No one tells you, no one warns of the bitter taste cold steel carves into flesh against the heat of battle.
The warmth of blood which flows down an embedded blade to drip against a frosted winters field.
T'was a bitter morning, and as a peculiar chill began to grip his bones Finn deemed his day would end just as bleak.
Metal unsheathed from flesh, blooming a new tide of crimson to wash over muddied tartan. Two feet away a crude, blood etched face regarded his own. Ill-contempt dripping from his maw.
The brute looked Finn up and down, turned his head and spat before charging off triumphant.
Finn dropped to his knees, forcing an exhale of visible breath and blood to splatter in the morning air.
The clash of sword and shield reverberated through the fjord, joined by the echoes of men crying out in tones of war and agony.
All fell deaf on the ears of a dying man, drowned out as the beat of his heart filled his body. All thoughts screeched to a halt 'cept one. Nothing else seemed to matter now.
They say life flashes before your eyes like a colourful mess of emotions but it seems stories have amounted to just that, stories. Finn’s mind flooded with one concern, death.
Even the pain seemed to fade as fear consumed. "Is this it. Is this how it ends?" Breathing became increasingly difficult as a punctured lung filled with blood and a wheezing beset his throat.
Finn wondered if it would be suffocation or blood loss which would deliver him to the inevitable darkness.
He could feel the colour fade from his fingers and a numbness steal his toes. Soon pain did not exist, nor the warmth of life.
His final thoughts were of home, the familiar scent of rosemary and grain wafting through the house as his wife baked fresh bread.
Sun streaming through an open window highlighting her enchanting red hair,
a pair of grubby paws atop the bench pulling up the curious face of a little boy patiently observing his mother's work...
An uninspiring, clouded sky rests above the aftermath of a fruitless battle, yet amidst the countless bodies which slumber in the cold, a smile lay upon a dead man's face.