The gnome falls into the last spot in the formation. She steps on bruised and lacerated feet, but knows forward is the only direction left to her- to anyone- anymore. Her soft shopkeeper-body demands she lie down and die. She has never been in more pain. And all from walking. In front of her is a line of villagers like has never been seen before. Men and women who have lost everything and have sworn the last remaining portion of their soul to revenge. Weapons as diverse as soup ladles being brought to the front. She has the sharpest cleaver from her drawer. Her fathers. How the old toy-maker would be proud.
Squeaky Yon-Blue-Spinner doesn’t want revenge. She wants to go home to her family, sit in front of the hearth and carve toys with her mate. Plan events for the store to increase shopping traffic and raise their little boy to be a toy-maker, like them.
It doesn’t matter that all that is gone now. The little boy, the partner, the toy store. She tries to move her mind from what was now a smoldering pile of hot white ash and focus on the job to be done here and now:
Climb a mountain and prepare to kill the jagged teeth, and sulfur belching beasts that have climbed out of hell and have amassed against them. They slumbered once, now they die. Or so that’s the hope. Squeaky sighs, adjusting the slipping kitchen implement stuck inside her belt. She knows death is coming. She knows it like watching an approaching storm on the horizon. But this death is hers. Her very own. And the very last thing she will ever do. And again she raises her chin and continues to pick up her feet, father’s don’t get to be proud for nothing.