War Bound – Part 1 (Revised)

Ben Feuer, Head Creative Writer

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Part 1

 

The morning sun shone meekly, only dimly shining across Borus’s face as he awoke from a deep slumber. He was a married merchant in the southern kingdom of Malissea, with a small family consisting of his wife, his daughter, and himself. They lived on a farm and while very poor, lived a happy, peaceful, and secluded life.

Borus changed into thick clothing, for it was winter, and went to the house’s kitchen to greet his wife.

“Good morning, honey.” she beamed

“Good morning, Epsione.” Borus replied. He was feeling unwell, something akin to either depression or a nervous stomach ache. The weather outside was melancholy and ominous, and he wondered if that was somehow linked to his mood. It was winter, and all of the trees lost their green. There was a thin blanket of snow on the ground outside.

“Breakfast is on the table.” His wife said, now retrieving their daughter’s breakfast from the kiln.

“You don’t have to make breakfast every morning. You work too hard.” Borus observed. “Do you need any help?”

“Oh, please.” his wife giggled. “Don’t worry about me. The hard work I do is a meaningful type of exhaustion. Besides, I am almost done anyways.”

“Fine, but promise me I can help you with everything else today.” Borus said. She smiled at him, and he grinned back, soon taking his eyes off of her to eat his meal.

Hearing footsteps in the hallway, he stopped eating.  Borus noticed his young daughter, with a ghastly pale and frightened face, enter the room. She held a red letter. Borus ran to her, kneeling and embracing her. He was soon followed by his wife.

“Aramis, tell me what’s wrong.” He asked, noticing tears in her eyes.

Aramis gave him a red letter. His eyes widened in shock, for it was a draft letter from the legion. Borus was just recruited for the war effort against the northern kingdom, a death sentence.

 

There was no doubt about it; the draft letter was for him. It had his name next to that of the sender. Opening the letter, he read:

 

Ye are required to attend the capital of the kingdom of Malissea in compliance of a military draft. Rejoice, for ye have been selected to give thou’s life for thou’s country. He who avoids this draft and flees, be it by land, sea, or air, Is subject to the highest crime administrable by the court: treason. One who avoids this draft, along with their entire immediate family, will be hunted down and killed by the members of the kings crimson skull guild.

 

“Father…” Aramis whimpered, soon beginning to wail. After placing the note in his pocket, Borus kissed Aramis affectionately on the forehead. He had no words to give to his daughter, No words to express his intense grief. He rose and, grabbing a somewhat rusty, yet sharp, broadsword and shield mounted on a wall, made his way outside to the stables, his wife running after him. He was about to mount his horse when his wife entered the stables, screaming.

 

“What are you doing!?” She cried.

“Epsione, please, I-”

“No! You can’t just leave without saying goodbye!”

“This letter was supposed to be delivered a week ago. Most draftees are already at the capital.” Borus’s eyes were as tear filled as his wife’s.

“B-but-”

“If I postpone this anymore, I then risk the guild coming after you and Aramis. I cannot let them take away my only meaning of life.” He began to break down. His voice stammered. “The crimson skull guild is a group of soulless monsters. They work solely for the large amount of money that they make. I must keep you two safe…”

 

There was a long pause, and Borus held Epsione at arms distance. She began to sob as the two embraced.

“I love you.” Epsione gasped between the streaming tears running down her face and onto Borus’s shoulder.

“I love you too.” Borus, A burly, grown man just slightly past his prime, whimpered as he cried alongside her.

 

Borus rode at a breakneck gallop to the capitol. It was well past noon by the time he entered its great marble gates, and the legion was already mobilizing. There was a massive roll call taking place, and he was lucky that he made it in time to save his family. Borus dismounted his horse and noticed that well over a large amount of men were in the city’s main plaza. It was a sea of militia, with only few well-trained knights sprinkled within. The kingdom was desperate for men to fight in the war.  Dragons flew in the distance, near the king’s imposing castle, which was still under construction. Giants toiled, working on building presumably all day and night. After roll call the high king, a tyrant in his own right, gave an “Inspirational” speech, dehumanizing the enemy. He explained that he planned to use the gathered force to lay siege to the capital kingdom of the north and that it’s king, his “mortal enemy”, must die.  As some men in the militia cheered after every couple of spoken sentences, Borus could not help but feel lost both physically and spiritually. Armor and weaponry was passed out, and the entire army, including Borus, marched out of the capitol’s gates on horseback. Despite the sense of unity, of brotherhood, Borus knew there was only a slight, if any, chance of surviving in the battle to come. He thought of his family, of his wife and his daughter, and a tear trickled down his face. As of now, He had to be constantly alert, for he was a soldier entering a war that could very well cost him his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued in part 2…

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War Bound – Part 1 (Revised)