The Farmer's Daughter


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3. Rain, Fire, and Blood

I woke up to the rhythmic sound of water falling through the ceiling onto the floor next to me. Great, I thought as I sat up. There's a hole in the ceiling, I'm already soaked and I haven't even gone outside yet. I groaned in despair as I remembered Captain Edwards' words from last night. I swore and jumped out. Running as fast as I could, I went to the armoury to find a sword. The door echoed down the passageway as it slammed behind me. Panting, I turned the door handle. No! Cursing, I set out in search of a soldier who would know where the key was. 
        I wondered for at least an hour, following the candle-lit passages. Who  did I find? No one. No one anywhere. Dejected and tired, I trudged back to my room where I found the Captain waiting. 
"Where have you been soldier?" He roared. "It is unwise to walk these passages at night! An enemy might be stalking along them as we speak! What do you have to say for yourself?" 
"I went to the armoury to find a sword, Captain." I replied morosely.
"Did you think we would send you into an attack without weapons? You are foolish and have much to learn!" With that, he swept out of the room leaving behind a cold air of disgust behind him. 
        After waiting a few hours, we were called to the armoury to collect swords, shields and chain mail. We then processed through the citadel towards the eastern gate. I was glad to be away from the castle for a while. The cool breeze stroked my cheeks, the sun smiled upon me, and the trees waved in the wind. 
        When we reached the area, the rain had started to ease. Smoke funnelled upwards as flames engulfed whole buildings in a hungry growing monster. Families huddled together, children clutched close, men protecting their families. Screams rose up towards the sky as the fire charged towards yet more houses, more lives lost, more missing memories.Then through the smoke appeared the culprits. With scarfs wrapped around their faces, they stood there, the smug criminals.
       The fight was raging like a wild beast. It was impossible to tell who was wining. Us cadets stuck together, sheltering behind a tower of barrels, watching anxiously. Suddenly they spotted us. This is it, I thought, I'm going to have to fight. We spread out instinctively and braced ourselves.  Adrenaline pumped through my veins as one of them came towards  me. Clutching the hilt of my sword, I ducked as he swung. I skimmed over my head, only just missing. I quickly struck him in the stomach with a clenched fist while he was off balance. He doubled over in pain. But then what? I had no idea what to do next. I couldn't have killed him, but why if he turned round and killed me instead. Fortunately for me, the Captain and a few others ran towards us and killed them.
        And there he lay in a pool of his own crimson red blood. His eyes were like marbles, his skin like china. Although I didn't  kill him, I felt responsible for his death in every way.

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