Ashes

March 28, 2012
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We fought, our swords clashing together as we danced precariously on the uneven ground. Each of us were monsters, hoping to kill the enemy, an enemy that was fighting for their kingdom. The salty wind from the sea blew the putrid smell of dead bodies into my nostrils. Again, I lunged, aiming for his chest, but he jumped to the side as my blade hit only the empty air. Using his momentum, he turned, trying to slice my torso. I stepped backwards, and blocked his second hit. We danced, back and forth, jumping over the bodies of our allies and enemies. I saw each move before he did; directions from my father rang in my head, “See his movements. Every twist of his hand, every swing of his arm, the look on his face, see it.” I concentrated, catching his flick of his wrist, and I skittered sideways, knowing his blade would come down on the left side of me. I turned dodging his sword, and swung my blade around, where it lodged itself in his torso. His eyes flashed open as I pushed the blade harder into his stomach. I wrenched the blade free as his last breath flew from his lips and he sunk to the ground. I stared at the black hole in his stomach, I could see the blood beginning to spread, staining his unarmored body. Slowly, he tipped and fell unnaturally on his back, the black hole sending sparks into the air. I could see where I had twisted my sword, red hot, it had scalded the inside of his wound, burning it to ash. My sword, hand-made by my father and made with dragon’s venom, was clearly effective. The ashes were blown from the inside of the wound, carrying a sickening smell. My stomach turned as I stared at the charred hole I had created. He was my first kill, and his unforgiving lifeless eyes stared up at me, accusing me of taking his life. His? ashes had caught in his scruffy beard, and also blew into my hair. I bent down, shutting his eyes and whispering a prayer. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, looking at his lifeless face once more. I turned and looked at the battle scene, taking in the thousands of dead bodies, and the thousands more that marched our way.

I looked to the left, where my friends were struggling to hold as the enemy continued to pressure them with nonstop attacks. I stood up, took a deep breath, and felt something within me I hadn’t felt since the start of the war, hope. I was fighting for my kingdom now, and I was not going to die in vain. Looking up at the sky, I let out a yell, ready to fight. I’m ready now, Rain. I looked to the sky. Seeing a form with wings in the distance, I whistled, even though I knew she knew where I was. Her long beak and her horse-like body shone silver in the sky. Armor covered her face, and her chain mail was circled around her neck, reflecting the sunlight. Circling twice, she cawed a greeting and slowly lowered herself to the ground with her powerful wings. She looked at me with her dark eyes, seeming to invite me to ride with her and fight. Pawing impatiently, her tail swishing, she cawed, swinging her head. She was ready to fight and I could feel our connection grow as I stared into her dark eyes. I walked up to her, gently stroking her feathers. Are you ready? Rain gently pushed me with her head towards her back. I took this as a yes, and swung my leg over her back. We were ready to fight. Fight for our home. Fight for our family. Fight for out allies. This was war. And we were going to win, no matter what.





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