We are all waiting for the rapture because we realize now, it was a sin to go against God. It takes a journey through Hell to realize how much we need God, now we wait for him . . . and wait . . . and wait.
A round young kid pulled up on his bike outside of an old yellow house. His blonde hair was stuck down on his face. He stopped to catch his breath and wipe the sweat beads from his brow. Today was extremely hot, and of course, it had to be unbearably hot on the first day of school. The boy sucked in as much air as possible, resembling a fish out of water. He had drove his bike all the way from his house, which was on the other side of town, to Kiar's house. His big blue eyes were bloodshot and nearly popping out of his head.
Finally, the boy felt rested enough and he called up to his friend.
“Arrow! Let’s go! Hurry it up!” The kid called. Arrow heard his friend calling for him and covered his head with a pillow. He wasn’t ready to wake up. It felt too early, and he felt like he hadn’t slept in days.
“Who does he think he is? Waking me up at such an ungodly hour! Why it’s only . . . ” Arrow said as he poked his head out from under the pillow and brushed his dark brown hair out of his face and rubbed his eyes. He turned his alarm clock towards him and nearly died of shock. “7:55! I’m going to be late!” Arrow yelled as he flew from his bed and into the bathroom. He quickly changed out of his boxers and dirty old t-shirt, which was white at one point in time, now it was more of an off-white. He threw on his new clothes, brushed his teeth then dashed out the door.
My name is Arrow Kairo and I’m 17 years old. There really isn’t much to know about me. I eat a lot of pizza, sleep most of the time, I get decent grades in school, and enjoy hanging out with friends, like any other kid.
“Kairo! Paresh! You are late!” The teacher yelled as he caught Arrow and Owen trying to sneak in. “We know, sir! Sorry, sir! Blame Arrow, sir!” Owen said in reply as he apologized over and over to their teacher.
“Don’t make a habit out of this, considering it’s the first day, you better not be late again, or I will lock you out.”
“Yes, sir.” Owen said as he sat down in his desk immediately.
“Whatever.” Arrow said as he dropped his back pack on the floor and sat in the desk across from Owen. The teacher waited for a moment then began talking again. A group of people turned around and looked at Owen, then looked back at each other and started to laugh.
“I didn’t know they made desks that big . . . ” One of the guys said to the girl, trying to act cool to get a pretty girl’s attention. Owen heard them and lowered his head in shame. The same group of people had been bullying him since the second grade about his weight. Too bad for the boy, his words also caught Arrow’s attention.
“What did you say?” Arrow said as he slammed his hands on his desk and jumped out of his desk, towering over the other boy.
“I said: I can’t believe your fat friend here fit in the desk!” The boy said as he stood up, accepting Arrow’s challenge.
“Say it one more time! I dare you!”
“Kairo! Lachlan! Take your seats!”
“Not until shit for brains here apologizes!” Arrow yelled.
“Who are you calling shit for brains? Last time I checked, you’re the idiot who has been in this grade twice!”
“At least I know when to shut my mouth before someone breaks it.”
“You couldn’t break anything!”
“Wanna dance pretty boy?” Arrow yelled as he balled his hand into a fist and was about to strike the other boy until the teacher jumped in front of the two and grabbed them both by the collar of their shirts. “Arrow, Mikhail! Principal’s office now!”
Arrow and Mikhail sat outside the principal’s office as they waited their turn to see her. Arrow sighed and leaned back in his chair as he thought about how much he wanted to punch Mikhail square in the face.
“You’re a real idiot, Arrow.” Mikhail said with cocky tone as he crossed his arms.
Arrow closed his eyes and smiled. “Yeah, maybe. Hell, we get to live once, and I would like to
do this before I die.” Arrow said.
“Okay, boys, I’ll see you now.” The principal said as she opened the door to her office, but right as she opened it Arrow finally did what he wanted to do and socked Mikhail right in between his eyes.
Okay, so maybe I don’t have many friends, but he had it coming! It sees like I am constantly fighting. I don’t like to fight it just kind of happens. Well, I take that back. I don’t like to fight unless it’s people like Mikhail who get on my nerves. There was a time when I was younger, about Nilly’s age, and I got into a fight that I thought was pretty serious at the time, but the boy just pushed me down in the dirt, and when I punched him in the arm, he just pushed me down again. I come home crying and my father said “Arrow, if you are going to cry, then don’t fight.” The words have stuck with me since. I don’t fight for the fun of it, or because I like hurting people. I just fight. Well, actually I like fighting to hurt people when it’s people like Mikhail. I’ve become a lot stronger since those days. I wanted to prove to my dad that I can be strong, just like him.
