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The Message of Death and War
Everyone underestimates the power of silence they overlook the significance of peace and quiet
I on the other hand can’t live without it.
Underneath the moonlit night my hoplite uniform poked and prodded my backside, I kept my pike and shield close to me in this particular night I also found myself shifting and moving in all sort of positions there was some sort of stick causing me an infuriating amount of discomfort.
An uncanny silence that spread across the legion left an edgy atmosphere in the camp.
Silence meant I was safe, Silence meant there was no blood, Silence meant that death’s hand wouldn’t come for my soul by the shape of a sword, there was no cries of war, screams of anguish, the indescribable noise of metal stealing the breath of a human, but I couldn’t help a nagging feeling something was different about tonight something just not right.
Death’s eyes were watching.
To my side slept a legion of metal men armed with a long pike and shield they all rested but not a single one of them slept.
“Leonidas are you well, friend” I twirled around to the direction of the voice “you’re making too much noise to be asleep”
“Eneus you’re still alive, rumour has it that you tripped on your own feet and stabbed yourself” I started shuffling the small sticks and leaves trying to find the source of pain
“You must have got the names mixed up since I was enjoying the company of your splendid mother” Eneus chuckle’s
“You dare insult my mother’s name Eneus I’ll make sure you trip on your sword in our upcoming battle” I replied
“You can try Leonidas but I’m not so sure you’ll succeed since I’m still surprised that you can carry you’re sword” he snickers
“My swordsmanship and strength is bested only by Hercules himself” I declare
I gave up on trying to find the object and decided to sit next to Eneus
“Where’s Jipolimiuus” I said
He cast’s his eyes on the ground, and avoids the question, I understood what he meant
Jipolimiuus he was too young, just way to young a high spirited chap he was I knew it was wrong for them to accept him into the army.
“This world is just too d*mn cruel” I whispered to myself
A small mouse ran across the encampment and hid itself into a nearby bush
There was no noise
I quickly scanned the nearby trees there was no birds not even one
There was no noise in the forest
An over whelming feeling spread throughout my body in a heartbeat, a feeling I was all too well accustomed to; fear.
How could we not notice something so simple?
“Eneus ambu-“before I could finish the sentence a volley of arrows flew from the surrounding trees
Thud the blood curdling noise of arrows finding there mark.
And in the distance the horn of war started to blow, to the far side of the encampment uproar of men clanking their swords and spear, war cries took over this once peaceful night. Eneus had frenzied look on his face a mixture of bloodlust and fear, he grabbed a spear and hurtled towards battle.
Men came in from the bushes and trees from the far side of the encampment; flaming arrows flew from the sky and came down upon us.
I picked up my shield and spear familiar to their weight I kept the fear inside of me not letting it show I found a helmet laying in the grass I picked it up and placed it on my head.
The war was becoming louder and fiercer as more people joined the battle the stench of war was starting to broom.
The frenzy had begun I ran towards the far end of the encampment the enemy stormed in through the bush land, I saw Eneus in front he was locked in combat, he swung, slash, stabbed it was a well-practiced routine I joined beside him.
The first man came hurtling at me, sword in the air, I took position aimed my spear the man kept going faster he simply started bashing me with his sword I found my opportunity I took it before he could swing again I lashed my spear forward which dug into the man’s throat he lurched and gurgled before thumping to the ground.
His helmet came off
The boy was nothing more than 15 years old, no combat experience he was most likely handed a sword and told to fight for his country.
I could feel an over whelming sadness begin to swell in me I ignored it
Another man came running in our direction without hesitation I threw the spear the man caught it on his shield but he wasn’t fast enough to parry Eneus blow I saw the desperation in the man’s eyes but he wasn’t looking at Eneus sword he was gazing at the dead boy’s body suddenly the memory I tried to erase came rushing back.
“Why can’t you stay at home Leonidas” she said while patting down her short tunic
“You know why” I said back while she attended the wound to my shoulder
“It’s just not fair what about our child Leonidas” she said wiping the wound with a wet cloth
“You know I love you and the baby” I said
She pressed more firmly which sent jolts of pain shooting up my arm but I didn’t complain
“Then why” she said again
“We’ve been through this already, I have five more years left please wait for me” I lifted her chin to meet my gaze I saw the sadness in her eyes it pained me to know I was responsible
“Just comeback safe” she said
I kissed her and kissed the growing babe in her stomach picked my spear and walked away
“Just too dam cruel” I whimpered
I fell to my knees at first I didn’t know what I was going to do but I had to do something, I had to.
“Get up please get up” I yelled shaking the dead boy’s body “I’m sorry I didn’t know I didn’t, I swear I... I... I I’m so goddam sorry please get up”
“Leonidas what the h*ll do you think you’re doing, get up” I heard someone yell it sounded like Eneus
I shook the body I didn’t know why I just shook it until I felt a hand pull me up on my feet I heard everything around me but I wasn’t listening I couldn’t listen I could see Eneus shouting at me it was like the world around me meant nothing this stupid war, death, anger, revenge, blood, everything about war I wanted nothing to do with it anymore.
“Eneus run” I declared
“Runaway never comeback, leave this stupid war, nothing good will come out of this I promise you that” I could see him about to argue but there was no time
“Go now back to your wife and kids, do better than then I did” I screamed pushing him away
There were at least five more men coming towards me.
So when deaths hand came for me in the shape of an angry man I didn’t decline there was nothing more to say.
My two only regret’s is that I won’t see my son grow up and
I couldn’t keep my promise to my wife.