The Hero's Last Stand

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this years ago as the ending to a novel. I don't normally do the end first, most times I'm not even sure how a story will end until I reach the end, but this came to me so I put it down and never got around to writing the rest of the story. I have cleaned it up some and posted it simple because I love the speech the warrior gives. The is actually one of 3 version I wrote of speech and I think they are all equal good.

Submitted: July 19, 2017

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Submitted: July 19, 2017

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He looked them over the grey haired scared veterans of a hundred forgotten battlefields.  They had bleed on so many battlefields side by side, their blood mingling making them brother and sisters in arms.  The last unit he would ever lead into battle, a battle he and they both knew they could never win.  It was now just a question of how they would die.  Would they die on their feet screaming their defiance into the face of the enemy or would they take an arrow in the back.  He bounded onto the pedestal of a statue of a local hero long forgotten.  He looked to the docks and saw the last of the ships setting sail.  Then he turned to his army of 20 warriors.

 

“We have burned our bridges and the ships have sailed.  We stand here facing impossible odds knowing that we will die.  I am proud to see no fear in any of your faces.  Death may be our reward in this life, but we have already paid our passage in blood and death to Valhalla now we just await the end.  I say to you my brothers and sisters let us stand and with our deaths leave a legend behind that will only grow bigger with each telling.  If we run none will remember us but if we stand and face this enemy, fighting with all of our hearts to the end then they will speak of us in years to come.”

 

They cheered him as he hoped down his old tired knees popping as he hit the ground and staggered.  He strides to his place and loose his sword in its scabbard.  It was the perfect trap they had set, but it wasn’t the enemy that was going to be killed in it but him and his army.  He had known that this was how it would end, him leading a small group into a battle with no chance of winning.

 

The small band could hear the trumpets in the distance as the fore riders came into view. Drawing rein they watch the scared veterans unsure of what they were seeing.  For so long the army had faced no resistance and now a small group of old men and women stand in their way. The leader sent one man back to tell their general what was happening and then spread the rest of his men out to search for the ambush.

 

The general and his bodyguard came forward to look over this band of fools that would defy his army.  He saw their scars and the look in their eyes.  Their weapons were neither the freshly forged steel nor the rusted junk of a local militia.  He recognized them as warriors, skilled fighters and ready for battle against odds that would make a normal person quake with fear.  He had a man approach them carrying the flag of truce and parley.

 

They looked at each other over the small table and saw that neither was going to bend enough for the battle to be avoided.  The general offered the leader of the small band wine and bread, which he refused.  He would not eat or drink as long as his men had none.  The general offered to spare this town from the ravages of the war if they would relinquish their weapons and step aside so the army may pass unhindered.  With a merry laugh the leader of the small band offered to allow the army to turn and return from wince it came if they wished, but his small band would not surrender ever.  The talks didn’t take long it was just a formality, but this formality gave the captain of the band a chance to hand over a scroll with the names of his army on it.  He hoped that the names would be honored, but he knew his and his men’s true reward awaited in Valhalla.

 

The general wish to finish this battle quickly so he sent sixty men to slay the twenty that stood in the way of his army.  Sixty young fit soldiers marched forward to do battle with the twenty battle hardened warriors, swords clashed and men screamed. In the end twenty warriors stood and sixty soldiers lay dead.


© Copyright 2017 The Bard. All rights reserved.

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