Later in the day, Arrow was sitting at his kitchen table watching the news.
“Another bombing has taken place in Southern Belle Valley again, so far, a total of
twelve people have been pronounced dead and there are still many missing bodies.” The news anchor said. “When will this end? May the Gods be with them...” Arrow said as he turned off the television. He heard a familiar sound, a car, pulling up outside of his home.
“Looks like Titus and Nilly are home.” he said as he put his feet up on the table and leaned back in his chair.
“You’re brother is more trouble than he is worth.” Titus said to Nilly as he got out of the car. He opened the door for Nilly and watched as she slid out of the backseat and grabbed her back pack.
“Hm? What do you mean?” The young girl asked as she slipped her arms through the straps.
“I got a call from the principal today and . . . ” Titus said as he opened the door that lead to the house.
“Arrow, what did you do?” Titus yelled up the stairs.
“Brother? Why are you home so early?”
“Why, I wanted to help you off the bus today, but it seems Titus brought you home.”
“Don’t lie to your little sister, Arrow! She maybe eight but she’s not dumb!”
Titus said as he took off his shoes and Nilly followed suit. Titus was a strange looking man. He was tall and muscular. His black hair was always slicked back and he had little black stubble on his chin. He looked tough, he was tough, yet despite his hard ass appearance, he was rather laid back and quiet. That is, until you hurt someone close to him, then he was like a wild animal let out of it’s cage. Titus and Arrow and Nilly’s father went way back, even before they were in school.
Arrow sighed, he knew a lecture was coming as he heard Titus’s big feet march up the stairs. “I want your side of the story before I make any punishments.” Titus said as he set down his things on the kitchen table.
“Punishment? I’m seventeen years old! I don’t need punishment!”
“Obviously you do because you act like you are four! Go ahead and spill your excuse.” Titus said as he made his way over to the coffee pot and poured himself a
cup of coffee. He took a sip as he waited for Arrow’s reply. Arrow said nothing though.
“Get your nasty feet of the table! We eat off of that.” Titus’s said as he took another drink of coffee. Arrow did as he was told and sighed. “All right, this is what happened.”
“Took you long enough to come up with a story, normally you are quite quick
“Shut up! Do you want to hear it or not?”
“Brother, why are you home so early? You don’t get out school until 5:00.” Nilly said as she sat in the chair next to her brother.
“I’m getting to that. See, you know that kid Mikhail Lachlan?”
“I’ve heard some not too flattering stories.”
“Well, he was picking on Owen today, and you know what a push over Owen is,
so, I had to stand up for him naturally, and so I punched him.”
Titus tried not to choke on his coffee as he laughed at Arrow’s story.
“Wow, that’s actually a decent story, I believe you. He sounds just like how his
dad used to be and I beat the crap out of his dad, so you are lucky no punishment
from me this time.”
“You fought Mikhail’s dad?”
“Your father and I went to school with Mikhail’s parents. His mom was nice,
but his dad is a loser. Nothing but talk, and his talk got him in trouble.”
“What is the school doing about it?”
“I’m suspended from school for the rest of the day.”
“You got off lucky.”
“I know! His parents aren’t pressing charges either! Maybe the beating you gave
his dad still haunts him and he is afraid you will do it again if he messes with me.”
“Perhaps.” Titus said as he drank the last swallow of coffee and rinsed his glass in the sink. “Owen is so nice! Why do people pick on him?” Nilly yelled then her little lip quivered as she pouted because she didn’t understand.
“People are cruel, Nilly. I think they are jealous because they don’t have a cool friend like me.”
“Or a cool brother like you! I can’t believe you hit him! I would have done the same! Given him the old’ one, two!”
“No, Nilly, fighting is bad. Arrow, you aren’t setting a good example at all.”
“But you used to fight and Arrow fights all the time, Uncle Titus.”
“Well, in case you haven’t noticed dear, there is war going on. Wars start from fights. Understand?”
“So you are starting a war?” Nilly said with a sad tone.
“No! I’m just trying to help you understand that what Arrow does isn’t good!” Titus tried his hardest to explain to Nilly. He sighed and leaned against the counter.
