PERCIEVE THE PERILOUS

By: Cragun Rhees

CHAPTER I

Gun fire. All around me. The ground was warm with blood. All around me lie dead bodies. Sennites. Vanir. Everyone was dying.

I felt like lying down. I felt like calling out for my mommy. I felt like crying. April was crying. She was curled up in the fetal position, her body against the trench. Everyone needed to cry. This was a true war.

I couldn't see Christopher and Jalil. The last I saw Christopher had pulled Jalil from the trench after a grenade had invaded their safety. Jalil didn't look too good. He was bleeding and it looked like his legs had been broken. I was pretty sure Christopher had been shot. I saw him collapse back in to the foxhole before a surge of Vanir soldiers had stormed the forest ahead. They were dead. I was sure of that. The Vanir had charged an ambush. There was so much gunfire ahead that it was unclear what to do.

I looked to my left. Tyr was in the same trench. His broadsword out. His eyes were wide. He looked no longer viciously ready for battle. He was scared. His handless arm was shaking. The armor on his arm seemed to have melted down. The God's were getting cut down. It seemed impossible. Humans couldn't touch a god. There was something unique about guns that was destroying them. Freya was last seen clenching a wounded stomach, ordering her soldiers of Folkvang to charge the woods after Aegir had send a great fire-hose stream to purge the woods. Not sure what good that did. For all I knew, the Sennites had a fleet of M1's and peck of Blackhawks. We were finished. Odin-All-Seer had led his family in to a death trap.

Soldiers piled in to the trench with loud rattles. Many of them had blood streaked or dripping from their once untarnished armor. Some of them took of their helmets or plates to look at the streams of blood gurgling from their wounds. Some were crying. Some of the most brutal and most feared warriors in the history of civilization were crying. Senna had given war in Everworld a whole new meaning. Welcome to the Tet Assault of '69. Welcome to D-Day on the beaches of Normandy. Welcome to the Old World.

I army crawled my way through the trench to get to Tyr holding the bloody M-16 I had grabbed from a Sennite who had managed to fall in to the trench. His arm was still shaking ominously. His chiseled and perfectly muscular face was twitching with rage or terror. It was hard to tell which one.

I was scared. I was so scared that I couldn't even feel fear. I couldn't feel anything. I could see. I could hear my heart beat and I could hear the cracks of gunfire in the forest. I could see Tyr. He was close to crying.

"TYR!" I screamed my throat sore on that one. He didn't seem to hear me. His sword dropped from his hand. I quickly grabbed it and stood. We were both vulnerable like this, but the Sennites were busy making perforations in about 90 Folkvang soldiers.

I slowly held out his sword, as to not alarm him. He looked down. His eyes were full of tears. He was crying. I would be too if I wasn't a step away from pissing my pants again. These were his friends who were crying for mercy on the battlefield. His friends who were looking down at their stomach and watching their insides turned out. Even an experienced warrior would cry if suddenly he realized he was going to die without his brethren going on to win. Anyone would cry when they realized that they had just led their friends a comrades in to a slaughter.

"TYR!" I screamed again. I was reenacting Saving Private Ryan, except Tyr was Tom Hanks and I was the guy who gets his face blown in to his skull.

Tyr looked up at me with an expressionless face. He grabbed his sword with a shaking hand. His face looked pleading. This wasn't his battle. He had no idea how to fight this. My dad had two purple hearts. My dad taught me a thing or two about valor. I was the general and this was my war. I was Custer and this was my last stand. I had to take the reigns.