Feather’s Stories: This Is Our Battle Cry

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been trying hard to get back into my novel writing, but of course, with all these other projects, it’s quite difficult (maybe one day I can delegate these tasks to other people). However, in the spare time I do have, I am rather inspired to write. The only problem with that is that the storylines have nothing to do with the novel. So, here’s another snippet that I’ve just recently thought of, thanks to listening to Audiomachine.

The dust swirled around them, and the noise around them silenced as they glanced around the battlefield. There was no way this war would be one. Talia turned to Magnus, despair painted in her eyes like the tattoos on her body. He could see their future, plain as day. They would not return from this one. Time stopped, the soldiers they commanded and fought against stilled, their battle cries still screaming from their lips, with their swords raised high. Cheetahs and lions paused in mid-air, with their deafening roars caught in their throat.

Magnus knew the end was near, and he was going to make sure Talia wouldn’t die without hope. In the moment when time stood still, he grabbed her hand, pulled her to him and kissed her, knowing it would be their last. As soon as their lips touched, the deafening cries of the armies around them returned, the pounding of feet, the clashing of swords and the ripping of limbs from bodies surrounded them once more, but neither one cared. This was going to be their last stand, and they would fight for their people’s freedom to the death.

The kiss seemed endless and too brief, all at once. It was more than Talia could bear, and she said as much, laying her head on her husband’s chest as he held her close. For this one moment, she allowed weakness to cloud her judgement, only to be pulled away from Magnus, as the ground beneath their feet cracked between them. Frantic and afraid, she screamed, “NO!”

As the ground parted, she tried to reach for her husband, but it was too late. Creatures from the deep began to emerge from the hellfire below, attacking all that came within arm’s reach. Forced to reckon with these beasts, Talia raised her sword, crying in anguish, anger and furious desperation, she slashed her way through the monsters that rose to her challenge. She dodged their clawing talons and gnashing teeth. Their magic was no match for her and she easily ducked away from flying lightning bolts, balls of fire and poisonous bombs. With tears streaking down her face, she beheaded one of the beasts, plunged her sword through the chest of another and entrapped one more in a cage that slowly closed in on its prey, like a venus-fly trap. Her rage made her see red, and all she could do was fight her way across the battlefield.

In the distance, Magnus too fought his way back to his wife, his frenzied attacks were a testament to his need. From the corner of his eye he could see Talia take down another beast with her sword. Her eyes were wild and her movements quick. She was the very definition of anger, and Magnus almost feared her, but that was exactly the way it was supposed to be. Pride filled his chest as he watched her, his movements all but an automatic response. It wasn’t long before an arrow finally struck his leg, and Magnus cried in pain, surprised by the attack. He looked down and viciously yanked the arrow out, looking for its archer. He found him, standing on the rocks that stood above the battle. Now he was the one seeing red, and he transformed into an eagle, soaring above the battle before aiming towards the archer. He narrowed his eyes against the wind, watching the poor soul hastily notch another arrow, trying to take down the bird as he rocketed towards him. He didn’t have a chance. Just as he managed to click the arrow in place, Magnus stood before him, his grey eyes storms of fury. It didn’t even take a second before the archer collapsed to the ground, as Magnus’ sword, dripping with blood, hung by his side.

“You’re quick, King of the South, but are you quick enough for me?” came a familiar, sultry voice. Magnus turned around to see his wife standing only a few feet away. It wasn’t his wife, but an illusion, and his nostrils flared as he adjusted his grip on his sword.

“You will not tempt me another time succubus. Your charms will not work here,” he growled.

The succubus smirked, her hair morphing into snakes as her eyes turned a sickly shade of yellow, “Who said I was trying to tempt you.” As quick as lightning, she lunged forward, too fast for human eyes to see, but Magnus was no human. He was just as quick, blocking her knife-like nails with his sword as he backed away from the force. Although he was quick enough to block her, he wasn’t near fast enough to attack. She was too quick for him to find a weakness in her pattern. She chuckled when she realised this, “What’s the matter, King? Growing tired? Why not rest. I’ll ensure you’ll be able to sleep…permanently.”

