Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

(Ring Around The Rosy - ?)

One day. That's how long it took for the mighty kingdom of Dres Vaan to descend into chaos. That's how long it took for Dres Vaan to topple from her throne at the top of the world into the abyss below. It took a single day for this one proud country to be brought to its knees. The culprits: the innumerable feral gangs that roamed throughout Dres Vaan's slums and stalked its dark alleyways. The constant rivalry between the gangs normally would have never allowed this to happen. They were too preoccupied with their own greed for power. But it happened. One man united them, the most vile of them all: the Skull King.

Screams and cries for help echoed from every corner of the fallen kingdom as cities were set ablaze with gunshots and were diminished to rubble. Civilians flocked to the border but those filthy thugs had already beaten them to it and locked the giant metal gates, their last means of escape. From then on, it was a massacre. Death hung over the kingdom like a blanket, snuffing out the signs of life.

You would never believe the things I saw as a child. Bodies littered the roads, limbs were strewn across telephone poles and buildings, and the stench of rotting, sometimes burning, flesh was unbearable. There was never a moment without the sound of gunfire or shrill screams. The walls of houses were painted crimson, riddled with bullet holes. And when it rained, the runoff paved the streets blood red. What was once Main Street is now called the Red for its concrete was permanently stained with blood. The Council tried to repaint it black but to no avail. The red still shown through as if to mock Dres Vaan for its weakness. So they reluctantly painted it red and today, it is a constant reminder of our past. The brutality of it all was enough to drive anybody insane, traumatizing them for life.

For five years Dres Vaan remained in this tattered and beaten state, ruled by thugs, until two valient men came together and rallied the troops, Liam Woods and Edgar Carlton. With a newfound strength, leadership, and boost in morale, the Army struck back with a terrifying force. The war that ensued was one the world had never seen before. It was as fierce as the massacre before it and countless of lives were lost.

The apprehension of the Skull King signaled the end of the decade long war. The execution scaffold was built on the Red and the citizens came from all over the kingdom to watch the man who had brought them ruin and despair meet his end. It was the first time in years that the ventured out into the streets. They no longer needed to hide.

Liam and Edgar stood on either side of the Skull King, guns pointed at his temple. Then Liam made a mistake. One that would haunt the kingdom in its coming years. "Any last words?" he asked. At this the Skull King let loose a bone-chilling laugh. "Even without its head, a skeleton will continue to live. It will appear from the shadows once more and will terrorize you until you are at your wit's ends. And if you think you've seen the last of me, then you, my friends, are dead wrong." Rattling his chains, his howl echoed over the faces of the crowd before him, faces that had been contorted into fear. Liam and Edgar pulled their triggers but it was too late. The damage had been done. Though the Skull King had been silenced, he had drilled fear and dread into their hearts.

In the years that passed, the Army drove the rest of the gangs into hiding. The people crowned Liam king who then chose Edgar to be the Army's Commander. Without the Skull King, the gangs fought one another in a scramble for the throne. But none was as strong, as cunning, and as charismatic as their former king. The alliance fell apart but the gangs never stopped fighting. The Army was able to arrest countless numbers of gangs but many more still remained. So to this day, the war between the gangs and the Army still rages on. The skeleton the Skull King had spoken of died in the end, but the people feared that one day, he'd be back and the bloodshed would repeat itself.

But I won't allow that to happen. My name? Lilia Carlton, the Commandant's only child and a proud member of the Army's secret faction, the Hunt. Ever since the day I was born, the hatred towards those filthy gangs has flooded my veins and has been drilled into my heart, body, soul, and mind. Though seventeen is a young age for one to enlist in the Army, let alone the Hunt, I am a soldier through and through. I swear to my kingdom, I will do what my father has not been able to. I will erase every damn gang off the face of our world so that our kingdom can finally be at peace.

Author's Note:

This is my first try here in Fictionpress, so please bear with me okay? Right now, I'm going to be focused on the action but there will definitely be romance in the future.

Hope you all keep your eye on this!