In Shadow Again

It's darkā€”even the sun hides her face.

Victory! The battle carried, the cause secured, the long years of struggle, carnage, despair, hope, finally ended. Time to go home.

He watches from an overlooking rise, his stillness contrasting sharply with the chaotic scene: flames and billowing smoke turning the noonday sky to black and red; wild, triumphant yodels; desperate calls for retreat; imperial standards flapping in the hot wind; the sharp zing of last-ditch gunshots. The acrid air stings his eyes and nostrils.

Victory.

And now? Nothing. No cause, no purpose, no home, no one waiting. No embrace but emptiness.