Dull Swords

Dull Swords
by Miles H. Rost
(Part III of the Warrior Series)

(For parts I and II, please visit Unstoppable God, Invincible and Ambushed By Myself at their respective links

I had a long recovery after being beaten up and subsequently healed. Morgan, our leader, had taken the time to look at my sword and the armor that was carried off of me after I arrived back at the camp. He relayed a message to Brian, a message that would inspire a lot of worry and challenge. This was all in the space of a few days before the big Gathering that we were going to be attending.

“Hey!” Brian said to me, as I slowly started jogging around the camp, “We just got done with your assessment of your equipment.”

“What did you find?” I asked back, not looking at anything but the path in front of me.

“I don’t know what happened, but your equipment hasn’t been maintained very well. Has it not been given the proper upkeep?”

I just shrugged as I continued to jog. Brian put a hand on my shoulder, giving me the indication to stop.

“You don’t have to worry if you say yes.”

I stopped, and turned to face him at underneath a large oak tree. He continued to speak, as I looked at him.

“We get people in our camps all the time with equipment that’s falling apart. They try to take in battle, and they get thoroughly knocked around because of this. You, my brother, are not the only one who has to deal with severely corroded gear.”

I looked up at Brian and just couldn’t take it much more. I sat down at the base of the tree and the tears started flowing from my eyes.

“I’ve had that equipment for 18 years,” I cried out, “I’ve not had to use it much except in the last few months, when I joined with your crew.”

“That’s okay, brother. We’re not here to condemn you. As I said, everyone’s got corrosion on their armor. The difference is, are you going to work to repair your equipment, or will you be working to get new equipment. If you’re needing new equipment, do not be surprised that you will be able to get it. We walk by faith, and not by sight.”

After I told him that I would talk to him a little bit later, I just sat at the bottom of that tree and cried my eyes out. All of that frustration from being knocked around, and all of the pain of knowing I could not battle because I was exposed without armor, it flowed out like a raging river.

As I had dinner at the camp, Morgan sat down next to me. He looked out over the camp, over his army of warriors, then looked at me.

“You know, what’s happened to you is going to make you a stronger man. To fight heartily, it takes strong leadership,” he said, with a stern yet comforting edge to his voice, “With leadership and the coverage of our camp, you’ll be able to do a lot more. But you gotta listen, and you need to get in with our Father.”

I started in on the training the following morning. I spent all day trying to swing my dirty and pitted long sword, to spend time developing the skill. It kept slipping out of my hand after a while. I was so rusty, I couldn’t even understand how I could have withstood all of those Legion those weeks back.

I felt frustrated with each day of practice, each day where I kept losing my sword and losing all of my focus. The week was just incredibly hard, with attack after attack on my own confidence. I could feel many parts of it falling like a crumbling brick wall.

After one of my day long practice sessions, I sat in my tent silently. How could I get myself ready for the upcoming Gathering when I was so lost about everything. I heard a scratch at my tent, and looked up to see Brian poke his head in.

“Hey, are you okay?”

“Come on in. I’m really having a tough time today, to be honest. I just can’t seem to do my work, well or otherwise. I’m just concerned about a few things.”

He took a seat next to me, folded his legs, and put his hands under his bearded chin..

“So, tell me about it.”

“I feel like all this stuff with my equipment has just eroded me down. I mean, how am I to do the fighting against the enemies like I’m supposed to do if I still have all this corrosion on my work?”

“Well, soldier, you need to just remember that our assessment of your equipment just gives us an idea of what needs to be repaired. And we have a session of repair for you to experience coming soon.”

“Session of repair?”

“Yeah. See, we have an attachment with what we use for offense and defense. It’s a part of us, and just because it gets tarnished or corroded, it doesn’t mean it’s unfixable. In fact, if things get done right, it could be made as good as new.”

“Will this happen before the Gathering?”

“I’m not totally sure, but I have a feeling it will be done soon. In the meantime, I think you need to get some sleep. You need to rest as much as you can.”

I looked over at him, and gave a small sigh.

“Do you think the corrosion was affecting some of my other skills, as well?”

“I think lately, no. You were pretty good at the river battle. You just need to be mindful of where it starts, and how to take care of it before it gets too bad.”

I nodded, and I prepared my face for bed.

“Brian, thank you for being a great friend.”

“Don’t sweat it. I’m also your sergeant, so I have to make sure my people are well taken care of.”

The gathering of people would happen in two days. I needed to get my heart ready.

 

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Friday Fictioneers – Miss Ilene

No notes from the author. Let’s git it on!

 

© Marie Gail Stratford

Miss Ilene

by Miles H. Rost

“Welcome, Mr. President.”

