Chapter Three

Chapter Three

A Chapter by Lonnie Paul Johnson

A messenger arrived from the battlefield with a report


Chapter Three


The royal palace and the surrounding community are excited of a messenger bringing information from the battlefields.  After a long hard journey the soldier collapses at the gate, the guards took the man inside to feed and give him rest.  All of the of the kingdom nobles, officials and ruling families gather in the great hall awaiting to hear the soldier battlefield report.  Gamila sat in the corner of the room as the king first two wives took the primary seating due to their status as mothers of the king’s sons, along with the leading priest and other prominent family members.


Gamila hopes her nightmares are wrong about the outcome of her husband war.  The large doors open, the palace guards escorted the man to the center of the room, he is clean and dress in appropriate clothing.  He bows before them as the room became quiet as whispers floated among the participants in the room.  Abbas, the younger brother of the king motioned for the man to speak. 


The soldier is a commander of a hundred men of a division lead by Dayyan.  He explains the army was divided into four major groups the king and his sons commanded the divisions.  The night before the battle rumors circulate around camp, the king sons feared for his safety wanted him to reconsider leading the charge into battle.  King Mamduh dismisses his sons and generals and proceeded to take charge over his army into battle. 


“…The battle lines were set,” spoke the soldier, “we march toward the Egyptian which seem to have a small amount men to oppose us.  It appeared to be so easy, but hind sight it was a trap.  We march into the plains, the ground felt like quicksand.  Then, like lighting coming from the north hundreds, maybe thousands of chariots cut through us shooting swam of arrows at us which went in every direction.  Men were getting hit with two or three arrows, our weapons were useless.  We threw our spears, but they misses their target due to the speed of the chariots.  We tried too use our swords in an attempt to strike them, it to failed, most were trampled to deaths…”


Gamila stomach is in knots listening to the man story of the battle; she can feel the trepidation of everyone in the grand room.  All hopes of a great victory are totally gone and panic of the unknown is settling.  Abbas had frowns on his face listening to every word of the soldier, leaping to his feet with both hands pressing against his head.


“Do you know what happen to the king, my brother?”


The man abruptly stop speaking looking at Abbas directly, “In the chaos of the battle I do not know what was going on, the few men I had with me all decided to retreat to the back of the lines.  Dayan was trying to regroup the remaining troops in an effort to push to the front of the battle to rescue his father.  I did not know if he was still fighting, injured, captures or maybe dead.  That too was a failed effort, we had no answered to the Egyptian attack.”


“I lost sight of Dayan as our people were getting picked off, I assume he was killed.  There was no order among the men, some were running and others were fighting each other fleeing the battle.  At night I left with others defeated solders back to our lands in the villages along the borders.   I was chosen by the town elders to come here because we feared that the Egyptian is on the march, but we need more troops and supplies to make a stand…” 


The king’s brother slowly sat down  head slump listening to the report knowing in his heart Mamduh is lost, suddenly the door open as a palace guard hurried to Abbas side whispering in his ear.  “BRING HIM!” shouted Abbas, the guard waved his arm, then another man walks into the grand hall dusty and very tired.


“My masters,” the young man spoke his voice is wavering and he is extremely exhausted because he ran for many days from the boarder.  “We are under sieges by Egyptian armies; all of the villages are in flames.  The women and children are being captured and they are killing the men.  We do not know how long our defenses can hold out, our plight is desperate, and we need help send troops before it’s too late…”


The room erupted into a panic, some stood visibly shaken.  Women are crying and the men are groaning in despair.  Gamila heart is thumping a chill shot up in her spine viewing the uproar in the grand room.  With great effort holding her arms not allow herself to cry, keeping calm.  Terror is gripping many in the room many voices are crying out with dread, “We are doomed; its only five days march from the boarders; we have no troops to help them, who going to help us!” 


Soon the news of the king defeat spread throughout the city like wildfire, the mood of the people turned dismal they all openly express sorrow.  Everyone is crying out to their gods grieving, “Why did you forsake us?”  No answerer from the carved stone, wood or golden images, they all remain silent leaving their worshipers alone in despair.




Haniyya is enjoying playing in the gardens with her friends.  A small group girls huddle together singing, telling stories and giggling, then one by one parent’s of each of her friends entered the garden quickly removing their children not saying a word.  At first Haniyya did not pay attention to her friend’s parent’s trouble faces and then she felt a heavy depressing mood encamp over her.  Looking around, she is seeing the servants quiet than normal with weariness in their eyes.


She stood to her feet feeling concern looking for Nido, running from garden searching the palace room to room.  Then she spotted her nursemaid sitting staring straight ahead long face rubbing her hands.  Nido notice Haniyya approaching, she sat up smiling, “Oh little one, have you finished playing with your girlfriends? 


“Yes Nido,” she pauses, “what’s wrong?”


“There nothing wrong,” speaking cheerfully she stood to her feet as she touches Haniyya hair, “are you hungry?”


