"With His Shield or On It" Chapter Eight: March at Night

Fiction By Elizabeth // 6/2/2008

“Luvilia, what is ahead? I thought I heard you jump,” said Menegal.
“You heard correctly. There is a ditch in the path. But be careful not to jump too short,” said Luvilia.
“There is a ditch ahead, watch not to jump to short,” said Menegal, to Ebhali who marched behind him.
Ebhali then said the same to the one behind him and so the word passed on. Swinging over the ditch without trouble, Menegal landed on the other side, while keeping his foot from touching the ground. Ebhali did the same and all the men in Ranifa’s company made it safe across.
Later that night when the men could hardly go on without a rest, rain started to fall. The rain was cool as it fell on the men who were hot with a hard climb. Many held out their helmets to gather the water to drink it. The rain increased the will in the men at once, and they began to laugh with pure joy for the rain. Ranifa, however, was looking at the danger the rain might bring. He looked up at the wall beside them and noticed that stone was loosening with the rain. He immediately called for silence among the men.
All was then quiet. Menegal looked up uneasily and saw a stone no bigger than his hand fall in front of him. He became tense as he walked by the stone. He knew one more stone would cause an avalanche. At that moment, thunder rolled. It shook the ground and caused a great boom among the echoes of the rocks. The loosened rocks above began immediately to fall. Ranifa told all who were in the way of the avalanche to run through to the other side. He told all others to stay where they were. Ebhali, Menegal, and Luvilia began to run. Luvilia came through first, then Menegal, Ebhali, and two others.
When the avalanche was over, half of Ranifa’s company was trapped on the other side with the rest of the army. Ranifa then came up to the place of the avalanche and tried to step on the stones. It was firm. Ranifa then ordered his men to come over to the other side. The men came over slowly and cautiously, carefully stepping on the rocks. Two hours were spent in getting the rest if the army over the landslide.
At one hour before dawn, the path was getting easier to see. A grey light was coming into the sky and the stars were beginning to melt into the growing light. Menegal was worn and his arm was giving way. The rain had stopped two hours before and the air was cooler since their way was now farther up the mountains. The coolness of the rain had eased his foot and the swelling had gone down. But he felt cold.
The day looked to be a cheerless one. Grey clouds held dominion in the sky and looked still to be holding rain. As dawn was now fully at hand, the pass of Thermopylae was before them.

Comments

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Good job, Elizabeth! :)

Clare Marie | Tue, 06/03/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

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