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Our Children

The congregation at the Cathedral of Light was solemn that evening as the High Emissary read from a list of names, each one slain in a line of duty from the bloodied battle of Dun Garok. The men and women in red robes and polished red chainmail remained kneeled, each one with a forlorn look of contemplation.

"All of these brave brethren lost their lives today... but their losses will not be in vain, as while they may not have died fighting the scourge, they did die defending the lands we once called home," spoke the High Emissary, his voice lacking the usualy finesse. "Light be praised."

"Light be praised," mumbled the congregation. The passion they usually showed was not as strong tonight, the loss of so many lives, while something they are used to, was still a shock to them today.

"We will now hear a reading, held this evening by Sister Suzanne."

Suzanne pulled herself up from her kneel. With a curteous bow, she stepped up onto the altar stairway. Normally, she'd have a fable or a tale to tell, but she did not have one for now, when she reached into a small pocket of her robe, and remembered an old poem she held dear to herself. Turning to the congregation, Suzanne produced the paper with the poem on, the paper faded and creased.

"Normally, I'd have a fable or something prepared, but I don't, but tonight, I will read an old poem from my childhood, called 'Our Children.'"

Suzanne cleared her throat, and looked down at the faded paper. The ink was barely visible, but Suzanne knew the words to heart anyway.

"The sun does rise on the children of the day,

And the sun does shine on the fields they play,

And on the rivers in which they fish,

And on the stars upon that they wish,

A game they play with laughs and sticks,

As they got upto their old tricks,

Is a game of something we all fear,

A world that once was near,"

Suzanne held back some tears as she continued with the poem.

"As the wars grow greater and greater,

The sun rises later and later,

And what was once a world so full of light,

Is now a thick veil of night,"

Suzanne looked down at the paper again, the next verse always got to her, and a series of tears streamed down her cheek.

"For our children are now soldiers,

What was a game is now so real,

The world we once hid from them,

Is now a world they feel,"

Brushing as many tears she could from her face, Suzanne looked down at the paper again. Fresh teardrops now adorned the paper, causing the faded ink to come to life again, blotching the paper.

"And when the sun is down and the night is long,

Who will remember the ones that are gone,

And on the day when there is no more,

Who will remember what they all fought for?"

Finishing the final verse, Suzanne folded the paper and returned it to her pocket, raising her tearful face to that of the congregation, who had remained silent during the reading.

"Light be praised, Brethren... may it keep those who has fallen today..."

"Light be praised..." replied the congregation, as Suzanne stepped back down the altar, her face filled with tears, shed for those who she will never see again. Those she's never smile and speak to, those she'd never share a laugh and joke with, those she'd never pray or fight alongside...

"Light keep them all," she whispered to herself.

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