Shaking her head no gazing into Nido, eyes she can sense their trouble, but no one saying anything to her about it.  Nido wants to gently lead Haniyya to her room away from the crowds of distress people.  They are walking slowly toward the family living quarters.   Haniyya seeing some of the servant running, trying to carry out their duties with worried appearance.  She can hear crying women echoing through the hallway.  Apprehension has overtaken Haniyya emotion, she knows Nido is trying to shield her about something awful.  But she knows she is old enough to know what’s going on.


“Nido,” she looked up at her nursemaid, “I need to find mother.”


“NO, WAIT!”  Nido trying to grab Haniyya arm to prevent her leaving, but she is quickly running down the hallway moving to the right and left avoiding bumping into people.  Her heart is beating faster looking for her mother’s in the hopes of getting answers to what she does not know.  Voices of murmuring filled the palace, but Haniyya is not concentrating on those words as she searches for her mother’s.  She enters the grand room spots her speaking to the captain of the palace guards.


“Are you planning to leave the palace as the rest of the noble’s families?”  Ask the Captain.


“No, I plan to stay,” responded Gamila, the captain is disappointed that she is not fleeing,  “I cannot in good conscience abandon the ones who must stay behind and face the enemy..” While he observe her speaking, knowing she is afraid, but trying to be courageous he admired her bravery.   Then she pause because she notices the captain countenance change, she felt a sense of calmness as she stared at him.  The man made up in his heart to defend his young queen to the death.  “But please grant me one favor.”


“Yes, your highness.”


“Would it be possible if you spare a few men to escort my daughter to my homeland?”


The captain nodded yes to his queen that he has men to accompany her daughter to Paran; Haniyya overhearing her mother conversation, “NO!  I am not leaving!” yelled Haniyya.  Gamila swiftly turn to face her daughter, startle by her appearance, she dismisses the captain. “I am not leaving you, I do not know what has happen but I’m staying!”


“My brave girl,” she touching Haniyya shoulder, her face greatly saddens, “I wish I didn’t have to tell you but your father’s campaign has turn out for the worst.  Most of our troops are lost, we presume he is dead and the Egyptians are coming.  Soon our home will be a dangerous place to be that why I’m sending you away.”


“No mother, you’re not leaving let me stay with you.” Haniyya pleaded tears streaming down her face.  “I will not go!” she demanded.  Gamila tighten grip on Haniyya’s shoulders.


“Princess Haniyya!”  The child hushed staring at her mother stern face, “I have told you many times before, that a princess has a duty to follow and it may be something she do not want to do!”  Haniyya dropping her head nodding.  “I am sending you to my homeland for your safety.  I’m not coming with you because I have a responsibility as queen to my people.”



Early in the morning the servants have readied the camels and mules for Haniyya long journeys.   Gamila dressed in her formal robes stood on the top step with her daughter holding her hand watching the men and boys working.  A gust of wind blew into the courtyard kicking up dust filling the air.  Haniyya clothing is flapping in the wind as she is covered from head to feet.  She is gripping her mother hand, watching in silence as the solders, servants and animals stand at attention. 


Gamila sees they are waiting for Haniyya she turned her pulling down her shawl from her head.  Her hands touch and caress her daughter small face, running her fingers in her hair.   Haniyya started at her mother holding back tears.


Without saying a word the young princess step back and turn away from her mother.  She wanted to cry, but she knew her mother would not approve showing emotion in public.  Haniyya slowly walk down the steps Nido meet her at the base.  Her eyes caught her nursemaid as tears are flowing down her cheeks.  “It will be alright my little one,”   Nido hugging Haniyya stepping up to the donkeys.  The servant’s boys help the women onto the animals.  The lead solder saw that everyone is in place he gave the order to move out.


The small caravan proceeded away from the courtyard out through the open gates into the vase wilderness.  The Queen hurried down the stairs almost sprinting out the courtyard to the city gates.  People around the palace stop what they were doing to watch their queen run to the gateway.  The gate guards noticing Gamila running toward them are shock and perplex.  But the queen slowed down, stopping at the foot of the gateway watching her daughter fades into the distant. 


Gamila warping her arms around herself a numbing chill struck her.  A tear run down her face, then another tear followed as sorrow surrounded her. 


© 2015 Lonnie Paul Johnson

Author's Note

Lonnie Paul Johnson
I wanted this chapter to show the fear and the anguished mother trying to save the family.

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Gamila hopes her nightmares are wrong (about=) on the outcome of her husband('s) war. (The=) large doors open, (the=) palace guards escort(ed=) the man to the center of the room, (assuring) he is clean(ed) and dress(ed) in appropriate clothing.
The soldier is a commander of a hundred men of a division lead by Dayyan. (The soldier is a commender of a division of a hundred men led by Dayyan.)
Good chapter!

Posted 8 Years Ago

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Added on March 24, 2015
Last Updated on March 24, 2015


Lonnie Paul Johnson
Lonnie Paul Johnson

fort Worth, TX

I loved writing stories, when I was young I wrote very simple and crude stories base off of TV shows and movies I seen at the time. An event happen when during that time I believe influence my writin.. more..