Flash: Ancestral Warrior

Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

The silent scream woke Troy, the claw scrapes against the non-existent tiles in the dirt floor screeched against his nerves.

A nightmare, to end a nightmare, to wake to his ongoing nightmare.

Fever burned at his sanity, hiding his loss temporarily in the flames. A solider outside a war zone, but never completely escaped from the war zone inside, the damaged black man searched with combat-sharpened eyes. The dark Vietnam medical shelter didn’t rate the name hospital, but it was all his father’s side of the family had available near their home, after forgotten landmine had found him. The dirt floors and makeshift walls left a haze of dust hanging in the moist night air.

There was … something.

He tried to leverage himself up to see further into the dark, a struggle with the damage along his side and his missing leg.



It hovered over one of Troy’s distant cousins, taking.

An apparition. Not solid, but more dangerous than despair.

Adrenaline flooded Troy’s system, and he swung his legs over the side of the bed and promptly fell. One leg remained missing and would for the rest of his life.

His very short life, as the apparition had noticed him and left the local behind. It floated-crawled over the beds of moaning men.

Troy pulled himself up on one knee to face his death, hoping it’s all a fever dream, but something deep within said no. The same something that drove him into the army instead of suicide when his mother died. The same something that pulled him through the sand when he got shot in the Middle East. The same something that had him throwing a child aside from where they had been playing in the jungle right before his world exploded.

The incorporeal soul-sucking nightmare closed and hovered just feet away while Troy gritted his teeth and growled.

When it leaped, so did Troy – right out of his body into a new one, fully formed and encased in ancient bronze armor with a sword in his hands. His destroyed body left behind for now, dying without its soul. He had only seconds, maybe a minute, to act. Fortunately his time in Uncle Sam’s army made him an efficient killer.

 (Words 375 – first published 1/5/2020)