“Now, I have to go back to work in a couple hours so I am going to get
some shut eye. Arrow please behave, You’ll have to make dinner for you and Nilly. Save a little for me to take with me tonight. Not a whole lot though. Nilly, you are in charge. I’m paying you five whole dollars to babysit your brother, so make sure you earn it, okay?”
“I will!” Nilly said with a big smile.
“Hey, isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? I am the older sibling! And
Five dollars really isn’t that much, Nilly.” Arrow said as he rested his feet on the table once more. “I can buy a lot of candy!” Nilly said to herself as she drifted off into her own world. “Then act like it and get your dirty feet off the table you sicko!” Titus yelled as he bopped Arrow on the top of the head. Titus sighed and opened the sliding glass door that lead to the balcony. “I’m going out for a smoke...” Titus said as he stepped outside. He was almost always seen with a cigarette in his mouth, though he never smoked inside for the kids sake.
Arrow lowered his eyes in shame and followed Titus outside. Titus glanced up at Arrow as he lit his cigarette. Arrow rested his arms on the railing and looked out at Tyrol city.
“You worry me, Arrow.” Titus said as he exhaled smoke. “I don’t want you to be a deadbeat like me because you couldn’t learn to control your temper until it was too late. I want better for you, I know there is better for you, maybe it won’t be here, but I know it’s out there somewhere. You just gotta learn to control your anger. Why spread more hate in time like this? There’s already enough, right? Just think about it kid...” Titus said as took another puff of his cigarette. “You and Nilly, are like my own kids. I worry about, you know. You’re like my own flesh and blood. Besides, your pops would be the shit outta me if I let you ruin your life. Please, try to stay out of trouble, Arrow. I know you are a good kid; why don’t you try proving it to the rest of the world for a change? Show them the Arrow I know.” Titus said as he flicked his cigarette off the balcony. He patted Arrow on the shoulder and went back inside. Arrow lingered outside a moment longer and though about Titus’s words.
Arrow and Nilly’s mother died when Nilly was born and their father was in the military. Before he left for the front lines six years ago, he asked Titus to watch over Arrow and Nilly. Titus agreed of course, it was the last thing he could do for his best friend because they both knew he wasn’t coming home...
Arrow and Nilly have been living with Titus happily since. To Nilly, he was the father she never really had and to Arrow, Titus was the father he remembered . Arrow looked up to Titus. He was strong, wise, and always seemed calm and collected. A skill he knew he had to improve, but he hoped Titus would teach him that. Arrow went back inside and sat next to Nilly at the kitchen table and helped her with her homework. Her and Arrow looked almost exactly alike. They had the same face shape and everything, only Nilly’s hair was a sandy blonde like their father’s and her eyes were green like there mother’s. Arrow had inherited his mother’s chocolate brown hair, but his father’s grey eyes. You could definitely tell they were related. though. Arrow adored his little sister, she was the only true family he had left, he would do anything to protect her in a time of crisis like this.
Later that night, after Titus had returned to work, Arrow laid sleeping Nilly down in her bed. She crashed early, just like he knew she would. He tucked her in and kissed her on the forehead. As he left he cranked the music box that was on her dresser and let it play. It was a music box that belonged to their mother and it played a tune she used to hum to Arrow. Nilly loved the music box. It was her most prized possession. Out of anything she could lose, it would be the last thing on her list that she would ever want to part from. It let her imagine her parents and how she thinks they would have been if she had the chance to remember them the way she deserved.
The tinkling sound of the orgel filled the house with sweet music. Arrow made his way down stairs and sprawled out on the couch. He stretched his long legs and listened to the sound of the orgel. It brought back such touching memories of his parents and what life was like before they were separated. He closed his eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep. Suddenly the music box stopped and loud whistling sound woke Arrow. Following the whistle was a loud crash the shook everything. Bombs were falling on the city. Arrow jumped up from the couch and ran to the window in time to see another bomb fall not too far from his home. A fiery cloud rose up from the ground, burning everything around it. Arrow ran upstairs to Nilly’s room without another thought and grabbed her.
“What’s going?” Nilly screamed, but Arrow didn’t reply. He quickly ran downstairs and was about to open the front door when Titus burst in the door.
“Arrow, we have to get out of the city now!” Titus yelled.
“Here, take Nilly.” Arrow said as he carefully handed Nilly to Titus.
“My music box!” Nilly said as she struggled to get down.
“Nilly, there is no time!” Titus said as he ran out the door. Arrow was going to follow, but he couldn’t let Nilly leave behind that music box. He ran upstairs to her room and snatched the music box, when another bomb hit and it was even closer this time, the shaking knocked Arrow to his feet.
