This feels too good to be true! I never thought he would return but here he is. I feel like we could almost pick things up right where we left off all those years ago. Amekia thought to herself with a mixture of happiness and anger while she ran through a field of daisies. A smile crept across her lips as she ran pushing the anger aside, back down into its deep well. The sun casted a radiant and defiant golden glow from its peak in the late afternoon sky. However black clouds fought with tooth and nail, without pause, for dominion of the sky. Off to the east, a colossal shadow advanced across the meadow as the black clouds waged their war against the sunlight. A gentle breeze, like the calm before a storm drifted as a silent observer carrying ill omens across the field. The hectically placed rows of daisies shivered from the eerie breeze; as if their afraid of the war. Occasional droplets of rain fall from the sky, like tears for the fallen, carried by the silent breeze from the battle far above.
The sky warned of heavy rain and fierce wind but Amekia and Jorden ignored the impending storm. Instead they ran spreading happiness and excitement through the field while they scooped up daisies and laughed with delight. We can’t stay much longer but I’m not ready to leave yet Amekia realized with a mental sigh. The smile slipped off her face as the anger crept back up from its well. The clouds had her on edge but it was too early in the year for a spring squall, so she dismissed the feeling once more and continued to run; there was still time to be happy before the storm. It’s those precious minutes that matter most. Not where he has been all these years or why he suddenly came back. All that matters is that he did come back. She tried to reassure herself but it felt hollow.
Amekia was just shy of her nineteenth birthright. She had long brown hair with the slightest of curls that framed her soft complexion and caressed her faint jaw line. Her passionate eyes were bright blue like looking at the sky through a crystal. She had lips that were made for smiling and laughing but it was a rare occasion to be happy of late. She stood just over a head shorter than Jorden, but she was considered to be of average height for her age. She was skinny, but fit and athletic, from the daily exercise involved with hiking through the woods. A pink ribbon tied just above her left ear fluttered chaotically as she continued to run. Her stout brown boots came up to just under her knee. Her pale blue trousers were tucked into the top along with a wickedly carved knife that she always carried with her into the woods. She wasn’t an expert when it came to the woods but, she spent so much time around them, it always felt like home.
Her father had given her the knife many years ago for protection and since then it went everywhere with her safely tucked into her boot. The knife had been in the family for longer than she could remember but, it was still as sharp as the day it was made. The handle was plain, made of wood, and carved to resemble a serpent’s tail. The blade looked like frosted steel and was crafted in the shape of a serpent’s body and head. There were old runes carved on the blade just below the hilt. A single sapphire sat near the end of the blade to resemble the serpent’s eyes. She wondered where such an expensive knife had come from, but, no one in her family seemed to remember. They shrugged off all her questions about the knife or its history which led her to believe they were lying.
Just off to her side Amekia spots a patch of yellow daisies growing from the remains of an old tree stump. She changed course and scooped up a bright yellow flower as she continued running through the field. She liked the flower because it matched the light yellow shirt she chose to wear today. Before the wind created by running had a chance to damage the pretty little flower she slipped it into the front pocket of her shirt for safe keeping.
Her brother Jorden ran beside her for the first time in years. He kept up to her with ease, not even breaking a sweat. His twenty-third birthright had come and gone a few months past. Semi-long blond hair blew in the wind as he ran and his brown eyes sparkled with delight. He had a close cut beard that framed his face which was carved with hard lines like a gemstone. Handsome and rugged described Jorden from his brown cloth shirt down to his stout leather boots.
Jorden’s short sword swayed in a natural motion with his movement. The sword was the only outward indication of his militia training besides his eyes, which never seemed to rest in one place from more than a few seconds. They came to a stop at the crest of a small hill and stood in an awkward silence while they caught their breath and watched the approaching storm.
“This weather makes it hard to believe that the spring equinox isn’t until next month.” Amekia said to break the awkward silence. He’s been gone for so long…what do I say? There’s not enough time for all the questions I have. Is he still the same Jorden that left so long ago? She wondered. She decided to lie down in a patch of soft green grass that gave her a wonderful view of the mountains in the distance.
She watched Jordan as he continued to look at the black clouds; there was an eerie silence, like just before a mighty storm. There were no sounds of nature today, except for the slight gust of distant winds. It gave her a nervous feeling the way he frowned at the clouds. Did he even hear me? Amekia wondered with a touch of anger. She rolled her eyes and was just about to open her mouth when Jorden met her gaze.
“Yes it does” he replied. His voice sounded distant as if he was lost in thought.
Not much of an answer Amekia thought but kept it to herself. Her brother’s mood was still darker than the clouds which covered more of the sky then when they had entered the field. She decided that she was going to try to find out why.
“You’ve looked troubled all day Jorden. What’s wrong? Why did you come back?” asked Amekia. She had a thousand more questions but bit her tongue to hold back the stream.
She watched Jorden sigh as he looked toward the ground with a slight pause, like he was thinking. “You mean besides what happened at the house today?”
The anger in his voice cut through her like a sharp blade. Amekia flinched at the sound of it and she saw his cheeks go red with embarrassment.
“There’s a lot you don’t know yet Amekia. It’s a dangerous secret to hold once you know. It’s just not a good time to discuss this.” He said in a softer tone.
Amekia’s mind tried to work out what she was just told. What is he talking about? What secret does he mean?
“What better time than now Jorden? Your home now, it has been years since I heard anything from you.” said Amekia.
“No!” Jorden said quickly while throwing his arms up in the air with exasperation. “Amekia, there’s no worse time then now! There are people who wish to hurt me; they follow me wherever I go. I caught one of them once; he told me he was paid in gold! Just to follow me and report where I go.” Jorden opened his coin pouch, dumped a pile of coins into his hand, they were all gold.
Amekia gasped at the amount of coins in Jorden’s hand. I’ve never seen that much money before! Where did he get that? Could he really be telling the truth? Amekia felt a cold chill run through her that caused her to shiver.
“He couldn’t give me a good description other than it was a man in a red robe, but I believed him because these coins were tied to his belt” Jorden said as he put the coins back into his pouch.
Amekia’s mouth still hung open at the amount of gold she had seen. The thought of her brother in trouble horrified her. What she had just heard was so unexpected her mind just didn’t want to grasp it all. “That’s awful Jorden! Who would want to hurt you? What’s going on?” asked Amekia with concern.