Shayne hated the sounds of battle, the clashing of swords, the war cries of the men, the groans of the injured. She stood on the hillside, away from the clearing. If the spies were speaking true. the Duke’s men would be passing by here midday, heading toward the castle, but the men behind her would be waiting, ready to protect the kingdom. She could feel their excitement, tinged with apprehension and even some fear. She knew too, that seeing her here on the battlefield would give them hope and courage.
As a young woman she shouldn’t be near the combat. As a single woman, she should be wary of the fighters, roughened, violent men. As a princess, she should be safe at home in the castle. But as a healer, she could be nowhere else. When the skirmish was over she had a purpose. Just a touch could stop the pain, heal the wounds. The dead were beyond her power, but she would save as many of the living as she could, stop the bleeding, mend the bones.
She remembered the first battle she had seen. She was merely seven years old, but already her powers were developing. The King was always one to use any advantage he had, so when the army had invaded the nearby land, she had been with them, accompanied by a few loyal men and one maid servant. She had been terrified; she had cried; she had screamed, but when the first battle was over, to see the men so grateful for her help had made it worthwhile. Even then, she understood that this was her duty.
* * *
Her men had won. The enemy had retreated for now. The commander had proven himself worthy of the trust the King had placed in him. Now, Shayne walked along the lines of the wounded, touching each gently, allowing her energy to flow into them, stopping the bleeding, mending the bones. She whispered a word of comfort to each and then moved on, attending to each in turn. Some had already passed over. She would pray for each of their souls later, after the echoes of anger and pain had faded away.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.