Short Story, part two

July 23, 2006

The battlefield was piled high with corpses.

All around, it stank of rotting bodies, dried and fresh blood, the sounds of the wounded and the almost-dead. The crows were already circling above, and some of the braver ones had alighted on more distant parts of the battlefield to start their feast. In groups here and there, the fighting was still ongoing, but it was mainly done.

Two young women got off from their hiding places and looked over to where the groups were still fighting. Without saying anything, they turned and ran into the forest away from the opposing armies. Anyone who saw them would think they were deserters. Most would have ignored them in the heat of the battle.

One did not.

He saw movement at the edge of his vision and turned to see the two girls running the last few meters into the forest. Normally he would have dismissed them (and send his men to track them down later) but something about the deserters was odd. Then he noticed it was the way they ran. There was a grace to them that normal soldiers lacked, and they were moving just a bit too fast.

Spies, he thought, spurring his horse after them. It was then that the others saw him galloping away, and two from the enemies’ side gave chase, thinking to snag a prize.

“Roumor,” the general said, his eyes never leaving the battlefield.

The bodyguard left his master’s side and ran after the man. He intercepted the two men and engaged them, while the man chased after the two women, who were now long gone in the forest. The darkness of the forest disoriented him after the bright sun of the field, and he let his guard down for a moment.

It was enough.

The horse cantered back to the battlefield with an arrow in it’s rider’s throat.

An arrow that had a letter around it.

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