The people may be gone, but the legends live on in our hearts forever.
The wind blew gently through the meadow grass, ruffling the red-gold hair of the young girl who stood at the base of a great hill. She was barefoot, her toes curled in the soft, green grass, still wet with morning dew. The sun had not yet risen; only the faintest pinkish glow adorned the distant eastern horizon, flecked here and there with a wisp of grey cloud. Everything seemed shrouded in shadow, as if the world had drawn a black veil across its face in mourning. There was no sound in the air save for the gentle whisper of the wind and the hushed sound of the girl’s own breathing. She stood as motionless as the standing stones that ringed her; face impassive, her mind lost in wonderings.
Long ago, she knew, this had been a great burial mound for the proud warrior clan that had ruled these plains. However, these warriors and their songs and tales had passed away, their names lost in the mists of time, never to be found. All that remained of them was a memory, a fleeting, delicate thing that crumbled to dust as easily as the lillies that danced at the girl’s feet. Time had taken it's toll here and hidden away many of the secrets and mysteries of this place. Many, she knew, would never come to light again.
The girl reached out a hand and brushed the side of the hill, pale fingers trailing through the dark grass, caressing the ancient earth as gently as the wind itself. The bones of her ancestors lay beneath this hill, centuries of her legacy buried under the earth and stone. A sigh escaped her lips, a sad, wistful sound like the calling of some lost ghost. For all their greatness in ages past, they were gone. The sands of time had blown them away, just as they had every other part of the old world.
“I remember.” she whispered. “I still remember.”
As if in answer, a sudden gust of wind sprungup, whistling across the moorland, wailing and howling like a banshee. The girl raised her head.Somewhere, distantly, she swore she could hear a drum beating. Taking her hand from the side of the hill, she looked around, grey eyes scanning the hillside. The drumming continued, and soon it was joined by the faint song of a flute, its high soaring notes spiralling upwards like a bird in flight. The song grew louder until the very earth seemed to shake with the sound of the drums. Then a horn sounded over the hill, a wild, defiant call that seemed to resonate within the girl’s very spirit. She turned, and her eyes widened at what she saw.
There were people stood on the rise above the hill. Mounted on great horses, swords gleaming at their sides and hair streaming past their shoulders, they stood together in an army the size of which the girl had never seen before. They stood motionless, eyes locked on some distant horizon only they could see. The girl stared at them, her heart singing with the ancient power that hummed from the very heart of the earth itself. The horn sounded again and, with a cry that rang through the air with such a force the girl took a step back, they spurred their mounts and charged over the rise. They swept past her, the hooves of the horses thundering over the earth in an unstopable tide of power. The girl watched them race away until they vanished into the mists of the morning, the sound of their battle cry still echoing in the air.
“I remember!” she called after them. “I remember! I will always remember!”
No reply came, but faintly, very faintly, a thread of music drifted back to the girl’s ears. It was a song of hope.