The snow was falling harder, building on the frozen ground, settling on shoulders.
‘There was a vision,’ said Tom.
Davy hunched lower. Flakes fell on the back of his neck, a cold serpent of meltwater trickling down his back.
‘An angel,’ said Tom, ‘a bright torch of hope in her hand. A sign of our victory.’
Davy adjusted his cap but the flakes kept falling. ‘Do you have a crust? My gut’s afire.’
‘Did you not hear me?’
Shaking his head, a drift of snow dropped from Davy’s cap into his lap. ‘God’s bones, I shall freeze before an arrow’s shot. Tell me, could the lady not be for our enemies encamped over the brow of the hill?’
‘Could it not be the Lord of Flies promising a swift death and a short drop below?’
Tom stared at his hands.
‘Believe in iron and your wits. And pray the Lord take you.’
Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview as its starting point.
I saw the sculptures of the soldiers led to war by some seemingly supernatural bugler and recalled similar medieval instances – visions and portents of victory or supernatural protection. Strange that despite this supposed protection, hundreds of men would still die …
And the snow? Well, the medieval battle that always sticks in my head is the Battle of Towton, fought during the Wars of the Roses. Supposedly the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil, it was fought in a blizzard on Palm Sunday 1461. The site of the battle was afterwards dubbed Bloody Meadow.