12. The Return of the Banners (Haradrim)
The Return of the Banners
The caravan's frayed remnants slunk into Umbar like a wounded dog, trailing dust and blood and shame. They had marched out of the city chanting war-songs in myriad tongues. Their swaggers and struts had been almost comical to watch.
The holy diviner proclaimed our victory, she thought, listening as young women bewailed husbands who would not return. But she would not wail: she had given two husbands to the harsh sands before coming to live in the city, aside from three children.
Ragged scarlet banners muddled before her old eyes, twisting and warping until all she could see was blood.
March 17, 2005. Instant drabbled with these words: bewailed, diviner, muddles, struts.