“What is it?” Lucy asked pushing past me. I tried to grab for her to stop her seeing it but she twisted away from me and just stepped into the open too have a look at what I saw.
Her reaction wasn’t like mine, I expected her to run back but she didn’t. Instead she slowly walked forward and approached the body. I didn’t want her to go out there alone so I took a deep breath and walked out and over to the body too. I heard James take a similar breath behind me and heard him follow me. He took it much like I did, except he couldn’t keep his stomach from rebelling and he lost the contents of it all over the floor.
Lucy knelt down and removed the helmet from the guard on the floor, half the helmet was missing, looking torn and twisted, as was half his face.
“Did you know him?” I asked lamely.
Lucy just shook her head and stood slowly, dropping the helmet to the ground and moving into the city proper. I grabbed James and pulled him after Lucy, digging out the water bottle for him to rinse his mouth out. As we went farther into the city the gatehouse scene was repeated everywhere we looked. The limbs of guards, people…children…they littered the streets, everything covered in blood.
We were silent as we walked, as we had been most of this journey so far. This time the silence was different though, it wasn’t a silence that was caused by the lack of anything to say, or a silence caused by being lost in our own thoughts as we tried to struggle to comprehend what was happening.
It was a silence of respect for the dead, as if to speak would disturb what little peace they had actually gained in death from the fear and trauma they had clearly experienced in the last moments of their life.
(Featured image credit: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Chrome-medieval-helmet-370406112)