Alive.

Alive. Everything is alive. From the soft laughter of the Maple trees, as the spring wind nipped the vibrant buds, to the raging river, as it forced its way through the still sleepy clay. The dancing sunlight pranced here and there beckoning the shy little ones, as the shadows stood guard over those under its security. Yes, everything is alive.

Alice took it all in atop her horse. Watching, as the clouds rolled uproariously at the wind’s antics. Waiting, as the animals ran back into the forest at sounds unfamiliar to them reached their ears. Listening, to the rustling of metal and fabric from the men behind her. Her horse pawing the ground with his hoof. Smelling the morning dew sharpening her senses. Feeling, as she clenched her right hand around reins, steeling herself, as she gazed down from her hill to the meadow below. All wild grass, dancing in a trance-like state, as the wind buffeted them to and fro. Flowers barely budding were scattered across the meadow haphazardly. All innocent to the horrors of the world. As a shadow blocked a patch of grass, her left hand drifted to her hip in readiness as she spotted the origin, a falcon with a green ribbon, a signal.

Yes, everything is alive, She thought, as the men behind her shifted in unison, getting into stance. The cool winds caressed her in wariness, as she drew in a breath. The sun was still shining, the flowers let their fragrant smell drift towards her. Their smell was invigorating,she thought, as she narrowed her eyes in determination. She flicked her helmet down, her left hand grasped her sword. Her men picked up shields and hefted their weapons in grunts. She gazed into the distance for another sign. Everything is blissfully alive; however, death does not care.

As her eyes caught the sign of a flag from the enemy battalion, she lifted her sword. With one last thought she charged into the meadow that lived, that would soon be covered in death.

The battle was fierce. The winds and people screamed. The grass trampled beyond recognition as soldiers found purchase. The sun rays burned in fury at the disturbance of life and the shadows, moved to and fro, crying out as they failed to protect. The river slowed down as red liquid that did not belong, stained its pristine waters. The clay slumped in despair as the red washed onto itself.

Alice blocked all this out as she continued to fight. Fight for her right to stay alive as death claimed those left and right.

Once, the battle was over, at the cost of too many, the winds rustled up and down the corpses in a mockery, rustling the flags and clothes of those who had died. As though proclaiming, Was it worth it?! The sun shone down on the bodies in a vain attempt to find survivors. At this useless battle of broken pride that was forced onto these soldiers. Enemy and friend alike. The shadows offering one last protection to those lost.

The wind, done with investigating, went back up the hill and messed with the hair of the survivor, staring blankly at the meadow. The wind sighed and let go of anger and curled around her in comfort.

 She sat on the hill. Looking over the meadow that was once alive. Alive, just like she is. She doesn’t feel alive. Now, the meadow is covered in death, like her hands. Her loyal horse rests among the dead. Her heart, just as loyal and just as dead, replays the screams and the fierce battle. Her armor is stained red and her face is covered in dirt and things she wishes not to think about. As the wind ruffles in comfort, she finally cries on the hill. The sun warms her reminding her that she is alive. She can’t help but bitterly think, Yes, I’m alive. But so was everything else.  As she continues to sob in her knees, she reaffirms her statement. Everything was alive. But death certainly did not care. She looks over the meadow again and grimaces painfully. With a hoarse voice, that cracks in sorrow and anger, she whispered to the mourning winds, voice as rough as sandpaper, “...and neither did war.”

 

Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I am fifteen years-old. I hope you enjoyed my short story and would greatly appreciate your insight and criticism. I love reading and I want to learn how to write better. So, here I am! Anyways, this is my short story for the class. In it is sensory detail and hopefully the unexpected detail.