Red Valley

This is just a  bit of writing for your reading pleasure.  Its flash fiction, not related to anything.  Its called Red Valley, Enjoy!!!

A lone rider sat atop his black charger, in the early dawn light, watching the battle unfolding in the mist of the valley below. He watched the bright earth brown and golden sun banners fall, one by one under the army of the White Bear. One individual in the mass of thousands caught his attention. He watched in growing horror as the brutal warrior slashed about him, a long, vicious scimitar in each hand. He watched the crimson-stained cyclone of bone and steel carve a bloody path through the brown-clad warriors. The war cries and screams of pain flew upwards at him, grappling hooks to pull him toward the battle.

The rider shook his head and turned his horse around. He joined a small group of riders. Here, it was merely a hundred yards to the edge of the valley, but already the sounds of slaughter had died away. It was eerily silent; the silence ringing in the ears of the rider. He shook his head again and nodded to another man, dressed in red and seated on a large bay. The second rider nodded in return and raised his hand. In the silent stillness rose three large brown and gold banners. The first rider banged on his shield once. After a few seconds he banged it again. And again. And again. The pounding grew in volume. His rhythm sped faster and faster until it matched the beating of his heart. Another man began to drum his shield. A third joined in. The drumming grew loud and massive as each rider added the strength of his arm to the whole.

As the last riders joined their comrades, the rhythm shifted, bring with it new patterns and even greater speed. The rider in red began to shout, a chant that rose above the rhythmic clatter of spears and swords on shields. The other riders joined him in the haunting war song. The banging of the shields soon blended with the clop of hooves as the riders nudged their mounts closer to the edge of the valley. They stood on the edge, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. The horses chewed their bits and snorted in nervous anticipation. Their muscles bunched and stretched, trembling as they waited, waited for that moment. The riders were no different, screaming into the sky as the song rose to a fever pitch.

Then the song was over…The drums stopped, the men stopped, the horses stopped, the battle stopped, the earth stopped, holding its breath. Waiting, waiting, waiting…In that vast silence that followed, was heard a single horn. It sounded clear and long above the men, almost a sweet sound, and too sweet a sound for war. Its high, shrill note cut through the mist and the silence, shredding it, lifting the spell, releasing the flood. With the sound of the horn, the horses charged forward, down, down into the valley to the savior of some and death of others.

The man in red lay crushed under his slain horse.  The head of the White Bear rested several feet from his body, his bloody scimitars still gripped in his now lifeless hands. The sun-bright shields were dulled by blood and use.  The black charger stood rider less overlooking the carnage, the only survivor.  And as the sun rose fully and shone on the Red Valley, the banners of brown and gold snapped in the brisk breeze over the ending of the war.


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