St. Kilda Pier, Melbourne, Australia | ©
The sea was sunny blue that day. I still felt fearless, unbowed, immortal. The sails on the horizon looked wrong, my father said. I led the ships to meet them.
Closer, we saw the women and children, the small boats overloaded, barely afloat. The shouts coalesced: they were refugees from up-coast. Port Ajka was under attack.
Helping an old man onboard, I reassured him. “You’re safe here. Makzal has never fallen.”
He squeezed my arm, terror strengthening his grip. “No, we must flee! You don’t understand. They are already dead.”
Afterward, they razed most of Makzal, rebuilt from scratch. But I see the ghosts of those buildings, inhabited by all those I couldn’t save. The temple where my sister was blessed. The bakery my father always took me to. The garden where my wife said yes.
Now I scan the horizon constantly, studying the sails, my hands shaking with mortality.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Click on the link to read the other stories inspired by this location, or to add your own!
Eneana world note: Sabiron was a powerful mage who led an army of undead across the eastern coast of the lands of the Pret. You can read another account of one of her attacks in this flash fiction story: Silent Shore. The damage Sabiron did was immense, contributing to the instability that eventually led the Pret to renounce their traditional gods and embrace Anandani as their sole protector (the event we visited in the previous story, Razing Faith).