Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CHAPTER ELEVEN


Chapter 11 while short is meant to be no less heated as the last, albeit the flames are of anger, jealousy, and vengeance. The lines are now being drawn across the snow...

                                           CHAPTER 11



          “She’s got to go! Do you see? Can’t you see? Look what she did to me! She’s a liar! She claimed she needed help from you, Bas a’ Rhinn. But she did fine all by herself, now didn't she?” Portia was standing in the square, screaming and hissing. Showing off the charred flesh of her arms. Having drawn a crowd, as the Raepuwa left their dwellings to start the homecoming celebration. This was supposed to be a time of laughter, it was tradition, but after the nights events it was shaping up to be a lynching.


****

           Amara could hear her, even from her position behind Graw’s front door. Sound carried exceptionally well in the mountain valley, and she was frozen where she stood.
         “They’re going to come and get me, aren't they?” She closed the door sliding down it, drawing her knees to her chest. Graw took a bite out of a large purple fruit, a bit of juice running down his face. Wiping it away, he put the fruit down on the table in the kitchen.
            “It is possible. More than likely.”
            “How can you be so calm?”
            “We didn't do anything wrong. You didn't do anything wrong. If I hadn't stepped in, she would have gone after you, anyhow.”
             “I can’t just sit here and wait for them to come and get me.”
             “You could.” He crossed the room, pulling her to her feet. “But what would be the fun in that?”
              She shook her head and drew in a deep breath, opening the door. “Right.”
              “I’ll be right behind you.”
              “You had better be.”

****

        “I tell you all, she dangerous. She has magic even Bas a’ Rhinn, cannot muster. With a touch, she burned me. Then she turned that same flame on Mao. Look at his face! His back and shoulders!” Portia continued to rile up the crowd. “We show her our hospitality and she turned on us!”
          Bas a’ Rhinn stood at the head of the crowd; there were murmurs and whispers, some of the men snarled. The majority however looked to him for guidance. He did not move, only listened intently as he puffed on his pipe. Waiting it seemed for Portia to ware her self-out, from shouting.
        “Do you have something to say?” She growled, looking beyond the crowd. Some heads turned following the line of her sight from atop a caravan. Amara approached, with Graw a few paces back.
            “I might, if you’d shut the hell up long enough for anyone to have a thought!” Amara called over the crowd. “Do you realize I can hear you blathering on from across these streets?”
             Bas a’ Rhinn now turned, a half ring of smoke escaping his lips. He lifted his arm, waving Amara to come closer.
              Graw stopped her, keeping the crowd between Portia and Amara. He stood in front of her now.
            “If she is in the wrong, than so am I. Those marks on Portia’s neck are by my hand, just as this on my face is by hers.”
               The claw marks were undeniable, the pink flesh exposed through his white fur.
               The crowd turned back to Portia.
               “She’s the worse kind of witch! She has turned our own to her needs. Seduced him. Used him. So she might have access to the mountain!”
              “Enough!” Khane broke in, suddenly on top of the caravan with Portia under foot. “I have listened to you long enough. We all have!” She looked to Amara. “What say you to these allegations? Did you use your magic without cause? Did none of you see what happened once the sun went down?”
              “I came out for some air Khane, and she started in on me! Graw tried to step in before it went too far. But Mao and Portia would not let it be. I did what I had to do, to keep her from me. As for what happened to Mao, it was an accident of landing. I flung the flame, as a warning, it was not meant for him, for that, I am sorry.”
              “What was the cause of the argument?” Bas a’ Rhinn asked, as well as many other Raepuwa.
             “To be honest, I am not entirely sure.” Amara lied. She did not want to explain that she was being accused of something that she was now actually guilty of having done. She looked at Graw, as he looked at her, he knew Portia, knew her well enough to know that she would never admit to her jealousy.
              “Graw, do you know the cause? If so, you must say. You know this to be truth?” Khane urged.
              “I believe that Amara did not understand the cause. Portia was inflamed  She has not once showed Amara any kindness since meeting one. That you know to be truth.”
               “It seems we are at an impasse. Portia, did you go at her? Did you do this to him?”
                Portia struggled under Khane’s foot, but managed a nod of yes.
               “You are both at fault. For that, you have a choice. You can finish this fight, now. Or we can call it done.” Bas a’ Rhinn looked at Amara. Awaiting an answer.
                “ I've no quarrel here. I say let it be done. There have been wounds enough, already.”
                “A wise answer.” He nodded.
                The crowed Raepuwa seemed to agree. Some more pressure from Khane, and even Portia finally caved.
                 Graw put his arm around Amara, shielding his words from the crowd. “Anything for you.”
                 She smiled, patting his chest, as the crowd dispersed. 
                 “Thank you.”

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