Friday, August 27, 2010

"Word Painting" Blogfest Entry

Thank you to Dawn Embers for hosting this Word Paint Blogfest. Please visit her Blog to see all the other Blogfest participants.

This entry is from the second book in my current series of WIP's. The Neapolitan Empire has been offended and is retaliating by sending some vessels to wreak havoc on their enemies. I hope you enjoy.

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            The next evening, after a full day of preparations and loading of supplies and munitions, Demas stood atop a platform nearly twenty hands high.  Below him, at attention, stood the captains and crews of the six Invisibles and a twenty trireme fleet.

            “Tonight, men, you embark on an important mission.  Let stealth be your shipmate, and cunning be your companion as you wage distress and suffering upon the Iolkosians and Samians!” Demas demanded.

            A dull rumble of spear handles tamping the ground filled the crisp, dusk air.

            “I am aware that I may be sending some of you to Hades’ doorstep over the coming days, however, the fleet that sails this night is but a sample of what shall await our guests when they most assuredly return our favor. The heart of but one of our marines beats as strong as that of five Iolkosians.”

            Spear thudding again drummed up and down the port.

            Waving his hands in the air to quiet his congregation, Demas continued, “I heard an old proverb once, one you would do well to keep in mind: Two lions paced hungrily atop a mountain bluff overlooking a group of antelope.  The one lion said to the other, ‘If we run down there as fast as we can, we are each guaranteed to get at least one or two of them.’  The second lion replied, ‘Nonsense! We are going to walk down there and get them all!’

            The men before Demas erupted into riot of thudding and the clanking of swords against shields accented by whistles and shouts.

            “For King and Empire!” Demas blared loudly into the deafening response.

            “King and Empire!” the mass roared in kind, before turning toward their respective ships.

            Demas watched as the crews of the six pentekonters and twenty triremes boarded their vessels set against a breathtaking, fiery horizon.  Helios’ chariot pushed low to the edge of the heavens, behind clouds it had set ablaze, illuminating from the rear.  The coral and fuchsia sky in the west reflected off the surface of the Aegean, turning it into a blinding mirror, before dissolving into a darkening lilac. Persimmon tendrils spun off, spidering into an indigo haze on the eastern side of the heavens.

            In one hour’s time, each of the twenty-six Neapolitan vessels had put to sea. Pulling out of the military harbor, one following the next, they passed one of the oldest lighthouse on the northwest corner of Thassos, then a small, torch lit fishing wharf of a small village from which a narrow, sandy road wound up into the countryside. Soon, the clear waters of the northern Aegean lapped against each hull.  The fleet of long oars sailed together for hours before splitting around Lemnos, three Invisibles and ten triremes toward each destination; Iolkos and Samos.  The mission over the coming days was simple; to wreak havoc, cause damage, anger and alarm, ensure that their flags were seen, inciting revenge filled hearts, then retreat and escape… in that order.