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Our War

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The sky was black. It was like charcoal had blown from God’s furnace into the clouds; Gavin wondered if he breathed in if the sky would fill his lungs. It was a nice thought. Gabriel would like it.

Gavin glanced behind him. The general had a cigarette perched between his teeth, brown hair ruffling in the wind. “Gabriel? You don’t smoke.”

He pulled the cigarette away with two thin fingers. All of him looked thin, really; the past few nervous, breath-holding months had not been kind to him. “I do when we’re about to run off and get ourselves killed.”

“We’re not going to die.”

“And you say we’re going to win this war as well. You should know we won’t.” He regarded Gavin coolly with his dark blue eyes, putting the cigarette to his lips again.

“And you say that because?” Gavin didn’t feel angry. Gabriel’s allegiance to him didn’t mean he wouldn’t speak his mind.

“Because they don’t understand what you want. Not to mention they’ve got five elemental powers on their side.” Gabriel didn’t seem particularly bothered.

“I can’t give up now.”

The general blew some smoke into the charcoal sky. “I’m not asking you to. I’m just telling you. I know how much all of this means to you, Gavin. Avenging your father. Getting your place back.”

Gavin sighed. The memory of the girl, red hair like a sunset blossoming around her face, burned in his eyelids. “Is it worth it, though?”

Gabriel leaned down and stubbed the cigarette out on his boot. “That, my dear, is a matter of opinion.”

“What’s your opinion?”

He looked up at Gavin. His eyes were sharp, like Gavin had just leaped into a thinly frozen lake. “Will it stop you?”

“No.”

“Exactly why it doesn’t matter.” Gabriel broke their gaze and looked out over the troops standing in the clearing. “I just hope you can live with yourself if we fail.”

“I’ve never been able to live with myself. That’s why I’ve got you, isn’t it?”

Gabriel nodded to the skeleton trees, then breathed in sharply. “Right, we can’t fight a battle without a general. Suit up, Gavin.” He began walking to the head of the lines.

“Wait,” Gavin felt himself saying, almost like a reflex. He seized his general’s chainmail-clad arm. Gabriel turned and he pressed a warm kiss to his mouth that tasted of blood and fear. “For luck. In case you’re right.”

Gabriel smiled for the first time that day and swiped his thumb across Gavin’s cheekbone. “I love you, you great bloody fool. Go put on your armor. I’ll try to win this, at least for you.”





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Laurat981 said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm
This is really good.I'll be watching for more of your stories!
 
DarkMountain said...
Dec. 17, 2011 at 2:21 am
Wow! Loved this article- very powerful writing. Distinguished from much of the other fiction on Teenink for a number of reasons- clear, precise diction, near-perfect dialogue (flowed extremely well), fantastic imagery- thank you for creating this! Why this didn't recieve the editor's choice is beyond me. A travesty! 5 stars
 
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