Because epic battles aren’t just for when you’re awake.
I’ve been setting birds free
And listening to their songs in the wood,
So I know when she is coming,
And how destructive she will be.
I’m influential enough, in this kingdom,
Not to have trouble gathering our queen and armies
Onto the battlefield, a stretch of blank snow
Ringed by trees and shrubs, beyond which
Is the land proper, that we will fight for.
In the prophecy it states that I will be able to win
With the help of one of our ancient, caged gods;
So I call for our best archer to fire the white spear
Hard into the earth, where it transforms
Into the prison, and the god himself inside.
The god says the way to free him
Is to solve the riddle inscribed in the metal –
But the words are so obscure, I suspect they form
A wordplay that only the ancients could decipher.
I tell my friends I’ll just do it myself,
Take up my own black-hilted short sword
Despite their protests, and move to meet
Our enemy, alone.
She is a darker version of me,
As if my hair and eyes had been dipped in ink,
My features rearranged to be coldly beautiful.
When she arrives she appears to surrender,
And our queen accepts, allowing
Her men to mingle at the edge of our forces.
But I watch the woman while our queen speaks,
And I see the signals she gives to her soldiers,
And I notice their dwindling numbers, as they slip
Away to start attacking the land beyond us.
I use a trick of my sword to disable
The remaining dark soldiers with one strike,
And bring the blade to her throat to meet
The sparks of her own weapon against mine.
In the end I win,
But of course, several of her men
Are still out there, pillaging and becoming
Monstrous beasts, so a new story begins to unfold –
One in which I slip away
From my kind foster family here,
And join the band of light heroes to fight
The last of the evil in the land, before dinner.