Conquerors

Ngita watched carefully. The air in the jungle had turned sour, halting her hunt. Something stirred the trees into discomfort, the animals in their branches retreating to higher ground. Ngita waited, beads of sweat blooming like salted pearls across her forehead.

There. Movement down the runningpath. Ngita’s eyes widened. Silently, she slipped away from the intruders, running back to the village with all of her speed.

“Lung’aro!” she called, running to the headwoman’s hut. Lung’aro looked up from her herbs, calmly dismissing the apprentice healers from their lesson. Ngita waited for them to clear away. “There are strangers coming down the eastern runningpath.”

“How many?”

“At least thirty. They come riding beasts and are bathed in sunlight.”

Lung’aro looked suspicious. “Gather the village.”

Ngita ran to each of the fifty huts that occupied their patch of jungle. When she returned to Lung’aro, the village center was filled with women. Lung’aro prowled at the center, her eyes furious with determination.

“You have heard of the false gods that tried to subjugate our sisters west of here, yes?”

A murmur of consensus ran through the women.

“They tried to conquer them, tried to ground the women of the Falcon Tribe. Now, these imposters try the same with us Tigresses. Will we show them our stomachs?”

“No!”

“Will we bow our heads for them to cut off?”

“No!”

“Will we fight with tooth and claw, will we rend our enemies to pieces with our ferocity?”

Joyously, the women shouted: “Yes!”

“Then ready yourselves.”

The village women prepared for battle effortlessly, familiar with the ways of war. They greeted their weapons as comrades, and painted their bodies for camouflage. Everyone prepared; the elderly were still strong and used to such labor; the young were charged to a caretaker who clutched daggers in both hands with a newborn strapped to her back. The children followed her quietly, eager to see their first battle.

The trees hid them well, allowing them space within their flesh. The wind blew in the faces of the intruders, flinging leaves and bugs into their eyes. The ground turned to muck beneath the strangers’ beasts, causing the momentary panic perfect for the Tigresses to strike. They leapt out from their cover, diving for the beasts, cutting them out from underneath the false gods.

The strangers panicked, chaos surging around them. Some ran, only to be chased down by more Tigresses. Others fumbled for handheld thunder, but the Tigresses stopped them with their spears, aiming for faces and necks, where their bodies were unprotected by shining stone. More still pled for their lives. The Tigresses spat in their faces and slit their throats. They left none alive and returned to their village for celebrations, letting the jungle dispose of the men who dared to think they could sell an Amazon into slavery.

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Conquerors

War

The scent of blood saturated everything. Over the clamor of crashing metal could be heard the far-off screams of dying men. She knew she didn’t have much time left; the wound in her side burned like hellfire, and the edges of her vision were growing darker with each second. Slowly, painfully, she wrenched herself from the pile of bodies she’d slain, limping on the leg that was not pierced by a spear towards the tower. She hoped the guards would have relocated to the battlefield, but knew better. The first she dispatched quickly; the second was alerted by the clatter of armor, the sound of death. He feinted, she struck. His head departed from his shoulders with ease, and she continued on. Her blood slicked the stone steps, running down her legs like the river Styx, slowing her pace. She was too weary of fighting. She leaned heavily against the cold stone wall, listening to the triumphant scream of Death as it claimed victim after victim. She pushed herself on; she could not die here. Not yet. Death would have to wait for her mission to be done. She reached the tower’s peak at last, breaking the lock on the door with an arc of her blade, and stumbled through.

“Helen,” she breathed, as her captive wife rushed to her side. She fell to her knees, struggling to keep her eyes open.

“Gwendolyn,” Helen cried, tears beginning to swell from her eyes. She saw the extent of the damage to her lover’s body, and she was not a fool. “What have you done?”

Gwendolyn sighed, leaning her face into Helen’s bare shoulder, memorizing the scent of her skin. “We have one. You are free once more.” She was so tired…

“Gwen—no—stay with me. Please,” begged Helen as she snapped the spear from the other’s leg and dragged her over to the bed. Gwendolyn knew she should be screaming in pain, but she hardly felt anything anymore. She reached up, brushing Helen’s hair from her eyes.

“I love you, Helen. I will carry your heart to my grave.” Helen kissed her, long and slow, to discourage any more talk. She rested her forehead against Gwendolyn’s blood-soaked own.

“You shall reign in my heart if nowhere else, my queen.”

Gwendolyn smiled as Helen’s tears washed the blood from her face. “Live long, my love. Make our country great again.” Her last breath was swallowed by Helen’s lips.

I’ve been playing around with prompts lately and this is one of my favorites so far. Gotta love lesbian queens.

War