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The Siege of Syrn

by Josiah T.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a piece of a longer writing project. You can view the entire project here: The Siege of Syrn

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Josiah T. on February 13, 2008
"This is the final installment about Dirk. I'm going to do an epilogue and an "authors thoughts" piece after this."

The Siege of Syrn: Part XXIX

Dirk laid down on the bed that was provided for him. He was aware of nothing. He had no idea where he was or who he was with. The only thing that was was aware of was the grief mingled with bitter hatred that hung over him.

He hated the Thargonites. He hated himself for letting Arem die, and he hated Arem for sacrificing himself.

After a while, he sat up and screamed, "AAARrrggghhh!!!" Then he threw himself back on the bed and began punching it and sobbing.

Finally, after what seemed hours, reason came back to him. Crying and screaming would not bring Arem back to life. The town was in ruins, and there were people who needed his help. Arem had died to save him, and now that he had been granted that life he could not spend it in misery and grief.

He sat up. He was in the keep. His sword lay near the bed standing against the wall. There was a basin of water sitting on a little table against the wall, and a mirror hung above it. A chest of drawers stood in a corner.

He got up and looked in the mirror. His face was covered in sweat and blood. His hair was matted and tangled. His hands were also covered in dirt, dried sweat, and blood.

Most of the blood, he realized, was the blood of his enemies. He realized that he, himself, had escaped the battle with very little harm. He had a few scratches and cuts, here and there a couple larger gashes, but he was relatively uninjured. That must be good armor, he thought.

He washed his hands and face and his few injuries. Then rummaging through the chest of drawers he found clothes to fit him. He did not know whom they had belonged to, presumably the last commander of the city, but he supposed that they were his now, since he was the commander.

He dressed and belted on his sword. He drew it and found blood stains all over it. So he wiped it until it shone in the setting sun streaming through the window.

Then he sheathed his sword and left the room. He went down to the gate to help in the miserable task that lay in front of them all - tending to the dead.

When he arrived at the gate, he found people already sorting through the grisly mess of bodies, dirt and broken weapons and armor.

The dead Thargonites were piled outside the city and burned. Dirk ordered that all the Aidarian bodies be given a grave just outside the curtain wall. But Arem's body and the bodies of the commander and the officers he ordered burned on a funeral pyre.

The sun had set and darkness had fallen long before the task was completed. It was well after midnight, and near dawn before Arem and the others were consumed on the pyre. He stood in front of a crowd of people come to pay their respects to the dead.

He stared into the flames. Arem's face looked so peaceful. His sword lay on his chest, and his hands clasped it. Dirk felt tears welling up in his eyes again. And finally he did not hold them back. He wept openly, but not in the manner in which he had right after the battle.

As the flames burned down, the sun rose over the mountains casting it's light on the castle and beyond. Dirk looked out, over the town blackened and charred. From where he was, he could just barely make out the light glinting on the water of the sea, many miles away.

He looked back at the town, and then around at the people it had once been home too. He looked back at the sea, and took comfort in the thought that the battle was over. Despite the work that lay in front of them all, today was a new day.

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