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Battlefield

I stand upright in a fiery stance, battle worn and weary. I gaze hesitantly upon the mass of bodies lying awkwardly in pools of red. I try to remember something from the day before, but cannot come up with any recognition of the battle scene.
My eyes sore from the sight of death close wearily and sadly block the horrid sight. “What evil have we done to deserve such a fight of gore and lost hope,” I whisper silently to myself. My heart thumping loudly in my chest and vibrating my throat makes me stop for a moment, but I shake myself and the haunting feeling that companies it and continue down my path. I walk with a slight limp towards the damp, dense forest of green. My eyes gaze slowly upward and find a heavenly sight surely sent from the angels above. A mango tree, fresh and healthy, stands there in front of me, filled with the beeseeching fruit. I quickly devise a plan and stumble slightly as I wriggle up the tree going from limb to limb. I stretch and take hold of the leafy branch that contains the delicious prize. I waver ever so slightly, but regain my balance and inch forward. I get within inches of the mango and make a mad dash to grab it from the branch. When I think I have it in my grasp I fall from the tree and plummet towards the hard, rocky earth below. Seconds before I am to become a pancake I get caught on a branch not far from the ground. With a heavy sigh, and silent prayer of thanks to however lives in the endless blue sky above, I look again at the fruit not quite within my grasp. I carefully grab it and hesitate, but not for long and take a huge bite of the wonderful fruit. Momentarily I forget my worries and the death of battle to savor the taste. I finish it within seconds and grab another and another until I lose count. When I am full I sit upon a dry rock and bathe in the light of the breaking dawn. My muscles scream and ache in agony. I move restlessly to get comfortable and finally sit in a position not so comfortable and not so painful. My eyes shut and go dark for a few moments. To my surprise images suddenly flash across my eyelids as if in fast forward. I see a mother clinging to her weeping child, a soldier holding his son and daughter as they try to escape, a frail elderly woman running to a man enrobed in clothe of orange. My mind betrays me and a wave of guilt washes over me in a sea of tears. Barely hanging by a thread I fall into a deep sleep, the pink glow of dawn the last thing that I remember.

I am shook awake by a rough hand. A gruff voice screams in my ear, “Wake up princess time to get going again.” I hear a raspy chuckle and feel a hard slap on the back, knocking the breath out of me. I shake myself and crack my eyes open a little adjusting to the bright light overhead, and check my surroundings. I am in a large tent big enough for 20 men and notice as I twist that I am tied to a pole with a thick rope. There are shadows of four armed men patrolling each sides of the tent. I slowly inspect the inside of the tent and find a wide wooden table to my left, filled with documents and photos of people I cannot identify, and to my right a man that seems as if he is in his early 20s. I inspect him closer and see that he has dark circles around his sunken eyes. Though even in his weakened state I can still appreciate that he is a very handsome man. He has a nice tan and a nice face and lips. I feel a flutter of feelings stur in the pit of my stomach. I feel myself blush and am glad he is not awake. I look back at him and gaze silently with questions in my eyes as if he could answer them, but alas he is but another prisoner, like me it seems. A guard outside shouted something I thought to be in Spanish and stormed into my tent with a gleam in his eye and an impish grin upon his face. He was a short dwarf of a man with an almost cocky demeanor that for some reason automatically enraged me. He spoke something else in Spanish and a guard cut me free of my rope prison. I was brought a platter of fruit and the juice of an orange. I ate silently wondering where I was and why I was here. Then after a few moments of silence he finally spoke. “My, my you are quite beautiful, dear. I would never have believed the many stories if I did not have you now here before me.” He said. Puzzled I listened intently. He spoke with a slight accent that seemed somewhat familiar. I couldn't exactly place where I had heard it from. I listened intently in hope that he would reveal my location. “Ahh, I can almost see the wheels spinning in your little head. I know that you are very smart, but im sorry to say you will never escape my impenetrable forces of armed men trained expertly in martial arts and warfare,” he says with a stuck up snotty tone. My mind whirled and made me so dizzy that I had to sit down. He laughed aloud as he saw the confused expression on my face. When I throw him a deadly look he laughs even harder. Face red and smiling he says, “I see you are still in the blue about your situation. If you would like to know you are the only known person left alive out of the army. All other known survivors were taken care of by my soldiers scouring the bodies.
I honestly thought it was rumors that told of a young woman that could fight a whole army with a seraph and metal disk, but you my sweet have proved me wrong. Once again you are quite a sight.” Everything finally came back in a flash from the month before. My mother was crying at how I had been chosen to fight in the army. My uncle with a grim, sad expression upon his face handing me his armor from the days he fought. “Why you, my only daughter? Do they not have enough young men to fight the war instead of taking our daughters to kill themselves,” my mother cried out loud. I then was a young woman of twenty and now I am twenty one.
The war from the day before comes back to me in flashes of garbled pictures. Confused, an image of a man sticks in my mind. Slowly I began to comprehend that he is a probably captain, maybe the one that led us into battle. I look forward at the dwarf man and say, “I see that you know me, but I, my friend, have no idea who you are. Would you care to enlighten me on this?” As he looks down upon me, he grimaces and starts to say something, but is immediately interrupted by the sudden entrance of a soldier. “Who dares to interrupt me?” he says. The soldier fumbles and stutters, “S-sir i-i-im sorry to interrupt, but the soldiers on t-the east s-side have attacked our eastern c-camp.” The tiny man walks up to the soldier, looks him straight in the eyes and says, “Are you telling me that our boundaries have been breached and that they are on their way to this camp right now?” “Y-yes sir.” I cant help but savor the reaction of the dwarf man as he faces the soldier. Completely calm and collect dwarf man says, “And how has this happened when all of my soldiers were lined around the border alert and completely armed?” “Th-they, I mean we, were not prepared for such an early attack, s-sir. They were expected t-two week’s f-from now.” The short man turns red as a beet and slaps the man hard in the face. “YOU WERE NOT PREPARED! Do you take me for a fool, you stuttering imbecile? Get out of my sight before I change my mind and hang you for being an idiot.” The poor soldier is frozen in place. "Did I s-stutter you ignoramous. I said GO!!" The man stumbles backwards and runs away. The short fellow resumes his posture and looks back to me. “As I was going say, yes I do know all about you dear, but yet you ask me for my name. Do you not recognize me?” I give him what must seem a convincingly blank look because he sighs and gestures for a glass of water. Between sips he says, “Well maybe this will jog your memory.” He pulls out a half burnt baby doll thats is disturbingly familiar. I am taken to the day I received a doll like this. I was five then and it was a birthday present from my mother and father, right before my dad was announced unstable and put in an institute. As I stare at the doll I blanch and suddenly remember the short man.




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