Mon, Apr 15, 2:40 PM CDT

Writers Contest

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Entry #14

Forevermore

Bacia found herself slightly astonished at quite how well Ebrima and Scorpio had received troubling news from her lips, news which had tormented Bacia’s slow, consumed walk down to Haute Ka La Mua. Every step taken she was haunted by the news of the betrayal of a young scout named Mykai, having last been seen leaving the forest willingly under the escort of two of Septhis’s hounds. Rather than seeming alarmed or nervous Ebrima simply took Scorpio back into the fresh waters to swim and play rather than dwelling upon what trouble may lay in waiting just ahead. The Hanukan girl having only just awoken was only too keen to join him and bask in these moments, Bacia suspected that deep down Scorpio had neither experienced or been susceptible to true fear. Bacia though was still of both heavy heart and mind as she had not disclosed that one of the hounds was also a known traitor, not only to the Vishneki but to her personally. Echidna had fled the Vishneki in the aftermath of the last war and rather too soon had found herself accepted amongst the ranks of Septhis’s hounds. Bacia remembered Echidna only too well, a majestic woman with sublime lines, Echidna was a forbidden fruit of the forest in every sense. While Ebrima slowly led Scorpio away into the cool waters of the pool, rather than heading away Bacia chose that she would silently stay and watch them just as she had before delivering her unfortunate news upon them.



As the sun had risen, Bacia had witnessed Ebrima teaching the young Hanukan how to swim, the desert guardian soon becoming more akin to a fish than a beast from the red dunes. So it came as no surprise that Ebrima harboured no apprehension to lift Scorpio up high before casting her back into the waters below. Scorpio breached the surface with an emphatic scream of delight, laughing and giggling until her head dipped below the surface of the very water that had given back the light which Deimos had all but taken. As she came back to the surface her gentle soft giggles echoed through the still warm air beneath the trees, willingly swimming back to Ebrima before intentionally allowing him to lift her up and cast her back into the waters of life. Bacia watched on in silence with envious eyes, smiling to herself as she became all but lost in this rather strange game being played out before her. Watching from the comfort of the warm sandy shore, all her concerns had faded away as she became so entangled in their delight that she had barely noticed the sun cross the sky high above them all as shadows started falling longer and deeper than before. Laughing internally in awe, she watched as Ebrima raised Scorpio up just as before but this time he did not cast her back into the water but instead held her up high, supported by just the palms of his hands and resting against his chest. She looked curiously at the pair, uttering to the silent air “Amulian what are you doing?” as she both listened and watched carefully as Scorpio looked upon Ebrima with curious eyes. 



Bacia laid Scorpio’s dagger in the palm of her hand, its scarred metal shimmering in the light and the attached Tears of the Moon, gently glowing with its curious purple aura. Watching carefully in the shadows as Ebrima broke his silence “Soon we can leave this place and start the long journey to the palace of Thrace” his voice so warmly gentle as Scorpio failed to reply but merely pointed at herself as he chirped to her “Yes Scorpio, we” while Scorpio uttered “But I’m still too weak?” through quivering lips yet with an odd smile as Ebrima nodded “Do you remember the promise I made to you in the desert?” Scorpio fell so still as she gazed into the Amulian’s eyes and mumbled “You would carry me” Ebrima nodded “I will carry you from here all the way to Thrace and beyond, I promised not just you but you mother and father this!” Scorpio mumbled softly “But I’m Hanukan!” but Ebrima chuckled to her “Then what are these rolling down your cheeks?” Scorpio rubbed her eyes as Ebrima giggled “They cannot be tears because Hanukan’s cannot cry?” Scorpio let out a giggle “Who told you this?” pointing at her own glistening cheeks as Ebrima continued and emulated a voice that Bacia wished she did not know quite so well! “Be careful Ebrima, the Hanukans are desert savages and their children so barbaric that they can’t even cry!” Scorpio let out a little giggle as Ebrima interrupted her again, chuckling “Ah! You can’t smile either!” Scorpio grinned and let out the sweetest laugh that had fallen upon Bacia’s ears as Ebrima tipped her backwards towards the waters. Scorpio erupted with a deeply nervous yet trusting giggle as Ebrima lifted her back up into his hands “Hanukan’s can’t laugh either!” Scorpio gripped his shoulders gently as he held her aloft, Ebrima shook his head and chuckled at her “It has to be true Hanukan!” pausing as he grinned “Septhis told me this himself!” 



