Content Warning

Greetings and Salutations.
Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts. F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Friday, January 17, 2020

#FridayFlash - Battlefield

Dawn approached, a long lightening of the sky that couldn't burn off the soft fog. The men of Isele waited in rank and file, armor creaking, weapons gripped tightly as they waited orders. They'd trained and drilled and marched, but they'd never taken the field before.

The drums began slowly. Softly. Steady beats muffled by the fog. One drum. Then two. Soon six, eight, a score.

Soldiers shifted, fidgeted. The deep notes reverberated in their chests, echoed in their bones, thrummed with their heartbeats. Separate drums became a single sound, all-consuming, all around, inescapable.

Officers issued soft commands in attempt to calm the young men. Assurances of victory, promises of glory, utterances of faith. Horses shifted beneath them betraying their officers' nervousness.

The light grew, though the sun remained beyond the horizon. A breeze stirred the fog, carrying the faintest scent of the enemy's fires and mounts. Nothing could be seen of the opposing force. Scouts had estimated their numbers in the hundreds, but it could easily have been the thousands.

Someone shouted from across the field, and the cadence of the drums changed. Faster, louder, more forceful. Soldiers stirred, casting glances at each other, and gripped their weapons tighter. Were they coming, was it time?

An eerie note joined the drumming, like the howl of a lost soul. It droned and moaned, resonate and buzzing, and was joined by another. The notes danced together, moved together, reached into the souls of the soldiers.

Two dozen of the impossible notes struck up a disheartening symphony, a wall of sound far worse than the drumming. Far louder, far more terrifying.

Soldiers of Isele dropped their weapons and turned away, all heart for war fleeing.