Scene 7  1560 4D

A great chunk of snow landed on Derizan’s head as he, Denzari, Selech, and Inkurisar tilted the last boulder aside from the cave entrance. He shook the snow away, inhaling the outrush of cave-stench as brilliant, bitter-cold light hit his eyes. He gulped the icy-fresh air and called back, “We’re out!” The upslope they had descended to get to the cave was choked with heavy snow and ice.

Inkurisar shook his head. “You can’t go back that way. I need one volunteer to scout with me. We need to find a route back to where we can turn southwest.” His wife Nakiran took his arm, murmuring to him. He shook his head. “I’m the only one who knows how to do this, unless you or Munizkara wants to try it.” She slapped his arm and stepped back.

Before Derizan could step forward, Selech said, “I’ll go.” Derizan started to protest, but weariness seized him, and he watched his younger brother-in-law and Inkurisar climb away on a side path not deep in snowfall.

The two men returned an hour later. Selech told the waiting group, “Partway down we spotted the camp. It’s big – a lot of soldiers.”

“There’s no way back,” Inkurisar said, rubbing his eyes. “They’ve built permanent shelters and fanned out guards. Trying to shut off the route we took.”

“So what do we do?” Nakiran’s tone to her husband was sharp. “Try to go over the pass? Hah!”

Before he could answer her, Derizan saw movement on the side path and pointed. “Look!”

A woman and a man descended, slipping and staggering as they approached the others.

“Stop!” Inkurisar raised his rifle. “Who are you? Were you followed?”

The woman collapsed to the snow. The man bent over her, looked up at them.

“Were you followed? Tell us who you are!”

“We’re Arcus, from the City. We hid during a blizzard and waited for the column to pass us. When the snow came, we looked for another path and got away. We just saw you when you were at the camp, and we followed you. No one saw us.”

The woman groaned in pain, and he added. “My wife is almost full-term. Please help us! We need to eat and rest!”

“Your names?”

“I’m Mentrianos and she’s Tellina. I’m Harridium clan, she’s Yaviures.”

Astina muttered to Derizan, “Yaviures clan! That baby will have a better chance.”

He whispered back, “Only if Father accepts them.”

Inkurisar lowered his head, shook it, and said, “All right. Come on. Join this family – we’ll take you along. Do you still have anything to eat?” He turned to Alumaras, head of Derizan’s family. “Will you consent?”

After a long pause, Alumaras nodded. “Our family consents. We offer protection and support.” And Derizan finally exhaled a breath he had been holding for too long.

“Yes, we have a little food and drink,” the woman Tellina said softly. “We will share what we have.”

Astina, taking Derizan’s arm, replied, “As will we also.”

They all returned to the cave, where a small, smokeless flame allowed them all some ox broth, made with dried meat softened and boiled in melt from the snows.


Next scene.

Last Updated Friday, June 21 2024 @ 02:47 pm  25 Hits   
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