man in armour
Writing

1066 and all that

The sun rose in a cloudless sky. For the first time in days, Wulfin smiled.

His spirit lightened, if only for a split second, the time it took to remember broadsword slicing through skull. He remembered too the flood of cowardly relief as he realised the warm blood soaking through his jerkin was not his own.

Only later, when he was pulling himself through the slough of mud and blood and broken bodies, had he remembered Rollo.

Each day he came back, as far as he dared, to look. He picked his way through the scavengers, the vultures with their pliers and sacks of bloody gold. Truth be told, there were times he was grateful for the heavy fog that covered the battlefield like a shroud.

He’d lost his taste for victory, but, still, he kept on looking. He turned over rotting corpses and kicked away their severed limbs, hoping, and not hoping, that soon he would find Rollo.

Still, he smiled, letting the autumn sun warm his torn flesh.

In the early morning shadows, something moved. A flicker of recognition, then dawn hit him. He reached out, and embraced the shape staggering towards him. Rollo.

Brothers in arms, reunited, they thanked God for their safe deliverance, and the better weather. Soon they could make their way south to re-join King Harold.

***

In Normandy, the sun rose in the same cloudless sky. The fog finally cleared, the wind changed direction.

William looked at this fleet, and smiled.

This was my entry for our local village show, story writing class, open topic, but it had to begin, “The sun rose in a cloudless sky….” and be 250 words or under.

This year, I did really well, getting a red rosette for my story and my six bantam eggs took the hens’ eggs first place in the produce section, which more than made up for the previous year’s scone and cake epic fails 🙁

image: “1066 and all that…” by AndyWilson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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