The Plagued Oasis: Part Nine

Nick Martins, Staff Writer

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Raad was getting dressed whilst she laid in bed covered in blankets. The room was dimly lit. Smoke acted like fog, there was barely any visibility. The shades covered the light from the depleting sun.

“When will I see you again, general?” she said flirtatiously.

“Never. Possibly in the afterlife, but even that’s a stretch of the mortal imagination,” Raad said.

“A believer in the false religion, general?” she said.

“Excuse me? How dare you,” Raad said, “I should execute you where you stand?”

“I wouldn’t if I were you,” she said.

“And why is that?” He said.

“Because I have a few friends waiting outside this inn, as a matter of fact outside that door,” she said sinisterly.

“What do you want from me?” Raad asked.

“Information. Knowledge. Well, why don’t you tell me what I want handsome,” she laughed.

“Are you from the Idma empire, Fidu?” He asked.

“Iasbaha, you were getting to that I hope. I know we are not in the most prestine condition at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get things done,” she said.

“I see… So you want to know about the out plans in the western and southern districts,” he said.

“Exactly. Also I want to know what the hell is going on in that palace,” she said.

“What did you hear?” he asked.

“Just that Kha’em’s new wife is apart of something bigger that all the emperors of this great Oasis,” she said.

“I don’t have any information on that, but that does intrigue me,” he said, “Well as of the things I do know-”

Suddenly two Aczen soldiers and a marksman barged through the door. The marksman drew his bow and shot an arrow through the spy’s rib cage. The two soldiers saluted Raad.

“Sir! News broke. It appears General Zahra’s men killed Aufaa’s first born child,” the soldier said shivering.

“What else happened?” Raad asked.

“The Iasbaha and Fidu broke through our defenses in the southwestern districts and are being pillaged as we speak. Our men are defending it as much they can. The citizens are fleeing and making their way to Kade sir, it will only take a two to three hours before we have to take them in,” the other soldier said.

“Alright, make barricades, tell every cell this is lunar protocol,” Raad.

“Sir, yes, sir!” The soldiers and the marksman left in a rush.

Raad sat on the bed put on his leather boots and laced the metal shin and toe brace tightly. He stood up turned to the spy. The bed was soaked in her blood. The spy still had some life left in her. She reached out to Raad with her shaking arm.

“In the afterlife gorgeous”, she said winking. Raad ran out the inn, and untied lead rope of his camel from the post. He sat on it whilst it laying down. Kicking his camel, it reacts quickly, lifting Raad up. He rides swiftly to the palace.

There was a sea of people in front of crescent path going until the entrance of the bridge. The moon was rising in the east, yelling echoed in Aczen from Kade, and the guards cowardly built a barricade made of the emperor’s furniture. As the guards began to set the furniture on fire Raad got off his camel and pushed through the dense crowd. By the time he made it to the bridge the crowd noticed that Raad was a general.

“Relax yourselves, please. We can’t have this!” Raad yelled.

They all began to attack Raad. Stripping him of his clothes,  a few stabbing and slashing him with sharp objects, and kicking him in his ribs.  Two men grab Raad’s corpse. One grabbed him by his hands the other by his feet. They began swinging him in the air. He flew into the flame elegantly. The screams of pain were louder than crowd’s protest. Raad rolled in a panic fashion to the other side of the barricade. He got up onto his feet and began limping slowly before falling to the ground once again.

Soldiers quickly rush over with buckets of water. They put out the fire on Raad’s body. The sound of sizzling evaporation filled the silence on the other side of the barricade. Two men grab him by his hands and feet. And escorted him inside the palace. Raad woke up from an unconscious state of mind. He was in a medic bay being treated for his burns. Aczen’s finest aids were pouring the coldest water they had on him. All but the upper right side of his body had third degree burns.

“Tell me,” I took a deep breath for every sentence he spoke, “Am I. Going to be. Okay.”

Nobody answered. Raad repeated himself several times until one of the aids broke their silence.

“We don’t know general. Sorry,” the aid said.

“Well. Could you. At least. Write my will for. Me please?” Raad asked.

“Get me a scribe in here, immediately!” The aid said.

Silent murmuring amongst the aids made Raad uncomfortable. He attempted to get up and try to walk. Raad went unnoticed for the first few steps before falling to the sandstone floor and making a gushing sound. The aids helped him up and placed him on the medic table.

“I can still. Walk. I can,” Raad gasped for air, “I swear I can.”

“Both of your legs are severely burned Raad. You won’t be able to walk for seasons to come,” the aid said.

“Damn you. I can. Walk perfectly,” Raad said.

“If you can walk perfectly then I walk as if I am a god,” the other aid said laughing.

“Kill me. Do it. Kill me. Now please,” Raad said.

“Sir, killing you would mean that I would have to be executed,” the aid said.

“Let me kill. Myself. Please,” Raad said.

“Why?” the medic aid.

“I do not want. To live like this,” Raad said.

“I’m sorry it’s against my religion and against the law of Aczen,” the aid said.

“Give me the knife. Please sir, please,” Raad said.

The other aid handed him an operation knife. Raad took it and pointed the sharp end over his heart. As elegantly as he flew into the fire, he fell with the same amount of grace to the sandstone floor. The knife pierced his heart and filled him with the satisfaction of death. The scribe arrived and accidentally stepped onto Raad.

“Sir, your belongings. To whom shall be passed to,” the scribe said.

“The emperor of Aczen and my the men under my rank,” Raad said as his voice faded away.