Moonfest in Shadowdale - Part 4

Author: 
Startigress
datestamp: 
Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 17:52

The round matronly woman looked worriedly into the fields and then
back at the strider, explaining in a frantic voice, taking no notice
of the long nasty gash on her arm.

"The boys, Caileb, Riddick and Malachi, they came in from their
game of trolls or treats and sat down for a bite to eat. I was
cooking them supper when I felt a cold wind and turned thinking
they had left the door open and instead saw my sweet little Caileb
with a huge knife and he was coming after me!"

The matron had to stop her crying overcoming her and Star moved
forward reaching in a small pouch at her waist for a few healing
supplies. Patting the woman as she shook and sobbed Star quickly
bound up the gash putting pressure on to stop the bleeding.
Thanking her the smiths wife continued.

"Well all I could do is swing my hot frying pan out to stop the
knife but his eyes, his eyes were twin pools of hate! Oh my sweet
boy, I dont know what happened but after I knocked the knife away
all three of them ran out the door and I chased after them. They
went into the fields Startigress, all three of my little ones ran off
into the fields!"

More parents began arriving, all showing signs of combat, cuts and
bruises, a few limped but all appeared beaten or attacked in some way.
The dye maker stepped forward holding her arm close to her the limb
obviously broken.

"My Rhiannon too Startigress, she went insane, her eyes and face were
not her own and she hit me with a chair and then ran off into the
darkness, I saw her heading in this direction!"

A chorus of voices all calling out their child's name overwhelmed her,
Star looked off into the fields and could see the lights, the same
lights the storyteller had told her about floating in the dark.
The dog yipped at Star and then began sniffing sniffing at the edge of
the field, a large head pushed against her back and she looked to see
her companion arrive drawn by the noise and the feel of Star's stress.
Turning to the crowd she held up her hands calling out;

"Ok, everyone calm down, tend your wounds and stay here, I will go look
for the little ones and bring them home. I don't want anyone else hurt
so stay out here and let me look for you alright?!"

The parents murmured and eventually nodded, Edna stepped forward
and gave her a hug.

"Thank you strider! Please bring out babies back to us."

A darkly dressed man in the back of the crowd spoke softly yet his
voice seemed to carry on the wind to the strider's ear.

"Indeed heroic strider, good luck in your venture I shall wait
here on the edge of the rows and if you like you may bring the
little ones to me and I will ensure they are cared for appropriately."

Star looked at the stranger and ice flowed down her spine, and she
knew that in no way should any of the little ones be left with this
man. Not answering she turned away towards her two animal companions
pulling her staff from her back she slipped into the darkness of the
cornrows.