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from Aradia's Diaspora by Susan Woerner

Copyright © 2018–2020 Susan Woerner

Scene 18

Thundering hooves. Passlande galloped toward us, Ruis on her back. Arion followed close behind. We stood as they approached.

“Isobeau! One of the warriors from the journey returns,” Ruis shouted, “one of the Guard spotted her. She’s hurt and on her shoulder sits a hawk. Its wing is bloodied.”

“Who are they? Do they come alone?” asked Isobeau.

Ruis looked grave, “The Guard could not tell who it was. Yes, it is only the two. Come, we must ride out and make sure they are not being pursued.”

Isobeau jumped on Arion. Turning to me she said, “Stay in the village, Betty, remain close to the others. Remember the shadows that came for us. Stay within the village borders, it is protected.”

The two horses flung grass and mud into the air as they dug deep into the Earth, stretching their quarters, gaining speed. Soon they were only specks on the hill.

I looked around, feeling vulnerable out in the open. There was no one and no sounds. The Daughters must be gathering in the great yurt. I ran to join them.

The yurt was buzzing with women talking and shouting. Little girls, no doubt not understanding what all the fuss was about, were crying or pulling on the arms o...

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