Bacia became amused by the curious game that the pair played in the tranquil waters but deep within she felt something far larger at play. Firmly amused by being told such nonsense, Scorpio’s laughter echoed through the cooling air where the Hanukan seemed to have little contemplation of what was transpiring. Scorpio laughed with delighted eyes and looked upon Ebrima simply shaking her head but fully unaware that hidden somewhere on him the Amulian fisherman carried a lock of her very own black hair. A lock of hair that he had cut away in the desert as Scorpio succumbed to Deimos’s poison, a poison so vicious that even Bacia could not believe that she had recovered from. The very same lock of keepsake hair that had convinced Bacia to attempt to save the young Hanukan chief. Bacia rather admired Ebrima’s quick wit to cut away the tightly bound black locks from the young Hanukan girl's head and to adorn her in torn rags as a fallen pauper. Disguising the stricken girl so that to all but the most discerning of eyes she appeared as just a limp and lame boy and not the young Hanukan chief. The young Hanukan chief that all Larahchi were tasked to kill, not just by Larahchi law but under the haunt of a personal execution by Sephtis himself! Ebrima’s plan had been wise yet this was not what Bacia truly admired in him, when quizzed forcefully by her, still he would not allow a single finger to be placed upon the young girl's flesh. Under direct threat from Bacia whilst seeking her help, he would not allow a single being to so much as touch Scorpio’s tormented skin, until Bacia agreed that she would indeed attempt to save the child's light. Yet little did Ebrima know that the lock of hair he carried was the real reason Scorpio had survived. When Bacia pried to learn if his intentions should be true, he had confessed to be keeping the lock of hair so that should Scorpio pass into an eternal sleep, with him would remain a means to remember the brave young Hanukan chief forevermore. Little did Ebrima know that it was the sole reason Bacia had adjusted her ointment in a bid to bring light back into Scorpio’s all but closed eyes. Had Ebrima’s reasoning not suited Bacia’s judgement, then a journey into a silent eternal sleep would have been the young Hanukan’s fate. Ebrima would have been none the wiser that with the switching of just two ingredients, it was Bacia who had sent the child into the dark long night and not the Larahchi, Deimos or Sephtis. 



Bacia silently contemplated what had passed as Scorpio rested quietly in Ebrimas grasp, yet her eyes and trembling lips filled with questions that she seemed barely able to comprehend. Ebrima looked up into her glistening eyes “Tell me Scorpio, if Eliane was of your own flesh, what would you call her?” Scorpio raised a brow and gently uttered “Eshkha” Ebrima nodded and asked “What if she was a boy like me? Then what would you say?” Bacia listened intently and seemingly just as confused by his odd questions as Scorpio herself, yet the Hanukan giggled back “Voshkha” Ebrima nodded his head again and pretended to strain as he lifted her a little higher and closer as he quizzed “What would you call Arete?” Scorpio gripped him carefully as she settled again with a softening yet quite puzzled smile “Riannu” Ebrima didn’t hesitate to quickly ask “What about me? What would you call me?” Scorpio grinned and giggled “Vahta” as her lips ceased, Ebrima chirped “Vyruna” confidently, Scorpio gasped at him with an open mouth and eyes as he gently asked “Vyruna, this is what we call you?” she remained silent and still with only her questioning eyes moving at all. Bacia watched in awe uttering to herself in the still air “Ebrima, how have you come to learn Hanukan?” until she heard his voice fill the air again “Vyruna?” Scorpio’s lips began trembling, Ebrima asked again “Vyruna is this what I will call you?” Scorpio slowly nodded her head in time with Ebrima’s softly spoken words as he gently held her reassuringly still. 



