The Fall of Tripoli - Eleyna Part I
”Give it back!” the young girl yelled bravely at the half-moon of ten year old boys
that surrounded her. She lunged at one of them in an attempt to regain her doll.
Little did they know that soon that ragdoll would be all that remained of the entire city.
As the battle horn echoed for preparation in the city the boys threw up the ragdoll and scattered. The streets in the capital were soon filled with hurrying, panicking and frightened people. Soldiers bid quick farewells to their families and ran to their posts. Hurried hugs were made with deep sorrow and the only thing that saved some from tears was the fragment of hope that still burned in their hearts. Mothers ran to find and gather their children.
Amidst the chaos the little girl struggled to grab her precious ragdoll. It was the doll her father had made for her birth. It had been her lifelong companion and it was all she had left of papa. Even though she was eight years old she still loved carrying it around to remind herself of her father.
“Eleyna!” She recognized her mother’s worried voice.
“Don’t ever do that to me again!” Her mother slapped her half-heartedly and then hugged her tightly.
“What’s happening?” the young girl asked, still gripped tightly in her mother’s loving embrace.
“The city is being attacked. But don’t worry, everything will be fine,” her mother smiled weakly.
The young girl recognized her mother’s tone and instinctively knew that everything was definitely not fine.
“Your brother is at the watchtower already; defending us and the city.”
When they were home her mother immediately began to prepare and discuss with the other women that lived in the longhouse.
Eleyna waited a few moments and then quietly escaped.
She had to help her brother. She would not lose him like she had lost papa.
Outside the noise from people screaming hit her ears. Chaos ruled ruthlessly.
As she ran through the city with her tiny legs she saw a house on fire. A mother was clinging to her son’s lifeless body. The sight was so shocking. She couldn’t fathom how this could have happened! The scenes became gradually worse as she approached the outer wall. People were running everywhere; clutching injured dear ones and trying to protect their homes. The smell of burnt wood and scorched flesh filled the air.
She recalled that her brother was stationed at the second wall.
Another volley of trebuchet boulders struck the city. The stone longhouse behind her was demolished into a pile of rubble with a loud crash. Terrified screams echoed down the streets.
A small stone struck her leg causing her to trip and heavily bruising her bare knees. She felt tears beginning to gather in her eyes from the pain. Soon they were streaming down her cheeks but she continued to run. She heard an even louder crash and knew that the first wall was down.
Hurriedly she climbed up the stairs of the watchtower. The stairs were huge and reached to her knees, but she pressed on; taking each step one by one. Her brother being in danger was the only thought on her mind.
The orders of a general could be heard loudly and she knew she was near. She saw the shape of her brother. He was wearing the standard Tripoli armour, wielding the typical one-hand sword along with the square shield imprinted with the Tripoli sign, which was three silver, half moon, ring walls with a golden crown hovering right above.
“Adrithon!” she yelled.
Her eyes drifted away and glanced over the wall. Fear gripped her heart. She could hardly believe her small eyes. The entire outer city between the first and second wall was completely destroyed! Flames raged everywhere. She could make out the shapes of the trebuchets on the grassland in front of the city. Hundreds of thousands of Naeglim surrounded them.
She instantly ran to warn her brother. She began to fear for her mother and their home.
Her brother was already fighting against the Naeglim that had climbed onto the second wall.
Eleyna bent and picked up a rock. As her brother blocked a strike from the short, brown-skinned Naeglim she used all her strength to throw the rock. It hit the Naeglim’s arm and for a moment it turned its head and glared at the child which had distracted it. That moment was enough for her brother to plunge his sword into its stomach. The Naeglim let out a grunt and then fell to the ground clutching its entrails.
“Eleyna! What are you doing here?”
“I came to help you,” she said proudly, grasping the rock in one hand and her ragdoll in the other.
“Go back home to mum. Tell her that the second gate has been breached. Be careful!”
The little girl’s face was filled with disappointment and she felt ashamed for having disobeyed.
She was about to climb down the stairs when she gave her brother a final glance. Their eyes met and she felt happy as she felt her brother’s forgiving and loving green eyes gaze into hers. In the midst of war and death a smile dawned on her face.
Suddenly she saw her brother fall to his knees. A scythed Naeglim sword stuck out of his stomach. A pool of red blood began to gather beneath him.
She screamed. Clutching the ragdoll in one hand she ran to him.
Looking into his fading eyes she realized that he was dead already. Around her the evil Naeglim creatures were fighting the soldiers. Death was everywhere.
She fled. Tears streamed from her face.
Houses burned. Screams echoed. Arrows flew.
She didn’t know what to do. Where could she go? She tried to run home but saw from afar that the house was already on fire. Tears flooded her cheeks and her eyes became blurry. She ran deeper into the heart of the city where the towering mountain stood behind it defensively. The remembrance of the hideout they had played in as five year olds hit her. She struggled to make her way through the city and chaos, but she managed to find the tiny cave. The hole was extremely small but she was just able to slip through. The cave was dark, a bit cold and smelled enclosed. She made her way through it and climbed upwards to lookout the small hole from where she could almost see the whole city. What had once been the glorious capital of Tripoli was now a ruin in flames. There was nothing she could do. She was scared, cold and alone. It was over. Her brother was dead, and so was her mother most likely. All hope had vanished. She stared out over the city and the field outside where the enemy still stood in hordes. Her eyes were glued to the scene as her mind tried to deny everything that was happening. A deep sigh filled with emotions erupted while the tears continued to pour down her cheeks. She shrank down against the cold, cave wall and blackened out.
Copyright © Danai Gabre, 2008-11-01