Throughout the novel, I share memories of the night my MC fled his village and how his entire family was murdered, along with everyone else around. He’s stuck in his head quite a bit, so when he’s truly feeling depressed, it’ll come forth. Other times, it’s based off sensory things like if he sees a burnt village or when he’s in danger. He does, however, try to ignore it and even hides his emotions because he believes that they are no good to him in battle or on his mission to kill the woman who murdered them. Though that is where his girlfriend comes in as she has helped talk to him, give him clarity, and let her be a shoulder to cry on.
I have a scene where my MC took a joy ride on a dragon and found a burnt village that reminded him of that night his family died.
This is that scene:
Borris bent forward, decreasing their elevation. As they descended, an odd, bubbly feeling churned in Nicolas’s stomach. It wasn’t the kind that led to vomit, but the kind where his body felt the thrill and adrenaline kick-in as he looked straight down. He theorized it could’ve been his flight or fight response, which would’ve made sense based on their circumstances.
After a few moments, they began to hover over a grove of burnt trees. This would’ve been a forest if it weren’t for the Victorian sorcery that destroyed it. Past the trees, however, was a ruined village. Stones and wood scattered across a field of dead grass and sand. He wasn’t sure which direction they were heading toward, but he guessed North. For all he knew, this was Hiroko’s home. The place she grew up. Dilapidated.
A surge of depression and trauma overwhelmed him, crashing into his veins like a wave sucking him under the depths of the sea, grasping his legs and pulling him deep into the sand, into the trenches of the ocean. A flashback of when he was a boy sprung into the corners of his mind and engulfed his vision with his past.
Fire. Lots of fire. Everywhere.
Blood curdling screams filled the air.
Smoke clouding his sight. Couldn’t see which way to go, what was in front of him.
Adrenaline raced through his body as he searched for someone. My brother. When his eyes landed on his little brother who had lay motionless on the floor, soaked in a pool of blood, Nicolas knew the answer to the awful question that poked at his brain. But as he kneeled, sobbing uncontrollably, Nicolas couldn’t let go. He couldn’t turn away despite the crackling flames that grew higher and bigger, obliterating the house piece by piece. This was his six year old brother, his best friend; the one who he talked and vented to every day, who was the reason he woke up every morning and got out of bed for. His brother meant everything to him, and now he was gone. Now, he had nothing. And now, he didn’t know what to do with his life. How could you spend the rest of your life knowing you could’ve prevented this? How could you live each day in a void that crushed your insides because of this incident?
Nicolas didn’t have the heart to. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.
But being twelve had its moments of realization. He knew Dirk wouldn’t have wanted him to take his own life because his wasn’t spared, so Nicolas decided to continue and get out of the burning house. Start his life over. Hit the refresh button. Live like any other person in this world.
As Borris circled the burnt village, Nicolas gasped as if oxygen had just reached his lungs. These wounds were old, from a life he tried to bury deep inside his chest, and yet here they were, fresh and scorching every fiber that dared to come near it.
The remains of this place punched him in the throat; he couldn’t continue looking at this tragedy, but he couldn’t bring himself to face the other way. Maybe it was a sign, something the universe whispered in his ear about how this was his destiny.