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Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Battle


He was sick and tired of this god forsaken country. The constant rain and muddy terrain playing havoc with his equipment. Even now he sat listening to the rat a tat of of the downpour hitting his armour. Every now and then a rogue drop was forced through the visor in his helm. The biting wind never let up for a second. It was a constant struggle to hold his ground buffeted as he was.

Scotland, why bloody Scotland? What was so special about these Celt's. All he knew was that he had to take this land. Once he had it, he had to hold it until the reinforcements arrived. Ordinarily not a problem but these Celt s were ferocious fighters. They were massed in numbers on the opposite ridge. Covered in their paint, shouting taunts he did not understand.

He looked down the line at the rest of his Knights. As comanding Knight he was expected to lead by example. He steadied his horse as he calmly raised his hand. It was the signal that the advance was to begin very soon. He was proud of his men. The knowledge that they would follow him into that mass knowing they would likely die. He was confident his knights would make a fair account of themselves.

The rest of the infantry where hardy fighters and all battle tested. He was sure they would hold but it would be for him to lead this charge and break the enemy line. He felt his pulse quicken. This was the moment he loved most of all. His troops eerily silent in contrast from the noise opposite. The sound of ringing steel as swords where drawn. He knew how it would feel to the Celt's facing this silent wall. It would leach their confidence at not being able to bait them.

Smiling though no one could see, he let the blood lust rise within. The rage would soon have its day. Lowering the arm he kicked his heels into the flanks of his mount. A slow steady walk at first. No accidents in descending this steep incline. The noise increasing opposite, culminating in one defiant scream of hatred. The thunder of thousands of pairs of feet charging.

Half way down the hill now. Still he held the pace steady and controlled. When would these Celt's learn?. They would be running uphill soon and giving him the advantage of the higher ground. The sound of their cries was deafening and he was glad his padded helm offered him some protection. He again looked along his orderly line. He felt a surge of pride in them as he signalled the charge.

No wasted effort in shouting, the enemy was charging uphill now. He reached the optimum speed and drew his Calvary sabre for this initial contact. Lighter and more manoeuvrable he could cut a bloody swathe through the ranks facing him. His line had formed a fighting V with him at the point. His sword made contact and he felt the thrill as blood sprayed across his visor.

This was life, this was everything. Again and again he swung the sabre until suddenly he was clear. Wheeling the horse around he dismounted and was joined by the remaining knights. Horses would be no use now, another charge would probably kill as many of his men as the enemy. Freeing the larger broad sword he strode to the mass of Celt's. Not immediately aware of their peril he swung the sword in a mighty arc, hamstringing an unfortunate Celt. His screams alerting his comrades to this threat from the rear.

Time ceased to have meaning. He fought on against the endless horde. Arms tiring he refused to feel the fatigue. The only thing that mattered was the land he must take. Fulfilling his sacred duty. He saw a massive figure running at him carrying a huge axe. He leaned back on his left leg waiting. The axe swung back, just as it was starting forward in a murderous arc he jumped forward. Sword pushed forward like a spear. The shocked look on the axe bearers face as the sword is pulled clear.

He turns looking for his next target but the battle is over. The remaining enemy withdrawing from the field. Tiredness washes over him and he feels for the first time the bruises on his ribs where the mace caught him by surprise. He has a cut along his forearm where he had his armour cut from him by a broadsword. He removes his helm, grateful for once the rain pelting his face invigorates him. He takes a moment as he surveys the battlefield to enjoy the quiet and stillness. All to soon his captains will be needing their orders and he would have plans to make.

2 comments:

  1. Read it in 5 minutes!
    The intensity, the intensity! Proud of you my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too, I read it in 5 minutes. Good suspense piece :)

    ReplyDelete