Weapons stood drawn; swords quivered ever so slightly in the anticipation of waiting blood, in the anticipation of imminent death. Those instruments of murder adorned the warriors, in whose eyes the spectre of destruction danced gleefully, bloodlust palpable all around. The shriek of an eagle overhead pierced the mounting tension. All that was needed to set this avalanche in motion was a gentle nudge.
The prize of the battle was a mythical Book, which legend had it, promised wealth and power beyond imagination to the one who could completely possess it – fortunes immensely obscene awaited the claimant. All that was needed was some reverential care, respect and restoration for the warriors’ village to grow into a thriving and powerful society.
It was understood that the Book was bigger than any of them, the blessings going to their entire clan. As time passed by, a few warriors suspected others giving inappropriately more attention to the Book, vying for a larger share of the spoils. This had to be stopped, the imbalance corrected!
Discontent had taken seed. What could have been resolved by dialogue, had given birth to suspicion, stealth and greed. Deep within, a rift had been created. A brotherhood stood divided, all because of a lingering suspicion. First, there were minor skirmishes, petty altercations. Friction gradually took a violent form. Simmering water had started to boil, bubbles bursting forth to the surface. The inevitable had reared its ugly head!
Factions were formed, brother turned against brother. Amidst a society crumbling to pieces, the intention of nurturing a life bigger than themselves was lost somewhere, the endeavour for a better tomorrow lay abandoned. The Book had, ironically, divided closely knit families. All dignity lay forgotten, all respect cast aside. Only depraved abandon prevailed.
The clan had finally ended up as two armies on the opposite sides of the battlefield.
A battle horn sounded. The predictable bellow followed, and the armies plunged towards each other, death wide in their eyes, feeling most alive in the face of their last moments, the certainty of their end spurring them on. The waves of humanity collided in an almighty groan, roars gradually died out as the throats roaring them were sliced, the hearts spurring them were stabbed, the muscle powering them were quartered, and life escaped their mortal shells.
Amidst this celebration of bloodlust, lay forgotten the spoils of war, the mythical Book, in a lonely corner of the village, waiting to be lost yet again. The promise of its blessings unclaimed, the Book too, slowly vanished into legend, along with the life around it.
~ Justin J Francis | Edited by Farrokh J
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