War - 1000 Word Story

1000 Word Challenge Aug 27, 2020

The Red knight held his sword high in his hands as he bloodied the blade.

Many Men cried out in fear as they saw his red-dyed Cape and the Ghastly Dragon that painted his armour. Wherever he walked Death was not far behind, leaving a litter of corpses and lost souls.

Under his thick red-iron mask, he smiled insidiously. He enjoyed the look of dread that filled the eyes of his enemies. His reputation was as infamous as the Devils. Tales of his villainous cruelty and impeccable sword skills had spread far and wide. So much so that he didn’t have to put much energy into this battle.

Just walking with his head held high made the people around him shiver, their courage drained away. They lost their will to fight, and with that will gone, so was their vigour and energy. It made cutting them down as easy as slicing through restrained poultry.

It was so easy it was almost boring. He thought that no one would come up to fight him, but surprisingly there was someone.

It was a very short Knight.
Their silver armour was chipped and their helmet had fallen off somewhere, exposing their young and small face. He was a small boy, likely between the ages of 10 or 12. He had some fight in his eyes.

The boy saw the Red Knight and he didn’t cower, he didn’t hesitate, in fact, he made a low growl from the depths of his gut. He crouched low in a stance ready to pounce, holding his heavy blood-stained sword steady.

He was like a rabid animal. He had pushed all his fear and apprehension aside, his eyes were filled with determination, determination to survive.

If the boy had had any common sense he would have run away, picked his battle wisely with someone else.
Surely he knew of the Red Knight’s reputation.

His courage was commendable.

The boy reminded the Red Knight of his youth.
He had also started off as a boy soldier, he was the only son of his widowed mother, and thus the only male from his family that could be enlisted. He was forced into war at the tender age of ten and he had grown up on the battlefield, killing and slaying all his enemies.
Those around him had called him the Little Demon, due to his tenacious behaviour and sinister fighting styles.

He had gotten to where he was today due to his training, his determination to survive, but also due to his ability to pick his battles. Especially when he was young, he always knew when to run away, he always knew how to gauge when an opponent was too much for him. Survival was based on more than courage, it was based on strategy.

Sadly, this boy seemed to lack that gauge, his inability to fear had completely hindered him.

The Red Knight watched as the boy lunged at him.
Screaming from the top of his lungs; “ahhhhhhh,” he swung his blade. The boy’s sword strike was powerful, he had obviously been training his muscles. It made a gust of wind blow around them both, but that was all there was to it.

There was no technique behind it, it wasn’t even a feint, just a straightforward sword strike.
For a common Soldier or Knight, this would probably be a hard blow to deal with, but for the Red Knight, the boy seemed to be heading towards him in slow motion.

It was far too easy.

In seconds the Red Knight disarmed him. The blade flew out of the boy’s arms and he was suddenly being held up by the Red Knight.
He had no time to catch his bearings before he was punched so hard that his ribs audibly cracked. He was flung into the air as blood poured from his mouth and by the time he slammed into the muddy grass he was dead.

The Red Knight felt no joy in killing a child but it had to be done, in war, even the smallest thing could be the difference between life and death, mercy had no place here.

After a few more hours of battle, the Red Knight along with the rest of the army belonging to the Dragon Kingdom emerged victoriously. Raucous cheers and booming roars of the survivors filled the now Dead-Man’s land and mocked the slaughtered.
Soon they were all marching home and the straggling survivors from the opposing army were either fleeing to safety, deserting their cause, or being captured as Prisoners of War.

It took a full day before they reached the large entrance of the Citadel. As the Dragon Army came through the Gates they were met with cascading rounds of applause that trembled the Earth. Flowers were thrown upon them and choirs sang a merry tune.

Through his red grilled helmet, the Red Knight watched as their fat General, who had done nothing but sit on the sidelines, enjoyy their praise as if he had earned it.
The weary soldiers and Knights had faces that glowed with patriotism and glee.

The Red Knight, on the other hand, did not celebrate.
He went through the procession with solemn contemplation.
It was only a matter of time before they were shipped out to war again. As long as the leaders remained greedy and self-interested, he would continue to be a tool for them. There was no reason for being comfortable or happy. This celebration was momentary appeasement to keep them obedient. In reality, nothing was being achieved.

None of the real causes for all this warfare and bloodshed was about protecting the people, it was always about wealth. The wealth that he and his fellow warriors would never receive.

As they reached the end of the procession they were now at the bottom of the marvel steps which led to the King’s Palace.
The Red Knight pulled off his helmet, revealing his blood-red hair, jade green eyes and dangerously handsome features.

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Alexia J. Barrett

I am a Creative Writer, Indie Author, Podcast Host, and Development Researcher. I’m also an aspiring filmmaker and I’m working towards becoming a self-shooting Producer and Director.

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