Plague | Teen Ink


June 25, 2020
By HAMMERMOVIE, Dubai, Other
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A woman closes her eyes with tears squeezing out. She prays with her hands together. 

"Please, save my son! Please Lord, I've done everything for you. Please..." She rests her forehead on the ground. A small puddle of tears form under her. 

"What's wrong with your son?" Roman asks. The woman jerks up and turns her head around.


"No. I'm not Jesus." She turns her head back around in sorrow. "What is wrong with your boy?" The woman wipes the tears away. She slowly stands grabbing her napsack, she looks up at Roman. 

"He's been overcome with a serious sickness."

"Many people have been getting sick." Roman stares at her with a blank face. "Being here won't help." 

"What?" The woman takes a step back, "How dare you? You question god's will!" 

“This is natural. Sometimes the flu infects people in larger numbers. Just stop wasting your time." Roman turns around and begins to walk towards the exit of the church. The woman stands frozen unable to find words. He pushes the door open and steps through the door. 

Roman looks around, he rests one hand on his sword hilt. Roman looks to his right and sees a large crowd of people. He begins to push through the murmuring crowd. Roman looks to see a young man on the floor. His eyes are dazed with black blood filling from his mouth. A man hunched over him stares at the boy's eyes. 

"He's dead!" The man screamed. The crowd begins to whisper to each other. Another short woman in the front of the crowd stumbles forward coughing. She collapses onto her knees. Her eyes darting around from side to side. The short woman collapses on her chest. The crowd backs up. Black blood begins to flow out of her mouth. The woman instantly stops. Panic ensues in the crowd. The crowd begins to split away from each other all running from the bodies. 

A loud bang erupts to the left of Roman, an older man stumbles towards him. Roman backs up. His eyes sunken in his lips turned pale, his skin turned to a ghostly white. He stumbles towards Roman. He collapses on the ground and begins to seizure, black blood oozing from his mouth. He stops and lies motionless. Roman turns around swiftly. He begins to run down the poor stoned street and nearly trips over a protruding tile.

Roman turns around and begins running in the opposite direction. He approaches a knight. The knight upon seeing Roman pulls out his sword, and jabs the knight with the swords hilt. He stumbles backwards. Roman gives a hard kick forcing the knight on the ground. Roman presses his foot against the knights chest. 

“Where is your horse!?” 

“They were taken, a couple knights came here before us.” Roman grabs the sword from the knife and tosses it away. He steps away from the knight and continues to run. The smell of dried blood travels through the village. He runs through the village until he spots a group of people listening to a preacher.

“This is God’s punishment. He is punishing the ones who have weak faith, he is cleansing this world. Follow God! This plague will disappear, we will survive!” The preacher’s voice echoes through the town. He is standing on a small wooden box that elevated him above everyone. The preacher suddenly collapses on the ground and the crowd falls silent. A woman from the crowd screams followed by the rest of the crowd panicking. 

The smell of dried blood turns into the smell of burning wood. Roman see’s a group of people with masks on burning a church.

“God must fall! God must fall!” Roman stares at them while running past them. He suddenly gets hit in the shoulder with an arrow. He collapses on the rocky pavement. Roman grips the arrow and looks up. A knight comes charging at Roman with an arrow. He rolls out of the way just in time and kicks the knight’s shin and collapses to the pavement banging his head against the stones. 

Roman stumbles to his feet. The pain surges through Roman’s system like giant waves crashing against a shore. He grabs the roughly made arrow and snaps part of it off and continues to run down the streets. A loud bang echoes from behind, Roman turns around and sees a giant explosion a little ways away. He stumbles into a small street and tears off a piece of rough cloth from his pants. That feels more like wood rather than a piece of clothing. Roman wraps his wound tight. Another jolt of pain rushes through his body, like he’s being struck by lightning.       

Roman stands up and peers around the corner. He grabs his sword tight, the softer leather becomes drenched with cold blood. He runs out from the alleyway.

Roman comes closer to a large gate that is the exit of the village into a dark forest. He stops and looks around. A carriage with two horses is parked beside the exit. Roman rushes towards it until he encounters a young man with a small knife. 

