She found herself, still unnoticed, right in the middle of a massive disorder. People running past her with fear struck on their faces, the agonizing screams of women and weeping children that desperately searched for their parents.
She refused to understand the reason, if there was any, that God had allowed those pagans to taint such a holy place.
From behind the bushes, Faylin watched helplessly as they entered the church. She shut her eyes tightly and clasped a hand over her mouth as an old man fell a few feets near her hidden place, his lifeless open eyes staring back at her.
Exhaling deeply through her nose Faylin reopened them and whimpered as strong hairy calves appeared on sight. Wide-eyed she slowly looked up; a burly man crouched and pulled out his axe from the old man chest.
She quickly looked away.
After making sure the heathen had left Faylin used her arms to crawl backwards. She knew the blacksmith’s horse wasn’t far from there, if only she could reach it…
It was a risk she was willing to take.
Faylin lifted herself from the ground on weak legs, bracing herself against the rough trunk of the tree for a mere instant. The cries of despair rang over and over again as she started running. Her hazel eyes moved from side to side taking in her surroundings. She was terrified, almost expecting some savage to tackle her down at any moment.
By the time she reached the stable her knees were buckling with the fear that gripped her but she didn’t let herself fall.
She wanted to cry out; Relieved, she allowed herself a small smile. Looking over her shoulder, she gazed upon the horizon with its flashes of bright shades of red and orange. She made a promise that she would come back with help.
However, her happiness was short lived. Before she could set foot inside the stable she saw that the wooden door was slightly ajar. Her hands folded into fists, taking hold of her tunic as she moved towards the door. She was shaking like a leaf, her body tightening in anticipation.
It is not possible. If any of them had passed by her, she surely would have seen them.
She wasn’t expecting it. The force with which the door opened knocked her sideways and onto her side. Faylin felt a cool substance run down her lips and could tell her nose started to bleed. Her leg was throbbing with pain.
The feeling of a vibrating ground under her made her look up; she felt the blood drain out of her face. Sister Elsa was on top of a horse, galloping away at full speed. Faylin panicked.
“SISTER ELSA! SISTER!! ” She screamed.
Taking a sharp breath she stood up, feeling a stabbing pain go through her leg. Every step she took was proving to be a difficult task, so she limped as long as she could, watching as the horse came to a stop. Sister Elsa glanced once at her before kicking the sides of the horse, crushing all her hopes.
Faylin tripped over a branch in her haste and felt herself hit the floor.
She screamed at her, tears falling down her face. She pounded her fist against the ground and sobbed uncontrollably. Everything hurt. God, what has she done to deserve all of this pain?
"Hér! Sjá Vegr!" Someone shouted. It was a deep, masculine voice. Thick with authority. As she started getting dizzy she couldn´t help but wonder what would happen to her. Faylin heard footsteps coming closer, she was even sure the person crouched above her.
Turning her head to the side she saw through blurred vision someone hovering above her, which just confirmed her suspicion. Fighting to keep her eyes open, Faylin weakly let her eyes travel to the tall man´s face. Those eyes. Blue - piercing, intense, mesmerizing.
"Minn fagr einn..."
Blackness then enveloped her.
Faylin felt like she was floating. Something cold and wet pressed against her lip, her eyelids fluttered but did not open. Still overcoming her groggy state, she breathed in the salty, clean familiar smell. She could hear someone weeping but she knew that it wasn’t her own. Suddenly the sound of loud voices reached her ears, causing her to freeze.
Everything came rushing back at her. She remembered running for her life, of Sister Elsa betrayal, she also recalled of being found…
Opening her eyes, she jerked to an upright position. This couldn’t be happening - she had to be dreaming, she thought. Realization came over as she let her eyes scan her surroundings.
She took in the square coarse woolen sail mounted on a single center mast, the rowing benches and oars that fitted along almost the entire length of the ship. The open deck gave her a view of the dock. It was crowded with the savage race. Many of them had started coming back to the ships but few remained behind, entertaining themselves. Faylin felt sick as she watched them undress the monks until they were bare, their laugher ringing in her ears.
“Protect us Lord…”
She heard the whispered words coming from her side. Startled, her gaze darted towards the sound. A fragile looking girl whose hair was in knots had her knees up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them, big brown eyes watched Faylin’s face apprehensively.
Faylin bit her lip as her gaze fell upon the fiery red handprint mark on her cheek; Sighing, she raised her hands to swipe away a lock of her auburn hair when she let out a gasp. She desperately pulled at it but to no avail. The sensitive skin, now red and itchy, protested painfully against the secure tight hold the thick cord inflicted upon her delicate wrists.
“What will become of us?” Faylin asked, voice cracking.
“They’re barbarians… what more could they do than led us to a life of sin?” The girl replied, finishing in a low murmur. By the way her shoulders sagged Faylin knew the fight had left her body. "Ahlis" – "What?"
"My name is Ahlis" The girl attempted a small smile. –
She didn’t feel so alone anymore.
It wasn’t long before the men started returning to the ships. Faylin and Ahlis scooted back and watched miserably as the cloud of smoke started getting smaller and smaller as they grew in distance. It brought a tear to her eye knowing that she had no choice but let the black heathens led her to her fate.