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       Eldnium, p.37

           Enoch Pyle, Jr
 

  “Are you okay?” Jackson asked as the two boys walked along the shore of the lake, looking for the spot where Landon had washed up the day before. “You haven’t even looked at me since…since we helped that girl…”

  “I’m sorry,” Landon said.

  “I know it was hard,” Jackson started, “but sometimes we have to do things that are hard to do.”

  “It’s not just that,” Landon said.

  “Well, what else? I know we just met, but…you can talk to me, you know. We’re in this together now, aren’t we?”

  Landon knew Jackson was right. A strange and natural kinship had formed between the two of them over the last few hours, and Landon trusted Jackson.

  “It’s the prophecy the Oracle gave me,” Landon shared. “She said, ‘From world to world your shadow casts a blackness that forever lasts. Your fight and fire fades to dark the meaning of this cursed mark.’” He looked at Jackson. “After all of this…coming to this place…what happened back at the heroes’ village…it’s like she was prophesying that death was destined to follow me everywhere I go.”

  “Surely not,” Jackson replied. “But even if she was, it doesn’t change anything, does it?”

  “Yeah! Of course it does! Don’t you get it? My fight and fire turns to dark the meaning of this cursed mark. It means that I’m destroying the very people I’m trying to save.”

  “This is a war, Landon. On my world, The Control came and used everyone in my city to construct a massive tower…a tower they used to bring me here. They turned them all into…zombies…people were ripping the world apart with their bare teeth. I can only imagine how many of them died, Landon. You know why? Because this is a war. People are going to die…even in places you’ve never been. I was the reason The Control came to my planet, but I know better than to hold myself responsible. And so should you. You didn’t kill those people, Landon. The Control killed them. And they’ll kill more, if what you’ve told me is true.”

  “It is true,” Landon said, sounding more defensive than he’d intended.

  “Then the only option we have is to finish this war.”

  Landon agreed. But he didn’t respond. Knowing, even only suspecting, that death would flow in your wake for the rest of your life… It’s sobering.

  Homeward Bound

 
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