Friday Fictioneers – Ride Across The River

(Author’s note: End of February, I go home to America. Until then, I post! Here is this week’s fictioneers.)

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© Roger Bultot

Ride Across The River 

 

by Miles H. Rost

Klaus tripped over a broken tree branch.

He hated his commander for staying at this place. It wasn’t safe, and wasn’t protected.

It was Christmas, and he was not wanting to be in this foreign land. He wanted to be home. Any home. He even spoke enough English to get by.

He had made it about two miles when he ran into a vast line of men. One commanding man looked down at him from his horse.

Klaus raised his hands.

“I know English. I surrender. They are not on guard.”

The horseman looked back, and smiled.

“Victory or Death!”

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Courtesy of ushistory.com; 1851 picture credit to Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

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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.

Unstoppable God, Invincible

Unstoppable God, Invincible
by Miles H. Rost

Legion upon legion, they stood. Oily, evil, sick looking and mean.

We stood upon a small ridge of crushed rock, jagged spears of basalt and hard stones. The place was the confluence of two rivers, and this area was relatively flat. The sky was a burning red, a late-afternoon sun that cast a red glow across this battlefield. The beauty of the trees and the rolling hills stood stark in the background behind the legion.

We faced these before. Each of us individually. We were caught off guard by them through the week, and we were in need of some real help. That’s when we took to the knees. As we knelt, focused, and raised up all of this to the Lord we serve, we landed at this battlefield. I saw many of my friends, fellow believers, and we were defiant. The legion below wanted to push us back again, and the captain of our army got us ready.

I saw some of my friends, the ones who have helped shepherd me along in my quick journey to this point in time. Many of the folks that I would call ‘compadres’, they stood with their eyes focused, they jaws squared, and their eyes burning with a passion and fight that one could never have seen before.

We heard a short squeal as the legion came towards us, taking the initiative to attack. As they got to the bottom of the rock pile on which we stood, we heard the words we were waiting for.

“Take it back!”

Our ragtag group of nearly 100 clashed with a legion. I waited just a moment before charging down the pile, hoping to help get in and take care of cleaning up the legionnaires that were inevitably going to fall.

Leaping from my right, graceful yet strong, was Chelsey. A short, but firy young lady, she became one of my closest friends in this congregation. I saw her leap from behind me, her normally dark hair looking a bit lighter, shouting a war cry as she lept into the foree. She had a braid down one side, which made her look very warrior-like. She wielded in her hand a mace, a heavy club with what looked like a crown at the top of it. Something in my soul told me that she was speaking with authority and with conviction. She was going to do some damage, believe me.

I looked to my left and I saw Tia. She stood with her left foot in front of her right, her face looking farther back than up in the front. Her neck-length blonde hair slightly moved in the light breeze, her face full of focus and intent. In her hands was a bow and arrow, stretched back and ready to let go. She was aiming for the reinforcements, the ones in back that would cause more damage as our forces started to wear down. Her arrows were prayerful, full of truth, and highly damaging to the legionnaires who liked to use trickery and lies. I was in awe, to say the least.

A little farther down the line to the left,  I saw Brian and Kristi, my close friends and leaders. They were on the charge, looking to get in and do some beating down. Brian’s dark hair was blowing behind him, and behind his trimmed beard lay a mouth that was gritting teeth. Kristi, his wife and a veteran of many harsh battles, ran right next to him. The scars up and down her arms indicative of the previous battles with entities very much like the ones we were battling. Both of them were bearing down upon the legionnaires with gauntlets on her hand and forearms. They are our protectors, getting into the melee and taking the fight to the enemy rather than just sitting back and waiting.

On the other side, the right side and a little farther down, I saw Siobhan. A great lady of the Lord with a voice of passion, she looked intense as she ran right into the throng of legionnaires. She was swinging only what I could have thought was a two-handed axe. She was someone who wasn’t afraid to get into the thick of the battle, and I was quite proud that she was on that side.

Our commanding officer, Morgan, was standing up top. He was giving out the orders. A strong man of faith, a big man of action, he was someone who you definitely wanted to have in your corner. His words were coming out strong, and as they came out, there was strengthening of resolve among the ranks.

In my hands, I saw a short sword. It was sharp, made for cutting through and crying out for justice. This was the first major battle that I was getting into and actually remembering. I rushed past Tia and right straight towards one of the ugliest legionnaires I could have faced. It was quite a fearful one, and very much one that I knew could have hurt me had there not been protection. As I brought the sword down across the legionnaire, crying out the Lord’s name, I knew that it was from the tribe of Fear. It’s only words as it was being cut in half were, “You can’t be a leader”.

The battle raged on for a good long while, and many of our ranks were wearing down and getting worn. Some of my friends stayed back up on the rock pile, spreading their hands and with the Lord’s grace, healing those on the frontlines. Refreshment and restocking came throughout the long battle. Legionnaire after legionnaire fell to the various weapons that we all held, given to us by our Lord and general.

The great legion that had been provoking and attacking throughout the week, who were trying to do a full onslaught this time, were losing their numbers quickly. The ground became black as the legion lost their ranks. But as quickly as it became black, the blackness was washed away. While the rocky bar we fought on was wet, none of us seemed to slip. We stood firm, and we were fighting very very hard.

