• Shannon Aardsma

The Battle Raged On

The battle raged on. Swords clanged against swords, arrows whistled through the air, shouts of pain mingled with cries of short victories, and rain mixed with blood and ichor on the slick ground. Both the adrenaline rush of being in the heat of battle and the sporadic sheets of rain that poured down made it difficult at times to distinguish friend from foe.

Ezra fought with twice the tenacity and skill of the other recruits excluding Jonah and Luna. Yet he held back. He still refused to use his power over others. His enemies would have been fewer and fallen faster, had he brought out the fear in them. His abilities had grown considerably and were far stronger than those of his peers. If only he would use them, blood could be saved.

A ray of light in the dark battle was Delilah. Though she aided in the fighting when necessary, she mostly searched the field for comrades in need of strength or what healing she could give. Luke’s skills in archery were needed more than his healing abilities, leaving Delilah to act in his absence. She kept near to Ezra as often as she could, secretly aiding in the takedowns of his enemies. Thus, it was she who saw the archer aimed at Ezra’s back, and she who called his name as she blocked the released arrow with her body before it could reach its intended target.

At the sound of his name, Ezra turned, barely in time to see Delilah fall. As she hit the ground, he felt as though he had indeed been struck by the arrow.

“Delilah, no!”

His voice was lost in the cacophony of battle, and he ran to her side, dropping to his knees and cradling her in his arms. As her eyes fluttered open, she wondered whether it was rain or tears that stained his cheeks.

“Why...why would you do that?” the thickness in his voice betrayed his tears as he stared at the arrow protruding from her shoulder, dangerously close to her heart.

Delilah offered a weak smile despite the pain. “I couldn’t...let you get hurt…” Her words were pained and halting. “If...if the arrow had struck your heart...there’d have been...little to be done...for it…”

Ezra looked up, frantically searching for Luke. “Luke! Where are you! I need you now!”

His urgency caught the attention of Demi. When she saw the state of her sister, she wasted not a moment in hurrying to her side, stealing her from Ezra.

“What did you do to her?” she shouted.

“I didn’t do anything! She...she…” He looked sadly down at Delilah, unable to voice her sacrifice.

He was saved from more questioning by Demi as Luke ran up. “What’s all the shouting about? Oh.” He as well was on his knees as he examined Delilah’s wound. “Oh...” he swore.

“What? What is it? You can heal her, right?” Ezra asked anxiously before Demi could ask the same questions.

Remorsefully, Luke shook his head. “I’m afraid not… The arrow was endowed with magic greater than anything I can combat. I’ll take her to the hospital in the city, but I doubt there’s anything that can be done for her. I’m sorry.”

As Luke’s words set in, Demi began hurtling all of her pain on Ezra, blaming him for her sister’s fate. Delilah barely heard what was said as drowsiness set in, but she slipped her hand into Ezra’s discreetly. More in shock than even Demi was, Ezra stared at the arrow; it should be in his chest, not Delilah’s.

“I’ll take her to the hospital.” Ezra reached for her, but was stopped by Luke.

“No. You’re needed in the battle. It’s no coincidence that an arrow that irreversible was meant for you, Ezra. I’ll take her.” He lifted Delilah from her sister’s arms and carried her away from the battle, guarded by Demi.

Slowly, Ezra rose, feeling alone though the battle raged around him. His demeanor changed, growing darker. His blue eyes appeared black, standing out even more from his pale complexion. Those battling nearest to him ceased their war-waging as their attention focused on him. Fear spread in the hearts and minds of everyone on the battleground. Then the worst came. Ezra threw his head back and yelled. As the deafening sound rang out, a wave of crippling fear swept through the ranks of Cronus’ men. A few turned and ran; many dropped their swords, spears, or bows in surrender; and the rest shied away from those they were in combat against. Ezra began fighting with a new passion. He was nearly unbeatable, and his fervor inspired a similar enthusiasm in his peers. A war cry went out, and the battle continued, defeat imminent for Cronus’ Titans.

I hope you enjoyed that little snippet! Though the book it is for is currently on hold, that snippet came to mind a few months ago.

As always, have a productive week and see you next time!

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