Thirty-four years ago - Ahe’ey
“You can do it Sky,” cheered Gabriel as the young girl climbed the highest tree in the forest. She planted her feet on the tree and leaned back as her hands pulled a rope that wrapped around the branchless trunk.
“It’s too high! I’m going to fall,” she screeched, as one of her feet slipped, and her knee scraped the bark. “Ouch!”
“Keep going. If you fall, I’ll catch you,” the twelve-year-old boy said with confidence.
Sky secured both feet in the bark of the tree and yanked her body upwards.
She loosed the rope just enough to move it up the tree trunk. Burned by the friction of the movement, her right hand let go of the rope and she fell backwards. Six-year-old Bastian screamed in panic.
Gabriel reached his arms to catch Sky as she fell. They both hit the ground with the impact of her body.
“I didn’t know you could fly,” he laughed.
“I told you it was too high,” she said, annoyed. “My hand! It hurts.” She opened the palm of her hand, red and blue from the rope. He blew on it and kissed it.
“It’s just a scratch. It’ll heal in a minute. In a few days, you’ll reach the top of the tree, and we’ll rappel down together,” he said reassuringly as he got up and reached under her arms to pull her to a standing position.
“Will you see my mum from the top of the tree? When can we go home?” Whined Bastian.
“Luna is within you, Bas. Can’t you feel her?” Gabriel placed his hand on the shoulder of his young cousin. A tiny veil of mournful water covered the blue eyes of the youngest boy.
Sky lowered her head and bit her lip. Her eyebrows became heavy as Gabriel saw a cocktail of grief and rage emerge in her expression. “We are your family now Bas,” she said, “We will not let you down. They’ll pay for what they did. All of them. We’ll kill them all.”
The young boy took a few steps back, unprepared to deal with Sky’s storm.
“The forest is our home. Where else could we go skinny dipping in the middle of the day?” Gabriel smiled, touching Bastian’s cheek. The older boy undressed and ran toward the lake followed by his two cousins.
“Why do we need to hide away from everyone else?” Bastian asked as he pulled up his tunic over his blonde hair.
“Our blood is special, we need to keep it safe,” Gabriel explained.
“But I wanna go hooome!”
“The Hu’urei are looking for us; they seek to destroy the royal bloodline. We must stay here, under the protection of the Ange’el.”
“Is that why they killed my parents and took Sky’s mum and sister?”
Gabriel nodded. “We will stick together and train a lot. We need to improve our skills in archery, martial arts, running, swimming, and sword fighting. One day we’ll join the Yi’ingo army and fight against the Hu’urei. Come, Bas. Join me.” Gabriel jumped into the water, attempting to wash away the worries of his young cousins. He showered Sky with cold water as she ran into the lake, chasing him.
Gabriel’s lighthearted exterior hid the worries that festered his mind. The two children were now his responsibility. He had promised his parents that he would do anything and everything to keep them safe and happy.
Away from the Sacred House, from his family, and from the comforts and privileges of the royal apparatus, the boy relied only on himself and on the few Ange’el that watched over them. The densest and most remote valley of the Ahe’ey forest was now their home—a haven from the devastating war that ravaged the land.
Sky grabbed his neck and pushed him under water. Bastian jumped on top of his cousins, joining the fun.
A note from the author: Have you been enjoying my novel Ahe’ey? Today, I have a little surprise for you. I'm releasing the audio file for Ahe’ey part 1 - Sky Falling. Let me know if you enjoy the format. If you do, I will post more audio files over the coming weeks.
"The Yi’ingo held her dagger in front of her baby, commanding the full attention of the men. The curls of her blood coloured hair covered her face and hid the panic in her chestnut eyes. She felt faint. She was weak, too weak to fight three men with a child in her arms."
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