Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chapter 8

That night I slept uneasily to the howling and screams of Fionn's wolf hounds as they were ripped apart and eaten by the hungry Laboi. The next morning Fiacha Labhrainne arose early to give his plan of attack to the tribe. His stomach was sick from days of drinking but would never admit this weakness. He still wore the same smelly clothes and his thick black hair fell into his eyes. But he latched onto his unwiped sword and went outside into the courtyard. There was a high rock wall which overlooked the village and pasturing flocks and terraced hills. He climbed onto it. His presence on the wall was a sign for all of the village to assemble itself to hear him. He stood for several hours with a choking emotion while gritting and grinding his teeth and reviewing a long history of his ancestors dating back to the first Heber and the continuing saga of the warring family of Heber Fionn who sought to take away their peaceful inheritance by killing the chieftains and robbing them of their land. Fionn's last victory took captive many of their own warriors, thus weakening their defenses. "Ye decide. Do we run or fight." "Fight! Fight!" They shouted. "Before you say fight, come and stand with me on this rock wall and look yonder," He said pointing his forefinger towards a wooded area well beyond the terraced fields where Fionn's army was camped. Everyone jumped on the wall to observe thousands of warriors queuing to march, more men than they had from all of their villages combined. The fearful sight terrorized the hearts of all who watched. "There is another plan to retreat to Fairgethe or Galluig and enlist more warriors," he said sadly. "Will we torch our lodges in retreat?" Someone asked. Fiacha Labhrainne nodded. No wood, metal, food...nothing must be left that Fionn can use. Also there was no time to get their herds out of Bealgadain. While this discussion was had, the young Fiacha pushed his way through the crowd to the wall. He had the large muscular arms and legs of his father except that he was fair skinned and his long yellow braids fell loosely to his shoulders. Fiaca was the perfect specimen
Warning: US and International Copyright Restrictions Apply.
of a warrior, strong, muscular, square jawed and the look of fierce determination in his eyes. He was skilled with the sword and a superb marksman with the bow as well. He chose to lead rather than follow. This imposing presence caused others to step pertly aside and allow him to pass. "Wait, before you do anything else, hear my plan," he told his father the king. "Does Fiacha have the plan of battle?" Fiacha climbed onto the wall and surveyed the enemy's camp for himself. He had fought many battles against Heber Fionn and distinguished himself as brave and fearless, but the sight of the camp scared him. They were greatly outnumbered by skilled warriors of the arrow. "Well?" Fianca Labhrainne asked impatiently. "See that terraced rocky hill yonder behind the forest? And it's goodly distance from the village?" Fianca Labhrainne nodded. "Go that narrow path they must. We lay our trap in the rocks and wait to attack. From there, a messages will go to the village, whether we win or lose." Fianca Labhrainne turned towards the crowd and said enthusiastically. "My son Fianca has this day chosen the rocky hill as a battlefield." The idea was a good one. Fionn would not have the advantage of confusion while torching the village. "What will it be then? Fight to the death?" "To the death!" The crowd shouted. They had never gone against their king. Fiacha jumped down from the wall and shouted orders to the warriors to queue up, then assembled them into groups, according to their weapons. "You are noot one of the clan," he said, thinking that I might be a spy but when he spied my sword, did not care. "Show me your sword," he demanded. I withdrew it from its scabbard and gave it to him to examine the craftsmanship of the long thin blade. As he did so, he cut his finger on the razor sharp tip.
Warning: US and International Copyright Restrictions Apply.

No comments:

Post a Comment