“Horus and His Companions The Sun The Light & The Moon”… a 1st draft…
He said, “Because I can.”… Chapter 10
Now dry, warm and a blue berry muffin with a sip or two of coffee on board, I was doing a lot of thinking for us. Where the heck were we? Why did it feel so familiar, like I had been here before? Most importantly what was I expecting at this point?
Lucia said, “Gemma, I can’t shake the feeling I have been here before. I keep focusing on my feelings, I am these days usually very spot on when it comes to anticipating things. I also get what you are saying. We must be careful. I sense a feeling of wanting to stay free to make our own decisions.”
She did not look afraid. On the contrary she looked, again, in her element. Stronger. Familiar. This made me feel that way too.
I said, “Lucia, which way do you feel we should walk? Are you getting any sense of Alec to help us?”
“No, I feel a blank. I am not sure why I can focus on any feelings, which would guide us. Maybe these are memory type feelings I am having?” Lucia said, as she picked up her bag with what remained of our only food, good thing she had had the sense to bring it for us this morning. I sure didn’t, guess I had been too distracted.
“Well we certainly don’t want to wander out into the thick of the woods. We need to be able to see ahead of us and not fall. As for the freedom part, we don’t want to wander down a path, when we don’t know who or what made these paths.” I said, smelling the air and squinting to see along the forest edge some alternate route to anywhere. Smelling the air, odd I would be doing that, maybe I was trying to smell a camp fire or cooking odors from off in the distance?
Lucia said, “I think or at least feel we need to go north and not south from here. I feel safety can be found in that direction. I hope I am right on that.” She straighten her blue windbreaker and placed the strap of her bag over her head and across her chest. She was ready I could see for the walk ahead of us.
“I sense that too. I don’t know why. North is a safer direction. So let’s walk along at a distance from the forest edge until we can’t anymore. We will decide then, how we can go farther.” I said, feeling strangely comfortable with that decision.
I was glad we were together. Oddly, I was glad we were here. Where ever here was. It was like an answer to my longing. But why?
About a half hour later, we came to a creek. It afforded no way across it, which did not need us getting wet again. “Hey, Lucia, let me pick you up and carry you across, ok?” I said. She gave me an odd look. “No, not that you can’t do it. I just want to avoid you getting wet, then cold again.” She wrapped her arms around my neck, relaxing in my arms. She then place her head on my neck. I held her close. I felt protective of her. She was a queen after all. Someone who was deeply loved by both Brad and Alec. I just wished I could remember. I then felt confident I would. Was that Brad? I couldn’t tell. Too much was going on around me and in my head. I asked her, “Do you feel anything of Alec yet, to help us here?”
“No, but I feel calm. That usually means something. I maybe too exhausted to hear him, sometimes that does happen when I am stressed. I am not afraid, Gemma. If that is what you mean. You are taking very good care of us so far.” Lucia said.
“Good, I am glad, I really want to find answers for us. I feel this place where ever it is… will not disappoint.” Odd I would say such a thing.
I got across the creek without a hitch. I did it bare foot. I put her back down on the ground to stand in front of me. She gave me her windbreaker to dry off my feet. Then I placed my shoes back on. I looked around. The creek was now running from the north, since we had crossed at its curve. “Lucia, what about following the creek. There will be less underbrush to deal with. But we will have to watch for people or animals that come down to it to use it.” I said.
“Yes, that makes sense. Then we wouldn’t get so tired too.” Lucia said, shaking her head in agreement.
We came to a small clearing along the creek after about three hours of travel. Then we saw a path from the creek and off into the woods. The good thing about it was, there was no bridge where the path met the creek. So no organized effort or community near by to catch us unawares.
“It is getting dark, Lucia. We can’t build a fire. Yeah, I know how, I used to be a Girl Scout… maybe. A fire could give a clue to others where we are. I would rather see anyone, during the day time.” I said to her looking along the clearing for something to hide behind or under.
