SPF – The Night Before

Posted: July 31, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction, Uncategorized
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Jan knew he should have felt honored by the great Lord Nirinberk asking him to serve at his side. He knew he should have felt eager for the glory of battle ahead.

But as he stared at the mail coat – the coat he was expected to wear, the coat he might die in – he was terrified.

Jan walked over to the swords and picked one up. The steel was cold and heavy, like a winter storm. Giving it a swing, he tried to imagine himself as a bold knight. He tried to fall back into childhood dreams where swords gleamed and proud warriors came home victorious to the sound of the trumpets.

But all he could imagine was death: blank faces watching the skies, maybe his own amongst them, all the breath gone from his lungs, the last beat gone from his heart.

The sword dropped from Jan’s fingers, clattering like thunder. Jan collapsed to his knees.

“It isn’t easy, is it?”

Lord Nirinberk put a hand on Jan’s shoulder, no longer looking like a storybook hero but rather a man ravaged by battle and memory.

“I was afraid too,” he said. “Fear doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.”

Word Count: 201

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.

(I’m very glad to be back and able to do these challenges again. I’ll be putting up a more detailed post about that sometime this week. Thanks to all the readers who read, commented, and liked the content that went up while I was away. You’re all fantastic.)

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Very realistic portrayal of that point where you realize actual battles aren’t at all like the ones in the story books and plays.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally says:

    Battles and wars are terrifying, well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. swritings says:

    Very apt message. It’s very easy to glorify wars in stories but real life is always different. Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Really well written. I suppose if one must, one can go to war and face such atrocity. I don’t think you would be the same though. Think of all the soldiers back then who had PTSD or didn’t know what to do after fighting and killing for years. Great write and moral.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. What a great scene. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That moment when you know it is either you or the other person that will die, would be terrifying. Knowing you would either end, or take a life. Neither of which would make for a very good way of ending the day

    Liked by 1 person

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