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Arise, Arise!

The Vocal + Assist Lost in a Story Challenge

By Matthew FrommPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 2 min read
Created with Midjourney

This story is part of the Vocal + Assist on Facebook Lost in a Story Challenge. You can learn more about it here


“Arise now, arise!”

A blood-red sun breaks the morass that has hung like a cloak over us, a cloak that heralds the lateness of the hour. My mount stands resolute, its braveness greater than my own. Of such humble beast’s radiance, we are not worthy.

A grand field stretches beyond the tips of our spears, a cataclysm worthy of song. Many will be sung this night, for we will sing to the victorious dead, or the crows will caw their great feast’s hymn.

Beyond, the beacon of men burns before this black host. We are too few. The screech pierces the din of the great battle.

My breath quickens. Lo! The hour of our demise is at hand, the demise of our age.

This folly must end.

The screeching echoes our thoughts across dreadful fields.

We must flee before such madness!

Above, the sky darkness in the final quickening of our fate. My horse groans, its majesty stricken by fear. It knows its death is at hand, and I know I must follow it on its journey toward the great breaking of our worlds.

I hear it, then. It rises above the chorus of war before us, a voice resolute.

My companions, my brothers, are silent. I look to them now upon faces worn by the road and by war, worn by the thoughts of their sons and daughters. We are of one blood, of one kin. I give my thoughts leave to journey to my heart, to Ealdred, still a swaddled boy. Is his fate to be my own this day?


But may it be of old age, near a warm hearth!

So Lo! To our death, Ride!

Ride now!

Forth Eorlingas!

“a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!”

“Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!”



I found no need to write myself into this scene as more than a bystander because it's already the pinnacle of the English language, and of all literature. I am unworthy of Tolkien, but may this be my humble offering. Quotes from JRR Tolkien's Return of the King.

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Short StoryMicrofictionFantasyFan FictionClassicalAdventure

About the Creator

Matthew Fromm

Full-time nerd, history enthusiast, and proprietor of random knowledge. The best way to find your perfect story is to make it yourself.

Here there be dragons, and knights, and castles, and quests for entities not wished to be found.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (10)

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  • Sonia Heidi Unruh7 months ago

    Magnificent! I had a hunch from the beginning but got goosebumps when I read the line, "Forth Eorlingas!"

  • I echo your refrain that Tolkien is about as good as it gets in the English language. But I also believe he would find it endearing that you would think so much of his writing as to place yourself within it. I'm pretty sure it would make him happy.

  • Addison M7 months ago

    This was fantastic.

  • Oooo, this was so brilliant! You nailed this challenge!

  • Cendrine Marrouat7 months ago

    Matthew, this was great! You can definitely feel the LOTR atmosphere...

  • Ian Read7 months ago


  • D. A. Ratliff7 months ago

    Excellent! Your offering was far from humble!

  • Nice storytelling 👍✍️❤️

  • Celia in Underland7 months ago

    Brilliant! I have nothing else! 🤍

  • Thank you Matthew. You did a fine job!!!

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