Saturday, August 29, 2009
Revolution Factory Presents. . . . .
It was a pale green dusk. Fog was the only remnants of an earlier storm which had already rolled through the forest. Crickets screaming off in the shadowy distance at each other. Above, the cloud-slate sky projects a pale shade on the green environment while everything quickly fades to night. But the tone of pale endures. The crickets are the only noise in the dark damp forest, but not the only inhabitants. They gradually calm to silence while the troubled twilight invades. Two forces softly, slowly, and stealthily approach each other in the forest. It is now pure dark. The night is here. The match is set. The opponents a stone's throw away.
What would look like a fleet of lightning bugs and fire-flies from a distance is really a militia of teal blue eyes marched up against a long line of golden red eyes; all of which floating relatively equal above the soiled floor in the misty forest. Dusk gives way to Night, and night unrelentingly gives way to war. All the creatures of the forest clear the immediate area to avoid the upcoming battle. The lingering mist mixes with the high tensions and creates a thick layer of fog. Clouds within the forest treeline now rival the clouds swimming above in the night's skyline. The pale color ever present. It was the year 1516, in a forest in Navarre, Basque Country. Twenty-four years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue to the New World.
Mercer was a soldier. He, along with his comrades, slowly eased their way closer and closer to the enemy front. Mercer's soft, padded foot enabled him to step along the cold wooded floor unheard. This was Mercer's first battle. Long had he trained for this moment. In his kingdom, utmost priority was put on border warfare. Subjects of the Basque Country were bred for war, and trained their entire lives to be soldiers. Mercer was no different. And yet, fear dripped off him like drool from a fang, for he did not care. He basked in the anticipation of combat. Mercer knew he was a fierce warrior, and he was now ready to prove it to everyone. His comrades, his elders, his enemies, and most of all...his family. One of 11 siblings, three sisters and seven brothers, Mercer was the youngest and had the most to prove. All his brother's were already well-established warriors, and crawled in the dark forest somewhere alongside Mercer tonight. But he did not want their help. He did not need their help. He was fine on his own. He could practically taste the warmth of the spilled blood soon to come tantalizing his mouth. He did not want to wait any longer, but he could not just jump out and attack at will, he was no general. So he waited in eager despair. His mind playing tricks on him, making him see his enemy when they were not really there. He shrugged off the hallucination. It was just the excitement of being in his first real battle. He was no fool, no novice. That is what he told himself. The thick fog was pulled up to the canopy, like a curtain, revealing a terrifying truth.
The air thinned, the temperature dropped, the sky opened up, and with a loud crackle a bolt of lightning chaotically cut through the trees. A flash of light followed by a vast downpour consumed the forest instantly transforming the battlefield. In the lightning's flash Mercer could now see his enemy. Long rows and regiments of red foxes growling and showing their teeth. Now in the light of the storm the seal was broken and the two forces came crashing down upon each other. Mercer jumped up from his crouched position and sprinted head to head at the approaching fox-line. He honed in on one of them and upon contact pinched its throat with his long mouth and sharp teeth. He rolled over the ensnared fox with his locked jaw as an anchor and they both tussled on the ground. Mercer tore the fox's throat out of its neck. He spat it out as he got back to his feet, and the discarded throat fell onto the fox's carcass haphazardly. He quickly kicked into a sprint and found his next target. The fox he was aiming for would be no victim and turned his sights on Mercer. Right before they collided, Mercer ran up a neighboring tree and leaped off of it, coming down hard on the enemy fox. Mercer broke its back as it fell uncontrollably to the floor. Mercer stood back up from the collision and looked down at the mortally wounded fox. He turned his head slightly at the obscured sight of the twisted beast. Instead of finishing him off, Mercer left the fox there and moved on. He returned to his sprint and now rushed the oncoming line of foxes at a perpendicular angle. Tackling fox upon fox and tearing up each one's ribcage with his sharp bloodstained teeth, he rendered a good amount of them useless and limp on the battlefield floor. Mercer was flawless in his battle strategy. The entire fox army was rushing past him concentrating on his comrades. His flanking maneuver was successfully catching them off-guard. Soon the entire enemy force was split and disorientated. They were scattered and flustered; divided and soon to be conquered.
The storm was letting up, and it was well into the night. The mood of the battle was leaning towards victory and conclusion. Mercer trotted through the now: muddled and frenzied battleground, with no clear line formations, and frightful foxes scattering every-which-way. Mercer was looking for his brothers to show them how well he had done. He jogged, arrogantly, with more than ten red fox-tails dangling from his mouth. He was practicing in his head how, after he had found them, and spat out the tails, he would say, "and these are just the ones I was able to keep in my mouth while I collected the others!" But when he came upon his kin, he also came upon a disparaging sight. Four of his brothers stood around the three other brothers who had, unfortunately, fell victim to the ultimate price of war...death. Mercer dropped down in between his brothers and began to weep uncontrollably. Thoughts of bragging about his successes fleeing into the past. The present was death and mortality. Mercer no longer felt untouchable, a lesson that would serve him well in the future. Mercer was reminded of his status as youngest in the family, when he looked up at his brothers with tear-filled eyes, and found that none of them were crying. They were just standing around their fallen brothers, emotionless, with their heads bowed. Mercer got back up, pulled himself together, and tried to mimic his brave brothers.
The brothers mourned for a while. There was no longer any concern for the battle. The rain had stopped. All the remaining foxes had now retreated. The first light from the sun had shuttered through the trees and reached Mercer. He let the warmth wash over his face. The battle was over. And his victory and success had already been forgotten. The foxes retreated back over their border to France. Mercer, a young Spanish Wolfe of the Basque Country, had survived his first border skirmish.