Visions – Bread Crumbs

I do recall a battle and (why was I by your side, in what capacity? – a female in those days?) the overwhelming need to fight for you, even onto death, and then to fight on to retrieve your body, to bury you before they could make a counting trophy out of your ear. The open, rolling landscape with grass not green, but sandy-brown, and stained with gray and red and plum. A few sparse trees a bit to our right and back; leafed trees with narrow long trunks and flexible burgundy branches. A river – small one, almost a creek, off in the distance ahead. No horses, only feet – but shod, not boots nor sandals, with leather straps wrapped up around the calves. Iron weapons, no bronze here, and no decor on the hilts. Your head is exposed, and your armor consists of a simple leather breast plate, and leather belt with stitched-on bone plates. A leather thigh guard (is that what you call them in english?), but long, much longer than the Greek ones, a simple linen under tunic, to just above the knee. Your right arm is badly sliced; you managed to make a sort of a sling out of a piece of leather. So no shield. No sheath, either, only the chipped short sword in your left hand, and the hilt of a dagger tucked into the foot wrappings. There is a piece of brownish square fabric, coarse and worn, wrapped about your shoulders. It hangs heavy now, making it harder to move.
Your eyes are fire. Not the hot kind, but the chilling murderous intent, concentration. What’s left of your men riles around you.
I scream, and someone grabs for me (what was I doing there? A guest? A captive? A soiled dove traveling with the band?) – I claw his eyes out and make three steps forward before another one steps on the back of my garment and I fall hard. He drags me up by my hair, he’s pissed, his buddy howling in pain. But I am straining to see you. To see the dance of swords as you turn pale and go down to one knee.
The dagger is sharp against my chest, I manage to pull it out and blindly slice, severing two of his fingers. His grip weakens and I am running for you, and there is a name, a name running thru my mind – Belior.
But I am too late. There is a spray of blood coming from the left side of your neck; it paints the grass in rhythmic squirts.
I drop down before you.
You are trying to speak – but there are no words, the air blows in and out of the cut, bubbling thru your blood.
Your eyes, your eyes alone speak…
I hold my hand out and catch the living red paint, I smear it over my face, I rip my garment and smear it across my chest. I turn around and they back away, pointing, rumbling in a tongue I don’t understand. I must be quite a sight, for they back away and stay away and what’s left of your men carry you off, over by the trees and we all dig the soft soil with our hands and we bury you in silence…

About Julie Deshtor

Julie Deshtor grew up in the Soviet Union during the turbulent 90's, and moved to the United States shortly after the Soviet Empire collapsed in 1991. A bilingual author, Julie writes both fiction and poetry, as well as translating poetry and lyrics. She brings her rich cultural and life experienced to her fiction, exploring the psychological struggles of her characters with compassion and insight, as they navigate the murky waters of the modern society. Julie currently resides in Utah, USA. Her interests include art, world literature, zoology, anthropology and urban subculture
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