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"Keep marching on!"
These words rang in my head, the familiar voices seemed to bring me comfort. But whose voices were they? I've heard them before, my friends? My family? I couldn't tell. As quickly as they came, they faded out, leaving my ears in a deathly silence. It wasn't sure wether I was too scared to open my eyes, or it was so dark I was unable to see. Chills ran down my spine and I folded my arms at the cold air around me. 'Where was I?' was the question I kept asking myself. Before I could find out, a ring of bright red fire formed a circle around me, just baily brining enough light to illuminate a dark figure towering over me. I slowly looked up at the mystery being, I could not see his face, but his voice was unmistakable.
"Keep marching on, how cute. How pathetic can you get?" The voice was low and crackling, like nails on a chalk board. "No wonder you ended up here so early, you weren't getting anywhere." The voice was undaunting, however I was not scared. The figure leaned down, eye level with me. His face was long and narrow, much like a bird's beak. He stared as if into my soul with his sharp, white eyes. He gave a devilish grin and continued with a low chuckle, "I wonder where I'll put you."
"Now hold on a second!" My voice raised up. The figure stopped as if almost surprised by this. "What do you mean 'put me'?" The figure blinked then stood up tall laughing then slouched back down to me.
"Child, do you understand where you are?"
"No?" The being wrapped a roughly scaled, pointed tail around me and is voiced lowered, almost amused.
"Welcome to Hell." It said with a low chuckle.
'Hell?' I thought. 'But that's impossible, this crap isn't real.'
"I assure you, it is very much real." It said, reading my thoughts like an open book. "Souls like you end up here after your time has ended." Well I wasn't stupid I knew that much.
"But how did I get here? I don't remember-"
"Dying my dear? That's the fun part." He said cutting me off.
"The... fun part?"
"Indeed my dear. You traded your life for another." I was confused at his words, almost like he was speaking another language. What he said had made sense, but I wasn't sure how. The creature coiled it's body around me, blanketing me in pitch black darkness. A small, screen like image appeared before me. It was a normal day at school, the sun was out with a small breeze. The Colorguard was all there, practicing as usual. Amber and Sara were at the frount with their flags barking instructions that most of us only half listen to. Manny was late, but we didn't mind, or atleast I didn't. We were practicing the routine for our next winterguard show.
"5, 6, 5 6 7 8 and 1 2 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7.. 8." Amber counted us as we went through the movements, Sara mirroring it to help us.
"Great job ladies!" I could hear behind me as Karina smiled about. Salsa was running about talking about the avengers with Sara, and Mia was goofing around with Karina, and Calista reviewed the movements one last time. I just looked back at them and gave a small smile. They weren't much, they weren't the biggest, or the strongest, or most talented guard. We weren't even a 1st place material guard, and usually struggled day to day, but we powered through it. They were in essance my family, and I loved them. It seemed to shatter before me in a moments breath. A black car slowed down and braked at the loading zone behind us, I didn't think much of it. The man got out of the car and looked around with concern. People did that alot, usually a grandparent looking for their grandson or granddaughter, or were just plain lost. Amber called to the man.
"Hey, do you need some help?" The man looked up at her, hard and cold. The Guard looked back at him in wonder. I glanced down at his hand shifting in a large, black trench coat pocket and heard a slight
. I knew that sound, and I felt my stomach drop.
"Everyone get down!" I yelled. Everyone ducked to the ground and covered their heads, a bullet just grazing the top of their heads and hitting the wall of the field house. Thoughts rushed through my head, and I managed to pick the stupidest one of them all. I sprinted as fast as I could across the small patch of grass. It reminede me of the previous times I had run across these very same grass, wether it was dodging awkward hugs from Amber, or marching as fast as I could in my drill to avoid being hit by Sara.
I grabbed the nozzle of the gun and pointed it up into the air. As the Guard fled to safety, I struggled with the man for the gun. Two shots rang out, and two bloods were spilled. The man, a bullet through his head, fell straignt down onto the cement, he was dead, there was no disputing that. I, myself, was full of shock before I felt a liquid pour down my legs and my body start to burn. My knees felt like jelly, and I stumbled back to keep my balance before I fell straight onto my back. I ran my hand over my chest and felt a small hole in the middle of my chest. I could hear screams in the distance, but who's they were was a mystery to me. I could feel my senses dull out, and struggled to keep my eyes open.
I stared up at the bright blue sky, and felt the cool breeze in my hair. It was ironic, I used to hate the idea of wind but at that moment I rather enjoyed it. I heard shuffling noises until I saw 6 blurred faces hover over me. Though their faces, and features were gone, I could still tell who was who. I could hear the panic going on all around me. I tried to open my mouth but no noise came out. It seemed I was shutting down, I was more tired than in pain. I took one last look at them before my head dropped to the side and my vision blurred out to black.
My body felt light, almost light a feather. the world seemed to shift around me as a grass floor formed under me. It was foggy and hard to see beyond twenty feet. I heard small sobbing noises. I turned my body to see the guard with their backs to me. I made a wide smile and ran over to them.
"Guys! Guys I'm here!" I said. I jumped to give them a hug but ended up stumbling infrount of them. Their eyes were dark, and their faces were pale, with tears streaming down their cheeks. "Guys...?" I said again a bit louder. It was unsettling to hear them unresponsive. Their eyes seemed locked on something beyond me. I turned myself to see a small dark gravestone. As I look at the stone I read the engraved markings of my name, and felt myself get heavier.
Amber slowly walked past me, upto my grave with a white, messily taped rife in her hands. She carefully strapped it around the tombstone and whispered, almost as if she was trying to speak to me personally,
"Your friendship will go on."