This is part of Sari’s debut in Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99 cents.
The ground rushes to meet her beautiful face after Sari trips over a tree root that she could not see through her tears. Dirt joins the twigs and leaves that are caught in the dark blue waterfall of hair that cascades down to her thighs. She scrambles to her feet before wiping the dirt and tears from her puffy eyes. Their emerald glow, that her partner had written songs about, is barely a glimmer amid a cloud of terror. A tear down the arm of her dirty, white blouse makes her grumble incoherently as she rips the sleeve off. She whimpers at the sight of her bright red skirt, shredded up to her knees by the forest’s underbrush.
Sari takes a moment to rub her bleeding feet before sprinting forward like a hunted rabbit, ragged breaths escaping her smooth lips. Her direction is a mystery even to her. Her only hope is that her path takes her away from the slaughter. Sari can still hear the final scream that ripped through the air and announced the demise of her kin. It took all of her strength to leave her hiding place and run for her life.
“I don’t want to . . . waugh!” exclaims the fatigued gypsy as she blindly rushes to the edge of a steep hill and tumbles over the side. Bushes slap at her skin and rocks tear at her dirt-covered skirts until she skids on her back into a small river. The running water helps to wash some of the dirt and blood off her as she lies as still as possible. Only her face remains above the river’s surface while she catches her breath.
“I would have expected more grace from you. A gifted dancer and knife-fighter falling into a simple river is beneath you, dear,” sings a female voice from the muddy shore. “On the positive side of things, you are now clean.”
“Are you with them?” Sari asks, getting to her feet and backing away. A rotund woman with dark skin and a cloud of silver and dull yellow hair sits on the shore with a fishing pole stuck into the soft ground. Her dress is gold and looks like an intricate tapestry that a noble would put on their wall. Sari is more interested in the glittering jewels that cover the woman’s fingers and ears.
“Am I with whom? Oh. Them. No, dear. I am perfectly harmless to you,” the woman pleasantly says. “In fact, I believe you called out to me about ten minutes ago. Lucky for you, I was in the area trying to catch something.”
“I called for you?” inquires Sari. She wades out of the river and wrings the water from her hair.
“Yes. You thought that you were going to die and wished that Cessia would come to make things right,” states the woman. Her smile gives Sari a warm sense of hope and determination.
Sari can’t stop herself from smiling back. “You’re the Luck Goddess, Cessia? Wow.”
“Wow? You stand before a goddess and that is all you can say? I would be hurt if I wasn’t so amused,” the goddess claims.
“I’m sorry. It’s been a terrible morning. My partner and I were united last night. Then, there was a lot of drinking. I remember dancing on top of a wagon with only half of my clothes,” Sari explains, her body shivering from the cold water and the terror in her bones. “Then, the attack this morning happened and I saw my partner get captured by a halfling in armor. I have no idea if anyone else from my clan survived after I ran away. Also . . . I keep crying.”
Cessia grows an extra pair of arms to hug the gypsy girl. “Just keep crying, dear. You cared a great deal for your clan and now you are the only one that is left.”
“I’m the only one?” Sari asks.
“I am afraid so. Those who survived the dragons were eaten by the zombies or killed by that halfling. You are the last of your clan, dear,” Cessia answers with a touch of sadness in her voice. “I would tell you what to do next, but I can’t. Then again, I believe you already know what you have to do.”
“I have to keep running,” the girl whispers.