“Stay back! This is mine!” He steps back towards the cart, his hands shaking. 

“I need to leave here.” Roman stops running. 

“I can’t let you. You might have it too.” Roman takes a step forward, he loosens his grip on his sword. 

“If I did I would’ve already been dead. Let me come with you.” The young man steps back, the back of his leg hitting the cart. “If we fight, then you’ll die. Let me help you.” He tightens his grip on his knife. He then charges at Roman screaming at the top of his lungs. The knife pierces into his stomach, Roman grits his teeth and knees him in the stomach. The young man fumbles backwards and Roman slashes at him and he falls on the floor. 

Roman stumbles forward resting his hand over the knife. He sits on the harsh wooden carriage. Which had an uncomfortable roughness like little spikes were protruding from the wood. He bites the side of his shirt, the taste of blood fills his mouth. He rips the knife out from his stomach and screams into his shirt. He throws the knife aside and covers his wound with his hand. Roman slowly pushes himself off the harsh wood and begins to travel towards the front of the carriage, he grabs the side of the carriage and pulls himself up and grabs the whip around the horses. Roman tugs the rope and the horses begin to move. 

The horses rush out of the village. Roman turns around and gives one last look at the village. A loud bang echoes behind Roman, followed by a large pain. The sudden pain makes Roman fall off the carriage. The horses keep running forward, a group of men in the distance scream and jump out of the way. He forces himself to stand up and looks up. A knight with a musket comes charging up towards Roman while he struggles up to one knee.

Roman uses his last bit of strength to charge at the knight. Tackling the knight off his feet and holds his sword to the knight’s neck. 

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Roman presses the blade to his neck.

“Please, it was an order.” 

“An order? What order?”

“We can’t let anyone outside the village.” 

“Why? Do you think I'm sick? I have red blood!” 

“A plague has been spreading all over the west side. We can't let it spread more inland and threaten the capital.” He lets go of his sword and slowly begins to pull himself off the knight, he punches the knight, knocking him out. Roman rolls off the knight and breathes heavily. He limps down the dark path. 

The path has become narrow and Roman has become surrounded in trees Roman leans on a tree breathing heavily. Snow begins to pour down from the sky which is covering the ground below him. He can hear the voices of others up ahead. Roman rolls off the tree and begins walking in the forest. He turns around to see a torch light from the path. Roman hides behind a tree covering his mouth. 

“Spread out, make sure no leaves this village.” Roman pushes himself off the tree and begins to run and collapses on the ground, the snow freezing Roman. The snow felt soft, with it conforming to Romans body. Roman begins to push himself up, the white snow being dyed a red color. A surge of adrenaline pushes Roman forward as he continues to run. 

“Someone’s running!” Roman looks behind him to see a knight running after him. His speed increases as he swerves through the tree’s. An arrow flies and hits a tree beside Roman. He keeps running through the woods. Torch lights begin to illuminate the entire woods. Roman slams against a tree and looks behind him. The torch lights seem to have been gone. Until he takes a sigh of relief. 

He begins to slowly trudge through the forest. An arrow suddenly stabs into Roman’s back. Roman begins to turn around, but then another arrow flies into his back. Then another, and another. He steps forward again. Jolts of pain riddle his back, his back full of arrows he is more of a porcupine now then a human. Roman grabs a tree to keep him from falling. 

Roman punches the tree, tears trickle from his eyes. He pushes off from the tree and gives one last push away from the group of knights. He stumbles through the woods eventually losing the knights. He stops at a tree and coughs up blood. Roman slowly collapses to his knees, turns himself around and sits down leaning against the tree.

Roman stares up at the moon, his eyes glazed over. Blood soaks into the snow. Roman clenches something in his fist. His final tears falling off his chin. Roman’s blood dries as the puddle of blood gets covered with a new sheet of snow. Roman brings up his arm and stares at a black and white photo of his son and wife. Roman holds the photo to his chest, and closes his eyes. 

A single flower slowly slumps down into the snow. Waiting to bloom once again. 

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