15 Minute Ficlets is a weekly challenge based on the original 15 Minute Ficlets LiveJournal Community. Since this community has been defunct since 2013, I’ve decided to resurrect the challenge on my blog as a weekly Sunday writing challenge. If there’s interest, I’ll turn this into a meme (link up in the comments if you try it!). In the meanwhile, the rules:
Based on a single word, write a story in fifteen minutes. The word count is irrelevant. Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word. You never know what you’ll end up with!
This week’s word: glory
You have 15 minutes. Go!
Drei stood up straight, arching his aching back and reading his arms far above his head. The sky above was clear and pleasant, but the land smelled hot and sticky. Already a foul stench rose from the field of corpses. It lingered in his nostrils, as pungent as the first day he smelt it. A battlefield was neither for the weak of heart, nor the weak of stomach.
He lowered his aching limbs from his stretch and let them fall to his side, as sore as they ever were. His chain mail rattled as he rolled his shoulders. After a quick survey of the field, he dared to remove his helmet and tuck it under his arm – it made a world of difference. It felt as though cotton had been removed from his ears and his throat, so he could hear properly again instead of boiling in the iron hotbox he wore to protect his head and neck.
At a quick scan, he would say there were likely fifty enemy bodies on this field, not including the few that fled in cowardice. As a rule, he let the cowards flee, but not all of his men thought similarly. Nonetheless, it was an impressive slaughter for a patrol of ten, numbering about five against one. His men may not be on the front lines, but they were not to be laughed at, either.
Drei cracked his neck, taking his time as his eyes darting the clearing, looking for Private Davis. He spotted the freckle-faced kid across the field to his left, and moved toward him. He always strode with a casual gait, but his eyes and ears remained peeled for signs of attack. He had not risen to the rank of Captain by being overconfident.
Drei never addressed his troops with anything warmer than curt professionalism. The last thing he wanted was to become attached to them. Or, worse, they to him.
“Captain, I saw a man go off inna the woods. Should I go after him?”
“Nah, Cap’n, is I who saw the yella bastard.”
“You dinna and d’you kiss your muddah with that filthy mout’?”
It would go on like this for a while if Drei did not cut it off immediately. He suppressed a sigh. There was nothing less impressive than a handful of green recruits trying to swallow all the glory for a routine skirmish on patrol.
“Let the fool go cry to his General,” Drei said and quickly walked away. He would not humor them by continuing their argument. There were more important things to do, such as take roll call and be certain he didn’t lose any of his own.
These boys did not understand war.
When I write short stories, I usually like to carve moments out from the novel ideas I have running around my head. This is the viewpoint of a character from The Sin Series, a story I have been writing and rewriting since I was nine. Captain Drei Wallace is a high-ranking knight in Her Majesty’s Royal Army. He is also an illusionist, but this ficlet is more about his day job.
I’ve got a brave soul who jumped on the bandwagon this week!
Michelle @ FaerieFits – “Glory”
If you give it a go, link up in the comments and I’ll add you in the post!