Stand Tall

zuluvsBritish

“Fall in line!” roared the huge Sergent.  His words carried up the hill and through the massed thicket of spears.  He diployed his veteran subordinates among the raw recruits.

“Stand Tall,…DAMN YOUR EYES…you Potts Pull your fockin’ self fockin’ up like a MAN!”

Private Potts was overwhelmed by the forest of spears sprouting from the tall black Zulu warriors.  This body o warriors surrounded the English fighting position.  The perceptible hate of the black men and the over-whelming odor from the massed bodies left the Private feeling doomed.

A huge gnarled hand plucked Potts from the ground and gave him a vicious shaking.  The Master Sargent knew if he could not replace the soldiers fear of the Zulu with a greater fear for the huge full-throated Sergeant, then the man would be of no use.

The red-coated Sargent growled to Potts, “You may live, or you little pisant ass is more likely-you will certainly die-but you will die as a man or I shall blow your face away meself!!

At that point the warriors began a cadenced chant emphasized by pounding the butts of their spears into the ground.  With each chant they moved forward a foot or so.

The Crown’s men stood as best they might in the poorly defended little fortress and knew their shrinking world and ever-shortening life,  Now the dust mingled with the unnumbered and unwashed bodies.  Part of the encircling warriors were soon obscured but still heard.

The huge Sargent and his Officer stood in the middle of the formation in readiness to assist in any direction.  They encouraged and tried to inspire the men.  Blooded veterans knew what to expect and stood stoically awaiting their fate yet knowing heated battle could provide opportunities.

Dawn came swiftly over the rolling grass hills.  The scavengers screamed and attempted to secure their piece o meat for the day.   Far away a steady drumbeat signaled a great Zulu victory.

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