Dont let the walls fall!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story for a competition. I quickly wrote it and the idea isn't very good.

Submitted: December 31, 2012

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Submitted: December 31, 2012

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When they came through, they came through fast. Hundreds of thousands of men, a sea of shining metal armour, blood-stained weaponry – the perfect attack. The attack took a few mere hours then it was all over. The entire army decimated. The population massacred, families ripped apart. Here’s how it happened.

It was a warm morning in the middle of June; the sun was ablaze in the summer sky. People were getting on with their day to day lives. I was preparing for a day of guard on the walls.

Half of the army had being called out to go and fight an on-going war in the east. Against the Romans. Rumour has it that they have some of the biggest armies, the strongest weapons, and the thickest armour. At the time they were just that, rumours.

I went out and bought my family bread, milk and some bacon. Then I placed my armour over my shoulders and headed out to be armed. The days were always the same, standing at alert on the walls. Every single day I would look over the neighbouring land waiting in anticipation for anyone coming. When someone came it would be a rare occurrence.

Today felt like one of those days, a day when something would happen.  Geared up and primed I stood looking out across the fields. Everyone able bodied person in the land had being sent out too take part in the harvest.

The day progressed as normal and several bails of wheat and corn had being gathered in prior to the harvest. Exhaustion was what most people were feeling, a day of work. For me though I knew that the day was just starting, I knew that the hard work was yet to come.

The sun was falling behind the horizon and whilst it did it helped to cast shadows on the few people. Five or six people on horseback. The horses were tired and as soon as these mysterious people reach the gates the horses collapsed in agony. I was called down from the wall to investigate.

Once the gates opened I knew something was seriously wrong. The men were ravished and seriously fatigued. Two of the men were laid out on the floor. Other than that the men were perfectly normal except of course the cuts, the cuts and the bruises which covered their bodies.

We were informed of how they had spent the day travelling from the west. They were from a small village which didn’t have many soldiers. When the Romans came the entire village were slaughtered and no survivors escaped. They were positioned nearby and they watched as the family and friends were hung up and left to die.

The invincible force then moved on, slowly marching on Eastwards, closer and closer too-.  Too us. The men were all given a bed and the entire remaining army were prepared for a battle. It was then that it dawned on me, we had being tricked. They had sent a small army to the east to draw all of our soldiers away. Then whilst we are busy, they hit us with all they have got, the perfect plan.

I was repositioned on the wall; I was to stay at full alert till the early hours of the morning. If I noticed anything they I had to report it immediately.  As the sun went down, they came up. The million strong army, the army which would later engulf the city.

They arrived over the horizon. Too many to count, just when you thought they had stopped the next line would come in. Infantry, cavalry, artillery. They marched and as they did the ground shook. The might strong wall which I stood on didn’t seem so strong anymore. I knew that this was the time – the time for the city to fall.

And as they marched, the screams for mercy marched with them.  The cries of the ones who have already died, the pain of those already put to the sword by these men.  The shrieks of horror.

Once they were all here they didn’t stop to set up camp for the night. They put on their armour, they readied their weapons. They weren’t going to wait. All the available men from the city were given a sword, the best trained with bows were put on the top of the walls. The city had very little cavalry due to an illness.

Lined up and ready, they stood eyeing up our walls. I could see them setting something up In the distance and by the time I realised what they were, I knew that this was the end. They had catapults, the perfect siege weaponry.

They fired at us first. It was something which could not have being foreseen, they plan they used. They prepared all the catapults and archers and they were all fired at one time in unison. A million arrows flew above the city. Night had fallen upon us and because of this the arrows couldn’t be seen. By the time they were in viewing distance it was too late!

The arrows feel all around the city, bodies fell around me. People spluttering blood, an instant death for the lucky ones. The less fortunate ones choked on their own blood. I ran to the aid of a man a bit further down from me.

Before I could get to him the rock from the catapult hit the wall. At one thousand miles an hour it smashed through the wall. The wall crumbled and several people tumbled over the edge to their impending doom.  I was helping to attend to another man. The arrows weren’t coming down on us. When I looked up the second wave was coming.

One million flaming arrows lit up the night sky, a burning mass of pain and power. It was the perfect plan. Whilst we are off guard attending to our injured we aren’t watching them. They had managed to prepare and fire a million arrows, they were now raining down upon us. I dived to the floor shielding my head whilst I did so. As I fell my head smashed against the rocks of the wall. Darkness.

As I awoke I heard the cries of agony, those hit with the arrows were now in flames. I felt relatively fine. I went the aid of a man laid next to me. He was already a blazing inferno. I tried to stamp the flames out but he was already dead. The only easy thing to do would be to knock his body off the edge, so with a few strong kicks his body tumbled off the edge and dropped to the floor. It hit with a thud, at least he is off the wall.

My ears were ringing with pain and it took a while for me to notice the man shouting to me. I couldn’t make out the words he was shouting. Then in an instant it hit me. “You’re on fire!”

I look down and I couldn’t feel anything, then I felt it in my back, the intense burning going on. The flames melting away at my soft flesh, I dived to the floor trying to smother the flames. Before I knew what was happening a man had dived on top of me and he was using his own body to put to flames out. 

Once the flames were out he moved to help someone else who was injured. As he walked away I shouted the words “Thank you” into his general direction. Whether he heard me or not I will never know for the next thing I know a lone arrow hit him and before I could do anything he stumbled over the edge of the wall. Dead. The man who had just saved me was now dead.

I had no time to recall what had just happened. I heard the battering ram slamming against the gates. The gates were made of reinforced iron nevertheless they will snap eventually.

It was a mad scramble getting down to the ground away from the crumbling walls however once I arrived I knew that I would have rather being on the walls still. The ground was stained blood red, a handful of medics tried to attend to the thousands of dying men.

A crash then I heard the screams of thousands of bloodthirsty warriors. I spun round pulling an arrow from my sheath. I fired it directly into the approaching Roman; he fell backwards onto the ground. I grew my sword from its holder and I began to slash at the incoming men.

One man who came charging towards me held an axe, he jabbed it into my chest but thankfully I had armour on. Whilst he was preparing for his second hit I angrily shoved my sword down his thought.  He coughed up a lot of blood and within seconds he was dead.

The rest of the battle was a similar story, however a story of losses on my side instead. Our numbers dwindled and whilst I had chance I made a sneaky escape through a gap in the wall. It was my only chance. I forgot about all my family and friends who I was leaving to their deaths. By the time I thought about what I had left I was already on a nearby hill.

Looking back at the town I realised the full extent of the damage. Burning buildings formed the inferno which was sure to kill thousands.  I watched over for the next few hours while buildings were ripped down and pillaged.

By morning the Romans were leaving, they were gone, moving onto the next target. I never had any time to go back, the one good thing I could do was head east to inform others of this impending doom. As I ran though I was spotted and followed, I didn’t have any time to hide. I was a sitting duck in a field. The arrow went straight through my back and I fell to the floor in a puddle of blood.

When they came through, they came through fast. Hundreds of thousands of men, a sea of shining metal armour, blood-stained weaponry – the perfect attack. The attack took a few mere hours then it was all over. The entire army decimated. The population massacred, families ripped apart. My life pulled away from my grasp.


© Copyright 2020 JamesB. All rights reserved.

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