Just as he was about to return a remark, the succubus suddenly stilled. A choked gasp spilling from her mouth as it filled with blood. Her eyes were wide with shock as she stared absently at Magnus. Confused Magnus lowered his stance. He didn’t have to wait for long, as Talia emerged behind the succubus, her mouth curled in a snarl, “You heard my husband. Your charms don’t work here.” As the succubus breathed its last, Talia violently pulled her sword from her, bringing it upwards, ensuring that its heart was split in two.

She pushed away the now dead illusion and smirked at her husband, “Getting old, are we?”

Magnus returned her smirk, shaking his head, “If only.”

The smirk slowly waned, “It isn’t over yet.” Talia turned her gaze towards the battle beside them, “We’re never going to make it, are we?”

The despair began to creep back into her brilliant golden pools of amber, and Magnus could do nothing to stop it. Mustering up the last dregs of hope he had left, he grasped his wife by the waist, and turned her to look at him, “Even if we don’t, at least we have given hope to our people. They will tell stories of us, of our triumph, no matter how it ends.”

Talia leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed a tired sigh, “I wonder how Elia would fare without us.”

Magnus gulped down the tears that threatened to fall. He didn’t want to think about their daughter, at least not here. Knowing she would grow up without them, was worse than lifetime of torture. Closing his eyes against the image, he tucked Talia’s head beneath his, “She will be better than the both of us. She will grow up knowing her parents were heroes. That is all we can ask for.”

Talia didn’t reply. Instead she sighed again, “I’m tired, Magnus.”

“Then let us finish this.” Magnus replied, pulling away, so he could see her face.

Tears had streamed across her face, smudging the dirt that had collected there. Despite being covered in blood, and looking like she’d crossed hell to stand where she stood, Talia still looked beautiful, at least to him. Placing a tender kiss to her forehead, he released her and tightened his grip on his sword. As soon as he pulled away, bodies began to cover them, attacking the King and Queen of the South. This time, both Magnus and Talia kept close, keeping an eye on each other, hoping the other didn’t falter and lose their battle.

The war raged on, and soon Magnus began to tire. The wound in his leg began to burn, and he realised now why. The arrow had been poisoned. His attacks slowed, and it wasn’t long before a sword caught him. It pierced his shoulder and he cried out in pain. That was all it took to bring him to his knees. Behind him, Talia stopped to see her husband fall. Worry clouding her face. She watched as another sword was plunged into his stomach. Another cry came from his lips and she cried with him. Without a second thought to her enemies, she dashed towards her husband as another soldier raised his sword to deliver the final blow. Within seconds, Talia blocked her husband, taking the full force of the swing as it slashed across her body. She gave a silent cry as the pain ripped through her, before she collapsed to the floor.

Shocked and bewildered, Magnus watched his wife sacrifice herself for him, his mind reeling as she fell to the floor, her face still contorted with agony. Unbelievable grief washed over him and he dragged himself to her as blood began pouring from her mouth and nose. He grasped her face, hoping to see some life left in her. When her heavy lids turned to him, he finally let the tears fall. It was time. Seconds passed by like hours, as he watched the life drain from her. When her eyes finally closed, he sobbed over her body. It didn’t take too long for another arrow to hit its mark, and he cried with anguish and despair, uncaring whether or not he lived any more. He didn’t fight as more arrows plunged into his back and the darkness began to cloud his vision.

The last thing the King of the South remembered was the sight of his wife’s corpse, lying next to him, lifeless and still. Her eyes closed as if in rest. Magnus’ last thought was of his daughter, her mane of golden hair, eyes of brilliant green and a smile as pure as the brightest diamond. He imagined how she’d lead their people, and hoped that the fates looked kindly on her, praying she had the wisdom to rule.

Soon, Magnus breathed his last, and the King and Queen of the South, lay dead, at the Battle of the See.

Well, what do you think? Did you like it, did you not like it? What would you do to improve it, or better yet, what would the rest of the story look like? Leave your tips in the jar below, and I’ll see you soon!

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