“What about that fallen tree over there that is near a bank of earth with pine needles under it. We can look out from there on to the path and clearing. Maybe we can sleep in shifts. We could form a bed from the needles there?” Lucia said. I knew she was a smart kid. That was a great idea. I was so tired. Sounded good to me. I wondered how cold it got here at night?
Lucia scraped together some pine needles in the space under the fallen tree that had came off the bank from where it had fallen. I had made sure the tree was firmly planted in the bank, it would be a heck of a thing if it fell on us during the night for some reason. I still did not smell anything of civilization. I laid down on the bed of pine needles with my arm under my head. Lucia wanted to watch first. She had her bag sitting on the ground near me. She pushed her back against my stomach and I spooned around her for joint warmth. She sat there perfectly still watching, I knew this because I would cat nap and then peek at her to make sure she was ok. It was then my turn. I tapped her on the leg. And motioned to her to lay down. I spooned around her to keep her warm as I raised up on my arm to watch her and the clearing. Again, so natural, I felt at home doing this. I did not feel different, that all of this was happening to us.
I watch the early morning light pierce the trees. I now noticed more tall pines and fur trees around us, since it was light now. I sat up. I thought maybe the terrain was changing and that met there may be people near by too. The forest also appeared to be thinning out behind us to the north.
“Gemma, what are you looking at?” Lucia said, then stretching more out beside me. She was finally awake, so we could get moving again.
“I think we are in for a change in scenery from the looks of the trees here and more
morning light showing up ahead in the direction we want to go.” I said. I was hungry, but I also felt we needed to move along, since we had been in one spot for so long.
“Yes, I feel the same way, let’s keep moving. I don’t want to be found just yet.” Lucia said. Like she was pulling the thoughts out of my head. I could be imagining it. Maybe it looked obvious to her, that we must move now for safety’s sake.
Now I could see we would have to take a chance and use the path we saw the night before. There was a whole lot of morning light ahead of us up it. The woods around us were incredibly dense. I felt commonsense pointed out that there would be more dangers in the underbrush and less on the path, at least for a while.
We walked silently up the path. All I could hear was our breathing and far off snapping sounds in the dense forest around us. I could see nothing around us, so decided to focus on the path ahead. To hurry along it and then get off of it as soon as possible.
A breeze of cool fresh air hit us. Then as we climbed up a small hill the path led up, the pale blue sky became more evident, above us. Then suddenly we were on level ground facing a vast expanse of open land and sky, with a few rock outcroppings dotting the landscape before us.
“WOW, that is beautiful.” I said, as we both just stood there.
“Yes, but we will be very much out in the open, Gemma.” Lucia said, with a slight tension to her tone of voice. “I don’t feel Alec, either. This looks very familiar to me.”
I hoped to calm her down, again. I needed to remain cool myself too. “Hey, what looks familiar out here to you?” I asked.
“You can smell the ocean from here. Don’t you smell it? I know the ocean is out here. I have a sense of a place I had to be and know about. That it had been dangerous, somehow. But I do not sense I avoided it… or could I?” Lucia said, standing there with her feet planted firmly apart. I had never seen her in such a mood. She appeared to be standing her ground. She was prepared. What should I be doing?
“Ok, so should we continue on the path. Would it matter now?” I said. Looking at the path ahead, that it was smooth and even. I thought we could make good time on it, but to where?
“The path is out in the open and the ground around it too. So it makes no difference. We will be seen, soon, by someone anyway. It runs to the north. So my vote is to follow it, I would guess.” Lucia said. She still gave me the feeling she knew what was ahead or maybe only vaguely did.
“What is ahead, Lucia?” I said, directly looking at her.
“Nothing, there is not supposed to be anything. That was the point of this place. I remember it being a buffer zone, for battle. Maybe the darkones are out there, living, hopefully not in a post apocalyptic mindset. That would not be good for us, in anyway.” Lucia said. I wondered if she were remembering or speculating the situation.
“Tell me more about these darkones. Brad mentioned them in the part of the dream where we first met.” I said. I felt numb, there were no emotions, as there had been, attached to this most sensual of memories. Why did I feel numb, when I thought about him? It met something… I felt sure of it right then.
