or may not be based on a teensy instance of my life.)

The sun was setting in the hues of purple, the sky shifting towards the starry dark of the night. The air was filled with the hum of the ‘Azan‘ and our car rolled to a stop at the large doors of the mosque whose bulb flickered menacingly in the dark, swarmed with a horde of mosquitoes dancing around the dim flicker.

Tired after a day of work, my mother sighed as we stepped onto the paved sidewalk seeing the car, that carried my grandfather, roll into the gates and vanish from the sight. Looking at the address written on the paper, of the wife of the Qazi who had once known our family, my mom held my hand. The heat of the July day was melting into the cool of the night and my mother, with a small look about her, at the isolated road took to the dark alley at the back of a magnificent house.

What a contrast was presented on the first view! Behind the patrician mansion, we came to the alley reserved for the plebeians. The trenches on the road were filled to the brim, their murky depths emanating foul stench that made me cling to my mother’s shirt.

The house we stopped at bore an old wooden door, ragged to its end and the walls of the house were cracking blocks of cement. With a moment’s hesitation, a knock resounded in the dark alley. The doors opened to reveal a woman covered in a scarf. The words (that my grandfather was saying his prayers just around the corner and we needed a space ourselves) were barely out of my mother’s mouth before, with a bare hint of surprise, she ushered us into the rooms. What should’ve been a satisfactory abode, was a shabby quarter bearing a tiny room and an even smaller kitchen. All for the family of the ‘Qaari‘ who led every prayer for the many ranks of people behind him. Yet, even in the run-down conditions, the home was furnished with warmth and the joyously flushed faces of the Lady and her small daughter made us relax into our seats.

Without any hesitation, we were allowed to pray and a sweet ‘Sherbet‘ was served whose cool, tangy essence made the heat of the day melt away. The conversation with the lady, who although was shy and demure was also amiable and had an elegance to her mannerisms that not many possessed.
We were taking up our things, about to leave when out of nowhere the question arose, “Are you acquainted with my husband?”.

My mother turned to her with a furrow in her brow, and a question at the tip of her tongue, “You don’t know who we are?”
With the same smile, she shook her head, her gaze falling down to her hands folded on her lap.
“Yet you let us in?” my mother’s words were now filled with an indecipherable hesitancy.
“How could I refuse someone who came to my door asking for assistance?”
Was the answer we received as the lady’s face bloomed into a smile that was no longer only demure but held a sweetness that seemed to shine from beneath.

It might’ve been a small instance, a few words or even foolishness in the eyes of some but that day, standing there as a small child of six who was growing up in a country caught in the crossfire of powers, where the peace of mind was nonexistent and where every man, even those with whom you associated love and compassion, was a stranger whom you couldn’t trust, she became a woman stronger than most I’ve ever seen.

In the end, the strength that we always measure in the grand gestures; in the thickness of the muscles or in the deepness of the pockets some people still measured their strength in the goodness that was inherent in a man’s soul.

What that woman did that day, was not just an act of kindness. To let people who are strangers to you feel comfortable and welcome while not a grand gesture, is surely a beauty that not many can contain. But what she’ll perhaps never know is that she made a small child, who would’ve grown with a mind catering towards only their needs, realise what the true essence of courage was and now as I type these words on the paper, I can’t deny that that small child whose days revolved around her own self grew into a person whose only mission in life became a struggle to hold upright the virtue of humanity.

They say that a single act of kindness can start a chain of beauty that can lend fiery compassion to the cold and stoic man of the twenty-first century, and that moment was a reflection of that truth.

A/N: Do you realise what I wanted to say, Cuz I sure don’t, lol :’)


They throw him against the wall. Punch him, pummel him. Until his world is tinted, coated in a haze of colours. Until his eyes darken, and his shaking limbs fade to the bliss of unconsciousness.

Weak they label him. A coward. A freak.

There is a darkness they’re still blind to.

The screams of pain that he is now deaf to. There are bruises and slashes that he has learnt to ignore. There are broken noses, there is a damaged face, a damaged body that he’s learnt to cure.

But still, they’re right, he thinks, as he wipes a hand over the face wet with his own tears. He was a coward who bowed in the face of his own destruction. A weakling who couldn’t even protect the fragile tendrils of his heart.

A Quick Reminder.

Not every moment of your life demands strength and courage, and that not every person in this world demands perfection. There are some that just want to know you, those that love you despite the tears, the failures, the imperfections. Those that embrace the broken pieces of your heart.

It is in those ‘Some’ that true joy of life is found.