Short Fiction: Rell’s Charge

Rell felt detached from his surroundings, almost as though he was seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. Streams of blood flowed down the narrow pass, cascading over the bodies of his fallen brothers and sisters. His own blood oozed from the gaps in the armor he was encased in. It spurted from his gauntlets when he gripped Raina’s spear. His had broken early in the battle and she would never wield it again. Lang’s shield would replace his own, shattered in the last rush. Bleeding, Rell could still stand, flexing his arms to shake out the growing chill.

They held the pass while the army made their preparations. No money exchanged hands; Rell and his people were not mercenaries. They fought battles that were needed, protecting what innocence could be found in the world. He thought of past battles against tyrants, brutal raiders, slave caravans. It was reassuring to feel that he helped bring comfort to those who were defenseless. The only features on his helmet were the slits for breathing and the eye holes. He and his kind were faceless, rarely uttering a sound even in death.

The short reverie brought back some of his sense of reality, and Rell assessed the carnage before him. Some of his comrades were still alive and fighting, supporting the defenders. It was still a hard fight ahead for them. Sounds close caused him to turn his gaze. Other warriors, near death, were rising the same as he had. A few score perhaps, out of the hundreds lying dead, but it would have to do.

Faceless helmets turned from one to another, nodding, and raising spears in salute. Wordlessly, they began stumbling down the pass, gaining speed and momentum before hurling themselves back into the fray.

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