Dakari sniffed, there was a stale stench that clung to the stone buildings, a smell that burned his nostrals and made his head swim. The air was heavy, pressing him down, begging him to go forward. His Aunt was upstairs in her room reading a novel she hadn’t been able to put down all day, she surely wouldn’t miss him.
His Aunt had named him Dakari because he was her happiness and joy; the ray of sunshine in their somehow dreary lives. But everything had changed. There was no light in Dakari, only a suffocating darkness. No one welcomed that darkness. He was an outcast, dimmed and forgotten.
Dakari’s foot thudded heavily against something hard dragging his attention to a roar that had flooded the night, but that his tumultuous thoughts had tuned out. The river was barely visible by the light of his flashlight, the light dancing off the waves of a strong underlying current. He hovered violently at the edge of that water for a moment, muttering under his breath.
“Aunt Amare will be better off without me, everyone will.”
The flashlight flickered as he plunged into the river, the small light dropping from his hands and clanging roughly on the rocky soil. Dakari didn’t kick towards the surface, nor did he fight for the breath that escaped him, letting the current sweep him away. A chilling blackness sank through his skin, soothing the fiery burning in his chest. He didn’t struggle against the bands that slithered around his hands and ankles, dragging him deeper.
“Aunt Amare will be better off without me, everyone will.” Then he was alone in the dark with the red-ember eyes.