the Wars of Men:
history doomed to be repeated
from time to time — Chrono [1]

from that familiar comfort zone
you materialize out of thin air
find yourself surrounded
and, for the most part,
impenetrable waves of
sorcery-induced mist —
the living blue essence of this realm —
wafting in every direction before you,
obscuring coastal paths, distant shores
and, for a golden-clad captain and his steeled knights,
human hoplites, from a rival city-state, lurking in wait someplace
before them
ready to pounce, at the striking of the pendulum, with their heavy iron
swords and shields.

and, as you well know, having seen it once before, that formidable formation of
twelve-foot spears
pointed towards you.

as you half-hear the historian’s narration,
which, the man presently unseen, comes like a voice riding on the wind,
most uncommonly but just like before, the mist shifts then parts at their approaching footsteps
as if inviting them in.

you know better, having seen the ending,
but “Praxis,” as the narrator calls him,
“has his orders and leads his men
into the narrow passage of billowing mist,
their long swords, triangle shields clutched and at the ready,
“but,” and your chest throbs,
“just as they pass the constantly moving threshold
the passage shuts behind them
and Praxis and his men find themselves
in the mist.”

“no other path but ahead,”
unlike you who can depart with a single thought,
“Praxis has but one choice: to lead his men
further into the mist —
towards uncertainly
and an undecided outcome.”

“although no one knows for sure what Praxis and his men thought
as they were led inexorably closer to their end with each passing step,
for them, the experience must have been unimaginably terrifying.”

the narrator’s voice suddenly fades from your ears.
though the captain, his men do not yet see the approaching harbinger of doom
for the most part, thinly etched upon the horizon
you spot the silver tips of a thousand spears
appearing from the same direction as before.

as the line of spears creeps on
you watch for it; you wait for it:
the moment when
the enemy phalanx
will come crashing into its prey.

the captain and his men proceed on like blind men.
when they finally do catch a glimpse of shadows and thinly veiled forms,
at this point it is too late
and the world came crashing down all around them
as they met their doom, were impaled upon by the silver tips of a thousand spears —
never to return to their fair city:
one you will see soon enough.
[1] Time  itself literally at his fingertips, a knight-historian from the time wielding city-state of Alexandria. Preserving slices of history and using detailed recordings of himself, Chrono was famous for chronicling the sudden appearance of the race of men upon Gaia and their subsequent history; only fragments of his work now remain.

Robert, a residential care aide, is unapologetic in his pursuit of excellent high fantasy. Robert has been writing fantasy for himself in his spare time for the last seven years, but has only recently begun writing for others. Besides reading and writing, some of his hobbies include computers and medieval and ancient history. He has a dry sense of humor, which he blames his stepfather for. Also, he has a habit of making history jokes no one but he understands.

Robert is currently sifting through the first of three novels he wrote in his younger years in an attempt to make them somewhat palatable. He can be found on Facebook.



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