Once Loved.. Now Lost.. Part One.
Her heart battered like the rainstorm on an open field. Like the war drums of the lords before charging into battle. Screams of terror filled the ever quiet village in a matter of moments so abrupt that it startled the very straw doll from her hands to drop silently to the ground at her bare feet and the bamboo toy sword from her older brothers hands to clatter to the ground. Standing there.. stiff as statues or deers in the meadow upon hunting season, worried that if they moved their fragile world might just shatter. Beyond the wooden walls of the structure they had called home, topped with straw and branches to build a sturdy roof, there was an abundance of bewailing outside that her ears had never heard before in their six years.
Without realizing why, her eyes—so brown they looked as though the Earth had been born into them—began to sting with sensitivity as tears began to gather at the very rim of her lashes. In an instant, the world outside was no longer held there by those strong roof and walls but had infiltrated its way into the her life, forever changing her and the path her life would take from there on. Her father, a farmer with calloused hands but a handsome smile charged into the hut with a look of trepidation upon his face that she had never witnessed. Behind him, her beloved mother, whose gentle hands in contrast that held her and cradled her since birth, closed the distance and with the door ajar like a wide jaw, rushed in and picked up her beloved child from the wooden floor and held her close, as if those arms could cast out the horrors of the world that dare show themselves.
The strong hands of her father grabbed the arm of the boy in the room. Her elder sibling whom watched over her as their parents gathered stock and worked for their liveliness, looked just as overcome as she did, but with the trust that he could keep on his own feet by their side, their father dragged him along. What was happening? Why were they being brought out into the world of screams and nightmares? As the blinding light of the sun piercing their eyes had subsided, the world was revealed to them. Ever changing the innocent eyes that cast themselves upon it. The village they once were born and raised was maddened by the onslaught of bandits.
The wheat fields that had grown off in the distance were burning, large black smoke pillaring to the sky from the fires that had been started. The same flames licked hungrily at the tops of the homes that surrounded their own and even as she was carried away those once innocent eyes could lift and see that their own strong straw roof that had kept out many storms was no match for the red and orange heat that covered their home like raging flowers.
Held to her mothers chest, her small arms around the very neck that wore tied flowers that they would make together, she could feel her hand on the back of her head, trying to guard her eyes as they ran. Her breath, panting in her ear as they made their way down the road in a hurry to escape the violent onslaught. But it was no use.. the girl watched as the bandits laughed and cheered upon conquest as they ripped open the stomachs of neighbors and brought down feet upon children and wives she had known all her young life. The tears fell.. creating clean marks through the soot on her cheeks as she clung to her mother tight. Her father’s voice, encouraging them onward to escape.
For a short time, as they ran over the hill away from the village and down the dusty road, they thought they were safe. Her heart began to calm in softer beats.. until she heard it. The beating of horse hooves against the ground that even she could feel despite not having a connection with it. Her mothers breathing picked up.. her father cried out louder for them to hurry, to run.. to survive. She saw them first.. the horses with eyes arage and the eyes of their riders with malicious joy as they came closer and closer..
For the last time her voice would cry out.. “Mama!” As a warning.. but it was too late. The rider drew back his arrow as his horse moved onward and with a thud of the bowstring against the air he let go and a whistle sharply exhaling from its grasp shot forth and before one could blink the arrow became a part of her mother. Embedding itself between the ribs near the spine with such a force even she felt the thud. Her world began to spin.. her mother’s balance undone as her upper body lurched forward without her feet, the comforting arms once warm and kind suddenly loosening around the girls body. Within the second of an arrow, her mother would never hold her again.
With momentum, the girl fell back, her back hitting the ground as her body rolled, creating a loom of dust around her as she impacted with the road. She lifted her head, tears falling from her eyes like virgin rivers that never touched the land, she saw her mother lying there, eyes already cold and staring at her, no longer the loving eyes of the mother she knew this morning.
Her brother ran to her, picking the girl up from the ground and lacing his bigger, stronger fingers with her own. They looked one more time.. their father, ever their hero, standing over his wifes body, facing the oncoming storm that would depart them forever. Looking over his shoulder, her smiled at his children once more before his unyielding voice howled out to Run. To run.. and not look back.
Her feet took her faster then she thought was able. At one moment she thought perhaps if she ran any faster she would be picked up into the air for such a speed. Her brother’s hand in hers, never letting go of the grip he held upon her. Now the ever lion-hearted male. Her last hope. Determination and purposefulness in his eyes as he looked forward down the road and no where else despite his own irriguous occulus. She tried to look over her shoulder, but the sudden howl of their father, the last sound sound to be heard from the man who accompanied their mother in evening song just the night before, caused her to flounder that judgment and she just looked forward.
..What would happen to the two of them now?
To Be Continued…