“All halt”, shouted Rashid.
Sparing him a smile,
I trotted closer to him ”why do we even need to halt at such an awful place”.
His eyes were cold as the rock that engulfed the distant sight.
“This is it Oliver, we are here. Just yonder the rocks we are going for one last time and …..”
I understand, don’t even think of completing the sentence.”
“I trust you …on a real note”.
As I turned back to the vast legions of army ready to fight,
All I could see was,
Young wives waiting for their husbands,
Tender kids being orphaned,
Elder parents being left with grief,
But yet I was fighting here two wars, one within myself and another not to succumb in for that.
I could hear whispers from the lower echelons about the Graza.
“At ease soldier, now it’s time you stop murmuring about the Graza and start adapting to what you are about to see”.
We marched onto the rocks crossing that with the soldiers making sure that the place was reverberating with war cries.
As we looked upon the desert, it looked like it spread for thousands of miles, without signs of life of any form. Only vultures were flying high in the sky in order to find food.
Hopefully I wouldn’t be their meal.
There were no trees, water or peace anywhere in the heated place; it felt like being inside an oven, except 100 degrees worse.
Below, the ground was cracked as if it would open up and eat my army and me alive. Undoubtedly, this place was hell, though there was no turning back.
Our enemy would soon arrive and we would have to fight till death.
As expected our army was encountered with an army of scumbags charging towards us with only one cry “eat them alive”.
As our armies clashed onto each other,
The shields clanked,
The thumping sound of approaching danger sprung up incessant fear in my army’s heart.
The blades were gushed into bodies.
The blood spilled out everywhere and it was complete chaos.
I was surrounded by a group of unworthy warriors who sliced a deep cut on my arm.
There was no time to plan and chalk out strategies in the battle
If we had to win, we had to strike out something differently.
So, without further thought, I dropped my sword and whipped out a small knife.
Running toward him at full speed ahead, I tricked the enemy by sliding on the desert ground and aiming for his groin.
I sliced the knife over his meat, making gushes of blood spill out. I grinned at the sight of it. I felt powerful, like a hero.
Did this mean I had won, that the enemy was dead? His warriors noticed what I had done and started coming toward me with their measly weapons.
Their swords were nothing compared to their leaders.
Yet their spirit was commendable.
Even at the cost of their lives they were sacrificing their life for a person who would not even know them.
Maybe even I had to do that retrospection for my family.
But as their swords swooshed the air in front of my eyes, my sword yielded no mercy mocking at my heart which still wanted to retreat from the war
To the left I had a man charging towards me; suddenly my arm had become a slave before the ferocity of my blade.
It was raining destruction and gory.
Their untrained peasants were no match to my soldiers who were ex-cons.
As the bugle sounded the end of day, we retreated back to our camps.
The starry skies spread out a beautiful sight for us to beckon with until tomorrow comes.
As the night started to creep in its silent fear, our horses started to squeal louder and louder.
Out from the bushes our spy slapped to the ground with his back branded hot with the enemy’s emblem.
Before we could prepare for an attack,
They came like a thief in the night. Their stainless white coats were flashing us, nearly blinding my army. Too bad we didn’t have shades.
“Attack!” I shouted the second the enemy arrived halfway. All 1,000 of my men went charging forward with their weapons.
All though our firepower was yet to be revived, we had to save ourselves with whatever we could .
I had a sword and went for the leader. I swung hard at his body; he did the same to me.
I threw my body weight to my left, giving him a slip and he thrust himself forward.
As soon as I sensed, I gained advantage, I pierced my blade through him ribs until the tip of my sword was visible from back.
The sense of repentance was gaining over the sense of pride.
My agility was going down.
As my eyes darted in all directions to capture a glimpse of the new foes I had encountered, I witnessed it, the heavy rock heading straight for my head with its crippled and uneven appearance I knew I would drift out of consciousness by its blunt attack.
I didn’t know how much time past when I finally opened my eyes. As I stood to my feet I saw my army still fighting the enemy.
Before me lay the leader, still and bruised on the groin. He must have bled to death. Taking a step forward wasn’t so easy.
One of the enemy warriors is approaching. Now I have to drag myself across the scene. I didn’t know who was winning at the time.
I didn’t even know how many men I’ve lost or if they’ve stuck with the plan.
Maybe they thought the rock killed me?
But one thing was for sure; I was going to keep fighting, even if it meant I’d lose my life.
I took up every inch of stamina left in my body and mustered every ounce of courage.
I ran that day towards the deep horizon as long as my feet could carry me.
And finally I last saw the light before I slumped into a mud pool covering my eyes with human waste.
As I tried to wake up , I could see few silhouettes walking towards me.
Even as my body was trying to fight, I was completely helpless as my leg broke
The head of nomads pointed his sword right on my Adams apple “you are good soldier, but…”
The next words came as a surprise to me
The voice was familiar
“..a bad subordinate Oliver”
I turned my head around to Rashid “well I should have seen this coming”
“It’s of no use friend. Get ready to die”
“The Graza has been our home from centuries; we shall not let your government take that away from us forcibly”
The head continued, “It is due to this reason we have turned into cold blooded murderers and you must have heard spine chilling stories from your children and women folk”
“If you wanted to kill me you should not have hesitated”, saying this I picked up a sword from the mud and ripped the head from his spine to the brain.
As his body begins to fall apart, I could see the clenched face of Rashid, who stood there terrified.
“No, Oliver…you know how much I love your daughter. Spare me at least considering her love”.
“if I leave you…the hundreds of children lying there in the mud shall not spare my mistake”, I let loose of the hundreds of lockets etched in the name of Rashid’s army
As Rashid tried to overpower me, his commander general tied his hands back and whispered in his ear “don’t do anything stupid”.
“Now I get everything you wanted power so much, so you started to kidnap children, kill them and dump them here”
“The cries of these infants never changed you right?”
“Surely my daughter would not excuse you”
With a single cuff from my sword, I blew his head off to a farther distance from my heart and from his body.
Our army walked up to the nomads
“Although we have no personal vendetta against you, you are not allowed to be here”
“I hope you understand”
The nomads look into each other’s face.
“We will leave”
My army jumps in ecstasy and we went back to the town
I was welcomed home by my daughter who had a lot of stories about the legend of Graza
This is all that happened…”
As Oliver completed his ex-military life story and looked into jenny’s eyes she was crying inconsolably
“I know this is all very hard for you to accept but it as I who led the army against the Graza”
“so It was you who forcibly made the community leave the place ?”
“I thought you were an innocent farmer”
“I lied jenny…I lied for my daughter’s life”
The next moment, a medium sized bayonet sliced Oliver’s throat gushing out the blood.
The blood spews on jenny’s face and she coldly said “I am the last left of the Graza”
Not you, none of the earth can wipe away the Graza”
Even as the whole community was dying, they caressed me, fed me and trained me only tp kill you my love”
Oliver was scrambling for words “but I thought you loved my daughter”
She let off the wicked laugh and “go and look your daughter for one last time”
Even as Oliver was dying, he was crawling towards his daughter’s room
He could hear muffled cries from inside.
As he opened the door, he just drew his last breath of life only to see his daughter being hacked to death.
Jenny walked through the pool of blood towards the door leaving the stamp of cold blooded Graza once again on the face of earth
“All halt”, shouted Rashid.