There was a square hole in his cell. It shined just enough light for him to see the black stone walls which imprisoned him. He stood on his toes, but his fingertips barely grazed its edge. He leaned against the wall feeling its coolness against his bare chest. There was thrashing down below from waves crashing against the cliffside.
He smiled at the familiarity, his lips crack and bleed. With his tongue, he wiped away the blood. It had a metallic taste. He sucked on his teeth feeling the black grime which coated them.
A breeze blew in and tousled his tangled hair. It smelt of salt, petunias, and pine. It was a northern wind. The scent threw his thoughts back to when he was a boy. Before he was the commander of an army of orphans, before his my mother and sister were burned and his father hung and disemboweled.
Behind his home was a space full of purple flowers and tall grass. He was a boy no older than five, running through the towering green blades their softness gazing his plump cheeks. Before he could reach the cliff’s edge, his father scooped him up. His strong arms and full hands lifted him to the sky where he’d catch a glimpse of the horizon. The wind blew against his face. It smelt of salt, pine, and petunias. His eyes tightened around the memory. His father placed him back on the ground.
“Come along!” said his father walking back home where his mother was waiting.
His tiny, thick legs scurried over, but a sound gave him pause. It was a voice softer than his father’s rough voice, but coarser than mother’s sweet tone.
“Come back to me,” it said, “I love you.”
His eyes opened. There was a square hole in his cell; it brought death. Instead of fists and guns, it killed with dreams. But, her voice was his shield.