“Arrow, now!” Titus called. Arrow dashed out the door. Titus opened the backseat car door and placed Nilly inside then climbed into the driver’s seat and started up the car as Arrow jumped in the passenger’s seat.
They didn’t get very far in their car because of a terrible traffic jam caused by everyone trying to evacuate at once, someone people had even abandoned their cars and we running to find safety. Titus knew getting outside could be dangerous, but sitting in once spot while bombs were falling on their heads wasn’t a good idea either. Finally, he ordered Nilly and Arrow to get out of the car. The three got out of the car and watched where people were running to.
“Hey! The buses are full! Everyone is headed to the subway! You better hurry
before they run out of room too!” A man called. Arrow and Titus looked to each other and without saying a word, Titus snatched up Nilly and he and Arrow ran as fast as they could to the subway station.
The subway was utter chaos. People were pushing and shoving. Lost children were crying for their parents. Another wave of bombs shook the earth above. Arrow and Titus frantically searched for a way onto the next train, at least they hoped there would be another train. Arrow crossed his fingers in hope.
Then, they heard the most heavenly sound they had heard since the catastrophe began. A train came thundering down the tracks. As it came to a stop, the doors flew open and people fought their way on board.
“This is the last train!” Someone yelled. Arrow’s heart stopped.
“Titus, make sure you and Nilly get on. No matter what. I want to help make sure
every last person here gets on this train.” Arrow said.
“No way, you get on with Nilly! I won’t let your dumb ass get left behind because
you wanna play hero!”
“I won’t let you die either! Nilly needs one of us. You and I both know out of both
of us, Nilly would be safer with you.” Arrow said. Titus knew he was wrong, but wasn’t about to argue, there wasn’t time. “Make sure you get your ass on this train.” Titus said as he and Nilly quickly filed onto the train with the other people.
Arrow ushered everyone onto the train until they were the last people left, and luckily there was still room, but barely. Arrow ran for the train. He saw Nilly in Titus’s arms. There was a big smile on her face as she pressed her tiny hand up to the glass. Arrow stuck his hand into his pocket and clutched the music box tightly, he couldn’t wait to give it to her as a surprise.
Suddenly, everything shook violently. Arrow looked up just in time to see the worst thing possible happen. He stopped running and sank to his knees. Everything was moving in slow motion now. “Brother...” Arrow saw Nilly mouth and Titus winked at Arrow.
“No!” Arrow screamed as he tried to climb to his feet and run to the train, when the roof collapsed...crushing the train...and everyone inside.
“A wave of Bombs hit Tyrol city. Most of the people made it out alive, except one underground railway was crushed when a bomb caused the roof of the subway to cave in. It is believed that no one survived the incident. So far, Tyrol, the largest city has been the worst hit. A major loss for our Zephyr.” A female news anchor announced on a tv that had been left on that had been miraculously saved . The city was in ruins, a complete ghost town. There was no one in sight, only signs of the people that once lived there.
The military was scanning for any survivors in the ruins. Two men went down to the subway to see the crushed train.
“What a mess...” one man said
“How tragic.” the other added.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of a music box. “What the hell is that?”
“I don’t know...let’s go look.”
They shined their flashlights around the rubble when they saw a young man clutching onto a tiny bloody hand that was hanging out of the train window.
“The rest of the body must be under the debris...poor guy.”
The young man rocked side to side and hummed along with the music box.
“Hey, are you alright?” A man called, but the young man didn’t reply. He just kept humming. “Hey, say anything if you can hear us!” He called again, but he continued to hum.
“You better answer boy, or we will leave you here!” The other man called. The music box slowly came to a stop and the boy let go of the tiny hand and turned around and faced the man. “H-help...me...” He said in a near whisper. The two soldiers ran over to the boy. One helped the boy with the music box to his feet while the other looked at the remains of the crushed train.
“Help me!” the young man screamed now as he grabbed the man.
“Hey, calm down!” The soldier said as he pulled the boy’s hands off of him. “We will help you. Tell us your name....yeah...can you remember?” The young man took in a deep breath rolled his head over onto his left shoulder and looked at the man. “Of course...my name is...uh Arrow Kairo.” “Arrow Kairo, huh? Well don’t worry son, we are going to get you out of here. You are lucky to be alive, you know.”
“Lucky?” Arrow said with a laugh.
