The Spoils of War
6 minutes to read
The fire spat its celebrations at the clear frozen air; tomorrow would be a great day. As the silent open sky watched on, a neutral umpire with no rule book, the unit was noisy with that wild certainty of imminent victory. The men were totally untouched by the bitter frost, so lost in their own world of war and conquest.
Now that the mangonel had been delivered, those city walls would be smashed within minutes; the men had cheered its arrival for this meant the end of the siege, the end of their suffering and the rewards of plunder and rape was theirs. Kahn had seen it all before so many times, yet even he felt the tingle of anticipation. How those people had dared resist the will of our great leader and his mighty army! Tomorrow they would feel the wrath of steel and will; there would be no pity.
This would be the last service at the church. The hymns and the incense gave the reassurance of familiarity and the congregation flickered in and out of the true reality – that soon their beloved church would be rubble and that they themselves would be slaughtered. The Bishop spoke of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself and that each and every one was to be loyal unto death, but secretly he knew that the end would be ugly and even the beckoning of eternal happiness would be drowned in the screams of this last passage.
Perhaps some of them hoped for a final reprieve – some unlikely act of mercy from the devils – but most knew that that was impossible: they had resisted for too long. Even the choir-boys and the children knew the details of the forthcoming disaster, imbued with such tales from the very cradle. The nuns – the seniors in their black and the juniors in their white robes – incanted their rosaries, squeezing ever harder onto those holy beads. Suicide would have been the easy option,
but forbidden by their faith; there was no avoidance of the final butchery, or even worse…
The mangonel was adroitly charged and targeted. It took but an hour to catapult the huge rocks into the city walls and watch them crumble. The roar of triumph as the “horde” of evils ones charged in, yelling and cutting down each exhausted defender. Knives and axes and spears flew at any living forms that stood in their path – men, children, animals – though they had “earned” the pleasure of the women.
Soon they were at the church; here they paused and lined all the people against the wall. With eyes that burned hatred at the Christian folk, they made them kneel and watch as they raped their women, then killed them to the sound of the screams of the violations. Kahn watched, relieved and almost bored; this was his ninth siege and there was nothing new. He eyed the young nuns in their white robes; yes that one – he indicated his choice and the men
dragged her over to him. This part he would not tire of: she was young, unblemished and terrified of the man who held her life in his hands. She clutched on to her rosary beads and though he tried to snatch them from her, her grip remained firm. He slapped her across the face with some force and her eyes opened and then he saw that her eyes were of different colour – one grey and one green! She also had a tassel of white hair on the front of her scalp. Kahn smiled: never had he had a woman like this. He tied her hands and dragged her to his tent.
He tried again to rip the rosary from her grasp, but though he slapped her hard, she fiercely held on. No matter, he soon would own her – mind, body and spirit. She could not resist as he ripped off her white robes to see the feast beneath. Her firm mounds of white breast with the pink circles pouting just one meaning. He grabbed them and squeezed sucked and bit gently into each of them. He clutched her hair and brought her face close to his and spat out in a loud foreign tongue with power and delight what was about to happen. Her eyes flicked open and she clutched even tighter to her beads. His hand went down to her downy womanhood and he ran his fingers along the crack of his pleasure. She opened her eyes in fear and disbelief and fought as he forced her legs apart. But he was far stronger and soon he was forcing himself into her, her squeals of pain making him more passionate. Soon his entire might was driving into her, pounding and screaming his ownership of this trophy. She fought back her cries and squeezed tight on her rosary and soon he was drained and a dead weight on top of her. This was ownership; he was her new god.
Total ownership – to do whatever he wanted with the woman – how it fed the lust that had hungered during the siege; now it was total. He forced himself to his limits in as many acts of wild possession as he could, making that sex-wound pain again and again, until even he could feel the discomfort of such excesses. Yet her suppressed mews of quiet pain just drove him on; she clung to her rosary and closed her eyes.
And Kahn took his prize with him on his next missions and somehow never tired of releasing his violent animal sex on her, rejoicing in her squeals of pain and humiliation. His ownership was complete, though she still clung pitifully to her rosary.
But the next mission did not go well and Kahn had lost twenty good men. He was a revered leader and had been selected to test the defences at their Western extreme, but even with his skills and experience, an ambush had cost him some lives. Of course, revenge would be swift; armed with the information he had gleaned in the sortie, a greater force would wipe out any resistance…. but to lose good men still cut into his very soul. He had been a full week away from her and the main camp. The guard still stood at the tent and he felt some strange new feelings as he entered in.
She started in alarm: had she not heard him at the entrance? Could she not hear well? Yes – that would certainly explain much of her bizarre behaviour. But now he was exhausted, cold and hungry. His vassal brought in the meal and decked it out on the low table. He beckoned her over and made her eat. This was the ‘food for the returning hero’ and was unrivalled in the army.
He could not erase the memory of his dying comrades and even in his hunger, he just picked at the food. She ate at his prompting and the food was soon gone. He shouted his vassal who took away the remains, then looked at her for a long time. She clutched her rosary and averted her gaze. Then he – almost gently – took off her white robe and carried her to the bed. She braced herself for what was to come, but tonight it was cold: tonight he needed her warm body; tonight he needed something else.
The snow had moved in and with it a stupefying cold; revenge would have to wait. It was time to sharpen the swords and prepare. Kahn had spoken with his men in the Big Tent and the plans were made; there was nothing else to be done until the temperature eased and the snow stopped. Just to keep warm and prepare. He needed the warmth of the trophy woman and laughed at himself as he squeezed her too tightly. Yet even she felt the cold and when she returned
from relieving herself outside the tent, she found herself moving closer to Kahn for that human body warmth. And so did a beast and an angel cling together under the frozen skies.
The discipline of Kahn’s men was all but perfect, yet even here there were some smirks and nudges at the amount of time that Kahn spent with the new conquest and the noises that came from his tent. But Kahn was revered by his men and these things were soon accepted into the background of warfare. Soon they would begin to notice what she already knew, of the new life inside her which had been forbidden by her vows.
The weather finally lifted and now it was time for long-awaited revenge; Kahn would lead the avenging devils into battle. He looked at the woman as he stepped out of his tent; she looked at him and clutching her rosary, mouthed some secret prayer: she could not possibly understand anyway.
Even though muffled by the deep snow, and her poor hearing, the shouts of victory had registered as something different on her consciousness. But Kahn had not returned. She waited and waited some more. Then taking all of her courage, she peered outside of the tent. His body lay on a stretcher covered in snow. She could see that he was still breathing, but the tradition was that the injured warrior must lie under the eternal sky and let the gods decide on life or death. There was no-one around, even her tent guard was missing; perhaps they were all celebrating the victory. She tiptoed out and brushed the snow from around his face: it was definitely Kahn. His eyes flickered open and when she moved him, he tried to resist but he was too weak. She dragged him into the tent and gave him drinks; then she took off both their robes so that her body could warm his under the blankets.
Thus she stayed for 3 days and nights. Several times his eyes opened and he looked at her in
confusion. For the first time ever she smiled at him and putting the rosary beads tenderly around his neck, “Better” she said in her own language, “Better”.
Would Kahn have recovered without her? The scribes decided not. Would he have become supreme commander without some changes that happened in that snow? The scribes did not even consider that a trophy-woman could change a great leader. But history did note that her first born did have the odd eyes and the white forelock of his mother and that his low hearing made him always seem aloof and unafraid. History also noted that he became a truly great leader who could change his people’s direction to something even greater and scholars were forever to discuss the unfathomable ways of the gods under the eternal sky.