This story is by Jackson DeBruzzi and was part of our 2017 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
The armor is heavy, and tight. It is most likely because it was meant for a man, because men are the only ones that fight the good war, right? Only one day has passed since the first clash. Mornings are the hardest in war. Having to diligently scrub off every piece of equipment due to a thick, crusted layer of dry blood that had accumulated over the course of the battle. A long sword accompanied me, the one that my husband featured in most of his battles, a well-balanced killer. The tough leather cuirass is by far the most uncomfortable part of his whole armor set. I would say it is the tightest around the waist, which in turn, makes it challenging while sparring, this too also belonged to my Husband. I would have to mention that my man is more top heavy than his bottom half.
He would always gloat, claiming that he was the “strongest” warrior in all the lands. Unfortunately, he was wrong. It is custom for the women to represent their fallen men by taking up arms in their husband’s place. “Be my shield maiden” was the first thing my he ever said to me. I rejected his first attempt at wooing me, mainly because I was afraid. Maybe it was because I was brainwashed into thinking that women were not even close to being considered a man’s equal, especially on the battlefield. In my homeland, women weren’t allowed to do “manly” things at all, for it was almost treason to do so.
In his second attempt, he gave it his all and he was very convincing. He promised me that he would train me just like the other men, that I would be unstoppable. I accepted and after marrying him, three years of intense training followed to ensure that his promise would be kept. He was right. I killed some twenty-eight men my first fight. People said I fought like a god and that I was the one that rallied them to victory, that I fought harder than any man had that day. I did not do it for them though, I did it out of love, every drop that was spilt by his blade, was for my beloved. It was as if he was right there, right beside me, always to be a part of my armor.