A Stiff Spirit

Eliot, trapped and secluded, was surrounded by fighting. Which tended to happen when inciting a war. While he managed to hide behind the pile of obvious rubble, he might as well waved a hundred white flags. It was the only pile of rock for miles.
Smoldering blasts of iron strung the sky like fireworks, the deadly projectiles that sliced through the crimson smoke covering the lost and destroyed. Anyone unlucky enough to be in the worst spots was instantly erased, leaving a vague pink mist where their bodies once fought.
Eliot’s brilliant plan left him alone. No allies, no adversaries. There was a little more than a mile of wasteland and crushing dents that littered the barren ground.
Continuous explosions rocked the outer lands. Screams, battle cries, and desperation stretched endlessly. At least from Eliot’s perspective.
Huddled in the rocks, assaulted by the iron air, Eliot waited hours for the fighting to stop.
Seven days of uninterrupted killing. The continent transformed to ruby.
Eliot stayed hidden.
The dead never returned. Usually they would reconstitute themselves, their bodies would rewind, all the red would sift back to where it belonged.
Not this time.
Eliot broke the cycle because it was the first moment of peace he’d managed in decades. So, he reached into his knapsack and pulled the first bottle free. Popping the cork, he lightly sniffed the contents. Some kind of wine.
Eliot drank straight from the bottle and downed it until only a thin layer remained at the bottom.
Now, he was ready. One more time, he told himself. One more round.
Eliot stepped out from the rocks and rejoined the awakening battlefield.

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