Centaurs and Death“Jumi! Mallee! Vala! Come on! Faster! Get up!” I sobbed to them.
They weren’t moving. My sisters weren’t moving! Jared was shaking each one of them, but they wouldn’t budge. No! They can’t leave me! Not after Linya and Kinita! Not after everything! I was sobbing so hard I was surprised I had any energy to get up. I had the sword in my hand and I was so angry, I wouldn’t come within five feet of me. my blood boiled as I looked down the tunnel, towards the footsteps approaching. “I’ll be back. Stay here Jared. Help my sisters,” I said gravely.
He just nodded and kept talking to them, they couldn’t do this. They couldn’t leave me! I made my way along the narrow tunnel, dragging my broken leg. The brainless Centaurs were mad at me. They were mad because our mothers, the Spirits of Earth, killed Herod. He went to them, expecting just to get full immunity from the war the Centaurs were having. So he could be immortal too. He didn’t want to die, that little… When he got refused, he didn’t take it well. He tried to attack my mother! It was, really, my mother, too. Tini, the goddess of the water is Kinita’s and mine. Jumi and Vala’s mother, was Dectas, the goddess of the Soil. Then there’s Linerati, the goddess of the sky. When he did that he was easily vaporized by my mother, and turned into a small cloud. Now the Centaur-like things wanted revenge. I wasn’t with my sisters when they attacked, but they weren’t even ready. They had stolen my sword, which can “kill” immortals, and used it against them. They didn’t let them even arm themselves!
The sword in my hands, I could feel the weight of blood that it carried. Linya, and my other sisters. Except for Kinita, she died by my hand not my sword. I hear the footsteps stop as I think they saw me. I looked up at the nasty sneers on their faces. My anger boiled and I felt my leg healing. Since we immortal, or supposed to be, we heal much faster than humans. Soon my leg felt fine and said in my scratchy voice, “Look what you have done! You monsters!” I pointed the other end of the tunnel, which they can’t see, but I knew they knew what was back there.
It was the head manic at this site, so I was ready to fight. Sometimes they are good at sword fighting. “I’m sorry, but your mother did a horrible thing. Herod-“
“Attacked them!” I said defensively, “Completely self-defense! Now you are killing my sisters!”
“How about we settle this the right way,” another said too confidentially. “A sword fight, master. You’re the best in the Land.”
Ha! Right, or that’s what they think. “Do you know who I am, stupid?” I spat at the little freak-show.
“No, which sister are you? Jumi, the small one?” That was crossing the line, and my nerves were already live wires.
“No, idiot!” the head guy said to him, “That’s Rachna!”
He turned dangerously pale. I pulled out my sword set it in front of me, “I’m fine with a sword fight, you?”
“I think we’ll be leaving,” Head said quickly.
“No! No, you won’t be leaving!” I shouted. “First, I’m going to need to show you not to mess with my sisters. Get over here, now!”
Then the head stepped up, “Fine, just leave the small one alone.”
I got stung by that, it reminded me too much of Linya. I couldn’t pull my sword up, and the stupid little one chuckled, “Hurt by that, big one? Linya got some kind of curse on you?”
My head snapped up. I don’t care who he thought he was, but he started to run. I jumped right over him so he was running towards me. He didn’t stop in enough time to stop from running into my blade. I took it out and didn’t feel anything, no ting of guilt or anything. He was fine, but I knew it hurt. I nailed him in the shoulder. “You’ll live you ungrateful, snob.”
“You-“ he cried out in pain as it seemed to hit him again.
Then I went back to the master. “Trust me, freak-show. I won’t be so nice next time.”
“Oh, we know, Miss. We know.” he said shakily as he rushed over to help the ignorant one.
My sisters had fought off most of their species trying to defend themselves today. I walked over to the end of the tunnel, just below the house we were living in, to where my sisters lay. Jared had tears in his eyes. He didn’t think they were going to live. I collapsed to my knees and drop the sword. I put my finger to Jumi’s neck, no pulse. I felt tears in my eyes. “Jared,” I whispered and he looked at me with tear streaming down his face. “Help me, we must take them to my aunts.”
He took Vala, the smallest, and I took Jumi and Mallee in each arm. We went our secret way straight to our waiting moms. “Mother-“ I began but was cut short when I saw them come and pick them out of our arms like we weren’t even there.
None of them cried silent tears like Jared and me, they just looked like they wanted to curl up with their dead daughters. I looked away and started to walk towards the exit until I heard my mother call me, “Please, Rachna. Don’t leave us.”
My back against them, I stood there for a minute remembering everything that had happened. “Five years, mother. Five flimsy years!” I spat at the ground, my tears dried. “Mother, I can’t look at them, they are gone. Their body are cold!”
I turned to the Pond and shouted, “Well! Tell me! Are they gone? Dead?”
I looked at my reflection, but I didn’t see me. I saw Kinita, nodding. I went over to her image and whispered, “Please, take care of our family the way I never could.”
She seemed to understand and I saw her cry, in the water. “Don’t cry, Kinita. It’ll be fine. They can’t leave you there, right?”
She nodded again and spoke to me. It was more like a voice in my head than something I was actually hearing, and it seemed wispy like the air. She said, “Don’t worry, sister. You did all you could do. You always took care of our family better than I did. Good luck.”
Then she disappeared. I sniffed but didn’t cry, I told the mothers that they were dead and they didn’t do anything, just sat there with their daughters in their arms. Tini took Vala, Jumi was in Dectas’s arms, and Mallee was with Linerati. Jared was standing awkwardly over by a tree and I motioned for him to come over. I told my mothers goodbye, which they didn’t care, and I left with Jared. It was just us now. I wished with all my heart that the pain would end right here, but I knew that would only ever be a silly wish.
We went back to the house, and Jared collapsed on the couch and was in a mini-coma in minutes. I, on the other hand, must have stayed awake for day before even looking at a bed or couch. I just sat in the kitchen, at the dining room table, listening to the sounds around me. Jared woke up and made his own breakfast and after a couple days went up to me and said, “Rachna? Come on, get up! You’re not dead yet! Come on! Get up. Please?” he seemed desperate.
I looked over at him, twisting my head and feeling every vertebrate slowly rock and tumble in my neck. I opened my mouth to say something, but before I could even think straight, I fell back and passed out.