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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weary

Piers surveyed the bloody field. Crows and camp followers stripped the dying of the final shreds of life, wealth, and dignity.  The dead were already stripped of all they had and would ever have and took no notice. As an old soldier, Piers took a moment to mourn and wish them well on whatever journey lay before them, then gathered his wits before any tears cracked his stoic facade.

Tonight would bring feasting for the victors, drinking and plunder.  The fallen, well, there was nothing for them to do but rot in the field where Piers and his comrades had slain them. Any survivors were fleeing to the mountains and the dubious hospitality of the hill tribes. The people of these plains fought desperately, Piers didn't know what they called themselves, but they weren't disciplined and couldn't match the ferocity of his soldiers. Raised since birth to fight, Piers, his brothers and sisters, almost his entire family served the army.
  
  If he asked questions instead of following orders he might have known this battle was nothing but a tax dispute.  Tribute had not been paid and the people here, the slaughtered and scattered, became examples to quell any other whispers of defiance or rebellion.  Piers used a long knife to scrape bloody mud from his boots and swatted away the gathering flies with his free hand. Dark clouds gathered but the late fall day was warm and muggy.  A storm. He hoped it would flood the field and hide the corpses.  No one was going to bury them.  They were a warning.