kDira’s World 2, Chapter 1

kDira’s World 2, Chapter 1

kDira’s Curse (Tentative Title)

cHAPTER 1

Under the brilliant green forest canopy, kDira could see the rays of light shooting like brilliant beams towards the branches below.  Some even made it to the ground at her feet, and she smiled.  She was happy.

She looked down at her belly and saw no bump where she remembered a baby being.  She saw no scars on her arms or legs from the abuse that Hayden had bestowed upon her.  She was happy.

She looked around the forest and for a moment she was confused.  Was this the Kaiba Forest?  kDira struggled to make it clear in her mind where she was.  Had she come from the east, or the west?  She turned and suddenly there was no longer a path.  The forest grew dark and she was scared.  She looked down and the scars had returned to her arms and legs.  She looked at her belly, and it was covered in blood.  She lifted her garment and saw a long wound the width of her abdomen, and an umbilical cord hanging out from the bloody opening in her belly.

She began to run but she felt something holding her back.  She looked behind her but she could see nothing following her, yet she knew something was there, and if she stopped it would catch her, and then…?

“Help me?” she heard in the unseen distance.  She ran in the direction the voice came from, but it had changed to coming from her south-had direction.  Again, she ran towards the voice, but suddenly the voice was behind her.  She stopped and turned around.

“Help me, Queen Mother,” the young man said, standing before her.  “They are trying to kill me, please help me.”

“Who are you, child?” kDira asked, confused.

“You must help me.  If you do not, they will kill me,” he said in desperation.

“Who?  Who is trying to kill you,” the Queen mother asked.

Suddenly, the young man pulled a long knife, kDira’s long knife, and lunged at her.

“You are,” he yelled as he plunged the knife into her belly.

kDira instinctively grabbed the young man’s hand and wrestled the knife from him.  He was far stronger than he looked, and kDira seemed paralyzed with fear and confusion.  She felt tired, weak.  Was she dying?

She took the knife and turned it on the attacker.  She stabbed the boy again and again.

“No, Queen Mother, No!” the boy yelled.  “No, mother, no!”

Suddenly the boy went limp and fell face down on the ground.  kDira looked at the blood coming from her own wounds, but was angry and shaken by the attack.  She knelt down next to the body of the fallen boy, and slowly rolled him over.

In an instant she realized it was not the face of a boy at all.  It was not a young man at all.

It was the body and face of young Winter!

kDira opened her eyes in shock.  Gasping in horror, and sweat-soaked, she quickly realized that she was awake and fine, lying in her bed in her quaint hut in the Blackhorn village.  She felt her belly and was happy that she had no wounds, and that the attack she endured was only in her dream.  Her second baby could come at any time, and the farther along she went, the more frequent and horrifying, and gruesome her dreams became.

The empty place beside her where Agis slept was empty.  He had the night watch on the wall and would be back at first light.  kDira got up and walked over to the handmade crib where Winter slept.  kDira was relieved to see that she was fine, lying there and sleeping peacefully.

Where had this dream come from?  What it the traumatic stress of the horrors that she went through many months earlier coming to the surface?  She was certain that the baby inside her was Hayden’s, and it tormented her to know that she would be raising his child, but half of it was her, and that was important to her.  If she raised the child as her own, then so it would be.  It would have no knowledge of the evil that had impregnated its mother.

kDira put on a robe and sandals and stepped outside.  A Blackhorn guard greeted her.

“Good evening, Queen Mother,” the guard said.

“Good evening, Porelle,” kDira said.

Agis had insisted that a guard be stationed outside her hut whenever he wasn’t around ever since she was kidnapped by Hayden and the Karn.  kDira now felt she couldn’t go anywhere without having a shadow, even if it was Agis himself.

“I am going up to the wall to see Agis,” kDira said.  “You stay here and listen.  If Winter cries, you send someone for me right away.”

“Queen Mother,” the guard said, “Agis left me strict orders to stay with you at all times.”

“And I am give you strict orders to stay with Winter,” kDira insisted.  “Agis takes orders from me, and that means you take orders from me.  Remember that.”

“Yes, Queen Mother,” Porelle said, snapping to attention.

