Keira Spurgeon, Grade 11, Pacific Coast Christian School -
The smell of death is everywhere.
I walk through the corpse-laden battleground, peppered with gore-caked weapons and stained flags fluttering in the macabre wind, their crests gone. Weeping filled the air as women mourned the ones they lost, mingling with the cawing of the carrion crows.
I ignored them.
Kneeling by a fallen General, I lift his helmet with great care and stare into glassy eyes as I tenderly cup his face, feeling his spirit.
“I know you wish to rest, but you can’t. Not yet,” I whispered, before staring out over the blood-stained ground, bodies strewn over the churned earth.
“None of you can rest yet.”
Standing up, I called upon the power of my people, feeling a tingling in my bones, in my soul, as I summoned the spirits of the soldiers around me, tugging on their silver threads to remain here and not disappear into the afterlife.
The crying and wailing of the dead filled my ears as I raised my hands and chanted the ancient words, my power over the dead welling up in me.
White forms surrounded me as purplish white tendrils of energy coiled around me, the manifestation of my magic. The screams of the dead grew louder and louder, ringing throughout my ears, and I roared louder, my arms trembling under the weight of my power, and the multitude of spirits around me.
With an earth-shaking roar, I fell to the ground and commanded the spirits to return to their bodies, screaming the terrible, great words out.
With a great cry, the spirits returned to their bodies.
Moans and the sound of creaking limbs came as the dead soldiers rose up and grabbed their weapons. The screams of women came as the men they thought they had lost returned to life, thanks to me.
They turned to me and bowed, loyal to me, the one who resurrected them.
The resurrected General put back on his helmet and knelt before me, conveying his fealty to me.
“Where do you wish for us to go, Mistress?” he asked, his voice a dry whisper.
I smiled slowly and spoke my first order:
“The Kingdom of Naren.”
My undead army rose up and marched past me after receiving their order, ready to inflict terror and destruction on the kingdom that had wronged me, wronged my people, that had warred with itself and the other kingdoms for far too long.
It was time for revenge.
I stared out again at my undead, invincible, unstoppable army, and laughed.
The Doom of Naren was coming.
And it was going to be glorious.