Into the Shadows

Photo by Erik Mclean on

(Trying to get a feel for past story events, which lead to current story events. Figured ya’ll might be interested in reading some random story tidbits. Feedback is always welcome. Enjoy.)

She paced the floor; seething with hatred. Her mind replayed his words. “You are my daughter, you will do as commanded!” her cheek still burned from his hand. She would rather die than be married off to that horse-faced Christian. 

Her chamber door opened suddenly, allowing her mother and two guards to enter. 

“I WILL NOT MARRY HIM!” Helena shouted, “I will not be that Christian’s whore, or bear him Christian sons, I would rather slit my own throat!“ She grabbed the small knife sitting next to her plate of untouched food, holding it to her throat for added effect.

“Leave us,”  Marina ordered, pushing guards out, closing the door behind them. “sit down, and calm yourself child.”  she pushed her daughter onto the corner of her bed, taking the knife from her. Then hurried back to the door, locking it from the inside.

“Do you remember those stories I used to tell you each night as a child? The ones of Veles, and his shifty nature?” Helena looked confused but nodded. “ of course you do, you are my clever daughter. You must leave tonight.”  Marina pulled a large woolen sack from under her elegantly woven ponevu, the apron-like overskirt all married women wore. She took a woolen blanket from the cupboard, putting it in the bag, along with a second pair of stockings, and handed Helena a pair of sturdy leather boots.

“Where am I to go?” she watched her mother as the grabbed the heavy fur-lined cloak from its hook, and placed it over her daughter’s shoulders; as Helena put on the boots. 

“You must ride east. There is a map in here.” her mother pushed the sack into her hands, and ran over to the window. “It’s clear. Come.” she waved Helena to the window. “Once you are out of the gate go to the meadow. Boris is waiting there for you with a horse. Take this.” She fastened something around Helena’s waist. “Stay close to Boris, he will keep you safe on your journey. 

Helena looked down at the shaska and recognized the gleaming metal hilt.  “Chernaya Deva belongs to you, mama. Come with me, father will kill you if you stay. “ she begged through tears as she climbed out the window.
“Your mama knows how to handle your father moye serdtse, my love. Deve must protect you now” She placed her hand on her daughter’s tear-stained cheek and smiled bravely. “We will see each other again.” Before disappearing back inside, leaving Helena clinging to the ledge outside of her bed-chamber in the dead of night, confused and alone.