“Edmund, go now. Take this. GO!” Edmund’s father screamed as he threw him a large bag of provisions.
“What about you? I’m not leaving you.” Edmund stubbornly refused.
“Boy, you do what you’re told! Take the horse and ride as far east as you can. I will find you. Now come on!”
Edmund would not give in. He turned back to his mother and saw her worried face as she looked behind him and he saw the fire of the battle reflected in her eyes, clouded with her fear.
Edmund climbed onto the horse behind his mother and she gave a sharp snap of the reigns and the horse galloped away. Edmund watched as his home grew further and further away.
His father had turned away, drawn his sword and plunged into the heart of battle. The further they rode from their village, the more uncertainty and guilt pulled at Edmund’s heart.
He decided he could not and would not leave his father to face this battle alone. Most other men had brothers and fathers to rely upon but not Edmund’s father.
He was completely and utterly alone. That was, unless Edmund decided to defy him and protect him.
As the horse sped down the hill, Edmund’s mind was made up. He waited until they rode through a clearing and leapt from the horse.
The impact shook his body and he rolled a few times on the ground. His mother screamed but the horse was going too fast for her to stop it in time.
Quickly, Edmund got back on his feet and began to sprint back down the way they had come, towards the heart and heat of battle. As he ran he unsheathed the short sword his father had given him.
Down, down, down the dark hill he ran. The clash of metal on metal, screams of pain and the slash of flesh overtook Edmund’s ears, the scent of blood and metal in the air.
If Edmund hadn’t known better he would have thought it was Armageddon. The sword felt heavy in his hand, and he realised his stupidity.
He had not an inch of armour, nothing but his clothes and a glorified knife in hand.
It was too late to turn back now. He set off closer to the stone walls of the castle, dodging blows from enemies.
He ran, making a beeline for a tall, dark-haired man blocking a blade from a muscular, overpowering enemy. Edmund instantly recognised his father.
He was pressed against the wall, with no chance of escape. A battle cry reverberated in his throat and plunged his weapon in the opponent’s back.
The man was surprised, his sword dropping and clattering to the ground. Blood splattered down his front and Edmund’s father pushed him away.
Edmund walked back a few paces as the dying man turned to face him. The point of the sword stuck out from the man’s chest.
Rooted to the spot in shock, Edmund watched as the enemy moved a pace closer to him, seized his arms and brought him to his own chest.
The blade pierced his skin and Edmund’s breath stopped, his mouth and eyes open wide.
Someone let out a piercing cry of anguish, but it sounded very distant to Edmund. It didn't matter now. He had saved his father, even if he could not save himself.