After 3735 BC near the Black Sea. Kairos: Zoe, the Amazon Queen
“Chloe, over here. This way is safe.” The nine-year-old tugged on her twelve-year-old sister’s hand.
“Amira, hush. They will hear you,” Chloe said, but she followed in Amira’s intended direction though Amira was blind.
“Chloe, what do you see?”
“Nothing. It is only dark night.”
“Not see with your eyes, silly. I mean what do you feel?”
Chloe wrinkled her nose at her sister. Amira asked questions like that knowing full well that Chloe had no such gift. Only Amira could see things in the dark as easily as the light. Only Amira had the eyes to see inside people to know their true heart, though she had no eyes to see at all. Only Amira felt things like that, sometimes even glimpses of the future. Chloe was just an ordinary girl with ordinary eyes, but Amira asked anyway.
“I feel fear,” Chloe said. “We lost the men in the dark, but they have not given up. We must not stop. We have to keep moving.”
“Not behind, silly. What do you feel ahead of us?”
Chloe looked back before she made an effort to look ahead. She saw or felt nothing in particular but more forest and treacherous little ridges like the one they were on. They were ridges that would surely injure them in the dark if Chloe was not careful.
“I’m sorry. I see only dark, now can we move?”
“Oh, Chloe. You hardly try,” Amira scolded her big sister. “I feel a warm fire and good people who will help us against the dark and the bad men. I can smell the deer cooking and a treat of grain, elf grown grain made delicious.”
“By magic, I am sure.” Chloe looked back once more and strained her ears.
“They are true people of power. We must go to them. They will protect us,” Amira said, and Chloe caught her blind sister before she stepped off the ridge and tumbled and fell twenty feet to the forest floor. There was an easier way down if Chloe was careful.
It was not long before Chloe caught a glimpse of the camp fire through the trees, and not much longer before she smelled the roasting meat. Her stomach grumbled, but it only made Amira laugh. “But can we trust these people?” Chloe had to ask.
“We must,” Amira answered with a knowing smile, and in the end she was the one who dragged her sister into the camp without so much as a “Hello, may we join you?”
The travelers were surprised, but hardly knew what to do as the two young women walked right into their midst. The young one had her older sister by the hand and pulled her right up to Katie Harper where she made the introductions.
“Chloe, this is the second elected one in all the world, and now you are the third. You must listen to what she says in the short time you have. Listen to her and her man, for they are wise beyond our years. Sit.” And the younger one made a reluctant Chloe sit beside Katie. “My name is Amira, and we are very hungry.”
Roland, Lincoln and Elder Stow all leapt for the deer to cut pieces to share. Boston went for the girl and found a place for her to sit. As she did, she looked close, waved her hand to be sure and then turned to Lockhart with a surprising pronouncement. “She is blind.”
“She has always been blind,” Chloe said quickly. “But she sees better and more than most.”
“My name is Katie and this is Robert,” Katie said.
“Lockhart,” he said of himself.
Chloe nodded, but looked suddenly shy and was glad when Lincoln handed her a piece of meat and some bread. Chloe touched the bread. She sniffed it. “Grain of the elves,” she named it.
“Yes,” Katie responded. “How did you know?”
“Amira told me before we even found your fire.” She looked at her sister and ate hungrily. Amira was right about that, too. They were starving.
Amira also ate, but more slowly. It was like she was too busy sensing other things to eat too quickly. She spoke between bites. “Elder and elf, please do not frighten my sister.” She shook her finger at the two before she took another bite, but that only brought something else to mind.
“Elder Stow and Roland,” Boston managed to say. “I am Boston and the other man is Lincoln.”
“Lincoln!” Amira spoke too loud before she turned again toward the elf. “No, Roland, your sister is remembering, I think. She disguised herself like an elf the way you disguised yourself like a person. No one will bother her or her father.”
“Are they near?” Lincoln jumped into the conversation.
“I do not know,” Amira said as she thought about it. “I cannot judge near and far well at all. Everything I see seems near to me.”
Boston turned to face the girl. “You are what, eleven? Twelve?”
“I’m twelve,” Chloe said. She was beginning to fill up and so inclined to relax a little. “Amira is only nine.”
“I bet I can guess how old you are,” Amira said.
“Don’t bet,” Chloe said. “Amira only says that when she already knows the answer.”
Amira stuck out her tongue in her sister’s direction and lifted her hand to touch Boston on the face. She touched. Looked worried. Touched again. “Stop it,” she yelled. “Your age won’t keep still. I don’t understand.” The poor girl got upset.
“That is because I was twenty-five, and then about twenty two or so and then I got very old just recently, only now I get to be young again. I don’t even know how old I am.”
“Nineteen?” Lincoln guessed.
“I would guess closer to eighteen,” Roland countered. Boston just shrugged.
“Oh, I see,” Amira started to say something, but then all she could do was say, “I see, oh I see.” She got really upset and Chloe stood, but Boston hugged the girl and said it would be alright and hush, so Chloe sat down again. “Angel,” Amira said and cried. Boston handled it well, almost as well as Alexis might have handled it.
“So what did she mean, elected?” Katie asked.
Chloe shrugged and did not give her full attention until she knew Amira was going to be alright.
“Better question,” Lockhart interrupted. “Why were you two girls out in the woods at night alone?”
“We were running away,” Chloe spoke with some surprise. “I thought you would know.”
Katie and Lockhart shook their heads and the others perked up their ears.
“Yes. Mother was killed and the bad men want to sell us, except Amira they might keep or just kill because of her eyes, you know.”
No one needed to hear anymore. Lockhart got his shotgun, Katie her rifle. Lincoln had Decker’s rifle near and checked his pistol. Boston had her hands full, but Roland eyed his stock of arrows before he checked his blades. Elder Stow pulled out his sonic device and shrugged. It was not much on flesh, but it might do in a pinch.
Avalon 2.4: One Side of the Coin … Next Time