The blackened barrel of the cannon, its carriage broken and missing, lay loosely-oriented to the east…to the mountains…as if it were some sort of iron finger pointing with outraged accusation to the source of its demise. Of those who’d had purpose for its gunpowder-inspired wrath, no evidence whatsoever remained.
When he’d first spied the crumbling bulwarks, a roiling sickness had surged up and Flynn had little reason to believe the defenders would be found. To abandon either living slaves or the charred husks of dead potential food was not the way of the Fire Serpents. Relentless, methodical and infinitely unforgiving, they wasted nothing of those they conquered. This latest bastion of resistance, broken and charred, would most certainly prove no exception.
Nevertheless, as his troop drew closer, his silent hand signals conveyed his intent for them to spread out and search the ruins…for survivors first and foremost and, barring that, for the much-needed supplies that could be scavenged. The prior three days had seen hard riding punctuated by hard fighting and rations had been short.
This story was written for the weekly Flash Friday flash fiction challenge photo prompt.