Last Stand of The Warrior Queen

First an introduction before the 1200 word short story for Flash Fiction Friday,, closed at 1,198 words at the end.

It is a fictional account of what may have happened during Boudica's final battle against the two converging Roman legions somewhere in the Midlands (facts sketchy). Boudica was the warrior queen of Briton who defied the Roman empire around AD 30 to 60.

Many historians may argue that some facts are heresay and so forth, so forth. Probably very likely as the facts of the battle itself remain stifled with open questions on how she died: did she die during her last march against the legions, or did she poison herself to evade capture. It seems to be unanswered, so that opened the possibilities up.

From the spelling of her name, to the armour worn, facts are mixed. Anyhow here it is:

Last Stand of The Warrior Queen

AD 60.

Boudica’s cloak fluttered in the cool breezy brush over the lowlands ahead. The icy bite of the wind numbed the bones of her army. Though, this was no longer about endurance. It would be the final calm moment before the storm. The Iceni horde would either stand or fall before dusk fell on this day.

She closed her eyes. Visions of the bloody years flooded back: the slaughter, the revenge, and the deflower of her daughters’ virginity. Each time, it was the same. Her daughters sprawled across a clearing, the garrison calmly scoot away amidst mocking laughter and sardonic phrases: another peasant bitch down, no mercy for you bitch...

Each time, she recalled the faces of the fallen enemy by her sword, or crushed under a chariot. The vindictive feelings smothered her thoughts, painful memories, until just one thought remained - kill them all.

Boudica's eyes tightened as the memory burned through her skull, the indelible snapshots that can never leave. A steel resolve embedded into her soul, driving out fear. A resolve that carved its way through armies, Londonium - and will do what it takes here and now.

“My Queen..” Obitus shook her cold arm, a bracelet rattled. “My Queen, Andraste has spoken.”

Boudica’s eyes snapped open. Her tawny hair fluttered like a flag behind her. She caressed a stone broach with the carved Celtic emblem of her people, the feel comforted.

She turned to her troops: eager eyed, stoic, stone-faced and ready to kill; men whom had rallied from a beginning weakened entourage to a brutal force of nature by the thousands. She allowed a smile to crack her lips as Amania and Anna fixed their glassy watery eyes on their mother’s battle gear, and the unmistakeable savage intent in the warrior queen's eyes.

She turned to the forefront, and thousands of close Roman soldiers across the battlefield ready to die: fierce eyes met each other. The Iceni bronze shields clanked against halberds as the wind grew in strength.

Her horses became restless. Boudica pulled gently on the reins, just a reassured nudge.

Boudica's wrath had destroyed legions, but not as large and heavily armoured as the forces ahead of her across to the other side of windswept fields.

“Amania, Anna, I want you to stay here with Obitus, go to him now.” She said and ushered them gently off the chariot.

“We want to your side” Their voices once gentle tried to sound as harsh as their mother’s tempered tone.

Boudica grabbed them and held each close to her chest so they could feel the thump of her heart. A tear slid down her cheek and a droplet fell to Anna’s. “My sweet daughters, you are not ready for this assault. Stay here and protect the wagons, protect them, shield what remains of our people, our future lies with you, my brave daughters.”

Obitus stood proud, his eyes tearful. “Amania, Anna, come with me now, your mother will return soon.” The last few words tainted by a shaken voice.

She released her two daughters from what felt like an almost eternal embrace; they strode to Obitus’ side. He tried to smother the melancholy, the swell of dread within him, a tear down one cheek. “May God stand with you my Queen?”

He strode off to the sideline, the princesses at his side.

Boudica swung her chariot around and faced the army, the men who had stuck at her side, fought through Roman legions, watched comrades die and yet held their tenacity against the tyranny that had befallen Britannia.

She studied the front line of Suetonius’ legions across the wide berth between them and the Iceni’s attacking line. She knew, they brandished ten helmets for every single head behind her. Yet she stood atop the hill, a fierce set of eyes that sent warmth across the girth of her followers, her brethren.

“Look upon the Roman legions, their armour, their centurions, and smile. For we are no longer peasants, we are soldiers of Briton! We have shown strength against the scourge of our lands, Andraste has stood with us, and sharpened our swords, hardened our wits, and with her, we have crushed armies,” she raised her voice, “And my people, the Goddess of Victory stands with us now!"

Cheers burst the silence apart, chants of a victorious nature that could be heard across the battlefield.

Boudica raised her spear high in the air; the horses craned their necks back and forth as she exhorted the troops from the rattle of the chariot.

“We were victorious in Colonia!”

The soldiers threw their swords into the gusting winds, crys of her name each time.

“The ninth legion fell by our swords! We lit the fires of Londinium and burnt their city to the ground!”

The chants, Britannia, Britannia, became louder and louder yet her voice carried over the men like the strong winds that swept over the lowlands.

“They have heavy javelins, we have heavy courage, they have armies with breastplates, with greaves. They are afraid! They are the hares and foxes, the fools who tried to stand taller than we, the wolves and dogs of Briton, we carry more strength than any Roman legion to set foot on our land!”

Obitus bowed his head in the background away from the cheers of the soldiers: their halberds fastened and gripped by white knuckled hands. He would say nothing. His thoughts, his fears, his remorse would only face the waver of the green grass.

“They may kill us by the hundreds, “ She pointed her blade at the forefront of the front line, “But they no longer will rape our lands, it ends today my briton brothers, we will slaughter them by their thousands!"

The cheers became a riotous war cry, swords jabbed the air repeatedly, words loud and in synchrony across rows and rows of bloodthirsty warriors: Boudica, Boudica. Their defiance of the Roman hordes blasted at the centurion lines as defined and straight as the legion’s spears.

“Today we avenge, today we complete our destiny, we will stop the legions. Your wealth, your freedom, “ She moved the sword blade in the direction of the Roman army, “Lies before you. Look upon it my brethren, see the crimson wrath of defiance as we take back our land, our country, and our honour!"

She cracked the whip across the mare, the horses reared to the points of their hind toes and galloped across the Iceni army front line. Boudica pulled hard on the reins bringing the horses and the chariot to a halt almost spinning the chariot across its axis. The mares trotted majestically forward a few steps, and halted in readiness.

“Fight with me now soldiers, protector of our land. With fury, with strength, fight with me, together we will make a stand, together will take back our country. Together we will win.”

The roars of the soldiers created vibrations in the soil, their ferocious eyes following Boudica’s sword.

The front line of the Roman army readied volleys of pila: the sharpened javelins glistened in the midday sun.

Boudica and her army surged forward, a tsunami of bloodthirsty savages hurtled towards the readied Roman legions.

From the wagons on the edge of the battlefield, the families looked on – and prayed.

About Stephen Crowley

I write short stories and flash fiction plus currently writing novellas. My chosen genres are a mix of horror, scifi, fantasy, and drama. You can chat to me here on the blog or through my linkedin account


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