“Alright, I’ve been brought here to find out about this Miss Ilene person that I keep being briefed about. Let’s go to her.”

“Well, we all have something we need to say before we let you in.”

The president looked at them squarely, as they pointed to the empty grain silo in the middle of the field, surrounded by numbers of guards at various intervals.

“Miss Ilene isn’t a person. It’s a thing.”

“Come again?”

The agent cleared his throat.

“Her full name is Miss Ilene Siloh. Miss Il Silo. Kinda get what we’re saying?”

The president glared at him, coughing slightly.

“Better not make her angry by standing her up. Let’s get inside.”

 

Ambushed By Myself

Ambushed by Myself
(aka “I’ve Been Losing You”)
by Miles H. Rost

(Part II of the Warrior Series. For Part I, see Unstoppable God, Invincible)

 

We spent a few days at the rocky confluence of the two river, what we would later call the Ford of Light. We celebrated a major win there, repelling the legions back across the river and far away. Things were going well for all of us, including myself. We had victory, we were moving forward and taking territory that was once not thought possible to be taken.

A courier came to us with news that filled the masses in the camp with joy. Another of our divisions took over a fort, and were cleaning it up for a permanent use for all of our divisions. The fort was one of the Higher Legion’s forts, a difficult faction to drive out. It was done, however, and the fort was going to be rechristened Fort Antioch. An appropriate name, if I ever thought of one.

Eventually, our group had to make our way onward. We had more to do and didn’t want to spend too much time resting around. A small contingent stayed behind to secure the perimeter of the land and sanctify it, to make sure that the land would never fall back into enemy hands. They would later join up with us.

It was during our trek, through the high weeds of the plains that we would encounter, where things started to go a little haywire. At first, it was a mere stumble. One or two of us would walk a little too quickly and catch ourselves on some weeds. We’d stumble, but we’d eventually get back up. For me, I started to lag behind a little bit, as something was bothering me. Something wasn’t right with my body, and I told my fellow compadres that I may have needed to take a quick rest and get some water from the creek nearby. They asked if I needed someone to help. Chelsey even asked if I needed some help.

I told them no, that I would be back with them in a short while and that I wouldn’t be but a few moments.

I walked down to the creek to take in the water. Before I could even kneel down to lift some of the water, I felt the dizziness come. I stumbled to a nearby tree and held on for dear life, the vertigo and stuffiness in my face threatening to tear it apart. The feelings of helplessness and abandonment started to come quickly, and I held onto that tree for dear life. My life depended on that, and I screwed my eyes shut while dealing with all of the things that attacked.

That’s when I felt the pressure on the side of my belly, and the force that plowed me from the tree and onto the sandy ground. The forceful pain caused an ache to spread through my lower belly and down my thighs.

Suddenly, blow after blow rained down upon me. I barely was able to open my eyes, and when I did, I saw a large number of legionnaires ganging up on me and beating me something fierce. I knew each of the type of legionnaires that were hitting me, the color bands that identified their divisions.

A few of them wore red bands, showing they were trained in angry or lustful combat. A couple with yellow bands were trained to use guilt and shame, their blows hitting the soul just as much as the body. The ones that wore green were of the worry and envy wing, not as powerful but near lethal if left on a target for too long.

Each of them took turns beating. They used their feet, their hands, various weapons that they held. The beating was so fierce, I simply awaited my imminent death right there. But, just as it seemed like there was no hope left, I saw something magnificent.

I barely remember seeing it, but I saw fire at the end of a large log. I saw someone waving it around, and the legionnaires screaming in it’s presence. As the flaming club waved around, I saw one or two of the green-banded legionnaires get smacked in the face with a scepter.

The blows that were raining on me stopped, and the sounds of the legionnaires started to move away quickly.

I looked up at the people who had found me. I recognized the face of Chelsey, the scepter wielding woman of authority. The one who I liked to call “little sister”. She looked at me with a concerned and shocked expression, and looked over at someone else. I slowly moved my head, and I saw one of the guys who was in the backline in the last battle. I recognized Ilya, a man who was a soft-spoken man, but one of the firmest guys rooted. He looked down at me, and gave a smile.

“I’ve been where you are, man. We’ll get you taken care of.”

I felt myself get lifted up. I could barely see anything, my vision was so blurry. I could only feel things.

I was in the air, and I didn’t know which direction I was going. For what seemed like an eternity, I was on my back and being carried somewhere that I had no idea I was going to. The sun was beating down on me, and I felt my skin get quite hot as I was carried.

Suddenly, things got darker. I didn’t feel the sun on me anymore. I was able to perceive the sounds of different things around me, and small conversations.

