The ground turned to mud, every house light turned off one by one like bricks of dominoes and the chilling wind banged at their walls, hammering, hitting, punching, grabbing, and begging to come in with them to hide. Across the field at the forest separated from the city by the crumbling fields of wheat, arms and legs reached out from the dark stepping out in rows of five.

Their moans and grunts slowly emerged out of the silence as their silhouettes started taking shape against the snow at their feet distinguishing themselves from the dark forest of which they came. Nobody knows where exactly. The entire forest is a dead end but yet again they had come from that place of horror to plague the cities of the north. Ferdinand was sitting by his mother looking out through a crack in the wall. With one eye he watched their armies cut their way through his father’s field patch and he could not help but feel an angry at them. “They’re ruining our crops!” he ejaculated. “Shhhhhh, let them have it. It matters not” his mother said as she grabbed him by the neck, covering his eyes and pulling him towards her. “You must not say a word” she continued as she stared at him intensely, delving into his eyes with her own as if to talk to the very deepest part of him. As if he could not possibly understand enough how much he needed to listen to her. Right now, this one time, this one time. If never again then still this one time he had to listen. He had to.

Ferdinand had never experienced a night raid before. And indeed it had been over 15 years since the last one but the older villagers were not so quick to forget. These were not the screams one can hide from when you go to sleep. The cries of defenseless children being disemboweled in the streets. Of mothers being raped and fathers being crushed against the brick tiles by the iron boots of dark hooded men. Not men, demons in fact. These are not the kind of events that can happen to you only once, these are then kind of things you repeat themselves in your sleep every day after. Even your memories would shake you to the very core such that to even speak of the raids was to ask for a beating. It was a curse to remind someone of these horrors. It was the works kind of curse. Many people remaining in the city had killed themselves for their inability to forget and as such it was a very serious offence to bring up the events. One must not talk about it. One must forget.

But now they were at their doors again. For the second time in the memory of man. And as they came riding towards town all life dispersed like rats clawing their way into a corner or behind a cupboard. All but a few, at least three men. One of them very old, all of them jumping off the roof to their death. Desperately wanting to flee the terror.

Ferdinand understood little of this however.  These were not the things to be understood by a young mind. Not even by a grown up mind that may never have experienced this before. The only people that really understood all seemed to be contemplating suicide and that thought sent chills down his spine.


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