Acsah took deep breaths as she walked, her legs and lungs nearly frozen as she trekked through knee deep snow. The cloak she wore hardly helped and snow kept flying up into her boots. She stopped, leaning against a tree, her hand coming to rest on her rounded belly. Cursed, they had called her, whore, impure. All because she was a priestess, all because she had fallen for the man’s charms only to be left alone with a village that hated her for daring to keep her baby. They had said they could get rid of it, but when she had refused, they had stripped her of every comfort and when she had still refused to relent, they had shamed her and kicked her out. A priestess was supposed to stay pure and to them she had tainted herself.
Tears burned in her eyes and she forced them not to fall, taking another breath as she pushed herself off the tree. She had to keep moving, had to find shelter. She was so cold and exhausted and she feared for her baby. She took a step and her foot came in contact with a tree root, her ankle twisting so she fell into the deep snow. She screamed out a frustrated curse. Why? All she wanted to do was protect the only thing she had left. So why was she still being punished.
The wind whipped into Admon’s face as he watched the deer, spear in hand. His eyes focused on it as he waited. He slowly shifted, drawing his arm back, then the wind changed. The deer raised its head, looking off into the distance, then it ran. Admon sniffed the air. Was it a predator? He shook his head. No, it was something else. He scented distress and fear. There was something wrong.