Home > Ravish Her(2)

Ravish Her(2)
Author: Jenika Snow

Agata didn’t think she’d ever really been happy before. She’d moved through life, doing what she had to do, what she needed to do. She was utterly alone in this world despite being surrounded by people all the time. Coworkers were not friends, not ones she’d grown up with, formed bonds with.

Maybe it was her own doing, where her life was now, and maybe that was reflected outward.

“No, you are not, and no need to tell me. I can see it written across your face and pouring from you like blood from an open wound.” The old woman leaned forward again, and when she waved her hand in front of the fire, a sweet-smelling smoke started to rise up.

Had she dropped something into the flames to cause such a scent and sight? It certainly would make sense.

“You are not made for this life, for this time, child.” She reached to the side and grabbed a small satchel. It was dark leather, scarred and worn, and when the woman emptied the herb contents out in her hand and gave it to Agata, she was hesitant.

“What is it?”

“There is the In-Between.” She took Agata’s wrist again, turned her hand over, and dumped the contents in her palm. “There is a world where past and present meet, an alternate universe of such.” She took a glass of water, made Agata empty her hand into the cup, and gestured for her to drink it.

“I don’t know what this is. I can’t drink it.”

“Child, if you want change, want to live, then you must. It won’t harm you and will only bring you closer to who you are meant to be, meant to be with.” The old woman placed her fingers on the bottom of the cup and pushed it toward Agata’s mouth. “If you are not happy, then place your trust in the gods.”

Agata stared at the woman’s eyes, at the way they seemed to watch her, study her.

“You must ask the gods to show you where your path is, how it will be revealed, and learn from that. Open your arms, your heart, and accept it.” She started chanting in an old Scandinavian dialect, one Agata wasn’t familiar with but could pick up on a few words. It was almost like three separate countries’ languages put together, melded into one unique sound.

“Drink. Now, child,” the woman said with urgency in her voice.

Agata was in a trance, knowing she shouldn’t trust this woman but unable to stop herself from feeling the power in the old lady’s words and presence. She lifted the glass to her mouth and drank the contents without even realizing what she’d just done.

When she swallowed it all and set the glass down, she was sickened at the thought she actually drank that. She didn’t know what was in it or if it would hurt her, yet she’d gone in there with a woman she didn’t know and consumed a concoction.

“The night is still young, and the herbs will show you to your path. You must go now.” The woman stared right at Agata and shooed her along as if she was a petulant child.

Agata found herself outside of the hut, staring at the lights, smoke, and listening to the sounds created by the festival.

The lights started to become blurry, the sounds more distant. She tightened her hold on her purse and tried to walk forward, but her movements became sluggish, her steps seeming like she wasn’t moving forward but instead backward.

She placed her hand on the tree nearby, closed her eyes, and breathed out. When she opened them again after the world stopped spinning, she looked over her shoulder, but the hut was gone. In its place was a food vendor stand, a young woman standing behind it giving out sweets and baked goods.

“What’s going on?” she asked herself and moved away from the tree. Agata pushed away from the trunk, trying to say something that could be understood, but the sounds that came from her were jumbled.

She fell forward, the roots coming up from the ground causing her to go down the short decline of the hill quickly.

She reached the bottom, her head cracking on the large boulder at the base of the hill, and everything faded to black.

 

 

3

 

 

Stian Dagmar moved through the forest, his bow and arrow forward, his eyes scanning the surroundings in hopes of finding dinner tonight. Winter was coming, and he needed to stock up on supplies.

Being away from the rest of the village had its benefits and disadvantages, but in the end, he preferred his solitary existence and preferred to be known as the Beast of Northbrook. He didn’t try to socialize with his people, didn’t help or fight when they needed. They made sure to keep him at a distance, and he made sure to stay away.

The sound of a bird overhead had him crouching, scanning the treetops, and listening. He scented the change of the seasons in the air, felt it as the coldness that skated down his spine.

He lifted his bow when he saw a Blue Skalla in the treetops, the massive bird flapping its wings and opening its beak to let out a loud noise. The Blue Skalla was plentiful in this part of the region, but they were hard to catch, swift in the air, and had superior eyesight and hearing. But Stian was skilled in taking down these birds.

Stian aimed the arrow at the bird and in a swift, soundless move let the arrow go. It landed right in the bird’s massive chest, and the creature fell to the forest floor. He moved over the brush and thick roots of the spruce trees that littered these parts of the forest.

After picking up the carcass, he turned to head back to his hut, which was far away from the other villagers.

He was already too close to the village for his comfort. But it was necessary, as he had to hunt and eat, and stocking up on provisions meant he needed to go anywhere and everywhere that was necessary.

He was about to leave, but the sight of a motionless body on the ground, of brightly colored clothing covering the form atop the fallen leaves, had him stilling.

He crouched once more and waited for movement, knowing it was a human. Seeing the strange coloring of the clothing it wore led Stian to believe it was not someone from this area.

When no movement occurred for several moments, he stood, grabbed the ax at his side, and walked toward the form. He stopped a few feet from it and stared down at what he realized was a young female. Her skin was a pale, creamy color, and her long blonde hair was matted with dirt and leaves.

She lay right in the middle of a mud patch, and her clothing was torn and dirty. He looked at her, stared at the strange, colorful things she wore, and the small satchel-type bag that lay just a few feet from her.

Stian should have left her, but she would surely die, especially when the sun set and the temperature dropped. It was frigid at night, especially with no fire to heat her. But something inside Stian wouldn’t move away, wouldn’t forget about this stranger that was not from the neighboring village.

He glanced up, could see the very tops of the huts in the village just a short distance away, and told himself someone would surely come out hunting and find her. He turned, took a step away from her, but stopped. Stian turned around again and crouched before her. He sheathed his ax at his hip once more, reached out, and pushed a strand of her hair away.

She had a nasty wound on her forehead, dried blood on her flesh and hair, and a bruise starting to form. He scanned the rest of her body, took in the garments she had on, and picked at the material.

The fabric was like nothing he’d ever felt or seen, seemingly to be poorly made. She wore no leathers and had no weapons. Who was this woman? Surely the gods had not dropped her here to die?

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