Chapter 21: A single tear

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 96

After spending a long time digging, Raven finally sheathed her sword an went over to pick the doe up. Feeling the pain from her wounds, she grunted. But she kept on carrying the doe towards the freshly dug grave. She gritted her teeth when she stepped into the grave. She carefully laid the doe down on the soft soil. She placed her hand on the doe’s head one final time as a single tear rolled down her cheek. “I’ll miss you Mili. I’ll miss you…”, she softly said, her voice thick and unsteady. The tear fell from her face and disappeared into the ground. She stood up and climbed out of the grave. Looking one final time at the doe, she sighed deeply. “Goodbye Mili”, she said. She turned around and started to close the grave.

After a while, Raven stood beside the grave. Behind her, she could hear the grunts of the two men as they struggled to bury the bodies. She could hear them uttering insults at each other from time to time. She walked a few steps away from the grave and picked up a thick branch lying in the snow. She returned and fell down on one knee. She took her dagger and removed the bark from the branch. After she sharpened the one end slightly, she placed her dagger down and plunged the branch into the slightly loose soil of the grave. She picked her dagger up and placed the sharp blade on the palm of her other hand. She lifted her eyes to the grave before her and dragged the blade across her skin. A sharp pain followed by a hot feeling shot through her hand. But her eyes remained on the grave. Warm liquid trickled down her hand. She lowered her gaze and quickly grabbed the branch, staining it with her blood. She pulled her hand away and stood up. Her attention shifted to the conversation behind her.

“Ye dirty son of a motherless goat!” Brongr exclaimed. Raven sighed as she turned around. “What are they fighting about this time?” she thought as she turned around, expecting to see the two men in each other’s faces. What left her flabbergasted was the fact that Brongr was nowhere to be seen. Axil was gone too. She saw an open grave with some bodies lying in a pile nearby. She started to walk towards it. Suddenly Axil’s head popped up from the grave. “Don’t blame me for your own clumsiness”, Axil said. Raven reached them and saw Brongr lying on his back inside the grave. “What happened here?”, she asked, trying her best not to smile.

Axil opened his mouth to answer but it was Brongr who spoke first. “Thes rockhead bumped me intae thes grave! And now he claims that I’m clumsy!”, he said, outraged. Axil glared at Brongr. “You stood behind me! You could’ve told me or at least waited until I was done before you tried to get your oversized self in my way!”, he bawled. Raven observed the situation, trying her best not to burst out laughing. “I’m nae oversized ye white-haired ninny! If ye call me that one more time, it’ll be yer body in thes grave!”, Brongr blustered as he got up. Raven couldn’t take it anymore and doubled over with laughter, clutching her stomach and side. “Something in your throat Raven?”, Axil asked, not happy with the fact that she found their argument amusing. “No….I….No…nothing…”,Raven tried to speak but she couldn’t stop laughing. She eventually fell down on the ground, tears welling up in her eyes.

“It’s nae funny lass!”, Brongr exclaimed as he and Axil climbed out of the grave. Hearing his words only made Raven laugh all over again. She rolled around on the ground and the tears streamed down her face. Upon seeing Raven’s face, Axil started to chuckle. “You bumped him…into…the grave!”, Raven said in between her laughing. Axil couldn’t help but laugh as well, earning himself a cold glare from Brongr. “The look…on your face…was…priceless”, Axil managed to say in between his laughter.“Ye twerps!”, Brongr said as he turned around and walked away. A smile crept onto his face as he heard the two behind him burst out into another laughing fit.

After a while, all the bodies were buried and the three of them headed further into the forest. Raven stopped. Not far from them a rabbit’s ears appeared between the trees and bushes. Raven motioned for the two men to be quiet. She started to sneak up on the rabbit. She wanted to get as close as possible so that she didn’t have to draw her bow all the way. She looked around a bush and saw the rabbit a few steps away from her. She slowly reached for an arrow. Suddenly the rabbit lifted its head. Raven froze. Its ears turned a few times as it listened carefully. Finally, it lowered its head again and Raven knocked the arrow. She carefully drew the bow until her shoulder started hurting. She stopped and took aim. “This should be enough force”, she thought as she took a deep breath. She exhaled and loosed the arrow. It pierced the rabbit’s heart, killing it instantly.

She returned to the two men and held the rabbit up in the air for them to see. “Breakfast!”, she said with a smile. Brongr looked at her dumbstruck. “That’s all?”, he said gesturing at the dead rabbit. “Yes…”, Raven said. “What did you expect? It’s winter and there are very few animals to hunt. We are lucky to have found something at all”, Raven explained as they walked back. “Axil’s back to his silent self, I see. And what’s up with the iron collar around his neck? I should try to ask Brongr later”, she thought as she glanced sideways at him. “So, how long have ye been in thes forest lass?”, Brongr asked. “Twelve years”, Raven answered. Brongr’s mouth fell wide open in surprise. “Twelve years! That’s a long time lass. Is there anyone else here in the forest?”, he asked. “No…just little old me”, she said with a small smile on her face. “How did you end up here lass?”, Brongr asked as they neared the shack. “My parents and I came here. My father and mother were researchers, scholars if you will. They came here to search for something. I can’t remember what…”, she said.

“Where are they now?”, Brongr asked when they reached the shack. They stopped. Raven turned to face Brongr. “Gone”, she said in a stiff voice, her face expressionless. She handed the rabbit to Brongr and turned around to start building a fire. Brongr silently stood there, watching Raven’s back. “Did they find what they were looking for?” Axil’s suddenly asked. Raven turned to look at him. “I don’t know”, she said firmly, but Axil could see the uncertainty in her dark eyes. “She’s hiding something…”, he thought as he kept his eyes fixed on her face. Raven started to feel uncomfortable and busied herself with starting the fire. “Oh smoke, is he reading my mind or something? Why is he staring at me like that!?”, she thought as her discomfort slowly turned into anger. “The best defence is a good offence”, she thought. “What’s up with the iron collar around your neck? Do you like heavy jewellery that much?”, she asked as she looked at Axil, trying her best to hide her anger.

His eyes that were filled with suspicion turned cold. Brongr answered “Oh believe it or not but he’s got magic…when we captured him, I placed that around his neck. It’s no mere iron collar. It suppresses one’s magic.” Raven looked surprised at Brongr. “There’s something that could do that?”, she asked. Brongr nodded. “Your lack of knowledge about magic is…disturbing. I assume you don’t even know how precious those crystals and stones you own, are?”, Axil said. Raven shrugged. Axil scoffed. “You own a healing crystal! The rarest and most expensive crystal in all of Bregaldia”, he said. “A healing crystal?”, Raven asked, curious. “Yes. I used it to heal you”, he explained. Raven frowned and pulled the small red stone from her pocket. She held it up for Axil to see. “I know what this one does”, she said. “That’s a fire stone. Not very rare but quite useful”, he said and Raven nodded, placing the stone on the wood.

A few minutes later the fire burned merrily and the smell of seared meat filled the air. Brongr had found three large rocks and brought it to the fire. And now they were all sitting around the fire. Raven turned the meat over every now and then as Brongr’s eyes followed her every movement. Raven noticed the green eyes looking firmly at the meat. Her eyes sparkled mischievously. She moved the meat up and down as Brongr’s eyes followed. She laughed. “Brongr! Don’t worry, you’re not going to miss out!”, she said. Brongr sighed.

“That’s impossible!”, Axil suddenly exclaimed as he looked at the scroll in his hands.



__________Author's note_________

Thanks for reading!





Submitted: July 11, 2019

© Copyright 2020 RosaliaJerika. All rights reserved.


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