13 January, 2015

The Water

The water was cold against her skin. Her ankles were already numb, soon it would go up her calve and then to her thigh. She had to keep going. She had to press on or her pursuer would overtake her and she needed to be free.

Free. She barely remembered the feeling of freedom. To ability to dictate her own time, to decide what happened to her body, to be in control of what was going on. For too long she’d been held back, held captive by a decision she did not fully understand.

She had her freedom once. Before her love was killed she had defied all she had ever known for a life with him. They were going to live a quiet existence together. And they had until the war came and he went to defend the little they had. In her grief she carried herself back to her father. He took her back into their clan, but not without conditions. She was no longer his daughter, but a lowly maid in the commander’s household. She thought in time he would pardon her, but her father was always cold-hearted and stubborn.

So now she’d runaway again. Stolen the commander’s horse and ridden through the night. The sunlight was just starting to crest the dawn. Beyond the very edge of the lake she could see her destination. If she could get across the lake she would escape her father’s reach. He might be powerful, but he would not risk invading the land for her.

The horse started to swim. She fell into the rhythm of its movements of its legs, each stroke taking them closer to freedom.

The water crept to the top of her thigh, reminding her of the measly clothes she wore. She had thought about taking more, but that would have required opening the wardrobe. Hopefully she would find peace. Hopefully she would find a quiet life. She would return to the cabin and live out her days.

The coming dawn could only bring better days.

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© Amanda Lunday