Safe is Relative

The sun set behind the mountains and shadows reached out to cover the village I’d taken refuge in.

The chanting seemed to come from all directions at once. The words were elusive as if the moment you heard them, they dissolved from your mind like sugar into water, only leaving behind a residual impression of power.

Dozens of fires appeared at once, heralding the escalating rumble as armored soldiers appeared. The masked men spread out like a ring in a pond and began slaughtering anything that they could reach. Every animal was gutted and left where they lay. Some men tried to resist and they died. Others tried to run and they died too. Screaming children were butchered. Wailing women were kept to one side and only killed if they made themselves a threat.

The chanting continued and the scene played out like a minstrels nightmare.

I promised the gods that I would never hide in a village again. All this happened because I wanted a safe place to rest.

It was time to move on. There was nothing I could do.

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