Author's Note-This is a piece of Short Fiction that I wrote in one sitting, then revised a couple weeks later. I have been sitting on it ever since. I figured this would be a good this to post however, because I am considering expanding the concept. Thank you for reading!
The sun had just begun to rise on the prison camp when awareness returned to Sahlek. His body was sprawled out, exposed on the sandy ground, just the same as the other hundreds of prisoners surrounding him.
So the rebellion had failed. It really didn’t come as a surprise. This was the 6th time that they had tried in this decade. All of them, the multitude of rebellions, they all blended together. It was often a new leader, in a particularly bad district of the camp, that would rise to prominence. Word would soon spread, often among the new and uninitiated, those who had yet to experience one of the periodic cycles of slaughter.
At one decisive moment, after days of anticipation and preparation, of rumors and plans whispered in the pitch black, it begin. In a fury of yelling and confusion, a riot would start, a prisoner throwing a stone at a guard, leaping off a ledge, stabbing themselves, the like. Anything to rile up the masses. It seemed to change, rebellion to rebellion. Sahlek was to only one to see the patten.
All over, the violence would spread contagiously, for the whole day, and well into the night. Sometime it went on for a while longer, but never did it go for a full day. By morning, all of them were bleeding their dark blood onto the shining sand. All of the prisoners, except for Sahlek. He looked just as beaten and near-dead as everyone else, but in a while he would be back on his feet, as always.
By now, Sahlek had forgotten how many total times the Terashar prisoners had attempted something like this, and he was beginning to forget how many years he had been living at Terashar. It was starting to reach well over six centuries.
Once, he had been the one leading these rebellion. He had been good at it. After all of his travels as a rogue Immortal, all over the land, he had learned things that no other man could possibly know, gained insights that no mortal could.He knew the right things to say, the promises to make to desperate people. Long ago, that had been his right as a ruler. He understood warfare and combat, and had led countless attempts at escape, for a time.
He had been restless and fiesty, eager to be back, to resume his travels. He had even assumed, for a time, that he had some friends among the hundreds that claimed allegiance to the Pantheon, yet that hope had died out long ago.
Now, he kept silent, and waited. Sahlek waited for the fall of this empire, the empire whose name he had long forgotten, for he long had stopped caring about the troubles of the world, the quibbles of his Ageless race. He knew it would vanish sometime, and with his immortality, and his new insight, the existence of such concepts like empire and captivity no longer concerned him.
He always fought, however, every time that the prisoners decided it was time to fight. He would let himself go, and become something awful and primal in the dark. It was his chance to let go, and be human, yet Sahlek never fought with the intent of escaping Terashar; he fought with the intent to release himself, for a time.
Sahlek would never die, for he was Ageless. Even without anything to rule, he was still a splinter of the Pantheon, and thus a god. Yet, when the angry mortals began to pound against the walls, and scream for release, he would join in, time after time. He would scream with them, and imitate their rage caused by their limited years slipping away under the hot sun.
Within the crowd of swaying bodies, no one could tell that he as a god among men, Ageless among the expiring. What was there to distinguish? He had a long, tangled beard, like the rest of them, and a stocky build from working in the mines all day long. His face was contorted in pain and frustration, and his eyes begged release.
Last night had been one of those nights. He could barely remember any of it now, only that it had been glorious. It had been a rare time when there was rain in the desert. He remembered being soaked in it, and how it mixed with the wet sand and blood. It had filled all of the trenches were carts passed through, and Sahlek had waded through these rivers, a dark crimson color from the blood that had been spilled, and were clogged with limp bodies, from guards, and from prisoners.
In these trenches, Sahlek had killed many men. Groups of guards would rush at him, and he would kill each one of them, one by one. As he battled each man, he would be stabbed multiple times, but to him this meant nothing. He would keep on killing the prison guards, one by one, until he could stand no longer from fatigue, and only then did he find a soft place in the wet sand to surrender.
And now the sun was rising, and he was content. Someday soon, the mortal prisoners would rise again, and he would go with them, smashing his skull against the iron gates and stone towers in rage, and then he would lay back down in the sand, only to do this again, and again, until finally, this kingdom, like all kingdoms, vanished, conquered by time.