The Midnight Roses

A Midnight Rose is a most rare and delicate creature. They only bloom for a single minute once a year. But when they bloom nothing, not anything or anyone, can rival their beauty. Painters tremble in their dreams at the thought of being that artist to fully capture its beauty and the young lover tosses and turns of the girl who would accept him only if he would show her but one! Any person to have seen them in bloom is considered a most fortunate soul indeed.

A single white flower began to grow in the middle of a meadow. It's growth was alarmlingly fast and, if one had been there, one would not have been able to doubt that it was a midnight rose. A full moon rose in the sky and what a pretty portrait such a scene would have made.

On top of a nearby hill, a group of men gathered. Their armor was dull and their horses tired but one couldn't doubt the power that emanated from them. Their shields were so dented you couldn't discern the crests on them to see where their allegiances lie and their swords were stained crimson with the blood of their foes. One man yelled in front yelled a warcry in a tongue foreign to the land. They all called back and began to race down the hill on their horses.

On top of the other hill stood a motley collection. A group of farmers stood firm, as if to actually face the charging side. The group ranged from young boys, who were eager to participate in battle, to battle-scarred men who looked as if they were regretful not to have seen their last of it. The weapons were anything from a small dagger to a pitchfork and few had any sort of shield. One man was obviously their leader for he rose above them as he sat on the only horse. Not a noble beast but a brave one. The man surveyed the coming force and his own villagers just trying to protect their village and silently asked the Gods to keep a place in the afterlife for every last one of them and their family when they died, as they would. Even if women didn't go to the afterlife as the priests taught, mightn't there be an exception?

The Midnight Rose surveyed the carnage and destruction as calmly as any flower. It waved back and forth in the wind and reached its full beauty without any noticing. As its minute of life ended, and 12:01 struck, it withered and shrank and fell to land in a pool of blood, to be turned a red so deep that, if the man laying next to it had been alive, he might've died just from the pathetic and horrifying sight.

Hours later, a hand reached out and plucked the rose from her father's blood. Though she felt dead inside, just as the flower, she tucked it into her cloak and marched onward. A small six year old the only survivor of her people.

The End

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