Creative Writing: Empire Island

454 Words2 Pages

Taran, Bili, Arlen, Drest, Angust, and Bryce lay on the banks of Dark Loch, their bodies and clothes covered in dirt and sweat from the day of digging, their bodies on fire from sunburn. No one spoke, because after removing what seemed like a thousand rocks from the defensive dyke today, it hurt to breathe, let alone move. “Mother…Goddess…Help…Us…” rasped Bili, his arms crossed over his face, blocking out the late-afternoon sun. The rest of the men moaned in approval or pain, Taran wasn’t sure which. After hours of digging and rock removal, the men had taken a break for food, then surveyed the area with the broch builders who had come to Maetae from neighboring villages. They decided on two appropriate defensive locations, and the builders had already broken ground. …show more content…

Taran sighed. Yes, they were all hurting, but did Bili have to be so dramatic? However, when Taran turned to his side to face Bili, a sharp pain wrenched Taran’s lower back and he suppressed a moan. “Water to drink or – Ouch, damn it! – water to swim in?” asked Taran. “Swim. Must…cool…burned…skin…” It was true, Bili was blond and fair, so he burned worse than the others. As another spike of pain jabbed Taran’s back, decided to be more empathetic. “Gods, Taran, hold me!” Bili rolled on top of Taran and the men roared with laugher. “Get Eithne,” wheezed Taran, half crushed beneath his friend’s substantial weight. “Bili’s bulk has sent me to the Other World.” The men laughed even more loudly now, but those laughs were punctuated by groans of pain. Still, joking like this with his men, Taran felt a lightness of spirit he hadn’t in some time. But it wasn’t just the men, Taran realized. Veerah had something to do with it, too. Taran shoved Bili off him. “I’m going for a swim,” Taran announced, standing and stripping out of his

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