Part 39

Stones and Bones

Hera dug with her bare hands through thick clay ridden mud. The stench of stagnant water made her gag, yet Hera persisted clawing her way down. Her finger nails broke and bled, the stench became far worse than soured water alone and fear gripped her heart as her hands pulled free a bone and stone necklace. She had seen this before and she knew who it had belonged too and although Hera had personally considered The Shaman a fraud, a showman adopting an actors tricks to sell himself as something he was not. That was still no reason for murder.

His act had cost him his life and the well had become his grave.

There was no crystal, no gem of prophecy. Just the decaying remains of The Kings favorite soothsayer, hacked apart and dumped carelessly.

Fendor had claimed he had buried the crystal with his shirt, he called her Beryl and was deeply saddened by the King’s command to bury her. Hera found his shirt among the filth and body parts, she gasped, feeling a hard lump wrapped carefully within the stained material… She dared to hope, holding her breath in her chest as she carefully unwrapped the bundle…

Just a stone, nothing more, a plain humble stone.

Hera screamed in frustration and grief, causing more than a few sheep who grazed nearby to bolt and scatter in fear. She screamed in rage, she screamed with utter hopelessness… Clutching the stone to her chest, cheated and destroyed…

Brynn lightly touched her shoulder and noticed the body, “Hera?”
Her screams subsided to a strangled sob.

“Hera, we should offer him a proper burial.” The shepherdess suggested… “Somewhere more beautiful, so his spirit may rest free from the torment of his murder.”

Hera nodded.

“…and don’t frighten my sheep so!”

Anne Harrison 05.03.17

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