Battle Ground

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More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A second person detail of a knight going into battle in the midst of a winter storm to fight an enemy he deems stronger than his own army. The sensory and imagery is enough to awaken and stimulate your senses as your put into this knight's rather freezing boots on the brink of war.

Submitted: January 13, 2016

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Submitted: January 13, 2016

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The skies are darkened with the heavy storm clouds raging on the horizon, blocking out the morning sun, and casting dark ghastly shadows over the wild landscape. A gale of wind tears through the valley and up over the hills, whipping the prairie grasses and golden daisies back and forth before slithering up under the cold steel armor of every burdened soldier.

Being surrounded on all sides by hundreds of men does nothing to help protect you against the bitter cold air that turns your skin pale and your lips an indigo blue. Despite the many layers of protective padding beneath your heavy metallic armor, and the heavy woolen socks you wear, you curl your toes in your boots to make sure that they aren’t yet numb.

One of the shadows looming over the distant hill slowly materializes, and you realize that it is a single knight. Slowly, he trudges up the steep incline and stops at the ridge. Confused, you turn to the others around you who are quietly murmuring to one another. Why would the enemy send one lone victim into the line of battle? Turn your gaze back to the man on the hill, and watch as he raises his sword in the air and shouts out his battle cry in a foreign tongue. There comes a command from the front row of the formation, and the archers nock their arrows. Fire! You commander yells with a rattling voice. On queue, the archery men in front of you release the taut strings, and quickly lower their bows as the dozen arrows pierce through the shifting winds and hit their target true. A heartless laugh spills from the mouths of fellow soldiers as the man on the ridge drops his sword and collapses to his knees before falling backwards out of sight.

There is a brief moment of silence, followed by a low rumbling chant coming from beyond the ridge that shakes the solid earth like a vicious quake. A black line appears up on the ridge, and you know that it is the oncoming force of the enemy. Thousands of men, marching in sync as they descend from the ridge and into the valley where you wait ill-prepared. It’s the scratching in your throat… the heavy weight in the pit of your stomach, as you turn frantically to the men around you who all are quickly scrambling to take their assigned battle stances. Without so much as a thought to the matter, you fall into line and close the visor on your helmet. Your surroundings are immediately blocked out. No more clouds, and no more hills. All you can see through the thin slits in the rusty metal is the soldier in front of you, and the one in the next line over.

You take a deep breath in.

Breathe out. The warmth of your breath redirects off of your visor and back into your face. For a moment you are lying wrapped in furs that you trapped yourself so that you could take comfort in knowing that she will be warm and safe through the winter while you are away at war. In front of you, the fire crackles and dances in the hearth, silently whispering home. The bright burning embers spark in your eyes as you close them and let out another deep breath.

Opening your eyes, you realize there is no hearth- that the fire is raging on all around you, burning the wild prairie grasses, and enveloping your fellow knights in its deadly embrace.

You are immediately drawn into the chaos unfolding before you. With your sword in hand, you swing at the enemy, tearing them down one by one as though they were merely overgrowth in a forest so congested that you have to make way so that you can breathe. The cries of the dying souls and injured falling aren’t loud enough for you to hear because your mind is focused on the nauseating sound of metal slicing through flesh and bone… There is an extra force you have to put into each swing and stab before the pressure is released and you can be sure that you’ve cut cleanly through the limb.

It is only a slight relief that you can’t see properly because no one wants to see the mountain of flesh, blood, and tears that you must climb to cut down the enemy.

There is a deep and thunderous roar from above. Daring one glance upwards towards the heavens, you catch a glimpse of the almighty beast soaring high above with billowing clouds of charcoal colored smoke rising from its nostrils.

One moment was too long though. You tear your eyes away from the skies just as you exhale a sharp breath. Every muscle in your body contorts as you jerk backwards on the crimson blade of your enemy that was driven through the armor’s weak spot just beneath your abdomen. Fire burns before your eyes. Daisy yellows, spring oranges and poppy reds cling to black silhouettes for life, just as they would do to the logs in your hearth at home. You cough, and choke as you gurgle and sputter your own blood. The war rages on around you as your knees finally buckle and give out.

A rippling pain sears through your legs up into your abdomen where you are bleed profusely. As quickly as it had appeared, the pain leaves the wound and makes its way to your skull just as you crash into the hardened earth. You fell one moment too soon… For as you lie there in the blood soaked soil, you hear the cry of victory and the sound of defeat. Which one were your people? You draw your last shallow breath and close your eyes. You will never know. 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Kayla Coleman. All rights reserved.

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