Chapter 7 - The Fight

Chapter 7 - The Fight

A Chapter by VassD

Everything is not always as it seems.


Cerena stormed through the doorway with her dark eyes on fire. She completely ignored the armored women along the walls, most of whom shrank back into the shadows as the Kyatei matriarch passed them. The only person who felt her gaze was the yong woman leaning against the iron bars of th cell at the end of the room.

Ehmita straightened as her mother neared, one finger scratching idly at the dried blood on her forehead. The skin around the cut had started to bruise, and there was a throbbing ache behind her eyes. Nevertheless, she met her mother’s gaze with an almost lazy calm.

What,” Cerena growled, “were you thinking, Ehmita? You could be brought to a court martial for this! What do you think would happen to you if that happened? What could have possibly hoped to achieve by assaulting a group of young women who were unarmed �"”

Ehmita lifted a finger. “Let me stop you there, mother. You’ve obviously been listening to all the wrong people, which, quite frankly, is unlike you. I’m going to assure you’ve had a rough day, so let me spell it out for you. When I come across a group of girls in the woods who have caught the scent of blood like a bunch of ravens, one of whom is swinging a probably stolen axe haft as if there is no tomorrow, the way I see it, I have two options. One, I do not get involved, because the only town official that isn’t related to any of those girls by blood is my own mother, and the rest of them seem to want to start a blood feud. Two, I go in and stop them, without mortally or even severely injuring any of them, before they can kill the girl they’ve surrounded like a pack of wild dogs, who just so happens to be my baby sister.” Ehmita stared her mother down with a gaze stronger than the bars that held her. “Tell me, mother. What was I thinking?”

As Ehmita gripped the bars with a steady hand, Cerena no longer seemed as tall as she had a few moments before. The older woman turned away from the bars, hiding the loss of her composure in the darkness between torches. “After I spoke with you at the house, I went back to check on her. The window was open, and all of her things were gone. Her horse was gone, but they said she wasn’t the one who took it.” The silence around them was thick, but not so thick as to obscure the sound of Cerena’s tight-throated swallow. “Where is she, Ehmita? What did you do?”

“I did what I had to, Mother,” Ehmita replied. She felt an ache deep in her bones as she said that. “I swore, twelve years ago, that I would do everything I could to help her, just like you did. Mother, I know you love her. We all do. But she was ready to give up. She was wandering around out there with a very vital part of her stripped away. She was ready to obey you, just as she always has, but in this instance, that meant the same as being ready to curl up and die. You know this, and you know where she’s gone.”

Cerena turned back to face her daughter. Where her eyes had once been filled with fire, now they were just tired. The two women made quite the pair as they stood there, so still they could have been twin statues if it wasn’t for the crusted blood along Ehmita’s hair line and theage lines under Cerena’s dark eyes. “All these years,” she said, so quiet that only Ehmita could heard her, “I’ve tried to keep my promises. I’ve tried to keep her safe, and I’ve tried to help her find her path.” She closed her eyes, and a single tear slid slowly down her cheek. “Today, I couldn’t do both. I don’t think I fully understood what I was getting into when I made those promises. I still don’t. All I know is that I’m afraid for her.” Once more, Cerena’s eyes met Ehmita’s. “Tell me she’s going to be alright.”

“You know I can’t do that.”

All of the strength that was left in Cerena’s eyes drained out, and she brought her hands up, one to cover her face in the darkness and the other to wrap around the cool iron bars for stability. “How am I supposed to sit back and watch her die?” There was more than one tear track making its way down her face now.

Ehmita’s fist closed around her mother’s hand, pinning it to the bar. Her grip tightened, and forced Cerena to look up. “You aren’t supposed to sit and do anything. You are supposed to stand and fight.” Years of military training filled Ehmita’s voice with undeniable authority. “She has her path, and we have ours. To deny the necessity or the singularity of either demeans both you and your purpose.” Ehmita reached behind herself to pull out the small knife that that blacksmith had brought to her a few minutes after they’d thrown her into this cell. She brought the knife forward and held the hilt unwavering beneath her mother’s eyes. “Ania fought from the day she was born, and she’s never stopped. Every breath she took was worth fighting for, which made her life worth living. You know better than anyone that she never seemed more alive than when she had a reason for something, no matter what it was. Today, she found her reason to be.” Ehmita pressed the hild of Ani’a knife into her mother’s palm. “I doubt she’d like it if she were the reason you lost yours.”

Staring at the small silvery blade in her hand, Cerena backed up until she hit one of the walls of the small room. All of her strength fled her. The sword sheathed at her hip looked out of place with her new vulnerable appearance, and she slid down the wall to sit limply on the short wooden bench. The hand that didn’t hold the knife now propped up her weary head, and quiet sobs shook her once-strong frame. Between tears, Cerena whispered, “Do you know what the last thing she said to me was? ‘Why do you hate me.’ She thinks I hate her.”

Ehmita pushed her arm as far out of the bars as it would go, her fingertips just brushing the edges of her mother’s skirt. “No, Mama.”

Her mother looked up, her dark eyes rimmed in red.

“The last thing she said was goodbye.”

© 2013 VassD

Author's Note

This one was interesting to write. It was the first chapter I'd written entirely from someone else's viewpoint, and I wanted to make sure that the voice was noticeably different. Just to make sure: this was meant to be from Ehmita's point of view. Was there ever point where that was unclear? And were there any points where the prose itself was cloudy? I was trying to keep from dropping any major plot points prematurely, but I'm a little worried that I might have gotten a little confusing as I wrote.

Anyway, I would really appreciate feedback for this. Specifically, I want to know how engaging the story is. I have a lot of plans for this story, and I want it to fly. So, with this in mind:

►What did you like?
►What didn't you like?
►What was your favorite line?
►What do you want to see in the future chapters?

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Added on May 1, 2013
Last Updated on May 1, 2013
Tags: black horizons, draft two, edit, fantasy, knights of the covenant, ania kyatei, randen derris, alliania, vassternichdrauka, vassternich, drauka, novel, chapters



A tiny random town-city-dimension, ID

I'm a fledgling author with dreams about as big as one of Robert Jordan's books. Maybe more than one on top of each other. I love writing fantasy and science fiction stories (No matter how long a piec.. more..

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A Chapter by VassD