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The Eagle's Curse

The Sands Remember

By Matthew FrommPublished 9 months ago 2 min read
5
The Eagle's Curse
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

The Eagle stands defiantly upon its perch.

Above the unending ocean of sand, it watches.

A cursed place, an infernal place.

A place to be struck from the stone of history, that imperfect vessel of memory, so easily shaped by the hand of man. Their pride, their vanity, would never allow them to witness, to learn. The once enlightened had dimmed, and their arrogance would soon extinguish their beacon. It could hear the chisels and hammers already. .

It watches until its time ends, and it is recast anew like a phoenix, imbuing a crown, a scepter, a coin. It will curse its new master as it did the old. That old man, fat on wine and bread, would feel the Eagle’s wrath. In this life, or the next.

The ocean flows, churning as the favor of the Eagle’s masters does. The shades of earth, the whites, and golds of this unconquerable land turn to red as the hooves stamp it flat. The drum beats turn from martial to festive. It will be over soon, for all.

The screams break the tranquility of the vast expanse. A place dominated by peace only through its harshness. It wields sword and spear and bow as if it was a Titan rendered free from Tartarus, bringing its malice against the new Olympians. It has no lord but itself.

Hubris, ohh hubris

The Eagle knew better. The Gods knew better.

Those who now conquer the conquerors also knew better, for their memories go back before Ishtar put reed to clay. The exposed ribs and dry tongues of the conquerors heralded the horse lords' victory before the first arrow fell.

Twenty thousand came. Twenty departed.

One remains. One who the Eagle does not expect. One who once marched in triumph now lay chained by the barbarians. The barbarians he spit on, defiled. Who he viewed as nothing more but a means, means which would now be his undoing.

The Eagle laughs.

It can think of no more fitting revenge for one who owned the world.

The Eagle has its revenge. It stifles the screams of Crassus with a horn of golden wine.

Night came. Tranquility settled across the sands.

They would come again. They always came again.

And again, they would return bearing the Eagle’s curse.

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Author’s note

Huzzah! The above is my take on two current challenges, One hosted by my friend Cendrine Marrouat:

And one hosted by Vocal:

The defeat of the Legions at Carrhae is one of History’s most cinematic episodes, and for those interested in learning more while they work and write, I recommend Mike Duncan’s The History of Rome podcast series.

Thanks for reading.

HistoricalShort StoryMicrofictionFableClassical
5

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.

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Comments (5)

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  • Suze Kay9 months ago

    I love the sense of timelessness of this piece! A great fit for both challenges :)

  • This was so well done

  • Lamar Wiggins9 months ago

    Two birds with one stone. Pretty clever. And your story was remarkable. Your style of using dynamic words comes through here.

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Wow. That was great, Matthew. Wonderful entry for both challenges.

  • Cendrine Marrouat9 months ago

    Wow, a very gripping read! I enjoyed your entry so much!

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