A Lone Warrior

May 30, 2011
A lone warrior stood, among the fields of grain. Golden light filtered through, giving the alien place an unearthly like quality. Streaks of red ran from his calf, flowing onto the ground creating a torrent of blood. He stood there, facing the sun. People with piercings and dyed hair stood on the cliff face before him.

Warriors littered the field, more than 300. One had an arrow sticking through his still beating heart. He gasped, and then died. Spears and arrows littered the battlefield, some sticking straight up from the brave fighters, others littering the ground, sticking up at odd angles.

The lone warrior stood, facing the people on the cliff above him. He raised his arms, and as he did, he remembered everything.

He remembered the feeling of pain as the spear hit his calf, pulling it out and gritting his teeth against the pain. He remembered his son and wife at home, and prayed to the gods that they would be safe. He remembered sleeping on his first night of training, waiting, silently for the day they would take him out of that hell.

He remembered the joy of his son being born, proudly waiting for him to grow into a strong man, a strong warrior like his father. He remembered the feeling of uncertainty of being married to his wife, not knowing her then. He remembered gradually falling in love with her, seeing her strength and her courage, even when his failed.

He remembered his older brother, killed in a war, facing the enemy. He remembered his younger brother, hoping he would not have to suffer as he did. He remembered the lines of his oath as he joined his service, pledging and praying that he would die with honor and glory.

He remembered his sisters, shy and quiet, then attacking when you least expected it. He remembered the day his son was taken away for the training that he was bound to face one day. He remembered his whole life, passing him by, waiting for his moment of glory, the moment he would be remembered, the moment they would erect a statue of him, crying out his name in awe.

He stood there now, looking around at his fallen comrades. He saw the face of his friend, soaked with blood, the once handsome face unrecognizable. He remembered how they had fought against each other in training, but still become fast friends, once they had become equal to each other in combat.

He saw the face of his enemy, lying there. His eyes were glazed, and his mouth had stains around it. He saw the glint of piercings, the boldness of the dyed hair. He remembered fighting against him, struggling to kill him with his sword. His knife was badly stained with blood, blood from the face of his enemy.

He saw the wheat wave slowly in the wind. He reached out and felt the familiar graininess. He felt the smooth stalk give way to the rough, spiky top. He felt the calm when he touched it, and felt the simple joy of the plant growing, proving that such a useful thing could come out of such a small seed.

He remembered his days in training, the hard work of slogging back and forth the wooden planks, the cruel beatings of the drum which seemed to mock him. He remembered feeling the lash of the whips on his back, the scars that were still there. He remembered the day he had gotten in to a fight, and came away with a swollen face only a mother could love.

Time seemed to slow down. He looked up to the cliffs, and raised his arms. He faced the enemy, and looked the leader in the eyes. The leader looked back, and the lone warrior could see what was in his face. Grudging respect. The warrior was at peace now, knowing he had defended his homeland with all his might and will.

He was ready. The leader of the enemy moved his hand. The sky darkened with a wall of arrows. The lone soldier stood there, waiting. The arrows pierced him, killing him instantly. He fell backward into the earth, the waving wheat ready to catch their king. The turned red with the spray of blood.

The lone warrior had had his wish. For many years, his battle was talked about, his bravery praised. The lone warrior had made his last stand.





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