Countdown to Courage


7/9/20232 min read

With my hands bound and a cold steel barrel pressed against my back, I was led by VenomJaw through the heart of the devastated town. His gruff voice rang out in the haunting silence, a dark, chilling threat. "Ravager!" He bellowed. "Come out, or your little friend here dies!"

As we trudged on, my heart pounded in my chest. But amidst the rising fear, a faint glimmer of relief flickered. Elara. They didn't have her. If they did, I wouldn't be the one at the end of VenomJaw's wrath. If this was my end, at least I knew she was safe.

In the center of town, I was forced to my knees and bound to a post, the rough rope biting into my wrists. VenomJaw towered over me, a giant with murder in his eyes. He leveled his pistol at me, his words echoing ominously in the still night air. "Ten seconds, Ravager. Or your friend becomes space dust."

My heart thrummed erratically as the countdown began. A flood of fear and panic welled up within me at the number 'ten.' My breath hitched in my throat as VenomJaw's voice continued to drop: nine... eight... seven... My fate, neatly wrapped up in a dwindling string of numbers. Yet, as the countdown wore on - six... five... four... - I found a strange peace.

I was ready. If I was going to die here, then I'd meet my fate head-on. I wouldn't crumple. I'd stand tall, even if only in spirit. As VenomJaw's voice boomed 'three,' I clenched my jaw, ready for the inevitable.

But then, at 'two,' Ravager emerged from the shadows, his hands raised in surrender, his weapon skittering away into the darkness. "Take me, VenomJaw! Let the boy go. You and I, we're the ones with the score to settle."

VenomJaw laughed, a deep, malevolent sound that seemed to echo around the square. "Do you take me for a fool, Ravager?" He barked out, signaling his men. They rushed Ravager, binding him to the post next to me. "Did you honestly believe I'd let anyone walk away?"

Our gazes locked, a thousand unspoken words passing between us in that moment. I saw apology in Ravager's eyes, a sorrowful regret that tightened my chest. But I pushed back with as much reassurance as I could muster. It was okay. It wasn't his fault.

As VenomJaw's men raised their pistols, pointing them at our heads, time seemed to stand still. Our fate, it seemed, was sealed. But just as the deafening crack of gunfire was about to echo through the square, a roaring spaceship swooped in. Blaster shots rained down upon the pirates and town center, throwing VenomJaw and his men into chaos.

The cold barrel at my temple was gone, replaced by a sudden rush of hope. It wasn't the end. Not yet. We had been saved... for now.