Friday, 6 June 2014

Who Will Fight The Barbarians Now?

My father stood next to me as we watched the long column of Legionaries winding it’s way out of the mist shrouded valley below us, his leather and mail armour creaking and clinking every time he turned to follow the deserting troops with his eyes.
“Where are they going, father?” I asked, nervously. He didn’t like it when I asked too many questions.
His gloved hand rested heavily on my shoulder, the weight of his concern evident in his touch. “Away over the sea, back where they came from” his voice was heavy with either sadness or resignation, I wasn’t sure which.
Below us, the snaking column was slowly disappearing, the last outriders fading in and out of vision through the mists of the cold morning air.
“When will they back? Who will fight the barbarians now?”
“They won’t be back”, he sighed.
“But you said we need the Romans, father! What will we do?” I knew the fear in my voice was unbecoming of the warrior I wanted to be, but I couldn’t control it.
His hand gripped my bony shoulder “We don’t need the Romans. We will build our own armies. We will fight the barbarians.”

"Are we the last Romans now, father?" I felt alone, on the edge of an abyss.

"No. There are no more Romans. We are the first Britons, Artorius. We are the Britons!"

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