“That’s better,” kDira said.  “I will return shortly.”

kDira headed away from her hut.  She never felt the desire to occupy the Temple that the Queen Mother Dachraolene had lived in up until her death from the wounds that the Karn had given her.  kDira lived modestly in the hut she’d called her own for many years, and it brought her some comfort.  Agis made it his home as well when Winter was born.  The paternal feelings he was experiencing, and his love and devotion to the mother of his child were alien to most Blackhorn, but he could not avoid them.  With kDira’s permission, he moved in and this was the way it has been since.

The walk across the courtyard to the wall where Agis was standing watch was not far from kDira’s hut, but to Agis she might as well have been crossing the Valley of Death alone.  Agis didn’t see her coming, his eyes fixed on the forest and roads outside the walls, so when kDira climbed the ladder and walked up beside him he turned with a start.

“What are you doing up here?” he said.  “Where is Porelle?  I will have him whipped for not staying with you!”

“Relax, kreb,” kDira said with a laugh.  “I made him stay behind and guard Winter.  I think I am safe within the boundaries of my own village if my brave Agis is on the walls.”

“I will still have a stern take with him,” he said.

“I’m fine, I just wanted to see you,” kDira said, putting her hand on is arm.

“What’s wrong?” Agis asked.  “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” kDira assured him.  “I just had another bad dream.  This one was about some young boy I have never seen before, and he attacked me.  It was so real!  And when I killed him, he turned into Winter!”

kDira reached out and took Agis into her arms.  Her warm body felt good in his tired arms.  He had been on the wall for several hours in the dark of night, when his body longed for sleep.  For a moment, he imagined himself lying in bed with her, holding her close.

“It was so real.  Agis, it scares me that I keep having these dreams.”

“They are just dreams,” Agis said trying to calm is mate.  “Hayden has your head so messed up it’s amazing you can even sleep at night.”

kDira looked out over the village, the light of the rising sun just poking through the trees to the east.  Several of the huts were now showing the lights of lanterns and torches, and the sounds of the waking tribemates could be heard amidst the town structures.  The watch would be changing soon, and the village was waking up to another warm, summer day.

“Queen Mother,” a voice came from below.  kDira and Agis looked down from the wall.

“What is it?” kDira asked of the young female warrior below.

“Porelle requests your return, child Winter is crying for her mother,” the warrior called up to the Queen Mother.

“Tell him to start breast feeding her, and I will be right there,” kDira relayed back to him with a smile.  The young Blackhorn turned and ran back towards kDira’s hut.

“I guess I should go,’ kDira said to Agis.

“Tell Porelle I will deal with him later,” Agis said, half joking, half serious.

“You will do no such thing,” kDira said with a sly smile.  “Mind your place, kreb.”

“I’d punch you if you weren’t with child,” Agis said.

“And I’d toss you off this wall,” kDira answered.

Agis bent over and kissed her forehead.

“I will see you in an hour,” he said.  “Be careful climbing down.”

“You be careful too, I hate a crying kreb.”

kDira once again crossed the courtyard back to her hut where Porelle stood guard nervously.  kDira grinned as she passed him, looking him in the eye.  Winter was obviously upset within the walls of the hut.

“Good job, Porelle,” she said with a smile.

“Thank you…” he said as kDira shut the door behind her.

Close to being a full year old, Winter had grown fast and was proving to be a very healthy and happy baby, as long as her mother was around.  She was certain to be walking soon, as were the other young babies in the village.

Benithan, the son of Abril and Cayban, the son of Nepra were only a few weeks younger than Winter.  The two Princess Mothers became pregnant with Karn babies, though they bore little resemblance to the large forehead, prominent eyebrow males that had fathered over a year and a half earlier.

Winter stopped crying as soon as she saw kDira walk into the hut.

“Mum,” young Winter said as kDira picked her up.

“That’s right,” kDira said.  “Mum is right here.”

“Mum!” Winter said again, smiling and leaning into kDira’s shoulder.  kDira walked over to her favorite chair and sat down to nurse her baby.  Winter settled in and enthusiastically fed from her mother’s breast.

“Porelle,” kDira called to the guard outside the door.

Porelle opened the door and looked at kDira.

“Yes, Queen Mother?” he asked.

“Put a log on the fire and get it burning better,” she said.   “It’s a little chilly in here for Winter.”

