[Fiction Friday]: Nothing Left But Revenge
“He was the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?” The Grand Matriarch patted my shoulder as she stopped to pay her respects. I nodded. Yes, he had been the cutest little boy. Until the Humans had gotten their hands on him. Now he was so much dead meat, body scarred by the brutal battles he’d been forced to wage on their behalf.
I looked towards the back of the clearing at the small contingent of Humans gathered under the old tree. They were from the government, ostensibly to express their condolences and regrets at such a horrible miscarriage of justice. I growled low in my throat. At the pressure of the Matriarch’s claws on my shoulder, I bit back the howl that was threatening to break through.
The Humans took a cautious step back as the rumble of my voice reached them. A few even were so bold as to lay their hands on barely concealed energy weapons. My lip raised in disgust. A true warrior fought with tooth and claw to understand what was being fought for. Or lost. Humans separated themselves from the visceral reality of war and life. I despised them for that.
And yet, I wished I was able to put a wall between myself and my pain. I tilted my head and looked to the forsaken stars for guidance but received only their cold comfort.
“Some day, child, some day the Humans will regret they allowed such an atrocity to occur. That they think they own us.” With a final squeeze, the Grand Matriarch released me. I lowered my head to look into her eyes and saw that she, too, wept for my destroyed son. “But not today, Artuk. Today we grieve for that which is lost to us and celebrate that which we still have.”
But what did I have? I was no longer a proud warrior having become what I despised most: a burden to my pack. My mate had been killed in the War and our only surviving child dead at the hands of our oppressors. There was nothing left to me. Nothing left but hate.