Lost in fading light, Ebrima kept Scorpio held up high, gazing down upon him with all her fears and concerns gently rolling down her cheeks before dripping into the cool waters far below. Ebrima gently whispered “If you can laugh, smile and cry Scorpio, then to me you are no different to any other Vyruna” Scorpio watched him along with an increasingly astounded Bacia as Ebrima slowly lowered Scorpio down yet keeping his eyes aligned with those of Scorpio “In Amulia we have another word for what you Hanukan’s call a Vyruna” Scorpio didn’t speak but just listened with a face no longer filled with concern but intrigue as Ebrima whispered gently “Daughter” Ebrima paused as Scorpio’s bottom lip began quavering gently as he softly whispered “this word means the same thing as what Sasori or Leocadia would have called you” Bacia watched on in disbelief as Scorpio began slowly tipping her head forwards as Ebrima sighed “If the word means the same thing, then you are no different to my Eliane or any other child and whether you believe me or not Scorpio, I do not believe that Leocadia nor Sasori would have left a Vyruna of any tribe to die alone in the desert and neither would I” Scorpio’s face began crumpling as Ebrima took her weight upon one hand and gently stroked her sodden cheek “I promised you in the desert that I would never leave you behind, I promised not just you but Leocadia and Sasori too, I promised them that I would never leave their Vyruna behind” Ebrima shuffled her into his shoulder and uttered “I will not leave you behind” Scorpio slowly started falling into his hands, her eyes shedding fears as he whispered to a Vyruna now resting her head into the safety of her Vahta’s shoulder “We will be leaving for home” Scorpio garbled “Voma” through sodden lips as Ebrima smiled “We will leave for Voma soon, Arete and Eliane will be happy to meet you, I will never leave you behind Scorpio, even if I have to carry you every step of the way” 



Bacia didn’t hear Scorpio utter a single word in reply but as Ebrima began to walk her slowly back to the shore, still carried safely above the ground in his arms, she could see the Hanukan gently shuddering. Resting in strong arms that held no apprehensions to carry her along, not just now but eternally, all but savouring this first moment that Bacia’s eyes caught the sight of a girl now recharged with both life and spirit. Elements of the Hanukan child which Ebrima so deeply admired, which he had proudly told Bacia of and forewarned her that to him at least, Scorpio was not like any other and to him Scorpio was little different than his own daughter. Bacia chose this moment to leave them to savour their first and last night in the peace of the pools of the forest alone, as she made her way back to her rightful place at the head of her tribe. Filled with having witnessed the purest moment of a new light in the very pools of Haute Ka La Mua, she would contemplate alone before hoping to return the blade which she had taken from Ebrima. Realising that sacrificing the heir given by his own fallen father to save a child that was not his own, was Ebrima’s truest act of loyalty to the Hanukan child which he now claimed as his own daughter. 



Only two moons had passed since Bacia had witnessed the binding act, yet by the time she returned to the pools, Ebrima and Scorpio were gone while she was left to bask alone in her own shame. Bacia noticed by the shaded stump where she had rested the small imprints of a young girl's feet and found joy in the thought that before embarking on their journey to Thrace they had savoured one final peaceful embrace in the tranquillity of Haute Ka La Mua. Bacia sat down and gently brushed sand into the imprints, her mind full of the incredible sight that she had witnessed and the shame at taking away the blade passed on to Ebrima by his own father. Though within her thoughts she did find solace in having witnessed the purest moment, a sight if told she could not have believed to be true nor even possible had she not witnessed it pass with her own eyes. The moment of divine truth as a Hanukan child belonged no longer to any mere tribe but became forevermore a deeply adored fisherman’s daughter.

Word Count: 2973
Hours Spent: 5
Software Used: Blender

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