“I need some help here. He’s been badly injured,” I heard Ilya say, “Maria, scrub up. I’m gonna need your help.”

I heard the bright voice of Maria, someone who I knew as a bright presence around the camp, reply in the affirmative as she moved around the area with what I could tell was an air of calm.

“He looks bad, want me to clear the air and make sure he’s surrounded well?”

The voice that I heard was one I recognized. He was my roommate in the tents when we slept within the camp. Nigel was a good man, someone who I knew as a healer of sorts. He was meticulous in his work, and put everything into it. When he told people that he was going to clear the air, he was not joking.

My eyes were barely open again, as I saw Ilya say a prayer of thanksgiving.

“Lord, we thank you for finding our brother here. We ask you for guidance, and declare that your hands will be on him as we work to help him heal. You are the great physician, and we ask you to guide us as we tend to our brother’s wounds. In your son’s name, Amen.”

I barely moved my head, and I saw Nigel close his eyes. He slowly waved his arms around, his hands like cups that moved the air around. A very soft green “mist” fell from the air around the surgical table, and a feeling of peace overflowed through the area.

Maria, the scrub nurse and the bright presence that helped to boost morale around, followed Ilya’s instructions, giving him the swabs with medicine and antiseptic on them. When he needed the healing balm, she was there to help him hand it.

I felt Nigel’s hand on my arm, firm and very warm. Ilya’s hand was on my other arm, hotter than Nigel’s and gripping very hard. Maria’s hand was gripping around my ankle, what I believe felt to be grounding me from all the other attacks that could have come.

A fourth hand came along to help grip my other ankle. I recognized the energy and scent immediately as that of my leader, Brian. I am not sure when he came along, but I just knew that he was praying and keeping me grounded.

I felt warmth, love, and understanding flow through me. I could feel understanding from Ilya, a combination of that and sympathy from Brian. I felt love and compassion flow from Maria’s hands into my system, and the friendship of Nigel mixing into the whole mess.

That was when I felt the intense heat that poured through my being, through my veins. The heat, and the peace that only came from the one I served.

I felt the muscles that were in knots and swollen from the beatings return back to normal. The puffiness of my face was reduced considerably. The internal pain I had felt slowly died down to a nothingness. My belly felt the rearrangement, the normalizing of my internal organs from where they were forced to where they needed to be.

Shortly thereafter, the heat stopped and the peace overcame the entire tent. I slowly sat up, my mind clear and eyes able to focus again. I felt forgiven, healed and nearly ready for battle again. Everyone smiled, as I swiveled myself off the medical table.

“Ilya, Brian, I need you two to do a favor for me,” I said, looking at both of them, “I need you to assist me if something like this happens again. I need you guys to make sure my accounting is correct and that if I don’t need something, I don’t get that something.”

Both men looked at each other, then looked back at me and nodded.

Friday Fictioneers – When It Rains…

Here’s today’s work. Make sure you watch the video at the end…

 

copyright Madison Woods

When It Rains…

by Miles H. Rost

“The rain’s sure coming down today,” Kimiko said, flatly.

“Yep. Haven’t seen a downpour like this since the 2004 Hiroshima Superstorm,” Yomi remarked, with no expression on her face.

They watched as Gina, one of their friends, joined them on the steps of the old shrine, under the cover of the ornate building.

“Alright, I got the bucket.”

Kimiko’s face did not change one bit.

“What’s with the spigot?”

“Well, we catch the water, and we take only what we need.”

“…”

“Did I overthink it too much?”

“Yep.”

Gina sat down, the flat looks of the others slowly melding into her own face.

And they sat there for the entire day, watching their rain bucket fill up.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Willy!

Author’s Note: Welcome again. Things were busy this week, and I’ve been confined to my bed due to a nasty head cold that my unforgiving students gave to me. So, nothing new came out since last week. Hopefully, things will change this week.

copyright Dee Lovering

Willy!

by Miles H. Rost

“I saw something like this in London.”

Margot Boyndon looked bored as her family zipped through the streets.

“Oh, really”, her brother asked.

“Yeah, it was in the center of this square. It looked like a willy.”

“Margot! Don’t use those words in the car!” Her mom screamed from the front, whipping her head around to glare at her only daughter.

“It’s true. It looks like some private part that’s been pointed in the air. Kinda like Dad’s.”

The car swerved slightly, her father trying to regain his concentration.

“Margot! How dare you!”

“C’mon, Mom. I walked in on you two dussying it up in the living room.”

The rest of the trip was quiet, as they made their way…in the car…to the Portugal/Spain border.