Sleep would not come. The enemy waited outside the city’s gates, turning the hills orange with their uniforms and campfires. Part of me felt relief when the horns blew in the morning and I could stop tossing and turning on the hard pallet beneath me.
We lined up along the wall, me and the other archers. It provided too clear a view of the enemy awaiting us.
The sky clouded with arrows, black and quivering. We added our arrows to the pall and death rained down.
The screams came from all sides. The enemy put ladders against our walls and we poured pitch on them. They pounded against our gates and we slung stones at them.
But the clouds of arrows never ceased. The cries never ended. The morning passed in spurts, moments of reprieve broken by timeless terror.
And then a black wave rose on the horizon. It was not our arrows. It was not our enemy. A tide crested the hill, mounted men and women in clean black and white.
We did not fire another shot. We did not need to.
The black and white riders crashed into the enemy. I could have pitied our hapless foe as that wave washed them away, leaving the field between the Crossed Rivers red.