"A stranger approaches from the
Before the war, strangers were welcome.
I hurry along the grassy path leading
to the village's center.
The baker is here already, a dusting of
flour on his skin. The ironworker clenches a hammer in his hand. The
mute healer sits on the ground, herbs spread upon her lap, hair wild,
eyes wilder, rocking to a rhythm she alone can hear. Wrapped up in
her visions, the healer never sees the world as it truly is.
"The stranger wears the brand of
wealth." The sentry approaches with a woman. "Clean and
sturdy boots. Nary a patch upon her dress. Pale skin. Clear eyes."
I look up and into the eyes of my
"Marcus," she whispers.
The healer looks at me, her rocking
"Her city has been built upon the
backs of our people," I say. "She has trod through her
world in pretty lambskin boots, made, no doubt, by Wynne." I
gesture to the bootmaker. "And what does Sauren do in thanks?
Cuts off Wynne's hand."
Sauren's husband couldn't keep his
hands off Wynne's round bottom as she'd knelt before him measuring
his feet. 'Get your hands off that vile creature,' Sauren had said.
And Wynne had dared to speak. 'I'm not dirty, Miss. Just poor.'
"Sauren's actions started this
war," I say to the healer.
"Please, Marcus," Sauren
My sister had cut off Wynne's hand
because it was in her power to do so. Was I doing the same? Even
among the woodspeople, there is power and hierarchy and thirst for
recognition. "No." I turn as the sentry raises his sword.
"Stop." The people of the village gaze at me. "A
change in sentence, perhaps. Wynne is in need of an apprentice.
Sauren, meet your employer. And your
Wynne smiles broadly and Sauren
commences crying, although from relief or resignation or sadness, I
do not know.
The healer returns to her herbs and
recommences her rocking.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: Fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge