~The Death~ pg 9

“How old are you, child?” the leader asked her. 

Civyl held his breath at the indignant spark in her eye. “Sixty-five,” she answered daring him to say anything further.

The man scratched the day’s growth on his chin as if it mattered not and asked a follow-up. “And how old were you when you were promised?”

Civyl watched her purse her lips and clench her jaw. She did not like the question making him curious of the answer. She met his eye briefly and a storm brewed beneath hers. Fear? Shame? Doubt? Civyl couldn’t tell, but he guessed her stern answer held more conviction than she really felt. “Long enough to know The Wisdom can be trusted with my fate. I am his promise and I’d thank you kindly to leave us to travel in peace.” She raised her chin in defiance.

The three men looked to the fourth who lowered his sword point. For a moment, it seemed they might actually leave… until the wiry one scratched his neck. “Hey, Alex… you seein’ what I seein’?” 

He turned scrutinizing eyes on Fiora and replied with a grim nod. “Aye, I see it.” In unison all four men advanced a step and raised their weapons again, training them all on him. “Afraid we can’t do that, my dear. You see, promise or no promise, we can’t stand for any abusive man to pass through our land.”

“Abusive?” she sputtered, “What are-”

“The evidence is clear on your skin,” Alex nodded and lifted an outstretched hand to her. “Come with us. We’ll take care of you,” he assured.

Fiora’s hand flew to her neck and she winced. “No!” she yelled with a gust that made the flames behind them climb higher. “I’m not going anywhere with you!” She turned towards Civyl but he would not meet her gaze. It was true. He had been abusive.

Alex seemed to read his guilt loud and clear. “Come away from him, my dear. We’ll make sure he doesn’t hurt you again.” The implied threat hung heavily in the air.

But Civyl wasn’t about to let them lay a finger on her. He didn’t trust any of these men to actually have her best interest at heart. Tired of the waiting, he made his move and threw his dagger at the leather clad archer. There was a satisfying thud and grunt of pain as the knife hit him in the chest. More satisfying were the cries of dismay from the men around them.

The End

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