The Shield on the Wall

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Roman sentries await the return of the vanguard.

Submitted: November 17, 2017

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Submitted: November 17, 2017

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The guards stood atop the wall alert and in full armor. They were waiting for the vanguard, which was supposed to be here hours ago and seemed to have lapsed into the ground. The commander strolled back and forth nervously, his anxiety slowly reflecting on his men too.

 

Suddenly, the silence of the night was pierced  by running feet. Out of the moor a lone, horseless soldier was darting for the wall. He was running, panting and waving his arms vigorously. He looked like a man turned insane; his hair was stuck together with blood, and he seemed to have lost all his weapons too.

 

Behind him, three riders appeared on a hill. The huge man in the middle, with long blond braids decorating his weather-beaten face, descended. The young soldier looked back at him in horror, he stumbled and fell, but soon enough he was back on his feet and running again. But the rider was behind him in a moment and an ax flashed through the air. The running sentry fell to the ground and the barbarian paid him attention no more. He rode closer to the wall, purposely very close and slow, so that all manning it will see. Now he stood close enough that anyone on the wall could have shot him down, but no one moved, no one even breathed. The man took a leather bag from his horse and dumped three heads to the ground. Then, he turned and rode back to his two companions. They all gave the men on the walls a last look and with a vengeful outcry rose their axes and made back for the moor.

 

The guards on the wall were silent, perplexed by utter fear. Then the commander turned to his companion. “Those were the Oathsworn.” He said melancholically. “The sacred band of Head hunters. God Almighty, protect us. Send a rider down to the nearest legion, we will need more soldiers. You, Antonius, call of the men, no one of the vanguard will return…”

 


© Copyright 2018 Fransizka Kufka. All rights reserved.

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