Many thought the two were brothers, although they shared no blood between them. They grew up in the same village, went to the same school, became the best of friends, and when they were old enough, they became soldiers together.
They trained hard, egged each other on, and ultimately grew into great and fierce warriors, fighting side-by-side against their common enemies, always victorious in battle. They were almost inseparable.
But despite their strong bond — as strong as any between brothers — they hailed from different clans. As fate would have it, a huge rift between the clans, each powerful and influential, emerged. And each man was expected to support and, if necessary, fight for his clan.
The rift grew greater over time and the clans went to war with each other. Because of their education, training, and skills, each of the two men were highly regarded within their own clan while widely feared by the other clan.
As the fiercest of warriors for each clan, it was almost inevitable that they would one day meet on the battlefield, and that only one would be left standing. When that day came, the two men, in earlier times, the closest of friends, entered the killing field as mortal enemies.
The battle between these two men lasted for three days, until, exhausted, one finally succumbed to his wounds and to fatigue, and perished. The victor lifted his victim into his arms and carried his former best friend and now vanquished enemy, across the countryside until he reach the home village of the other man’s clan.
There he stood, himself exhausted from his trek, holding the body of the other man. One of the clan elders came out to where the victorious warrior was standing. “Thank you for returning our son to us,” the elder said. “We will unburden you now. You may hand his body over to us.”
With tears in his eyes, the victor from the other clan, looked at the elder and quietly said, “He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother.
Written for this week’s What Do You See? prompt from Sadje at Keep It Alive. Photo credit: Irishamericanmom.