The Messenger


The sky brightens as the sun begins to show through the clouds and I am brought back to the present from the sudden light. I lift my eyes hoping for relief from my despair. Instead of warmth and heat from above, I feel raindrops start to sting my skin. A chill sweeps over the land.

From afar, I hear the sound of horse’s hooves. I sigh as the rain comes harder and the clouds close to block all traces of the sun. My hair is starting to get wet and stringy. One of my guards begs me to return to the castle.

“Please, milady. You’ll catch a chill.”

Brushing him off, I turn to the road where the messenger is riding through the gates. I know what the letter will say before he hands it to me. The war is calling me again; calling me from the peace and safety of my home and back to the fray.

Will I go? Will I answer the call?

Of course I must. My people, my friends, my allies, they need me.

I look around at my kingdom, at the land I was given and the land I fought to obtain. The ground is starting to puddle and the servants and soldiers are bustling to keep themselves and their items dry.

I catch my general’s eye. He nods as he understands my expression. In a fortnight we ride. I pray my army is ready. They have been trained and tested, but nothing can really prepare them for the cruelty of real battle. We will fight, some will die. Will I be among the deceased at the end of this war?

The rain stops as quickly and suddenly as it began and the sun finally breaks through the clouds winning the battle in the sky. My skin warms and the bustling people slow their pace. A handmaiden approaches me urging me to come in and dry off. This time I concede knowing I must be in perfect health in only two weeks time.

Fear burns inside me as I turn my attention back to my general. His gaze is still on me, probing my face to read my heart. I cannot let him see my true feelings. I must remain strong and brave for my people.

My expression remains strong and unwavering as I nod curtly at the loyal man, my general, the one who will follow me unto death and lead my people into battle. He smiles at me, reassured and I follow the handmaiden inside.

The End

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