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The Indigenius' Den by Ankit Kumar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at www.theindigeniusden.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For the Kill...

“Atilius, stop doing that, will you let me rest?” said Quintus lying lazily in the thinly-cultivated field of heather. The two brothers were out in the sun, like any other day; the elder one, all airs, dismissing small boys’ games as a thing of the past. “Come on, Quint, take up your sword and face me in battle,” retorted Atilius, his face contorted with determination. Quintus, though lazily, acquiesced and considered giving his eight year old brother some joy. Now, there they were crossing their wooden swords, giving the greatest of Roman warriors a run for their money. Quintus, who towered over Atilius, after bothering his younger brother a little finally decided to let him win again. And then, Atilius went for the kill…
BOOM! The noise could have awakened the dead! His right leg hurting him- could have been the wounds from the previous day- a seasoned warrior awoke with a start. The sounds of cannons, louder than thunderclaps and the clashing of swords which were actually more like music to a man in battle, Quintus, the General of the Northern Army, sat up. He had been dreaming… dreaming of the carefree days when his only concerns were the menu of his next meal! Now, back to harsh reality… Sounds of “Hail Caesar!” were resounding in his ears. Suddenly the same age-old questions rang again… What’s the use of all this? Why kill men you never knew? For what? For honour? Or valour? Or pride? Or just for the sake of conquest? The futility of war… His inner self rose up in mutiny against him, he had no answer… as always… But his heightened sense of duty brought him back to the present , the stark reality, and like a true soldier, he put all these emotions in a small box and threw it back yet again into the deepest corners of his mind.
They had been in battle for two years now. Quintus had won each one of them. Each day, they had fought, as if it was their last. But today was an important one… He was up against one of the fiercest warrior in battle. Was today his last day? - another silly question which had presented itself in front of him each day. He smiled at his fate, clutching his sword to his armour, wondering whether he would return to camp at nightfall on his feet or on proud shoulders… The word ‘proud’ brought a wry smile on his face.
Astride his faithful, white horse, Quintus returned to the fields of blood and gore. Quintus- the mere mention of the name instilled fear in the most fearless of hearts! Again, he was ready to unleash the beast within. They were in battle with the ‘Rebels’. They had once been his men. He didn’t know each one of them by name or face… but still they had once been his own… Then he saw from the borders of the field – The warrior. He was called “The Black Storm”. Towering above every soldier in vicinity, he was, singlehandedly, making a mockery of Quintus’ famed army! Now that Quintus was here, every eye was on him. Every favourably-disposed eye wished him well, wished he would help them out. He was their only hope. Quintus alighted from his horse and with heavy but determined steps, moved to the centre of the field. “The black storm” looked up at him and instantly realized that Quintus could well be his nemesis.
The two men crossed swords and an intense battle ensued. They started going at each other like untamed, ferocious lions looking for the slightest of opportunities to rip the other’s head off! Quintus couldn’t help but realize and appreciate the similarity between him and his opponent- similar amount of power, same skill, same grit and determination. It seemed as if he was battling with his shadow! He felt he was dreaming again… two relatively shorter, hazy figures lunging at each other, each trying to overpower the other… the taller one easily gaining every passing moment… Suddenly a blow to his left arm brought him back to reality. It was bleeding profusely; the metal had made contact with bare skin and had ripped it apart in a long gash. Nevertheless, as a true and powerful soldier, reinvigorated, he leapt at his opponent with every ounce of strength he could muster. His adversary fell back, but with the agility of a panther, sprang back up. However, this was all the time Quintus needed. With a loud, ear-piercing shriek, he aimed a huge blow at his resister’s head which knocked back his helmet… and suddenly it seemed as if a bolt of lightning tore up the ground in front of him. His arm was paining him like a thousand devils but it paled into insignificance when compared to the pain he experienced now. The dream became clearer, the figures- sharper: Two young lads engaged in a playful yet quite a skilled display of bravery… Another bold of lightning! The whole world, it seemed, had come to a standstill. The spoils of war, the victory trumpets and the glory of conquest held no meaning. The futility of war… Was this a dream? Was this reality? There seemed to be no difference now… With every feeling drained out of him, Quintus stood back, motionless, petrified… defeated! And then, Atilius went for the kill… again!

2 comments:

Chhavi said...

I must say this is a master piece.. Why is God so partial in giving creativity and skills.. :)

SHEKHAR said...

well, i have a special relation to the story...... may be i just imagined the skeleton to what u see here as work of master piece
he gave it the flesh ,the body... clothes and even the makeup to make it appear as a outshining beauty ........

the story is thrilling ..... may be the story is picture of one human individual brain in a certain situation ................ but irony in his thoughts; and specially the last scene pictured so well........... deserve stand up applauds

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