Thursday, August 6, 2009
I slowly open my eyes to the sound of the pitter patter of the rain. The last thing I remember was turning around and shooting my arrow towards my enemy. What happened next was a total blur. I slowly started to sit up, but an agonizing pain rushed through me. It was as if thousands of pins suddenly pricked my left shoulder all at once. I winced and lay back down.
“You shouldn’t move too much,” a voice said. It was definitely male; older and a little rough. I wasn’t able to see him, but he sounded close.
“Where am I?” I asked, starting to pant. The pain had become unbearable.
“Safe – at least for now,” he answered. “I found your bloodied body by the riverbank. It must have been quite a fight.”
I stayed silent this time. I didn’t remember any rives close to where I had been fighting. Not a single body of water could have been found. We were fighting in a field.
“Where’s the rest of my platoon?” I finally asked. My rescuer did not answer this time around. I tried to move my head to see where I was, but my body hurt too much. I heard clunking noises that had to be his footsteps. It would mean he was wearing heavy armor.
“Please. Where am I? Where are the rest of my friends?” I pleaded. Still no answer from this person, and though I wanted to continue asking questions, my sight had become fuzzy and I fell unconscious once more.
“Attack! Attack! Get those bastards! Spare no one! Remember what they did to our farms; to our women and children! Give them nothing, but take from them EVERYTHING!!”
Swords clashed, arrows rose into the air and pierced their targets. Many were yelling with hate and they all desired to annihilate the other. This was war. The Kleins had raided our land, raped our women, and made us their slaves. However, with the man we call Leader, that life is no more. It took months to plan our rebellion, but once the gears started, it was hard to stop us. And with Leader taking charge, victory and freedom weren’t far.
“This is our last stand. We’ve managed to push them back towards our boundaries. Their supplies are low; their soldiers are demoralized. We can win this! We can take back our country that they so defiled and perverted. Remember this day! This is the day we get our freedom! Charge!
It definitely was the last stand. It was fifteen hundred of us versus eight hundred of them – or at least that was what we thought.
“NOOO!” I called out towards the darkness as I sat up. The pain of a thousand needles pricking me returned wherein I then clutched my left shoulder. I continued to heavily pant remembering the battle all too vividly.
“Are you okay?” asked the voice through the darkness. “What happened?” I heard his clunking footsteps get closer, but with the darkness of the night, I still could not see my rescuer.
“Yes, I’m sorry. Just a bad dream,” I replied weakly. I suddenly felt a presence standing next to my bed, and I clearly saw the silhouette of a tall and large man.
“Hear, drink up,” he said handing me what seemed to be a chalice. However, once taking it from him, it did not feel like an ordinary chalice. It wasn’t round, but obtuse. It had all different kinds of angles and curves.
“What is it?” I asked, a little hesitant to drink.
“Something that will make you feel better,” he replied softly. I didn’t know what else to do, my throat had been dry. After a few more seconds of hesitation, I finally took the plunge and sipped what my rescuer handed to me.
It was vile. Whatever it was I drank had been warm, thick, and tasted of iron.
“Drink it all up. I’ve especially made it for you.” I don’t know what got into me, but instead of throwing it away, I drank it – all. I could feel my stomach turn and with that, my shoulder pain peaked and once more I only saw the darkness of my mind.
“We’ve been tricked! Everyone fall back! Fall back!” The sky had turned black with so many arrows rising into the sky. Like a swarm of angry bees, the enemy’s counterattack went through our numbers, stinging all they can with their pointed heads. Not only did they have reinforcements, but had another country to aide them. We would be massacred.
“NO!” I called out in defiance. “We’ve gone through hell and I’m not going back! We fight on! Think of the sacrifices we’ve already given! Think of our people who entrusted us to defeat the Kleins! We cannot lose hope! We cannot give up! I’d rather die here and now than go back to become a slave.”
And then I rode off towards the enemy. I decided back then if it would just be me versus all of them, it would be fine. As I yell and charged at my opponent, I was taken aback by the loudness of my voice. For a brief moment I thought I was given power, but to my surprise, it was my army charging behind me to what would definitely be our last stand.
I slowly opened my eyes to the sound of songbirds. My body’s aches weren’t that unbearable any longer, so I was able to move a bit more. I sat up a bit, though I used my right arm for leverage. For the first time I could clearly see where I was. It was a small cottage. There was a single window by the bed, a single wooden table with a single wooden chair. It was neat, organized, and something a big brute like the silhouette I saw last night could accomplish.
As I continued to sit up I felt something heavy weighing me down on my right finger. My eyes widen with the sight of what I held. “No…” I whispered softly.
“Ah, good morning,” said the voice.
“No. No. NO! NO!” I cried aloud as I continued to hold the decaying head of one of my beloved friends. His face had been burned to the bone, yet the top remained the same, save for one minor detail. The top of his skull was cut open, his brain removed, and instead, remnants of blood remained.
“I really hoped you enjoyed what you drank last night. I especially made it just for you.” I turned around the best I could and behind me was the man who rescued me. But he was also the man who enslaved my people.