This piece was written in 2007, all I know is it was in a folder called Atrioth. I vaguely remember it, but I don’t know where I was taking it. There may be more to this story. It has been tightened up a bit.
Flash Fiction Friday #2
Copyright 2012 Necia Phoenix
An infant wailed in its mother’s arms. The tribe gathered closely, and was, Kergon thought, a bit too anxious to see the final verdict of his brother’s trial. He glanced towards his brother, Anaron, who stood with his hands tied in front of him. The rope so tight, his fingers were purple. Kergon tried to meet his eyes but Anaron’s gaze was fixed on some point beyond the river.
“Don’t, Kergon, you’ll just make it harder on us all.” Eitys, Kergon’s other brother, hissed into his ear.
“This is wrong. He has done nothing…”
“Shut up. We’ll next if you don’t.” Eitys hit him on the back of the head. The crowd stirred and parted, giving way to a tall, gaunt man. He stepped up to Anaron, peering at him with narrowed eyes. Kergon frowned. Until yesterday, he too, would have been in awe of The Shaman. He’d respected him. Now, it took every ounce of self-control to not tear him apart.
The Shaman turned his head, peering at Kergon and Eitys. Kergon fancied The Shaman was reading his thoughts. Kergon hoped he could; he wanted The Shaman to see himself laying torn and bloodied on the cold ground. How dare he accuse his flesh and blood!
“”You have been caught using majki. A crime punishable by death…”
Whispers erupted, someone protested though was hushed by nearby tribesmen. Kergon smirked and met The Shaman’s eyes. Anaron was a popular man, a good hunter, and a provider. His death would not be easily achieved even if he had used majki. The Shaman narrowed his eyes, and raised his hands, not breaking the glare with Kergon.
Can you see what I am thinking, old man? Will you commit yourself to death if you expose me and yourself? Kergon felt it then. Fear. From The Shaman. Radiating towards him, fear and hate. Kergon inhaled, heart pounding.
You will slip up. Like Anaron. The Shaman’s voice echoed in his head.
I am a Seeker. Like my sire, I can be forgiven. Can you? Kergon imagined The Shaman, impaled on his own staff. The man’s face paled and he looked away. No. He was supposed to stamp out majki, not use it himself. Only the Seekers could get away with it. Anaron, though, was no Seeker.
“Instead of death,” The Shaman’s voice was strong, though he gave no indication that he and Kergon had crossed minds. “It’s decided, by the gods, that Anaron shall be exiled.”
Kergon blinked reeling in relief. Eitys hissed something under his breath. Kergon felt the light mental touch against his mind as Eitys made a few suggestions. Kergon smiled. This wasn’t as bad as he feared it would be.
“If any wish to accompany the accused, do not expect to return any time soon.” The Shaman glared at Kergon.
Kergon shrugged it off and stepped beside Anaron.
“Ker no, stay…” Anaron began to protest.
“No.” Eitys took a place beside Anaron. “We’ll leave this nest of backstabbers and snakes. We’d have no safety here anymore.”
Silence stretched. Eitys flashed a grin at Kergon and cut the leather straps that bound Anaron’s wrists. Kergon turned toward The Shaman.
“You wanted us gone. We leave. Consider this though, who will hunt for you now? Perhaps if they get a good kill, like Anaron, you’ll accuse them of majki.” The crowd stirred, whispering. “Who is willing to take that chance?” Kergon rested his spear on his shoulder and gave a mocking bow to the crowd. He turned without another look back at the people who had been his clan, and followed Anaron down the footpath to the river. A small raft bobbed in the gentle current, tugging against its moors.
“You two would go into exile with me?” Anaron turned to look at them. His voice was a bare whisper, thick with emotion. “There is nothing in the wilds, no future for either of you.”
“We’ll follow you into hell and back if need be.” Eitys clasped his shoulder. “We stick together, brother. Always have, always will.”
“There is nothing here for us anymore.” Kergon shrugged and pointed at the raft. “Let’s go.”
Anaron looked back and forth between them.