The battle raged on for what seemed like hours. By the time it finally was done, the leftover legionnaires ran for the hills. Their numbers were decimated. We walked back up to the rock pile, victory in our hands and fire in our veins. We looked into the sun, which had cleared the side of the mountain and shone upon us. The aftermath of the raging battle was quite different.

Chelsey’s hair was slightly messed up, but her expression was one of satisfaction in the job that the Lord had given her.

Tia stood strong and with fortitude. The string of her bow was a slight bit frayed from the vast number of arrows fired, but she exuded a strong calm that only the Lord could give her.

Brian and Kristi reached the top of the rock pile, arm in arm, smiling broadly as they lifted their steel gloved fists in victory

Morgan, our chief, looked solemn but pleased. He knew this battle needed to be fought, even if his plans had said otherwise. But as he looked at all of us, he made certain to drop a word of prayer to each one who returned to the top in victory.

Siobhan’s hand was wrapped in a brace, but as she held her axe up, she smiled. The blackness on the axe gave way to the shiny steely sheen of her weapon. She leaned over, and rested her arm on her knee, as she looked into the evening sun.

I slowly reached the top of the ridged rock pile, putting my right foot on a rock, bending it and resting my sword on the knee.

—–

As we stood, looking at the territory that we had reclaimed, we heard one of the other soldier start singing. It was soft, but as time went along, the song gained more people’s voices. Like a wave, the song rang through and soon everyone was singing:

Unstoppable God, let your glory go on and on
Impossible things, in your name they shall be done

Nothing shall be impossible
Your kingdom reigns unstoppable
We’ll shout your grace forevermore
Jesus our God unstoppable

A few moments after we were done singing, we started walking down the hill again. All close to 100 of us, walking together in victory, walked to the edge of one of the rivers. We stood on the shoreline of the river, in a line. The legion were not going to be getting this piece of earth back anytime soon.

This was Christ’s land. His blood won it, and his grace allowed us to defend it. That is something we are proud of.

 

Hazy Shade of Winter

(Author’s Note: I’m BAAAAAAACK! I’ve been gone for the last month or so in the attempt to complete a TESOL Certification. Therefore, I had to drop the blog while I focused on getting all the tests out of the way. BUT, I am now back. And…here we go. ^_^)

Hazy Shade of Winter

by Miles Rost

On the campus of the University of Oregon, the air was becoming bitterly cold. December was not normally known for cold and snow, but for this year, it blitzed across the western United States with a fury rarely seen in any storm. While the city of Eugene was not known for being full of snow, the entire city was blanketed with nearly a foot and a half of snow.

Walking down one of the main streets of the campus, Mike Carlton was admiring the buildings with their roofs full of snow. It was unusual to see a thick coating on top of Willamette Hall’s strange shaped entrance, or a pile of snow that shut the front of the Volcanology building. Mike smiled as he watched a shovel crew scrape the snow and resulting ice-melt off the amphitheatre.

He crossed the heart of campus and angled to go across the plaza, the long strip of green park that stretched from just below the heart of campus across to the west side of campus. He stepped onto the path that cut across the plaza, looking to pass by the statue of the Pioneer Mother and head towards the library. As he took the first step, he heard the carillon bells from the student union behind him, and smiled.

1 o’clock on the nose, he thought, as he smiled at the quietness.

A quietness that was shattered with a loud *THWOCK* and the sting of cold and pain on the right side of his face.

“BOMBARDAMEN!” he heard from one side of the plaza, lined up with a slew of guys behind hastily erected snow-barriers.

Mike looked in horror at the guys, and looked the other way to see if there was the possibility of escape.

He was faced with 16 sorority girls with snowballs in their hands.

He started running from both sides, hurtling over one erected snow barrier and ran straight towards the Physical Education building. The girls and a few of the boys from the plaza started to chase after him, trying to pelt him with more snow than they could even imagine.

To Mike’s shock and surprise, he heard a loud series of *THWOCK*s from behind him. He took a glance behind him and saw that half of the girls and guys that were following him were felled by a series of pink snowballs, lobbed from the direction of the psychology building. For a second, he sighed in relief.

That is until a pink snowball splat in the road right next to him.

He looked up at Straub Hall, the psychology building, and saw a motley crew of girls and guys on the roof, lobbing at people that seemed relatively unscathed.

“Aw HELL naw!” he said, as he continued running past the Physical Education building. He knew where he needed to go, because there was no way that he’d survive if he kept being outside.

He ran past Hayward Field, the running track used for the Olympic Timetrials, now covered in what looked to be virgin snow. He payed no thought to it, as he ran across Agate Street. Like a comically tragic anime character, he ran up the stairs and smacked straight into the doors of the Knight Law library.

Surely, I can take refuge in here! Lawyers don’t have fun or a sense of humor.

Yet again, he was proven wrong as a series of dark blue snowballs rained down upon him. Deftly dodging them, he realized that there was no hope. He did not want to fight, but he was given no choice.

He ran back to the former football field and launched himself into the untouched snow. He looked around like a madman, looking for containers of any type. Within a few minutes of work, he created a sizeable number of snowballs. As he succumbed to his snowy bloodlust and launched the first of his snowballs at an unsuspecting faculty member, one thought entered his mind.

If you can’t beat ’em, beat up on ’em.