The Storm

“The wind is changing. A storm is coming.”

Maternia turned to the old man. “The sky is clear. People are still coming to join the Legion. I have seen no one preparing for rain.”

The old man looked at the sky, concentrating on a memory. After a while, he turned his eyes to the throngs of people headed to the battleground. He had seen this many times before.

“They are prepared for the storm.”

Maternia rolled her eyes, and continued her work. She had to have dinner prepared for her family, and did not have time for the delusions of the elder. The four mock battles the Legion had seen had shown little promise of glory. Although the warriors had survived the battles in good condition, the lack of a decisive strategy worried her. She had seen years begin this way in the past, and more often than not, she ended up nursing the wounds of the fallen.

The old man called to her. “Maternia, you must witness this.”

Maternia went to the window where the old man was seated. Before she could ask what the old man wanted, she saw of what he spoke. In the distance, building higher each moment, was storm clouds of a deep blue. A chill went up her spine.

She stood there, mesmerized, as the clouds rolled in. Thunder rolled over the land, sounding like a million hoof beats. The wind howled with an eerie sound, returning her to reality.

“Come, old man. We must help those who are still on their way, for they have no shelter.”

Maternia grabbed the old man’s arm, steadying him as she rushed him along. Neither one spoke as they raced up the hill to join the multitudes already gathered. As they reached the summit, lightning flashed, and the sound of the thunder shook the ground. Catching her breath, Maternia looked around at the Legion. No one spoke, not even the children, and all eyes were focused on the next hill, the one where the flag of the Legion was raised next to the statue of the Ram.

Then it happened.

A bolt of lightning, brighter than a thousand suns, reached from the sky and touched the statue of the Ram. The Legion’s flag, blown straight in the winds, was illuminated brightly as the fire kept contact with the statue. Soon, above the thunder, the sound of thousands of voices joined in one war cry could be heard.

The lightning stopped. Once again, the legion grew silent. As they looked upon the statue of the Ram, a golden light was seen emanating from the horns. As the glow became brighter, the voice of our General rang out.

“Behold the golden horns! This is an omen! Who is ready to stand with me in battle?”

The deafening sound of a war cry came from the mouths of all who had gathered. Over the roar, the old man leaned close to Maternia’s ear.

With all his strength, he shouted, “I told you a storm was coming.”