A Story by Chases-Lost-Ghosts

Fictional story (I hope!) set in a medeval time period. I threw my two favorite groups into a vicious confrontation with my own personal touches.


   The gates will not hold for long. The Picts have come for revenge of their kinsmen, slaughtered a fortnight ago in the woods to the north. Their arrows coated in pitch & set aflame soar above the walls & cut down only a scant few, but they set all that they strike aflame. Women & children bring the water to put out the flames as the gate buckles. The Pict’s blue tattoed bear-sarks foam & scream their fury even as we hurl the rocks & arrows upon them.

   They came from the northern woods in the morning, arrows streaming down upon our walls. They trampled the fields as we closed the gates & returned their arrows to them. A score fell but it barley slowed them, they hurtled over their brethren & kept coming. It was said when we took this land as our own that we would not keep it, but there was little for us to do. There was no where else & we have held this land 10 score years. We will not give it up without a fight.

   Even our old draw their blades & see to the defense, backs against the gate bracing it against the onslaught. Only the women, the infirm & the children do not bear this honor, they serve only to support the warriors at such time.

   The gates crack & our warriors are valiant but out numbered. We have lost to many this last season to their raids & the fevers. Cries go up & a child screams when the latest volley of arrows fall, the boy is cut down before he can ever come into manhood. A mother cries, she holds him waiting for the next arrows to come & reunite them.

   Scalding water is brought to the ledge & poured upon them, their screams only infuriate their kinsmen. They throw themselves at the gate with renewed fury. They call curses to us & to our gods.

   The gates rattle & shake as the Picts hack away at them & spears are thrust through the holes created to break the men holding the gates. But they are strong & proud, without fear of death. They will not flee. Their spears are broken & arrows are next through the gate felling many of the guard. They will be inside soon.

   Again the arrows fall, a mother dies, men fall from the ledges & the gate breaks at the hinge. Only the strength of the men hold it in place even as they take wound upon wound. The Picts throw their weight upon the gate & it falls crushing several men beneath its weight. The naked howling b******s pour through swinging sword & brandishing spear, their bodies covered in spiraling blue tattoos, their breath steaming in the air.

   Those with able bodies throw themselves at the slavering Picts, blocking their path they face these monsters in glorious combat. We are not for the straw death, we to go to great Valhalla warriors, heroes. It moves as art, every movement a brush stroke of beauty, the canvas of our lives. The color our blood, our passion.

   Even after pounding at our gates for over an hour they lunge into battle as though fully rested, screaming for our blood. To many of our men are old & frail with age, we will not win this battle. But old or not they hold the line, women & children hurl stones having no knowledge of the craft of war. They all know it is only a matter of time, there is no one to save us. Call as they will to Odin, Baldur, Tyr there will be no answer.


I tighten my armor, though I am not meant to.

They say it brings shame to my family to do so, but I know my place & I cannot deny it.

I take up my father’s axe, the gods have seen fit to give me a warrior’s heart.

This will be my first battle, I do not pray to live through it. Only that I take many of them with me.

I bind my hair as I bound my breasts, Caollan Wulfere will join her kin in the feasting halls this day

© 2008 Chases-Lost-Ghosts

Author's Note

Please don't attack me on historical errors I know they're there, the story was for the sake of enjoyment. Oh & Yes it is 'Bear-Sarks' its an older form of Berserker.

My Review

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The battle comes dramatically to life. Loss becomes valiant courage. Despite its brevity, it is an epic tale.

Posted 7 Years Ago

This piece has some elements to it that beg for further development. While the concept of a woman donning the garb of a warrior is not a new one, it is still one that opens up a slew of options for the writer. For example, how does she wage her wars when she is slighter and shorter in stature than most of her opponents (after all, the Picts were a hardier, taller, more fearsome combatants than most of the races and tribes that they battled)? If she is victorious in her personal campaign, or her actions lead to victory for the beleaguered residents of the fortified stronghold, how does her community then view her? And if she is vanquished in battle, what is her ending like- will it be humiliating? torturous? honorable? You see, what you have begun is fine (despite the many grammatical burps and hiccups, spelling errors (not bear-sark...), and syntax slips) in so far as beginnings are concerned, but you have not really told a story. Back story has, to some extent been provided, but only enough to build the idea of tension and rising conflict within the story. No, what you have here is stage dressing and little else. Yet, I cannot help but feel that you have more to tell in this one. And if you do, then you do need to go after this story. After all, you said that the reason for this writing is to extract some enjoyment. So why not really enjoy this one and give it more vitality, more teeth? As you have chosen to pursue historical fiction, but have taken a few liberties with the chronology and details of the regional history, I think that you should delve further into this vein by building a story based on some suspension of belief to give a richer feel to the battle that is coming. Too, give the story a sense of intrigue and try weaving the story out of more than one or two plot lines. You already have more than three lines available to you: the woman warrior defying tradition and convention; the weary forces that are flagging in the face of the vicious onslaught of the Picts; and the suffering endured by the women, children, and aged/ailing members of the tribe under siege. Play with it a while, hell even try alternate endings to see what strikes your fancy with this thing. But for God's sakes, don't let this one just fade into obscurity as a story that could have been so much more. Also and this is where I become the stickler-type critic...), when you write the expanded version, make the effort and take the time to revise thoroughly and shed the errors and missteps (like using and ampersand in place of the word 'and', for instance) that detract from this story's solidity.
I would certainly be interested in reading a newer, longer version of this story.

Posted 10 Years Ago

You have talent, you can carry a theme through. I can picture the whole write as well.
You carried the plot through as well. amazing write.

Posted 11 Years Ago

You have talent, i would typically let type errors downgrade a writing, not so in this case. Passionate and well written

Posted 11 Years Ago

You really paint a vivd image of the battle. I could easily picture the entire scene as I read it. At some point, it seemed almost as if the battle was being waged in my mind and then you described it. It was as if rather than seeing the battle as you described it, you were describing the battle through my eyes.

Posted 11 Years Ago

This is so descriptive, I can fully visualize this in its entirety! Great!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Another great story!!!!!!!!!!

Great write!!!! I really liked this one two!!!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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8 Reviews
Added on September 22, 2008



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