The Memories of Iridine, part IV

By Cladius Maximus

Andrius left the hospital tent in large horse-drawn cart. It was loaded with the wounded to the point which you could hear the thoughts of the men around you. The cart seemed to hit every bump in the road and rode into ever rut on the way. Each time, a persistent moan came from the wounded men as they could feel their wounds come under pressure. Andrius couldnt take it any more and he clumsily jumped out of the cart and onto the road.

Now being able to see in front of him, he could see a long line of soldiers proudly marching and singing a victory song far ahead of the column. The limping and wounded men who could walk followed it, some guarded prisoners, and a column of carts for the wounded and a line of covered wagons for the dead. Andrius began to jog in order to catch up to the singing men. He and past the slowly moving stream of carts, passed the prisoners, passed the limping men, and up to the cheering troops. He walked up to the first centurion, who had a smile on his face, and said, Centurion, where is the second company? The Centurion became serious now, with a look of anger in his face and said, I should be asking you the questions boy. Why are you out of line?

I just ran up from the wounded sir, I was with them up till now. Andrius began to roll up his sleeve to show the Centurion his wound, but the Centurion gestured not to and pointed to a group at the head of the column. Thank you sire. Stated Andrius as he rushed of to join the others. He ran up ahead of the column, all of the men were singing a victory song and cheering as he ran by. When he finally reached his company, the men looked over to him and one of them asked, Where have you been? Another said, We thought you were dead. Another said mockingly, No, he just didnt want to walk so he hoped up in the wagons. They all let out a brief laugh and let him back in formation. One of them said to Andrius, Ive got some wine under a board in the barracks, we are going to celebrate tonight. However, the Centurion twisted his head quickly toward the man and he had an angry glare in his eye. The man with the wine seemed to try and duck his head into his armor but to no use. Wine eh? The Centurion asked with an angry tone. Well, he continued, you know what that means. The men looked a little worried now that their secret was out, they knew what the punishment was for such a thing. Youll just have to share some with me! Exclaimed the Centurion with a smile. The men cheered and continued to sing their victory song. Yet amidst the celebration, Andrius still was hurt by the death of his friend. He looked around among the men and noticed that the company was far smaller; many of the new recruits were no longer there. The Veterans marched happily about, completely oblivious to the fact that some of their brothers were following in the covered wagons.

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