Soldier One: What did he say about honor?
Soldier Two: I’m not sure. His horse twisted him around a couple times.
Soldier One: It was something about honor. He said something about land rights and then I heard him say honor.
Soldier Three: I heard him say something about bears and trees before everyone started shouting.
Soldier One: Bears and trees? Bears up in the trees?
Soldier Two: Can bears climb trees?
Soldier One: Sure bears can climb trees. How else do they get up there?
Soldier Three: He either said bears and trees or prayers and cheese. He was so far away.
Soldier Two: Well there was definitely something about tyranny and rape earlier. I definitely heard that.
Soldier One: Is he for them or against them?
Soldier Three: Against them. We’re here to fight against all that.
Soldier One: Well, of course.
Soldier Three: When he galloped by that first time I heard that God was going to something something to their faces.
Soldier Two: Now where’d he go? I lost him.
Soldier Three: Me too.
Soldier One: I have no idea.
Soldier Three: I can never tell.
Soldier One: Wait. Look over there. Everybody’s pumping their shields and swords above their heads over there on the right. See them? They’re shouting now.
Soldier Three: Oh, yeah. Wow. They’re really getting into it.
Soldier One: Makes you wonder what he said.
Soldier Two: Who knows. Hey, so did you guys hear about what happened to Smythe last night at camp? As a joke somebody put hot tar in his boots and when he pulled his feet out he fell backward right into a catapult basket. Flung him eight hundred and forty-four feet. They measured him this morning.
Soldier Three: I heard something about that but I didn’t know who it was.
Soldier Two: It was Smythe.
Soldier One: Here comes the general! Right…. there. You can kind of see his helmet bouncing!
Soldier Two: Where? Where?
Soldier Three: I see him! He’s coming!
All Soldiers: Yeeeeaaaah!
Soldier One: Pardon me, but did he say that if we conquer our fears that we’ll conquer Beth?
Soldier Three: Who’s Beth?
Soldier Two: Death. He said we’ll conquer death.
Soldier Three: Is that even possible?
Soldier One: Damn it. Now where did he go?
Soldier Three: I can’t see him anywhere.
Soldier Two: I’ll tell you what we need. Horses.
Soldier One: Horses would really help.
Soldier Three: Did Smythe have a horse? Because if he did…
Soldier One: If a bear dropped out of a tree right in front of you, I bet you could outrun it on a horse.
Soldier Two: Oh, absolutely.
Soldier Three: I don’t know. Bears are awfully fast.
Soldier Four: Would you guys please keep it down? I can’t hear anything the general’s saying. Just keep quiet, watch for the archery flag to go up and then shoot your arrows over and over and aim really high.
Soldier Three (whispering): I’d like to see a bear race a horse in an open field.
*A different version of Overheard on the Second Front was originally published by Opium Magazine