Trifecta: First Blood
“Hang in there, Dane. We’ll be there soon.” There was no more response than the last three times. Cy told himself it was probably a good thing that Dane had passed out. Easier that way.
Cy winced as the wagon jolted and his fingers, slippery with blood, slid across the increasingly saturated pad above Dane’s left hip. He swore quietly. Dane was looking far too white, and as for the wound, Cy was afraid to lift up the pad again to look. The mouth of the wound had been ragged after the captain had pulled the arrow out, and the blood was still coming no matter how hard he pressed. Cy was far from sure that yanking the arrow that way had been the right thing to do — it was bleeding so much — but he had no idea what else they could have done.
They’d had to finish cleaning up the bandits, they’d had to, but it had taken too long. And the nearest healer was too far away. Cy had lost track of how long they’d been moving.
A distantly remembered conversation floated back to him. “Every good merc knows some first aid. It can be your life, or your friend’s, to know what you need to do.” His father’s voice had been serious, the way it always was when he talked about his profession.
“Don’t the armies have healers?”
“Of course, but if they’re not hard by when you need them? Your life is always worth more to you than it is to the man who pays you.”
Another bump. Cy grabbed for the side of the wagon, and set his jaw. The Atan treated “mercenary” like it was a dirty word, but if that was basic for mercs, why the hell didn’t they teach their soldiers this stuff? He was going to get some training as soon as they got back. Next time he’d know, be able to do something. Next time.
“Hang in,” he repeated. “Almost there.”
This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word MOUTH (noun):