I decided then, I was going to join the military and fight for what I lost. It was my fault all of those people died...now...the only thing I can do is avenge their death. I will never forgive myself...Titus and Nilly...
Arrow looked at the little wooden music box as tears being to brim his eyes. A man sitting next to Arrow glanced over to see what he was messing with and saw Nilly’s music box in his hand. The man was another person who had been left behind who miraculously survived the bombing.
“Hey, man. It will be okay...” the man said as he patted Arrow on the back. Arrow quickly shoved the music box in his pocket. He looked out the window as watched the scenery pass by. It was nothing but a blur of sand a few cactus every now and then. They were headed to the Zephyr military base, located in the middle of the Zephyr desert.
“Yeah..” Arrow said in a distant tone of voice and he looked out the window, trying to drop the subject. The man sighed and looked around the bus. They were on their way to the Zephyr’s military base.
Zephyr is a military based country with many cities lacing it’s border. Zephyr is at war with Devon, the neighboring country and in between the war, the holy area know as Sanctus is caught in between the fighting. Zephyr and Devon have been battling for years and no one is even for sure why. There are rumors, but no one has confirmed or denied them. It’s just mindless bloodshed. Despite this fact, I am going to fight Devon. It’s me against the world now. I will destroy Devon with my bare hands to avenge Titus and Nilly’s death, and all of the those innocent people of Tyrol. The guilt is excruciatingly heavy on my shoulders, fighting for spilt blood is the only way to fix things. I will avenge them...I will...
Arrow attended the military academy with many other people and ever ran into Owen there.
“Arrow, Arrow Kairo, is that you?” A young man asked, he looked to be about the same age as Arrow. He was a round blonde haired, blue eyed bow. Arrow looked up from his gun to see who owned the familiar voice. “Owen!” Arrow yelled as he jumped up and gave Owen a quick hug. Arrow was glad to know his best friend was going to be there with him. He felt less alone, seeing Owen brought him a new sense of hope. The two shared stories of how they got here and why they were here.
“I’m here because, well, I figured it was right to support the home team. My parents shipped me off here. I don’t mind it, I actually kind of like it, but why are you here?” Owen asked with a smile. Arrow looked Owen dead in the eyes.
“Titus and Nilly are dead.” Arrow said. “It’s all my fault...”
The academy lasted a year, and quickly turned everyone into strong human weapons of mass destruction. Like emotionless toy soldiers, the new 500 soldiers listened to the opening speech ceremony, then waited in line to receive their final test and brand. As they sat down for their brand, a begleiter would quiz the new soldiers one last time. They asked why their new soldier wanted to join the military, if their answer was good enough, they were branded with the Zephyr seal and sent either to more training or to the front lines. If the answer wasn’t good enough, they were shipped to the civilian living area of Zephyr military base and were not allowed to be soldiers. It was a strange way of weeding out weaklings, but rather effective. Owen was before Arrow in line. Owen glanced back at Arrow and smiled.
“Just think...a year ago, we were kids riding our bikes to school. Now we are dogs of the military. Who would have thought?” Owen said with a chuckle. He was still the same joking and upbeat Owen, but Arrow...had changed. Owen understood why, Owen’s family made it to safety, and Arrow’s was gone now. It hurt him to see his best friend in pain, but now, they were there for each other, to see each other through these dark times. Even though Arrow was bad at showing it now, he was so glad to see Owen.
Owen sat down on the metal stool as the begleiter and his assistant walked over to Owen. His assistant began heating the brand as his commander circled Owen like a hawk circled it’s prey.
“State your name!” The begleiter demanded
“Paresh, Owen! Sir!”
“Why are you here, Paresh?” He asked Owen in a deep inquisitive voice. Owen clutched his pant leg and waited for the searing pain of the hot iron.
“To better myself and destroy the terrorism that Devon has caused.” The begleiter smiled and poked Owen in the stomach with his switch. Owen had lost a little weight, but not enough for the military’s standards.
“That’s right tubby, you do need to better yourself...welcome to the Zephyr’s Military.” The begleiter said as he signaled his assistant over. His assistant nodded his head and pressed the burning iron on Owen’s neck. Owen wanted to scream in pain, but he knew it could make the begleiter change his mind so he sucked in his tears and held in the screams. The assistant pulled the brand off of Owen’s neck and bowed to him. Owen bowed to the assistant and the begleiter and left.
“Next!” The begleiter shouted.