Monday, January 19, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: A Good War

The Owls didn’t see many good parts of the war, but they were there. Pietro and Ilyana attended one of these brightspots, a hotly contested zone of rocky hills and dense trees that no cavalry could successfully charge through, in either direction. Hundreds were dispatched to units on both the Ogrish and the Rin sides. They had entire depots of archers, more than in any other conflict of the war. It was all they trained, and any aspiring archers went to that front because in a giant woods they weren’t in much demand and took work where available.

But when those aspiring archers reached the front they found an unorthodox battle playing out at each skirmish. The Rin would line up on their ledges, and the Ogres would peak from behind the thickest trees. They would unleash three volleys arrows in each other’s direction.

Not at each other, no. The Ogres pelted the bottomsides of the cliffs, and the Rin released not just over the heads of the Ogres, but over their trees entirely. Then they went to supper.

They were missing on purpose, en mass, at every skirmish. At some time two squads had apparently realized they were missing badly and decided to keep doing it, and the deathless game spread to the whole front. Many times one side would shoot the arrows that had been launched at them the previous skirmish.

This lasted for two tours of duty, until a third Owl, Erik, arrived and reported his side. The Rin sent a new field commander, a real fascist whose first commands were to charge.

It had been a good war until then.

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