“When we are in a safer place, I can tell you all I know about them. There are two sides to every story. I plan, when home, to stay on the fence about all of it. I want to be fair. I just want to help.” Lucia said, as she peered off down the path, looking like she still remained vigilant.
What did she mean about, just wanting to help? I thought.
“Ok, I am not sure how hot it gets out here. So I guess we should get moving. We may need to wait out the heat of the day around some of those rocks. That is if they continue as far as we can see, along the path.” I said. I felt on high alert too. Yes, I did smell the ocean, where we stood. “Yeah, I smell the ocean too. With the way the wind is blowing it is off to the right of us.”
“Good, then I feel we are going in the right direction.” Lucia said, as she started out into the open, up the path, with her hair being picked up by the wind tossing her ponytail about.
“What direction is that?” I said. Catching her meaningful phrase.
“To Adeer, but we have a long way to go, even if we get there from here.” She said, with a slight smile on her face.
“What?” I said, grabbing her by the arm as I caught up with her.
“Yes, I think we are home.” She said, looking into my eyes. She placed a light kiss on my cheek.
“Home…” I said. All I could do was to keep up with her at this pace on the path.
I was watching the sun as it passed over us slowly, heating up the air around us. The path and walk was not bad. Not bad at all. The energy was different here, maybe she was right we were home. I would have been exhausted anywhere else, having walked like this, these past few hours.
Off up the path I saw a black dot. I didn’t think Lucia was looking that close, she must be thinking and feeling for Alec. I let the black dot go. It did not matter at this point. I though continued to watch it out of curiosity, or maybe boredom. My own mind remained a blank, oddly. The dot was bouncing, having separated into three separate dark figures on the path ahead. I sensed then, if I could see them, they could more than likely see us.
“Hey, Lucia. We need to stop. I see someone.” I said. I began to look around for somewhere for her to hide. I did not know why, that that would be the first thing to pop into my head.
“What, do you see, Gemma?” Lucia said, looking off into the distance. Why could I see them and she couldn’t?
“It doesn’t matter. We need to hide you, to see what these people want from us first.” I said, I grabbed her by the arm and sent her off in the direction of one of those rock outcroppings. I was thankful there had been a random one close to the road to send her too.
“Why do I have to go? And not you too?” Lucia protested. As she went off in the direction I had sent her.
“Because you are a queen, apparently a fugitive. I am not, my dear.” I said, in the most reassuring of a voice I could muster up just then, in my excitement.
“Ok, but if you need help just say the word.” I heard her say as she rounded the rock pile out of sight.
I stood there. I could see, that the three figures had picked up their pace toward me. I also felt the odd feeling, that some in the group were trying to read me. The other thought that crossed my mind was that they were unsuccessful at it too. Good for us. I just wish I could feel Brad, just then.
I could hear them talking now, after they stopped about 20 feet away, just standing there observing me. I could not understand a word of the language they spoke to one another. It sounded like what I would imagine ancient Latin would sound. Complicated. Two in the group wore robes that came to about their ankles, except for one of them. From what I could see of him, he was wearing the same sort of traveling skins, like I had seen in my dream of along the road with Brad. Somehow that was reassuring to me. At least I hoped it was. I just stood there, appearing to wait. I gave off a sense of confidence, like I belonged on that road as much as they did. That I was also assessing them.
The slender male in the black traveling skins came toward me. It looked to me that he had broken away from the group to their surprise, but they did not plan to follow him in his actions right then.
I said to him as he walked up to me. “Hey, what do you want?” I said, directly at him. I did not give any ground to him.
He stopped as if he were adjusting himself to my question. I wondered if he understood, English?
“You, are along way from home, human.” The dark haired guy said. He appeared to me to be the youngest one of the group of men.
“Apparently.” I said. Making full eye contact with him.
“Who is the woman with you?” he said, then turned quickly walking over to the rock pile I had sent Lucia too.
