Blood, death, anger, and violence permeated the frigid environment on that early winter morning in March. The war carried on, ignoring my presence as I gazed down into the valley from my perch on a cliff. I shuddered at all the carnage at my feet and fought to gain control over my suddenly flimsy body. Grim silence overtook me as the battle raged on. These people, who never thought their lives were worth anything, fought for more than themselves. They fought for freedom, friendship, family, and love. Love, which forces even the strongest of men and women to give into its gentle, but inescapable clutches, is the reason I sit here today. Someone stole my heart when I was younger, but I do not yet know who. The search dictates the sole mission of the crudelis, the heartless. We search for those who made us what we are, unfeeling monsters.
To find my thief, I came to the place where I would surely discover deceit, hate, violence, and worthiness of the task incarnate. As one by one the men fell, the carrion birds swooped lower and lower to devour their next meal. Passing time, I watched these birds wallow in their horrible, disgusting filth. They did possess a trace of grace as they let the wind carry them through the air, all except for the corpulent one who could now hardly fly. Unwillingly, the bird gave into the harsh effects of gravity and fell towards the ground, but at the last moment, he took to the sky once more. How resilient even the most disgusting creatures act, I thought to myself. Pondering the birds, I must have drifted off to sleep, for when I awoke, both sides reached concordance.
The carrion birds resting around me flocked away startled as I rose to my feet. I walked slowly between each dead body and examined faces. This one viewed death as cordial, that one as terrifying. Once, I came upon an innocent young woman with a kind face who clung to the dead lover of hers. Her heart was stolen from her as well, but she gave it willingly. How was I to find my heart in this mess? There was no way for me to even know if my thief participated in the battle. As I rifled through the belongings of each dead soldier, I wondered, as I often did when searching close to death. What would I do to my thief were I to find him today? Would I give him my heart willingly, or would I take it back after murdering him in cold blood?
My logic dictated that I shouldn’t murder him at least, for once my heart returned to me, remorse and guilt would plague me for my wrong-doing. Perhaps murder without the return of my heart would best fit me. The crudelis live for decades without hearts, so what’s a lifetime in comparison?
What do you think, readers? What should I do when I find the thief who made me this way?
Response to the Daily Prompt, Choose Your Own Adventure.