They had been there. The palefaces. She and her baby brother – Ayawamat had been in the woods nearby when they heard it. The familiar sound of horse hooves, followed by the screams of her people, and at last, terrifying silence. Her little heart had beat so hard, she thought it would jump out of her chest. They should have saved them, although her parents would never have wished for their precious children to die, in a hopeless attempt to save them. Nevertheless, the tight knot of guilt in her stomach made her want to throw up and turn it inside out to get rid of the unbearable pain.
She was sitting outside their home, not sure how long she had been sitting like this, with her face in her hands, crying silently. Her raven black hair covering her, giving her protection. She was in complete and utter despair over the loss of her people. Everyone was dead. The palefaces had slaughtered them all, and the village was like a scene ripped out of a horrible nightmare. She hadn't dared to walk inside, terrified of what she would see. Ayawamat had run straight inside, he hadn't been scared like her. She made up her mind. Slowly, feeling the weakest she had ever felt, she stood up, drying her eyes in an attempt to look like she hadn't cried. She had to be strong. She was now in charge. No one else would tell her what the right thing to do was, but she would follow her gut, just like her mother had told her to so many times before, and with that in mind, she knew she couldn't put it off anymore. She pulled aside the fabric, and entered their home. The sight made her fall to her knees. Both of her parents lying on the floor, their heads separated from their bodies. She was standing in blood. It was everywhere. Her brother was holding on to both of them, his little face so sad, it made her stomach hurt even worse. Carefully, he let go of them, and walked over to her.
"Honovi, don't be scared," he said, his voice comforting and sure.
She knew he only wanted her best, but she was the one who was supposed to say that. She was the oldest, the one in charge. It was a two year difference between the two of them. He was only ten years old, and it made her angry that he tried to comfort her.
"Stop it," she managed to sob. Sounding even more pathetic.
"Stop what?" He asked, confused.
"You're not m-my boss," she almost whispered.
"I was only trying to make you not feel scared." He sounded sad, but there was no anger in his young voice.
"I know, but I'm in charge now," she said, surprised of the sudden confidence in her own voice.
"Will we be okay?" He sounded so mature.
"Of course we will," she smiled sadly at him, and gave him a hug. Suddenly a warm feeling started spreading from her toes, all the way to the tips of her fingers. She knew what the feeling was. It was her parents, telling her that everything would be okay, that she was strong. For the first time in her life, she knew her parents had chosen the right name for her - Honovi, meaning "Strong Dear".
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