It feels as if this night will never end. The reality of her parents and her friends deaths are too much to comprehend. Add that to seeing her little sister in pain, Makana is beyond distraught.
At least little Britta is there to comfort Hoku. The two are inseparable. Makana is thankful they broke the rules and left the compound on a frog fishing errand.
And when the two break down crying, Makana’s sadness deepens. Britta lost her mother, too.
Why did this have to happen? Tribe Wahine has always been peaceful.
Her uncle had explained his part in this tragedy. His evil mother, Mor, and his sister, Alena, were mostly to blame. If it wasn’t for him, all her tribe would be gone but he valiantly saved those he could and for that, she will forgive him. But Makana will stop at nothing to see that witch Mor Rigan and her daughter, Alena, drown in the waters of the Pit of Death. A death too good for either of them. Maybe Makana will seek vengeance of her own. And her uncle will help her. He owes her this.
Mist hands Newlin a vial of medicine to give to Kiko. She must run to the tribe across the river for help. They need more stores of herbs and potions if she is to save Kiko. The woman is near death and there’s no time to lose.
Newlin shakes Kiko hoping to rouse her enough so she can drink the green liquid.
“Open up, my love,” he coaxes, pulling on her lips. How he’d missed her in the suns of his absence. Too bad it is almost by his hand that she may lose her life. He will never forgive himself for this.
Shaking her head gently, he hopes she will awaken. “Come on, honey, you must take this to get better.”
Eyes slowly opening, Kiko whispers, “Newlin? Is that you?”
“Yes, sweetheart. I’m here. For how long, I do not know, but…you must get better, my love. I won’t leave you until you are recovered.”
She nods then falls back to sleep–her chest breathing slowly up and down.
Newlin prays to the Maker that she will get stronger. He will drown himself in the Pit of Death if she is taken by the Grim Reaper.
“Newlin,” Kiko says hoarsely, “do not worry. My mana is strong.” She rubs his arm then drifts back into the clouds of slumber.
Her mana is strong, this is true.
But mana cannot save a wounded person who has lost as much blood as Kiko has. It will take a miracle for her recovery. Newlin worries that his sister might return, too. They are like sitting ducks. With only him to guard, the tribe is seriously at risk. They must flee to another tribe. He will speak to Makana about this.
Aley’s world is turned upsidedown. His Creator, the slave Runoi, and most of the women are gone from this world. And he was sleeping instead of guarding like a proper slave should be doing. If only he were stronger!
And now with no Provider, the children are without a caretaker. Aley checks on his baby girl Xenia who is sleeping soundly as if there are no troubles in the world. He moves next to the children’s room.
All seems as it should be.
Aley says a blessing over each child. Slave or no, they deserve better. The tribe is cursed. That is apparent. But the Maker did give Aley a child. A miracle. Maybe he would lift the curse from these babes as well.
First he whispers over Dak, Newlin’s son, “You will become a great Master Slave and make up for your father’s crimes.”
Kissing little Ale, he whispers, “You will be sought after by many tribes and woo the hearts of a multitude of Amazons.”
Lastly, he tucks the covers around Alika’s tiny body. “And you will sire beautiful children and be strong just like your father was–a great asset to Tribe Wahine.”
Tears prick Aley’s eyes. He is determined to do his best for his tribe. He will not fail his new Creator.
Newlin is alerted by strangers trespassing on Tribe Wahine’s land. A woman with kind eyes bows her head and says, “Please, slave, may we have a word with your Creator?”
Perturbed, Newlin answers, “My tribe is under duress, my lady. If you please, we are not in the market to buy anything. Now if you don’t mind, please see yourself off our land.”
Not moving, the woman says, “Your Shaman, Mist Mountain, came to us asking for help. We are here to protect you. I am Creator Simna Altair. My slaves are yours. Please use them. There are none better to guard in all the Amazon. May I present Korinnos the Wanderer?”
She motions to a man who looks as if he is in deep contemplation. An older man. What could he do for Tribe Wahine? Is this woman trying to foist her low hanging fruit on the tribe? Newlin is about to implore her to leave when she points to the other man.
“And this is Grogan the Beastmaster. His two cats are fearsome allies,” the woman explains. “You need not worry about another attack. They will patrol your grounds faithfully.”
Makana seeks after the strangers. Is it time already to meet with other tribes? She’s not even the Creator. Not yet. She has to be sworn in. But who will lead the tribe? All the women are dead except for Mist and Kiko. But Kiko is badly wounded and she needs Mist to tend to her.
Makana feels like screaming, crying out all her pain. She wants time to mourn her loss. She’s not ready to become the leader of Tribe Wahine.
But the people don’t seem to want to leave. Masking her pain, Makana says, “I am the Creator Heiress, Makana Wahine. I kindly ask you to leave at once. Our tribe is not receiving guests.”
“Creator Heiress, I beg your pardon, but we’re here to help. I am Creator Simna Altair of Tribe Safron. We mourn your loss with you.
“Please receive my two slaves as a sympathy gift.” She motions to the men behind her. One very handsome and one who looks very strong.
“I also will help you with any duties you might require. Before the passing of our Creator I was the Gatherer. She birthed no daughters so the Creatorship fell to me. Please, my lady, we are at your disposal for we love your great grandmother, Queen Firestorm, and wish to be of service to her family.”
Then the three of them bow to her.
Makana is blown away at such kindness. How could she refuse such gifts?
Before the sun arose on that awful night, Makana welcomes three strangers whom she will soon call fellow mates of Tribe Wahine.
Thank you to Mrs. Racooney for supplying the very handsome Korinnos the Wanderer for Makana. He will be an asset to the tribe! 😏