“Yes, my Queen.”

As Porelle went to the stack of wood to pick a dry log for the fire, the door opened and Agis entered, back from his watch on the village wall.

“Porelle, what are you doing in here?” Agis called out, “Can’t you see the Queen Mother is feeding her child?”

“B-b-but the Queen Mother…” Porelle stuttered.

“Be gone, now,” Agis ordered.  “You can stare at the Queen Mother some other time.”

“He wasn’t staring,” kDira said in Porelle’s defense as he quickly darted out the door to his post outside the hut.

“But I got him to leave us alone, didn’t I?” Agis said with a sinister grin.  Agis sat down next to kDira and laid his head on her unoccupied breast, putting his arm around her back and his hand on her belly.

“Agis, are you okay that the baby is not yours?” kDira asked.

“We will raise it to be ours,” he said.  “There will be time for more babies later.”

“What if it turns out to be like…” she paused.  “Him?”

“Let’s see what happens before we start worrying about what we will do if this or that happens.”

“You’re right,” kDira said.  “The dreams I have been having just have me a little on edge.”

“Everything is going to be fine,” Agis assured her.  “And the Princess Mothers should be having their next babies around the same time as well.  You know, I think Fralek is the father of Nepra’s child.”

“You hush!  You don’t know that,” kDira said sternly.  “Besides, I think Omiroe has feelings for her.”

“I still can’t believe your mother Jilleane is with child as well!” Agis said.  “Edu is like a proud father, is he not?”

“It is so funny to watch him gather things for the baby; crib, garments, furnishings.  He’s like a young kreb!” kDira said, laughing.

Agis pulled himself away from kDira and got up to tend to the fire.  The light outside was getting brighter, and though Agis was tired from his late-night watch, he enjoyed his time with kDira and Winter.

“Can I fix us some breakfast?” he asked.  “Some eggs and toasted bread, maybe?”

“That sounds good,” kDira replied, knowing that the baby inside her needed to eat as bad as Winter did.  “Come put Winter in her crib to play.”

Agis took Winter from kDira and placed her in the crib as requested.  kDira pulled herself to her feet, but suddenly fell back to the chair in pain.

“OOOOH! Agis!” She yelled.  “Get Elick, something is wrong with the baby!”

Agis, wasting no time, went out the door.  Seeing that Porelle was still there, he sent him to get Elick.  Agis immediately went back in to see a puddle of blood and water on the floor between kDira’s feet.

“Agis, what’s wrong?” kDira screamed.

“Just be calm, Elick is coming.  “Elick is coming.”

“It’s ripping out of me!” kDira screamed.  “Help me!  Where is Elick?”

“He’s coming,” Agis said, not sure what to do.  “He’s coming; he’ll be here any minute!”

Suddenly the puddle of blood grew bigger, and what  appeared to be chunks of flesh and meat were falling to the floor.

“It’s tearing me up from the inside!” kDira screamed in a panic.  “You have to do something!  Agis, do something!”

And without warning, Agis pulled his sword and plunged it though kDira’s swollen belly.

kDira jolted with the shock of what Agis had done.

“Nooooo!” she screamed, her eyes wide open.  She found herself breathing heavily.

Winter, still nursing at her breast, pulled away and began to cry.  kDira looked down.  There was no blood, no wound in her belly, and no Agis.  The realization that she had dozed off, and that her torment was another terrible dream became evident.

The door opened and Porelle poked his head in.

“Are you okay, Queen Mother?” he asked.

“I am fine, Porelle,” she said, trying to calm herself and slow her breathing.  Her heart was about to beat its way out of her chest.  “Thank you.”

“Is the fire warm enough?” the stunned Porelle asked.

kDira looked over at the blazing fire that her guard had built at some point just before she dozed.

“Yes, you did a fine job,” she said.  “Again, thank you.”

With that, Porelle pulled his head back out of the doorway, shutting the door behind him.

kDira pulled Winter back to her chest to comfort her.

“It’s okay, my love.  Mother is okay,” kDira said, quietly.

Winter settled down and relaxed in her mother’s arms.

“I wish Agis would get here,” she whispered to her bright eyed daughter.

Her heart was still pounding, and she felt herself shaking.