A Novel: Ostatini Las Part 1
A wail rose from the surrounding camp, echoing into the forest of Ostatini Las, as the small groups of people crowded together, seeking comfort, receiving denial. It could not be! That could not be true!
“It cannot have happened, Alanin!” one woman cried out, staring up at him even as her children clutched her skirt in fear. They were not old enough to understand, but they could sense the shock that lay over the camp like a thick, woolen blanket.
“It should not of, could not have, cannot have… But it has,” Alanin answered solemnly. His blonde hair shone silver in the light of the moon, his figure blurry as tears welled up in all eyes. He was gone. No, worse than gone. The rain fell down, not hard, but a steady drip, drip, drip… It soon coated the trees around them, not to mention the camp’s inhabitants, themselves. In truth, they should have been far within their tents, warm, dry, but that did not matter. Nothing seemed to matter any longer. He was dead. The one who pulled them all together. The one who started everything. Lost. Disappeared.
It was pointless. Pointless! For surely, without him, they would fall apart. Then, they would all follow him. Alanin knew that he should gather the camp to sleep, but he had not the strength. Surely, his captain deserved a moment of mourning? Why did it matter anymore? Why did anything matter anymore? He was dead, and that was forever. He would not linger on without his captain, not for much longer. The camp would fade; the rebel movement would fade. What was left, other than broken hearts and soulless bodies? What more could they destroy? Alanin seemed to not notice as the mere minutes of mourning turned into hours and the night into morning.
“Mamma? Where’s daddy?” a small girl asked the still wailing women. The seven-year-old did not see the looks of pity sent towards her. Another man leaned towards the girl, gently picking her up.
“Daddy’s with you, young one. You just cannot see him anymore. You will not see him again for a long time.” His own voice cracked as he continued. “None of us will.”