Hour of Blood by Gerard T Joseph


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SUMMARY: Another tiny story. This time about a young man in his first deadly battle.

Private Lukan stood shivering and somewhat apprehensive as he looked around at the ranks on ranks of fellow soldiers that surrounded him. This was not the sight that put the fear of the Gods into him, no no, certainly not. As Lukan peered in front of him he fought the urge to turn around, and make a mad dash for home. Spread out in front of Lukans fellows was an army so vast it looked as if the whole country had come to bring judgement upon Lukans comrades, Merlongs Command, named after Lukans commander Evenar Merlong. It so happened that Commander Merlong looked like the only man in the waiting army who was rearing to go. Everyone else looked at each other with looks of utter dread etched on their features. The man beside Lukan nudged him "Not looking forward to this fight at all Lukan, not at all"
Lukan thought the word "fight" was a inappropiate word for the coming battle, "suicide run" was a term which sprung to mind. As the sea of people at the other end of the vast feild began to chant, Commander Merlong ran to the head of the army. "Ok piglets! Time for you to make yourself useful! Hell, all we need to do is squash those maggots that call themselves an army and then its home for us!" Lukan heard someone laughing. He was quite frankly shocked at the sound. Again the man beside him nudged his side. "Looks like some crazy bastard sees the funny side of running into a sea of bloody swords, and getting ripped into little shreds. Me personally id rather run for the hills"
The commander rubbed his bald head and drew his sword from its scabbard. "Ok ladies! umbrellas out!"
Lukan drew his sword along with everyone else and looked at his reflection in the gleaming blade. He looked older than his Twenty one years due to constant farm work, then constant training with the army. The ground then began to shake. Lukan nearly cried out with fear as the deadly sea of bloodthirsty barbarians rushed forward, swinging swords and axes as they went. "Ok men! Time to go! CHARGE!" Lukan followed the men as they surged forward. An earsplitting cry went up from the men and Lukan opened his mouth and let out all of his fear in one mighty cry. The deafening crunch as the armys crashed int each other was sickening. Lukan caught a glance of the Commander once again proving his worth. He was swinging his sword in every direction and bodies went down rapidly, but many more replaced each fallen barbarian and they were quickly overcoming Commander Merlong. Suddenly two men faced Lukan and charged at him screaming defiance. Lukan ducked under there initial blows and swung his sword around his body. One of the men went down clutching his side in agony, however the other man was already returning to avenge his comrade. He swung his sword at the barbarian but it was easily deflected. As the shock of the impact ran up his arm, he hazarded a look around. The commander was lying, headless, his hand still clutching his sword. Suddenly a surge of fear entered Lukan. There was no more men left. He was the only man alive from his side. He turned to fight but the barbarians easily struck him to the ground. He crawled rapidly away but a sudden, blinding pain hit his arm. He looked in horror at his hand landing a couple of feet away. another pain struck his back. As Lukan slumped to the ground, darkness took him.