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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Short story: The war under a hot sun

The rubble from La Combre's horses continued to rain on my helmet and the broken pieces feathered the eyes continually. It had been four hours since we started for the day.

The river was still flowing around huge boulders and its blue surf from the coast was following us eternally. The reflection of the noon sun emanating from the balding head of Naryiana showered my mood with anger by blocking my vision. I had continually ordered him not to take his helmet off for which his latest quirky reply was 'no dragon's breadth can break my skull my friend Nura'. Ansirk, Aramuk and Lipak's presence had always brought the worst replies from Nariyana who considered them comical.  He was always gifted with their boisterous laugh as an adoration and that instant was no different.

Increased presence of pines and eucalyptus tipped me that we reached the boundaries of the forest and were entering the great desert of Kunn. It would take us another three days to reach the castle and provided the guards at the gate were alive to bring down the bridge over the moat we could meet the King in another 76 hours. 'How the fuck can he joke at these times of hardship and loss?' I thought again of the supposed joke Nariyana made the morning before.

The war had taken it's toll on the army and out of ten thousand hordes only twenty three remained. Five knights, ten horsemen and eight war planners had fled the zone  the day before after all the Plans had gone awry and the Nats' army had defeated us on all fronts. Free fighters had drowned the land with blood using the mighty pikes and longbows. Even our recon missions had failed. Every fighter alive at that time had sat down  with their palms on heads sighing 'why this rage, this rage of death?'. The scene had been gruesome.

As they strode on, a small green spec to the right began to grow wider and taller. There was a small blue dot at it's center which also grew with the reduction of distance. La Combre signalled them to ride towards what he thought to be a small oasis. The winds were strong and my eyes watered due to sand dust. After an hour of riding we reached the oasis. It was beautiful, a serene place in the middle of an unforgiving desert, reminding of the soft touch from my lady every time post lovemaking before I drown into a satisfying sleep, a deep sense of correctness in a world stained with wrong.

'Get all the rest you can, warriors, we need to start as soon as possible' informed La Combre and went about his process of resting his body.
'Marchis, an hour is too little time, fornicate his mother La Combre is a dick.' Naryiana was clearly pissed.
'Yes he is a dick but what do we do, we need to let the head know the news' Lamak said and ran toward the pond to load up his goat skin water holders.
I was about to bend towards the water when I heard more horses arriving at the oasis. This should be wrong I thought, and turned back immediately to see all of the head's army horses being slain. The black trotters have followed us.

'Get the axe' I yelled at Ansirk who was next to me, and after he came to senses at to the attack, we ran toward the pile of our belongings. Longbows flew, axes tasted blood and our war-plotters were disappearing one after the other every second, it was a total disaster.
'Cover my flank' I asked to Ansirk who relayed the same to Naryiana and we ran toward a couple of the enemy horses, double-flanked. I threw my pike at the archer above the horse on the left and Naryiana attacked the right. Ansirk took the life of the archer I downed as I ran toward the horse behind. It was a tall stallion and I knew I won't be able to reach the warrior's chest with my midsword even though I was taller than all my fellow men of the head. It was then I realized he had spotted me and was about to attack and froze there.

My life was gifted back to me by a sharp axe beheading him that was projected by Naryiana. I smiled denoting my gratitude and took over the stallion that reared out of control once it felt a new owner. I switched my midsword for a pike and a longsword from Naryiana and roared towards the horsepack attacking the war-plotters of the head.

 The swordsman who wore a black war robe and a silver helmet turned around and rode towards me while I continued my gallop with the pike tilted straight at him. It was at the last moment that I bent to the front and moved my right arm away from my body making the pike parallel and rode through piercing him and finding myself at the center of the pack. The arm caught the heavy longsword's grip and realizing that I was the lonely warrior against the pack I pulled the gullet up and pushed the left stirrup down making the stallion revolve around itself attacking every rider against me. It was another forty grueling seconds before La Combre and Yaja arrived to help me out that I was able to get out of the trap.

After an hour of fighting, we drove off the trotters and our attention fell on La Combre's slain horse and its package under the saddle. It was intact. I removed the package and wiped the dead animal thanking for not losing the object of our travel. I brought my right hand up and yelled 'off we march towards our head' that I felt water all over me.

Looking up to check whether it was raining, I found the sun shone brightly behind my window. The curtains were light in color and did not give me peaceful sleep after seven in the morning. The package of Nokia Lumia 800 I bought from zapstore lay safe under my dead blue pillow.

'Ezhunthiri da magane, deepavaliyum athuvumaa enna kanavu vendi kedakkuthu' said my mother with a scorn and a nine-yard sari around her with me rubbing my hair and scratching my left posterior. Dad was furious and my brother was cheekily laughing as I was caught of yelling 'wotha'. He came to me, patting my shoulder and said 'nee ivvalavu periya thala fanaa??? aana angeyum why this kolaveri-nne paaru, hahaha' and it all came back to me.

Damn I should'nt have read the Game Of Thrones late the night before.

Translation for the non-tamizh readers

'Ezhunthiri da magane, deepavaliyum athuvumaa enna kanavu vendi kedakkuthu' - what on Earth is this, to sleep with dreams on the morning of Diwali

nee ivvalavu periya thala fanaa - are you this big an Ajith-thala fan?[thala-head]

Reverse translation

why this rage, this rage of death - why this kolaveri?

Copyright © 2011 Arun Srinivasan. All rights reserved.

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