On the Eve: 11

Gavin Yulesdale, Infantryman of the Queen’s Army

The wind, gently whistling through the trees is but the softest of sounds. Yet tonight, on the eve of this great battle, it is deafening; the only thing that can be heard amidst an army veiled by the silence of anticipation.

The skirmishes always seem to transpire in a way which never changes. The men on the front lines, the most expendable of the group, teethe and wither as the substances our generals have bestowed tighten their grip on those poor, ill-fated bodies. Without fail, they are given the strongest of ales and poppies, as all know that their place in battle is to break our opponents’ lines; but ultimately, to fall.  The smarter among us tend to say ’tis a fool’s errand, but care they do not. On occasion I find myself asking if I should pity them, as their fates are knowingly sealed. Still, there are times that I find myself envying them. Their simplistic views on life are admirable. Give them a flagon of ale and a well-breasted woman and there is little left to fill in their world of concern. Yes, at times I envy the ignorance of simple mindedness. The thought of releasing myself from the chains of my own mind are tempting, indeed.

Yet now I look ahead. I see the fortifications that have been laid and the defenses that await. It is comforting to realize the complexity of battle requires those that are willing to expire for those that are not. This war calls for men who are fully invested in the cause, truly willing to lay themselves down in the name of the greater good. We all need pawns, do we not? I pray that ours fight more passionately than King Jordain’s, as we are greatly outnumbered.

We shall soon hear Queen Jocasta’s bellowing, ominous horns of battle. I must prepare.


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