Death For Life
Prologue: Burn
"Atra Legis get down from the tree right now, or I won't let you out tomorrow!" a middle aged woman yelled out the window of her small house. The subject of her command was a young boy, who was not more then ten feet away, but still pretended to have not heard her. Although he did hear her, he was too lost in his own thoughts. How can I not be nestled high up in a tree? My village is in a forest! His thoughts were not angry though, but merely inquiring. Though most children who had lived for twelve years were interested in nothing more than play, Atra was quite the opposite. He had a thirst for knowledge and this combined with his wild and free spirit, caused people to look upon him as if he was weird, because he was different than the kids who were around his age. This in turn had taught him to be very reserved around people, especially those people he didn't know or those who didn't understand him. He preferred to be alone most of the time, such as now. No one besides his family would bother him if they saw him perched up in a tree. He had figured this out early, and so far his logic had proved true every time. Especially at the great height he sat at, he wasn't visible to the average passerbyer. You had to know exactly where to look if you wanted to find him.

He peered through the branches out at the visible window of his house, and managed to catch a glimpse of a small figure standing behind the window frame. The curls of blond hair that everyone found so cute informed him that it was his little sister Leanna. "Mommy says that you need to come down right now because it is gonna get dark out there. If you don't, she says that daddy will be coming out there, and you don't want that," she informed him. His sister was two years younger than him, but sometimes it felt lke she was the mother. The mention of his father was enough to make him grab a hold of the branch with his rough, calloused hands and swing his legs down to stand on the branch below. He moved purposely delibrate in his movements, which were slow, as he made his descent. He was almost halfway down the tree, when the sound of the towns' drums reached his ears. Everyone in town had it drilled into them from an early age that if the drums were sounded, then there was serious and immediate danger within the parameters of the town. Atra's instinct kicked in and instead of finishing his descent towards the ground and the safety of his house, he headed back up the tree. He did not stop his climb until he reached the top of the tree, resting at his usual spot. "Atra get inside quickly!" came the frantic voice of his father who came running from within his house, sword in hand.

Atra looked around from his high vantage point at the rest of the town. He could see flames and smoke rising through the air, the trees and houses being consumed by what looked like a fiery rage. This sight caused his body to freeze up, paralyzed by fear, blocking all attempts his brain made to get to his father, and the safety beyond. He turned his head towards his father and saw that four figures on horseback had approached him. He could see that they wore black armor which covered there bodies, and the armor had stranger red markings that covered it. He could see by their faces that one of the horsemen had perfectly smooth and flawless skin, while the other three had rotted flesh where a face should have been. The torches in their mottled grotesque hands, illuminated the otherwise dark night. "Leave this place you do not belong here!" he heard his father shout bravely at the horsemen. "Don't worry about that, we will not be here long, and neither will you!" the front most rider replied in a deep raspy voice. He followed it with a malicious laugh which sounded so evil to him that is caused Atra to shiver and grab on to the branch he was sitting on to avoid tumbling to the ground below.

Atra's father snarled and lunged forward, slashing downwards at the apparent head rider. With surprising speed, the horseman deflected the oncoming sword with a giant two handed axe, which he produced from off his back. The axe had a blue hue, and when it was flipped in the air into an overhand strike position, it resembled a giant blue snake slithering through out the air. Atra's father parried the blow right with his sword. He took the blow, and the strength of the attack numbed his right arm. Meanwhile while the two had exchanged blows, one of the other riders had tossed a torch into the open door of Atra's house. This drew the attention of Atra's father and he screamed for his family who were trapped within the house. He had made them hide inside, and he screamed in agony as the whole house caught fire within seconds. This distraction caused him to not pay attention to his attacker, and so he did not even see the giant blue axe slicing through the air towards him. Just as he turned around, the axe buried itself deep in his chest, becoming embedded halfway into his chest. The crack of breaking bones and the sick sound of flesh being torn through would have made Atra sick to his stomach if he had been able to immediately register what had just happened. All his father could do is stare down at the weapon, his arms making a feeble attempt to take the axe out. He tried to form some last words, whether to tell his son to run, to cry out for his family, or to curse the evil riders was only known to him as he could only form the lip movements, but no sound. No words came out, and all of a sudden he slumped forward a little, the only thing keeping him up was his enemy's axe. When the rider withdrew the axe with a sucking sound of the weapon being slid out of flesh and blood, he fell to the ground dead.

Atra felt the salty tears stinging at his eyes, and running a river down his soft boyish cheeks, but he couldn't cry for fear that the horsemen would find discover him. Even as a rider lit the tree he was hidden in on fire, he managed somehow to stay completely silent. Suddenly the head of the riders let out a laugh of pure joy, and this sound absolutely disgusted and enraged the young boy. He was barely aware of the fact that he was climbing at a furious pace down the tree, and did not even flinch as splinters embedded themselves in his palms and arms. He wasn't even conscious of the fact that he went right through the flames near the base of the tree, leaping to the ground below. The rider had turned to walk the other way, and when Atra landed, he took the fall on his shoulder, rolling to his feet with a soft thump! The rider had just begun to turn around as Atra lunged, throwing his body like a projectile at the armoured rider. He remembered the feeling of his fist, connecting heavily from the force with the perfect face of the head rider. The last thing that went through his mind was that when he died, at least he knew he had made some attempt to revenge his parents. He let out an inhuman scream, feeling all the heat of the hatred and anger being released from him, as a heavy veil of darkness settled and smothered him like a blanket. A feeling of peace surrounded him, and then all was dark for the twelve year old boy.