This was a drabble for a Lancer Writers’ challenge to write a sketch using a well-known quote spoken by a different character in a different context. I think you’ll recognize the quote.
The soft evening rain roused the man lying by the post in the courtyard. He heard drops on the red clay by his cheek, and breathed the sweet smell of blessed moisture after the hot afternoon. With eyes closed he slowly focused on the feel of the raindrops in the new wounds on his back, even their slight exquisite weight awakening the pain.
He did not hear the other’s approach.
“Lieutenant Lancer? Can you hear me, sir? It’s Corporal Harvey.”
A cough was his response, all he could manage.
“Sir, the guards let me come for you. … “
With eyes still closed, he found himself kneeling in the rain, his hands clenched on the corporal’s shirt. He was being urged to rise, pulled to his feet that he knew would not carry him.
He heard an odd rasp of a voice from his own cracked lips, “Wait…wait…”.
“Please, Lieutenant, let’s go inside….so we can help you.”
“No….first……..” He coughed again. “Drink? … Please.”
He had no awareness of getting inside, knew he was there only by the stench of bodies. Someone offered a cup of fetid water and he drank, trying at least to remember the cool rain.