“Lucia, come out. You will have company.” I said, hoping she could hear me and would pick up on what I wanted to tell her. To stand our ground together. Then to break away, somehow.
The man, was confronted by a fast moving Lucia, as she rounded the rock pile in full stride. He grabbed her by her right arm… as if he knew he wanted that particular arm. She stopped dead in her tracks. He gave off a breathy exclamation. Then he run his hand over the right side of her back. He turned toward me, having let her go. She ran toward me, but he was quick and had me by the shoulder with his slender hand. He smiled and put his hand back quickly to his side. He seemed satisfied with what he then knew. That was unsettling to me at that moment. I grabbed Lucia by the hand and pulled her around behind me, placing a barrier between him and the up coming two with their brown robes being pulled about by the wind.
“I will take these two into Brashaw to talk with Marta. She just indicated to me she would like to speak with these humans.” He said, with apparently as much of a commanding tone as he could, I felt.
There was again some discussion that I could not understand. I felt Lucia hanging on to my windbreaker. She was tense. I gave her a squeeze with the hand that held her behind me.
“English, we have nothing to hide from these humans. They are here, obviously by mistake. Probably came from the place, we have seen others come in the past.” The man in the black traveling skins said, more like an announcement to the other two.
“Humans? Are you so sure? The one here is defiant like I have felt off Lyran. But you say they are humans? How do you know this for a fact? Why did you contact Marta? We do not need a flesh eater elder in our decisions out here, friend.” The taller of the brown robed men said to the man standing with us. It appeared the young man wanted to either rescue us or have us to himself. I thought, one problem at a time.
“I was assigned to your group for the purpose to come out here to see if anything unusual were happening near Brashaw. This is unusual that we would find those from the place where slaves have come from in the past. The flesh eaters are very much interested in this, you both know that. I will take them with me as to not bother you any more with this matter.” The young man said, after pointing at me.
“Yes, we have no quarrel with you, necromancer. We just want to patrol and go home to our families. We are certain you can more than handle such a simple task as these. Find us soon and tell us what Marta tells you of these, we would be most interested.” The taller man said, while his companion nodded.
“I will see you soon then back in Brashaw. Stay safe, both of you. Thank you for allowing me to walk with you.” The young man said, then giving a slight bow from the waist toward his past companions as they continued up the path, where we had come from.
Lucia, walked around from behind me. My hand could not hold her there.
“Necromancer? Are you one? Do you know Marta?” Lucia said, directly to the young man, he then faced her. His face now seemed kinder and his body more relaxed. This was better than I had anticipated.
“Yes, I am one and yes I do know Marta. It was she and others with her who, sent me out here along this particular road. Now I must get you back, with care to Brashaw.” He said.
“How are you going to do anything, but walk.” I asked.
“Because I can, Lyran.” He smiled. Then he brought his hands together. A sound of distant thunder rolling brought with it the appearance of a muscular black horse. He pointed to the ground near it and then there were two. The horses seemed very energetic. I thought he proposes we ride these animals.
“Yes, I do, that is the plan. Lyran are excellent with horses. Have you ever rode a felhorse?” He said to me. I shook my head.
“Ma’am, I wish for you to ride in front of me on my horse, if you would allow.” He said, to Lucia. I nodded toward her.
He grabbed the willing horse’s long black mane and swung himself onto its broad back. He then offered his arm for Lucia to grab and pulled her up with ease in front of him. He wrapped his free arm around her slender waist. Then waited for me to do the same by mounting the horse offered to me. I did the same thing as I had observed, him do. The horse felt good beneath me. I felt settled and connected to this mount.
“It will be an amazing ride. The first time, I rode one, as I remember.” He said toward me. “Just hang on, the horse knows where we are going. We will arrive there quickly. Most importantly, you are both protected now.”
I thought that strange, protected from what. Lucia looked to be comfortable, as the horseman leaned closer to her to keep her where she was steady on the bare back of the large black horse. Protected. I did feel that right then, as the horse moved with incredible speed beneath me, keeping even with its companion.