Chapter 4

Written by: Jasmine Groves

Her call reached Aunt Zera too late. The air hung thick with silence as the arrow whistled through the air, Yeoman who had snuck into the forest while they were all talking, shoved Dilara with the full weight of his body. He looked for a moment like a god suspended in air. 

His body hit the ground with a resounding thud, screams filled Dilara’s mind, and she dropped to her knees and reached for the bloody pool on Yeoman’s chest.

Yeoman lowered his hand, and clutched hers, his eyes intense as they meet her worried gaze “We are one with the earth, we journey here but for a time, as guardians. Together we have brought forth, war and hatred, love and life… my season has run bare as I stand here in the dark on the cusp of winter. One day we will drink together again of the nectars of life as our ancestors have foretold”.

A single tear ran down Dilara’s face, as she realised Yeoman had taken his last breath. She was unaware of anything and everyone around her. Her eyes blazed with hatred and anger, she scrambled to her feet, stripping a dagger from the halter on Yeoman’s leg.

As she let out a bloodcurdling cry of battle, her legs flexed as they propelled her towards the enemy. Her arm arced in the air and not stopping for a moment plunged the dagger into the enemies’ chest.

Aunt Zera’s empty husk fell to the ground, no whispers to the ancestors were heard to take her to peace. 

Darian who had not moved fast enough to take the arrow that put out Yeoman’s light in the world approached, grasped her hand and shook hard until she released it, he lifted his tunic to wipe blood smatterings from her face, he leaned forward to whisper in her ear “I am sorr….”.

Dilara moved with the speed of a cheetah and thrust Darian to the ground “How dare you!” she screeched “How dare you, you who swore to Yeoman to protect me, you who have said you love me, were not even there. Though I doubted Yeoman he has proven himself to the gods and now it is my guilt at abandoning this love that I will be judged for”.

“Today I woke to the red sunset and I had one enemy, an enemy of my own clan, my old clan. I had no fear as I believed you people, the same flesh as my son would protect me.” The air broke with her angry laugh. “Now I see I have two enemies. Retribution was never met – the gods did not want me to talk with your ancestors. I am alone - and I spit at all of you.”

“Take Yeoman’s body, grieve and show tribute to him as the respected leader that he was, but heavy may your head lie at night-time. I declare you my enemy. Once the days of grief have passed I will seek my own retribution.”