Belligerent – definition: 1. waging war; 2, eager to or showing eagerness to fight.
I am sharing an excerpt from my Life In Slake Patch speculative fiction novel. (Still awaiting representation.) This scene lends itself well to today’s word.
As the cluster of riders approached we saw there were nineteen or so horsemen. We would have no trouble fighting them off as our party was made up of thirty men. Then another shout was heard; there were more horsemen coming from the east, another ten or more. We would have to co ordinate our efforts if the attack was to come from two flanks. The four out riders dispatched earlier were almost indistinguishable from the surrounding landscape to the south and I hoped with luck they would reach the Garricade compound in a couple of hours with some hard riding. In the mean time we had no choice but to hold fast.
As the riders moved toward us it was plain that all were young men and just before they reached our barricade a rallying cry rung out.
“Brothers fight for supremacy.”
Gripping my dagger even tighter in readiness, I shouted orders to my men.
“Stand firm behind the wagons, let them come to us.”
The clash of metal against metal and wood against wood filled the valley air. Cries of pain rung out as wounds were inflicted and cries abruptly silenced. A shadow blocked the sunlight above me; I looked over to see a horse’s belly level with my head. Swiftly I turned to look up and face the rider. He was no older than myself swinging a baton toward Peter’s head. I let out a cry and dug my dagger deeply into the rider’s thigh and pulled with all my might. The rider’s scream of pain seared through the air as he fell from his mount. I held him fast with a foot against his chest and my dagger’s tip pushed into his neck.
It was then I noticed the deafening silence around me. Looking up, all faces were turned toward me as if everyone had become frozen. One by one the Tribe riders weapons began to drop to the ground, my men took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed their opponents. As the Tribe members were secured my victim groaned.
“Don’t fail me brothers’ fight.”
But he could see all heads hanging down in defeat turning away from his stare.
In truth I was shocked it had not occurred to me or any one of us before that there might have been a leader to the Tribe. We had thought it was a few disgruntled young men wandering the plains, surviving by stealing. This man must have recruited his followers. I looked down at my captive.
“What’s your name?”
“I am, Aiden, leader of the Tribe and proud of it, you down trodden oaf.”
At the insult I could feel my muscles tense and pressed the dagger deeper into his neck. He cried out again and I released the pressure.
“Secure this man with the others. Medic Jones, please tend to the more seriously injured first.”
Thank you for reading and as always comments are always welcome.