After the Fight

“It’s over”

In the distance Victor’s body stood against the sun, easily mistaken for another hill that dotted the landscape; a fitting end for him. The others turned their horses. No one hurried or lingered, they simply rode along, silent as their former enemy. They rode into the night, and through the next day, stopping only to water the horses.

Birds huddled under trees, cowering before a morning rain. The water ran down their backs, chilling them to the bone, but no one stopped. The cold felt good, fitting. A man was dead, an evil man, but a man, or at least, he was, once. What was he now? a patch of dirt, slowly returning to the earth?

Of course his story would live on, how he rallied an army, led them on his grand campaign. Would he be the villain of their story, or would they be the end of his? Did really matter? The questions circled around them, crows looking for carrion. But all the meat was gone, up on the mountain, a nameless grave, like all the rest.

Eventually they reached a town, collapsing into beds that stung like nettles, and smelled of green and growing things. In the morning they smiled more easily, though no one told their tale, and the innkeeper knew better than to ask.

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