Lightning struck outside the lovely dove-white window, and rain poured as if being slung from buckets. But May wished it would fall harder; it purified the sky.

Her heart pounded painfully, every beat felt like it would be the one to send it catapulting forcefully through her chest and to the hardwood floor. Lightning struck again, and it illuminated a Seeker helicopter. May ducked under the window and crossed her fingers. The searchlight shouldn’t be able to find her. It shouldn’t even be looking for her.

Her head pounded and she stuck her hand inside her shirt, fumbling nervously until she felt the glass bottle tucked between her breasts.

The bottle had once been cold. The dark green liquid inside had been slush when Ludovic shakingly placed it in her own trembling hands. “May,” He said, teeth chattering, “You know what you have to do.” She shook her head vehemently.

“No no! You can’t ask me to do this!” She whispered, “You know I can’t! I-”

“Stop it!” Ludovic hissed. “You signed the contract, you said you were with us. Or… are you against us after all?”

“N… no! O… of course n… n… not!” May stumbled over her words. “I just… I don’t want to lose you.”

Ludovic sighed, “May, now is not the time for this.” He took her hands and tried not to feel the ice cold bottle in her palms. “I’m coming back,” he assured her with a confidence neither felt. “I’m coming back, and when I do, we will be safe at last. No more oppression, no more danger. We’ll make a home, and have a family, one with many children, I promise. We’ll leave this cursed country and go somewhere with sunny days, and we’ll have so much happiness and peace we’ll be tired of it!” May shut her eyes and tried to picture the house and the family that Ludovic promised. She tried to think of the lovely weather and family, but the icicles falling from the sky wouldn’t allow it.

Ludovic squeezed her hands and May opened her eyes,”But first I must fight for peace.” May nodded hurriedly and kissed him hard on the lips. He wrapped his arms around her and felt the warmth and softness of her body press against his own cold and hard chest. The thought of such a sweet and precious woman being tortured because of him and her connection to him, a traitorous insurgent, was unthinkable.

He pressed the glass bottle with the vile dark green liquid deeper into her hand. “You know what to do if you are found, right?”

May nodded obediently, “Drink this, then look for somewhere comfortable to lie down.”

And then Ludovic had trotted off, rifle slung across his shoulder, to the battlefield that was not 500 meters away. May scuttled off and leaned against the eastern wall of the small shack she was hiding in. The battle raged on through the window. The rain was falling harder now, so hard she worried it might sink the roof, but not so hard that it drowned out the screams of pain as the bombs burst and the guns spit their bullets out, ending lives of young men and women every second.

May watched the crashing lights and explosions with giant, horrified eyes. Eyes that were illuminated beautifully when the Seeker helicopter shone its light on her.

It began to advance towards her.

May’s breathing accelerated instantly. She heard the gunshots and bombs going off inside her head now. She reached for the bottle again, and as she saw the vile dark green fumes of poison gas fly over the battlefield, she knew Ludovic was dead. He was not one of the “important” soldiers, he had no gas mask to protect him from the evil green fumes. The rain had broken through the roof. May felt a steady trickle of freezing water seep through the back of her shirt.

There would be no sunny days, no home, or family.

Another stream of green gas was released on the field, and staring at the deadly dark green poison in the bottle, May knew what she had to do.

 

300 years later, the house was renovated, and a suburban neighborhood for people to hold prayer meetings at and cheat on their husbands was raised on the once gory battlefield.

May’s body was taken almost immediately after her death, it was dumped on the field with all the other insurgents’ bodies. But a drop of the poison remained on the floor, soiling it permanently dark green.

It stayed visible, until the owners of the house decided that, for poetic justice, they would cover the stain with a large dark green couch of the same color.

You know, for watching football and stuff.

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