Death Among the Farmers

A Warrior Waits for Death in a Pub

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on UNSPLASH.

Alexandra sits at a tiny table in the pub for days, drinking endless flagons of mead. She unbuckled her heavy sword hours ago, but she has a notion that it is somewhere under the rickety table. Frequently, Alexandra will hurl some insult or challenge to the others in the pub, but no one in here is a fighter. She is bone tired.

Alexandra is waiting for death to find her.

She knows McAllister, her trainer, would be disappointed with this surrender. She remembers him with his bright red hair, thick beard, and kilt. “Never give up, never surrender,” he had barked often.

But she is not morose. She knew she had one job – to sack the castle. Once Lord O’Brien was dead, her duty was over. She had made her way to his keep by a tactic that had put the besieged country’s king in peril. As their army busied themselves moving their monarch to safety, Dame Alexandra changed courses. As the threatened king headed east, she went west and killed O’Brien as he slept in his castle.

The attack on the monarch and then the sacking of Castle O’Brien meant the enemy was on high alert; they knew she was here now. One day they would come and get her. Here she is trapped behind several farmers that sit in front of the castle. The farms form a line that stretches east toward the palace. She killed one farmer as she slipped behind enemy lines, but that had been four days ago. Yes, one day, they would come and kill her. For now, there was only the mead.

“Wench! Bring me more mead,” Alexandra says to the tightly corseted woman.

Maybe they’ll poison my beer, she thinks. While she doesn’t object to the idea, Alexandra knows that is not their way; there is no honor or dignity in poisoning one’s enemy.

No, she knows that when death arrives – it will be in the form of a cardinal, or maybe even the Queen herself will come. She surely must be angry about the attempt on her husband’s life. Here in Lord O’Brien’s pub, she knows she is safe from the farmers.


“So, are you ever going to move your knight, Lilly?” Lars asks me.

I don’t hear him. My attention now rests on his kingside. I think a sacrifice on f7 might work.

He repeats the question.

“Hellooo? Your knight? Are you going to move it or not?”

“Why would I bother? The only squares I can reach are b6 and c7. You control both squares.”

I captured the c7 pawn when I forked the queen rook and king.

“No, sadly, my knight will die behind enemy lines. She did her job. Now she can only wait for death hidden behind a few pawns. You know, in medieval times, they considered pawns to be like farmers or something?”

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