It’s week three (for me at least) of the Trifecta Writing Challenge, and this week the prompt is uneasy. The idea for this came to me pretty easily though, with a little help from Wikipedia (more on that here ). Give it a read, leave your comments and criticism below, and then think about jumping into the fray for next week’s prompt!
The Battle of Bicocca
Albert had wept as he crossed the field — in full view of his men, he had wept like a child — but it didn’t matter, for all his men were dead. Now the blood clung to his hands and face and ran down his chest in sticky gobs.
Alone in his tent he lit a long match, and then a candle, and then a dark-leafed cigar. He rolled it above the flame, drawing carefully to perfect the burn, and still he wept.
“How will I tell them?” he whispered.
He had lost men before – not these numbers, perhaps, not thousands – but he had lost them. He had seen men with pikes through their necks, men trampled by horses, men destroyed by the fierce blast of the arquebus, but…but that smile, that uneasy smile, was what unraveled him now – that terror worse by far than all the death and misery he’d ever witnessed.
“Trust me,” he said to himself, remembering. “Trust me.”
And Michel had trusted him, not as his commander, but as his brother – and so deeply that all those years, all those years since they had been young together, had flashed with hope in that one smile, shaded though it was by doubt.
Now, in the darkness of his tent, Albert wrote his letters home – one announcing his brother’s death, and one that he had not yet decided to send.
Related Stories: Pietro Barbino and Przypadek, with an ever expanding collection of the flashiest of fiction on my (gasp!) fiction page.