Although I knew I might not make it home I had to go. If my death meant life for those to come then I had to give it willingly. They out-armed us but we outnumbered them. I knew the army that was on its way would not make it to our battle. If we managed to weaken the enemy for them it could mean a final victory. That was our hope. A slim one but it made us strong. I knew all this before I went and so I went.

My mother wept inside the house while my father cleaned my gun. I readied my horse and gathered my arms for what they were and set off to join my friends in almost certain death. My horse sensed my fear. I wished I didn’t need to bring her with me but I had no other means to travel. We rode past the fields and village, up towards the larger town where I knew they waited for us. I prayed as I rode and rode as I prayed.

When I arrived, the men waited for my cry of battle and we ran and rode. We charged the barracks. We almost had control when I felt the liquid pouring down my side. I slid to the ground. My horse nudged me gently. “Home girl, Home girl” I whispered. She would not leave. I shouted. She left and so did I.

I watched from above the battle as my friends fell. I watched as the merciless soldiers taunted and tortured those who lived. I prayed as I went upwards that my God would understand. I couldn’t turn the other cheek. I had to go. I could not let them die alone. I did my bit.

Flash Fiction, a second story inspired by the local hero, Paddy Farrell, leader of the rebel brigade in the Battle of Granard, 1798.

2 thoughts on “No Choice

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