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):

3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as

For more of Cy’s adventures, start with The Saber or click on the Calere category on the sidebar.  Thanks for reading!
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  1. Tara R. says:

    At first I thought maybe this was set during a World War, then maybe the Civil War, then perhaps another place and time… but this was a good thing. The story is timeless, and you leave just enough to the reader’s imagination to make it wholly engaging. Wonderfully done.

  2. Renee says:

    Good writing. I was bouncing along gin that wagon. Hoping they find the healer in time.

  3. The story is interesting enough to captivate one’s interest and keep them wondering what happens next. Fantastic job with it!

  4. Michael says:

    I very much want to know what happens next. I do hope they made it.

  5. jody says:

    nice work with the mouth of the wound – I was left feeling Cy’s pain of regret

  6. deana says:

    1) I love the name Cy
    2) I love this story.

    Great work!

  7. JannaTWrites says:

    Wonderful writing! I could feel Cy’s anxiety as the ride dragged on. I hope Dane makes it and that Cy gets the training he wanted.

  8. mouth of a wound is a really good response to the prompt – enjoyed reading your post

  9. Sandra Crook says:

    Nicely done, original take on the prompt too.

  10. Wonderful sense of regret permeates the piece.

  11. barbara says:

    ths is timeless . . full of regrets and even hope. Nicely done.

  12. Mama Melch says:

    I’m holding my breathe hoping Cy makes it to next time…

  13. Jennifer says:

    I loved that the Merc’s had a better code than the army and I agree that the anxiety is built really well here.

  14. viv blake says:

    Sufficiently convincing to make me hope they made it in time.

  15. lumdog says:

    This is a great piece of writing and I would love to read more.

  16. christina says:

    ouch ouch OUCH.
    and love the use of the word!

  17. Lance says:

    Great job with the prompt. Mouth of the wound was something I considered but couldn’t work out. I’m jealous and admiring your work. I like the dialogue, It fits the characters. well done.

  18. Joetwo says:

    A good engaging tale filled with glorious details.

  19. Steph says:

    Arrows, bandits, blood, mercenaries and the setting of a jaw – wow – I was bouncing along with Cy and poor Dane. I hope there is a next time for Dane. Nice writing!

  20. Draug (@Draug419) says:

    Ooh ooh this reminds me of the little fantasy story I’m trying to write (: I love it!

  21. Trifecta says:

    NEVER remove the object from the wound. 🙂 Nice job!!

    • Annabelle says:

      Writing Cy’s uncertainty was easy because I too have almost no idea what to do in that situation! I’m pretty sure I’d leave the arrow in for the emergency room, though.

  22. Tina says:

    I would like to have known how old these two were. If they were battle hardened, perhaps he would have picked up a little first aid along the way, or at least have had some exposure to other soldiers talking about wounds?

    What I am trying to say is that I would like to know more!

    • Annabelle says:

      This is probably not Cy’s first expedition but it’s the first time he’s seen someone seriously hurt. He’s used to living in a peaceful country, poor guy, and was not prepared for the reality of this.

  23. Atreyee says:

    A bumpy ride-in more ways than one for these two!Hope they reach a healer before that “mouth” spews all the blood-poor Cy,should have learnt how to heal while the going was good.Nice one:-)

  24. Cameron says:

    Hard lessons here. And there’s a lot of depth to the image of a wound having a mouth, losing blood, sucking life…

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