Using the line below as your first line, write a 300 word freestyle flash fiction. Any style, genre or narrative (i.e. 1st person or 3rd person) is welcome.
Ewan cried out as the metal blade struck his temple
Ewan cried out as the metal blade struck his temple. He collapsed to the deck, the chains preventing him from catching himself. The other prisoners watched on in silence, they were shackled together in ranks of five, kneeling on the deck. The boat was headed to their enemy’s capital, Ion, with its load of chattel. The war was over, they had lost.
Leaving the boat, each group was marched down the dock. The only people they passed were soldiers. Down long empty streets they marched with the soldiers goading them on with harsh commands and lashes when they no longer could respond to the fear of punishment. Cresting a hill they got their first view of the palace and town. Cool grey stone walls and red pottery roofs stretched as far as they could see. The only way you could distinguish the palace from the town was that it’s walls stretched above the town, casting several streets into shadow.
The wind brought the sound of a busy market and the smell of many foods being cooked. His stomach growled but he ignored it, just as he ignored the blood staining his face and neck. They would be branded traitors if they managed to escape and tried to return home. There was no home any more, no hope of escape, only the daily march and the collapse into dreamless sleep each night.
They were marched into a large courtyard. When a group was moved, they did not return. This was their destination. Only a few guards spoke their language and they barked out orders, ignoring questions or protests. His group was chosen and they were marched into another room, a bath house, where they were unchained, stripped and given soap and brushes. Ducking into a stream of water that poured from the walls they scrubbed their skin till it was raw, washing off the stink of fear and captivity. When they emerged they were given towels and clothes to change into. Once everyone was done they were chained again and marched deep into the building, they stopped at a seeming random line of doors. One by one they were unchained and pushed into a room, the door locked behind them.