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B2MeM 2011: Haradhrim Nights  by Mirach

Day 11:

Challenge - Himring: "Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most heroic sacrifices." -Thomas Merton

Write a story or poem or create artwork where characters make sacrifices in order to achieve their goals.


"Keep together! Keep together!" Kadar tried to shout through the roar of the nearing storm, and nudged his horse to run faster. But the animal needed no encouragement – it sensed the danger behind, and ran like a black lightning, a wild spirit of the wind. Black mane flowing. Trembling nostrils, eyes glistening like a fiery night.

Horses and riders, moving like one. Rhythm of powerful muscles. Clouds of sand stirred by the hooves. Faster, faster! Faster than the storm, faster than the wind. No looking back. Yalla! Yalla!

The wall of sand nearing. High, dark, ominous. The spirits of the desert are hungry. Wailing and howling in their anger. The powerful gusts of wind, sharp sand reaching the horse and rider. And on the horizon, the first houses of the city. Yalla!

Empty streets. Closed doors and windows whipped by the wind. Just one door was open.

The old woman smiled after they entered, leaving the horses in the lee side of the house. "I wondered if you would make it in time…"

Kadar unwound his head cloth, and shook his head to get rid of the sand in his hair. The walls of the cottage shook under the gusts of the wind, but it held fast. The calm inside was almost unnatural.

He smirked. "It seems we must thank you…" he stopped as he followed her sight. She was surveying his men, looking for someone. No, we did not catch him, he wanted to answer the question in her eyes with amusement, but the words froze on his lips. Two of his men were missing…

"Nadhir and Faris?" he asked quietly, but the downcast looks of his men told him the truth.

"We have lost them in the storm…" someone dared to answer.

Kadar heavily sat down on the only chair in the room.

"We can look for them when the storm passes. Maybe they found some shelter…"

He shook his head. "We have no time. We must get the stranger." His fists clenched as he looked somewhere into the distance, beyond the raging storm.

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