Wednesday, June 10, 2015


             In the hills of Mogde desert, past valleys and mountains of the north, sands whipped as warm air lapped into the dust sworn lands. A small village tolled with the morning bells, the labors of carpenters and the hum of slaves irrigating the fields, began to emerge.
Flea infested cottons and studded boiled leather swam with sweat of a soldier. He rallied a vigor and  retained a shaded countenance. His broad shoulders were husked with plated goat hide, while a curved bronze blade dug into his hip. He leaned against the brick wall of a parlor scraping the clay, the sound whinnied in his ear as he watched a child stumble over the worn cobble streets.
A grim satisfaction set into him when the child fell scraping his arms ' foolish' he muttered, and coughed a laugh, grim satisfaction that he was no longer that child, hadn't been for many years.

He watched the bakers open shutters to let in the morning air. Gusts of wind whipped down from the roof tops, but what was left of the city walls kept most of the sands at bay. The side streets resented the wind foiling the desert sands in there approach.
  Mithridites turned on his heel walking down the alley. He withdrew an apple biting down to the core and swallowing seeds. He sighed having seen enough to relieve, the Othenians had not come yet.

The social bigotry of the Othenian scum was absent; women could walk the streets without males to escort them, and the religious symbols of many gods hung from the doorways of vendors. Signs none of the Otho's or of they're tongue which had come to dominate so many other villages in Mogde.
Mithridites spat and then raised the veil of his headdress as he strode.
Down the alley a few turns through garbage and up a hill of sand he reached his horse. The black steed pawing the ground furtively. 'Anxious?' he hushed the beast as it paraded the ground. 'So be it'  he jumped on the horses back and lapped the reigns for her to set off.
He retained a smile as the beast let loose. The furry of its descent surprising him. The winds coiled and thrust in vile refute of the horses thundering hooves.
The city faded to a shadow behind him as the beast ravaged the sands with its hooves.
Twisters twice as high as a man kindled by they're side like weaving giants, barely able to amble after them in they're haste.
He had to squeeze his legs to slow the horse a little over the crests of each hill followed by the dust devils that slowly whimpered and collapsed.
               Over the last crest they fell upon a field of white tents, the banner of the coiled serpent at the base of a helm. Soldiers harrying spears trained the standard thrusts in the sun while javelins met targets in the skirmish field. Mithridites dismounted mid trot outside the camp halting easily on his feet at the pace of the steed he took the moment to untie his veil settling his sandals in the warm sands.
              Three soldiers approached him on horseback. Short swords at they're sides and javelins in hand they halted but ten paces before him. They wore bronze hauberks and leather tunics under helms and niqabs the light blue colors of Thracon.
       'Mithridites?' the center soldier asked three marks on his pauldron to marked his rank as Dochi. They dismounted kneeling before him ' Mithridites grumbled 'we have no sight of the Othenians in Mogde, what of the rivers?'
Dochi shrugged speaking into the ground 'we spotted one ship that hasn't made its way down yet. No way to spring the trap commander.'
'It has been too long, by tomorrow we march north up river to face the scum'
The three men nearly teetered over Dochi spoke 'sir what of the town militia? They will not follow us away from the city they are nearly half our number'
Mithridites nodded ' rise each of you' they all did standing stiff as stone. Mithridites just shook his head and walked past them 'don't ever get anxious?' the three nodded in agreement. ' Look around you our Thraconian brothers the Ondie are more anxious than they've been in weeks, they could face twice they're number with such confidence. Tomorrow we march.