Last Days of a Warrior
I entered the large room which resembled a hotel lounge, but it was not as any hotel lounge I have known, for it was perhaps three tables deep and fifty long, with only the front wall made of glass. The lounge seats were all square and I do not like box shapes when seeking comfort - but, was I here for comfort? I did not know. A tall, strong woman, the kind our army likes, guided me to a seat and then surprised me by sitting beside me. She told me to ask what I will and then she sat silently, without the nuisance of small talk.
Some parts of the glass front were slid open and outside there were fan shaped tiers of lawn. Each had a small post and a female. Some were solid and thick; some were tall and slim, there were of all the shapes and sizes we can describe females by, but then I saw one that sat on a fan not brightly lit. She looked small and delicate, more like a child close to becoming a woman. I was surprised to discover that my years as a soldier have left me with some ability to feel pity - and I pointed and asked about her. Since I did not know why I was brought here, I suspected the women sitting on the fans were waiting to be chosen for sex, so I thought to protect the young one by choosing her, asking for the girl. I knew it was quixotic of me, for I did not think I would be staying here for more than hours.
The woman by my side picked up a small box, aimed it at the girl and when she aimed it correctly, a small light went on and the box showed the number thirty four. The woman laughed, “I thought you would choose her, come with me.”
As we walked towards the girl, she came to her feet and casually wandered downwards, from tier to tier, until she reached a large lawn, a low artificial embankment and we then stood on a road. Towards our right was a bridge. The girl did not cross the bridge, but walked off into the tropical profusion of plants and many kinds of ferns that adorned the greenish river water.
Suddenly the woman shouted, “Take us home!” and the girl began to run, nimbly leaping across plants or rocks at a pace I knew I could not match for long.
When the stitch in my side and my labored breathing made it impossible for me to continue, I called out and the woman waited for me. I asked her to stop for a while as I could not continue.
“Once the girl has been given the instruction to take us home, she will stop for nothing. You either keep up with us or you wander in this green hell until you die.”
I collapsed to the ground, half faking a heart attack. Suddenly the girl appeared. She ran to stand over me, stared down at me and into my eyes and as she told the woman, “He is alive,” she ran off. The woman followed her without even glancing at me.
I had recovered and thought to take it easy while I search for the river, for it can lead me out of the jungle. Suddenly the girl stood before me. She took my arm and placing it over her shoulder, she led me. I was soon grateful for her support, for we climbed mountain sides which seem to aim for the clouds. Soon the land grew slippery, but she was barefoot and sure of her step.
When we arrived by a village, she took my arm off her shoulder and nodded for me to sit. She then went to what I mistook for an elderly couple, greeted them as her parents and then disappeared for a few minutes. During this time her parents stared a me, their eyes so filled with misery and defeat that I kept my eyes pointed in a different direction.
The girl suddenly stood before me, offering me a gourd filled with water. I sipped and then asked, “What happened to the woman?”
“She learnt she cannot follow me and maybe she is wandering in circles?” I grinned at her mimicking the words of the woman, surprised she has an appreciation of irony. She added, “She looked for me but could not find me, for I had turned for you and she did not think I would.”
“Why did you? Also, may I ask your name?”
“You called me girl, but it was not the way others do, with you it was a soft word. I liked it - it is why I returned for you. I will keep the word for my name.” She briskly walked over to her parents and, in English, ordered them not to use her given name where I can hear them and she then returned to me.
“We do not have time, maybe tomorrow they attack. Will you teach us how to fight?”
“They are soldiers?”
“Yes. We must learn to fight like them.”
“Girl, will you trust me? We must fight them in the way of your people, but with some soldier tricks I will teach you. They will not know how to fight you and maybe we can win.”
There were other faces watching us and maybe they gave her the nod, for she replied, “We do as you say.”
It has been a long time since my ego was last so boosted and it made me feel that just Girl and I could fight off the entire army if we have to. I dare not let it be otherwise.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
Written: 10th September, 2019
- posted on PALNet - Steemit - WEKU - CreativeCoin: 10th September, 2019