The letter ended with ‘I miss you’ and a solitary kiss. He folded the old piece of paper carefully along the over used creases and placed it gently into the inside pocket of his top.

Head bowed with though he sat for a few more minutes gazing down at the sand beneath his feet.

‘every little speck of this sand,’ he thought,’ was once part of this rock I’m sitting on.’ He kicked his heals against the rock as if to remind itself of its solidity. ‘Every little speck worn away, chipped away, broke away from the seemingly solid rock.’

He was not one for melancholy and, quite frankly, he despised those that were, but the thoughts still buzzed about his head.

He cleared his throat and raised his gaze to look at the sky. The rising sun cast a beautiful blood red glow on the underside of the clouds which always gave the hope of rain but never quite delivered.

Giving himself a shake he reached high above him, stretching out his back and shoulders. Consciously switching his thoughts to the day ahead he pulled his pulled his attention away from the uncharacteristically morose mood he was slipping in to.

Slapping his open hands down against the cool rock either side of his thighs, he pushed himself off the stone and landed softly, his feet hitting the dry sand a few inches below.

He hefted his chest armour up from where it had been drying out on the low rocks and pulled it on. Up and over his head in a quick, practiced motion.

Lifting his helmet from its perch on top of his sword, which had been forced into the sand by its scabbard tip, he fit and secured it onto his head. wrenching the sword free, he attached it to his hip.

The rest of the battalion had done the same and all three thousand men began to form up into a semblance of ordered discipline.

He patted his chest where the letter was safely stowed and though ‘One day, one day I’ll get this posted.’