It was a nice sunny day and Jake was looking out over the lake, the sun rippled orange on the blue-green water. The wind ruffled his hair and the leaves on the nearby trees.

It was peaceful, the way Jake liked it, the way that was to end the next day when he set off to war in the army. War, the thought brought shivers to his spine, all that blood and gore, he couldn’t even stand the sight when he cut himself, how would he cope with the blood that would spill over his, over the sea of bright green grass.

He felt the presence of another behind him, he smiled as he smelt the perfume of his wife, Aganla.

‘My love, you look troubled’ she said.

Turning he placed his arms round her waist, gave he a quick kiss, ‘It is the war. I do not wish to go, but I know that I must or be killed for the coward that I am.’ There was a tint of sadness in his voice.

Aganla looked at him, ‘You shall never be a coward, never in my eyes nor the eyes of our children.’

The sadness on his face intensified. ‘Our children will be told that their father was a coward by the soldiers. Please do no try to hurt my feelings by lying to me.’

‘The let us have one night of happiness before the end of our lives as we know them.’

Arm in arm they walked towards the hut that they lived in.

The next morning Jake left his wife’s arms while she still slept and crept out into the night, while he did not want to bring shame to his family he had come to the decision that he was not going to fight in the war. He was going to try and stop the war, he wasn’t sure how, but he was going to try.

As he walked towards the lake for his final view he saw the sky light up in a blaze of lightning, like nothing he’d ever seen before. Maybe the tails he had heard as a child about the wizard in the mountains on the other side of the lake, maybe he could find out.

He started towards the levee about a mile to the west so that he could take a boat and leave over the lake.

He started and heard the sound of marching men, the army had come to clam the men, when he was found to be gone; he would have to go another way to the other side.