The sweet scent of emerald trees came swooshing down and filled my nostrils.I felt the cool, green grass brush against the soles of my tired feet. I knelt down and began to wash my hands, the blood dried and caught within the cracks and creases of my fingers and palms. My body shook slightly and my spirit along with it.
I looked to the sky and caught sight of the slow moving smoke choking the blue sky behind it. My sword sat beside me, silver and red with blood. The enemy’s blood.
I stood up slowly and looked towards the cluster of trees lying in front of me.
Where to go? I couldn’t go back. There was nothing to go back to. I had fought but in the end it was hopeless.
But before I took a step I heard the sudden snap of a twig. I grabbed my sword and quickly turned, my knees bent and muscles tensed, instincts flooding my body, which were ready for battle and possibly death.
I called out to the shadows and awaited an answer but there was nothing, only the sound of calm current of the stream behind me and the whisper of the wind, which was growing colder with each passing moment. I lowered my sword but as I did, figures emerged from the shadows. I lifted my sword and looked upon the ghostly faces staring at me. Cold and uninviting their faces were. Their clothing faded and torn, coated in dry blood and earth. I could smell death circling around them and I thought perhaps they have come to collect me, take me away into utter darkness. But as I observed them, through the blood, dirt and stench of death, I saw that they were soldiers.
“Who are you?” I demanded still gripping my sword.
“We are the past warriors and fighters and revolutionaries. We have fought and bled and died upon this land. The same land you have fought for.”
“And what do you want with me?” I asked.
“To urge you.” Another said. “To plead with you to take back your place as a warrior. To take up your sword once again and continue fighting.”
I felt my arm begin to shake and for a moment I thought my sword might fall from my hand. I felt near death, near defeat. My vision was clouded and my heart filled with screams and cries of war. I did not wish to fight, not anymore.
“But you must…you have been chosen, called, seen in the edges of time to take up your sword and shield and fight for the destiny that many would seek to destroy.”
“Freedom!” Cried one.
“Freedom!” Shouted another.
“Freedom!” They echoed together, their voices ringing through the trees.
“Freedom.” I repeated and then looked down upon my sword, silver and red and tired. “Freedom”. I whispered, as searching for the true meaning the word. My grip tightened.
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