The knife was three feet away from him and it might as well have been three miles.
He stared at it with dull eyes, just lying there in the dirt. The serrated edge glinted in the sunlight, winking at him, laughing at him. He blinked sluggishly as more blood trickled into his eyes, streaming down his face to mix with the gritty dust underneath his cheek. He needed to move...had to get up.
It was important that he get up. He needed to...there was something he had to do. It was just so hard to think. He head ached like it never had before, stabbing pain pulsing through him in time to his racing heartbeat. He was panting shallowly, and the shattered, grinding sensation with each breath told him at least a couple ribs were broken.
His sight blurred again, an alarming darkness licking at the edges and he grit his teeth, struggling to focus. Goddamn he hurt. He just wanted to lay his head down, give into the darkness and just sleep. There was something, though--something pushing insistently at the edge of his consciousness and demanding he move. He blinked again, trying to clear the blood from his eyes. The knife, he had to...to get to the knife. Experimentally, he pushed himself forward, hitching along on his belly, hindered by his hands bound behind his back. Instantly, pain screamed through his body, radiating from his left leg in a wave of red-hot agony. A broken, ragged sound tore out of him, almost too guttural to even be called a moan. He had to move, though...had to.
The thunder of his pulse in his ears was drowning everything else out, giving the world around him a strange, muffled quality. His vision doubled, then tripled and he needed to move. There was--something terrible was going to happen if he didn't move. He shuffled a couple of inches before his legs just gave out. He was so damn tired.
But he couldn't stop. Why--why couldn't he stop?
Something drifted across his senses, an acrid stench that stung his eyes and throat. Smoke? Something was on fire. The realization hit him, forcing some of the haziness from his mind. Clarity returned, his awareness sharpening, and now he could hear the crackle of flames, feel the heat against his skin, too close to be safe.
He could hear the screams.
Someone was screaming, high and loud and terrified. Other voices were raised in angry, desperate shouts and he could hear a rhythmic, hollow thumping sound. The voices...he knew those voices. He knew those voices and they were afraid. Pleading. Frantic.
The thought sent a pulse of pure rage rocketing through him and he renewed his efforts, pushing himself forward through the dirt. The knife winked at him, closer than before and his whole awareness narrowed to it's sharpened edge. He had to get to it...had to.
They were going to die if he didn't.