• March. March. March. Those constant movements. Everyday it is the same thing. But this time it is different.
    * * *

    "Mother, where's Father? How come he is always away?" A little boy asked while he ran along side his mother.
    "Your father is at his barracks preparing for war, Euclades." The mother answered as she made her way up the steep climb of the mountain.
    "Why does he have to go to war, Mother?"
    "To win glory for himself, his family, and Sparta," The mother replied, "You will too, my son. In three months you will be seven years old and will be sent to live in a barracks with other boys your age where you will train."
    The boy and his mother made it to the top of the top and looked at the view before them. The boy turned to his mother and asked, "Then I'll be able to win glory for myself, my family, and Sparta?"
    "Yes, my son."
    * * *

    "Now that are morning march is over we can continue with the sword maneuvers we practiced and utilize them in a sparring march. It will be a little competition. The winner will be awarded with two bowls of food. The rest of you will go without food for the day," the drill master announced to the group of 13 year old boys.
    "Sir, yes, sir," they shouted.
    "Get to it."
    Each boy went to the armory and selected a training sword and shield and went out behind the barracks to a gravel ring. An elderly man was there who wore white robes and had a large scar running down his face. He walked over to the drill master and asked, "May I watch the spar? I'd like to see how are young recruits are coming along."
    The drill master bowed his head and said, "Of course, my liege."
    The elder smiled and said, "Good, proceed."
    "Yes, my liege," The drill master replied as he turned and called out to the boys, "The first match shall be between Euclades and Dericlus!"
    The two boys walked into the ring and readied their weapons. "You ready, Euclades?" Dericlus asked with a wicked grin on his face.
    "You won't win so easy this time, Dericlus," Euclades responded.
    "Right, and the last time it was so easy that I could sum it up very simple. I came. I saw. I conquered," Dericlus retorted.
    Euclades lunged at him, but Dericlus easily deflected the attack with his shield. Dericlus raised his shield and charged at Euclades. He made contact with him making Euclades stumble back a bit. Euclades quickly regained his footing and struck out at Dericlus. Dericlus just had enough time to deflect his sword with his own before Euclades made a blow on him with his shield. Dericlus held his ground, though, as he sidestepped and swung his sword hitting to the right of him. Euclades dodged the attack and kicked Dericlus shield which took the ground from underneath his feet. Euclades pounced at the boy and pointed his sword at Dericlus's neck. The drill master signaled that the fight was over and said, "Well done, Euclades, you will advance to the next round."
    Euclades grinned at Dericlus and said, "Looks like I came, saw, and conquered this match, Dericlus."
    Dericlus shouted in rage and grabbed Euclades sword. He pulled Euclades down and started throwing fists. Euclades barely had time to react before the drill master and elder was pulling them apart. "Dericlus! That was a severe breech in conduct!" The drill master shouted.
    The elder nodded and replied, "Yes, boy, discipline is what runs this society, this army, and our lives. Without it we would be just like those barbarians that live outside these walls or like the Athenians who frivol in useless things such as art and poetry."
    "Dericlus, you will run our marching trail. No shortcuts or your punishment will be a lot more severe,” The drill master said.
    "Yes, sir," Dericlus replied.
    "Be off with you, then. And Euclades get back in line. A few bruises won't stop you from fighting will it?"
    "No, sir," Euclades replied as he walked back into formation with several scrapes on his face and blood running from his nose.
    * * *

    Euclades walked over to his wife and stared down at the baby, who was sleeping. "He'll grow up to be a fine warrior," she said staring at the baby's face.
    Euclades put his arm around his wife and answered, "Yes, he will be.
    His wife turned to Euclades and looked into his eyes, "Just like his father."
    Euclades put his forehead to hers and stroked his hand through her hair, "Only two more years of living 24 hours a day in the barracks. Then I can come home to live here, Megarithe."
    "Until then," his wife said finishing her sentence with a kiss.
    Euclades then left and returned back to his barracks.
    * * *

    Euclades clasped on his armor and strapped his sword around his waist. He pulled on his traditional Spartan helmet and then grabbed his spear and shield. He walked outside where he saw his wife and son waiting for him. He walked over to his son and picked him off the ground, "Now you be a good boy for your mother, Euclithes. Train hard and grow strong."
    "Yes, father," the boy replied with a smile.
    Euclades turned to his wife and she nodded, "Come back to me once your duty to Sparta is over."
    Euclades nodded and replied, "Our duty to Sparta is never over." They embraced and Euclades then pulled away and said, "Farewell."
    Euclades then ran down the path past the helots who were farming. The last words he heard before turning the corner down the path to the barracks were from his son who asked, "Why does father have to fight?"
    "To win glory for himself, his family, and Sparta," His mother replied with a small tear running down the side of her face.
    * * *

    March. March. March. Those constant movements. Everyday it is the same thing. But this time it is different. This time I go to war.