Race the Sun

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A medieval soldier fights desperately to save the life of his beloved bride, willing to do whatever it takes to ensure her safety. Inspired by the song "Hey Nightmare, Where'd You Get Them Teeth" by A Skylit Drive. Disclaimer: all quotes from this song (in Italics) are not mine.

Submitted: August 18, 2012

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Submitted: August 18, 2012

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The steady pounding of horse hooves smacking the dusty ground was the only thing keeping him firmly tied to reality. Brutally, he continually kicked and whipped his horse, urging it on faster; to run harder. The poor creature whinnied its plead for mercy, but the soldier ignored it, his thoughts only on his destination.
“Come on, you foul beast!” He screamed in desperation. It had been near an hour ago when he received news that the castle was being attacked from the north and his troops were to report back to defend the king and queen and their newborn son. Most importantly to him, though, was the princess; his soon to be wife whom he had to leave before marrying her. War was a terrible thing, but he vowed to her that he’d return. That was exactly what he was going to do. Nothing but God's own wrath could halt him.
Several feet ahead of the rest of his men, he prayed that she would remain safe. Up ahead, he could see the castle walls accompanied by an ominous cloud of black smoke. Even more frantically, he spurred his stallion onward. Finally reaching the castle, he urged his horse through the gates, barreling through people, trampling whoever wasn’t swift enough to make way. There was a huge confusion of warriors and battle cries of pain and anger melting away beneath the clashing of swords. Sparks flew as guards fought for not only the royal family, but also their own lives as well. The soldier searched around frantically, mindlessly swinging his sword at those who approached him. From the raised viewpoint of the stallion’s back, he could see over most of the people. Surely the royal family was no longer inside the stone walls; they must have been evacuated by now.
A shrill scream broke through his thoughts, its familiarity sending a shiver up his spine. One of the enemy soldiers had his beloved by the hair, forcing her to her knees, exposing her fine neck. He had an evil smile on his face and a laugh that pierced through the chaos of the battle. Enraged, the holy soldier slammed through the crowd, jumping from his horse in front of this evil man. Surprised, he only had time to release his hold on the fair princess. Her savior lashed out, feeling his sword slide expertly through his enemy’s ribs, colliding with his backbone. Warm blood splattered his face and pooled at his feet. The princess reached for her lover who quickly took her into his arms. Fighting their way through the ruckus, he lead her to an escape alley and slipped her a dagger.
Run for the skylines, darling. Race the sun. Follow the light of the moon just to stay alive. And forgive me, for tomorrow, if I’m late, I’ve died before I wake.” He said with a rough, breathy voice and leaned in to kiss her soft lips.
“Please, don’t forget me. I will wait for you, my love.” She responded with tears in her eyes before turning, running to her safety like he had instructed. As she fled, she took a chance to look behind her, at the sky burning orange from the setting sun and fatal smoke. Race the sun, he told her. She knew this meant that she needed to reach the woods before dark, then allow the moonlight to guide her to their special place.

The soldier turned back to the fighting, screaming his rage and flinging his sword at whoever dared to glance in his direction. Such a terrible war, brought on my superstitions that his people used magic to kill their enemy’s only heir to their throne. If they could only pull aside their foolish vengeance, none of this would have came to pass. Fighting with all his strength, determined to do whatever it took to guard his beloved, he searched for the leader of this group of soldiers. The man was easy to spot, surrounded by other men trying to show off their skills to him. The holy soldier shoved and fought his way closer to this leader, fighting off all the men around him. Anger is the best motivator, he realized. After many strong strikes and blocks, his enemy fell to his knees, throwing up his hands in surrender.

“Yield, I yield!” the man cried out.
I’ll send your soul to the hell where it came from,” the holy soldier snarled before thrusting his sword through the enemy’s left eye.
Without their leader, the group of soldier quickly fell, being crushed by the Imperial guard. By now it was well into the night, the soldier well deserving of rest. Other men from the castle tried to urge him to take some rest, but he refused.
Let it be know that this soldier will not rest one day until he lays in the glamour and grace of his bride!” He declared, jumping onto a fresh horse and racing through the same passage his lover had went through hours before. Moonlight being the only thing guiding them, the horse stepped cautiously, not going as quickly as its rider desired. Reaching the treeline, the warrior jumped from his horse, knowing that it would be too difficult leading the mare through a darkened forest. It would be quicker to go on foot from there, he knew. Soft moonlight filtered in through the canopy of trees, casting strange long shadows. The soldier ignored the eerie silence of the woods around him, focused solely on finding his princess.
All night, he walked through the forest, shoving aside branches and kicking away brambles. Exhaustion pumped through his veins, causing him to stumble more often as time went on. He refused to stop, even for a moment’s breath. All that mattered to him was finding his love, safe and unscratched. As the sun started to rise over distant hills and birdsong began to fill the air, he could see that he was close to the pond, the special place where he had first laid eyes on his beautiful princess. A little extra energy flowed into his weary muscles and he jogged the rest of the way, crashing through the wall of bushes that hid the lake.
By the little shore of the pond, he saw his beloved laying down, curled up in the mud. Hurriedly, he ran to her side, relief and joy and excitement filling him up. Gently, he dropped to his knees beside her, rolling her towards him to wake her up. Something wasn’t right, there was resistance as he tried to turn her onto her side. She was ice cold against his hand. Desperately, he forced her to face him, her stiff body flopping over with a sicking thud. The front of her dress was coated in the reddish-brown of dried blood and a gaping wound told the story of a tragic death. Someone had found her before him.
Overwhelmed with grief and anger, he threw his head back and howled with pain. He clutched her cold, hard body against his chest, sobbing violently into her long dark hair. Slowly, his crying slowed, the agony being replaced by a burning hatred. He would hunt down her killer and make him pay. He would make that entire family pay for the death of his lover. Nothing could stop him, nothing could slow him. Even if it killed him, he would avenge her death.
I will not rest one day until my victim’s blood is shed up and down the shorelines” he whispered to her soul.


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