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A Darkened Nation


Zaxar

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Fallen Pieces

As he looked out across the city, something felt off. This was not the vibrant exciting city of his youth. Those empty streets were not the bustling boulevards where he would fight mock battles with his friends, and Verenco Park was never empty.

 

“This can not possibly be Bostar,” He thought to himself. Perhaps there was something going on, a football game perhaps, or maybe a wedding, everyone always attended a Bostar wedding. There would surely be people down at the docks, there was always something going on at the docks.

 

As he walked down the long twisting and haphazard roads of his past he felt the sharp pang of nostalgia in his gut. That was the old maple he used to climb with Leo. There is the shop that used to sell such good croissants. It was empty now, the broken windows gave no hint at the homey atmosphere that once seeped from the place. He kept walking. There were almost no people on the sidewalks, and those he did pass kept their eyes down and no more than nodded at him when he called out in greeting. He also happened to notice that there were no homeless people on the streets,

 

“How odd, at least one positive came from the war,” He kept walking, “cause they all died when the Thernos rolled through.” There was a children's rhyme about it actually; he had heard widows singing it to their children back in Sandrica. He didn’t remember much of it, but the first four lines which were etched into his mind, 

 

“All was dark and dark was light,

Good men please we shall not fight,

Cold as ice with blood of iron,

Hide inside or burn in fire.”

 

He had heard other stories of the sack of Bostar as well, of families fleeing to Pawtucket on fishing boats, of men run down in the streets, of prisoners of war being drawn and quartered, of whole city blocks being reduced to ash and soot. It made him glad, for once, that he was a mere boathand; it allowed him to be conscripted into the navy where he was off manning an uncontested blockade for the majority of the war.

 

After about twenty minutes he reached the east docks. There were very few ships in the harbor, but this was to be expected as it was very early in the morning when most fishing boats and crabbers would be out gathering up the morning catch. As he stood there, however, a small lobster boat began to make its way towards the dock. He could see a crewman in the back loading crates of live lobsters, lobbies or lobbers as they were often called in Bostar, up onto the gunwales.

 

“Ahoy there!” He called out to the crewman, who looked to be somewhere between twelve and fifteen years of age.

 

“Hey” the boy replied, as he hauled another crate of lobsters onto the growing pile.

 

“Where is everyone? Is there something going on around here?”

 

“Yah, a Tuesday morning is goin on right now” the boy said with a sarcastic smirk on his face. “No really, everything is normal round here. Actually, it may be even a bit busier than usual this morning. Why do you ask? ”

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