They Will Come
By Everett A Warren
She walked to the cold shoreline, her head held high. A slave, they called her, but she was of a proud race. Her honey blond hair swirled in cascades around her, her long dress that swirled about her ankles plain in comparison. Once it had been embellished and ornamented as if for a princess or a queen. She had torn them off with her bare hands, for they were not of her people. He had ordered the gown for her, and he pilfered his own treasury to supply the priceless gems and metals. For that alone, she knew the gown was from Him, and the worship of their one God was not the worship of her people. She knew this, and did not weaken, for she knew something else as well. They will come.
Slowly, she lifted the wooden pipes to her lips, her eyes upon the grey mist that blanketed and bedded down the waves. She sat upon the large rock that loomed above the pebbled beach. She had sat there many a night before. As she had so many times before, she began to play. She knew this, and so she came to play, for she knew something else as well. They will hear, and they will come.
The melody was sad, plaintive; the rhythm like to the tides that rattled through the rocks on the beach. Echoing hauntingly across the waves, the waves that almost, soon, would leave ice crystals behind. Autumn was no more than a word and a distant thought here. Summer had fled, and it would be Winter soon enough. She had been here so many years now. She did not know how many years it had been since her capture, but she knew with unerring faith that someday, however far away, someday they will come.
She could hear, over the rolling and splashing of the waters, the slap of oars on waves. Barely audible to most, so quiet were the reavers, but to one of their own, especially one waiting so long to be returned to her homeland, they sounded like the pealing of the large bells in the monastery tower. Through the fog and mist and icy haze the proud bow of a dragon boat loomed forth. The shields, mounted upon the gunwales, the sail furled, the longship slid across the waves as no other type of vessel ever had before and no others ever would. For if the Greeks believed in Neptune, the Norse had allied with him. Or, she smiled as she played, conquered him. She pulled a wisp of blond hair back from her lips. She knew all along, had told everyone who would listen and those who would not hear, that someday, no matter how far away, someday they will come.
( Collapse )
Copyright (c) 2000 Everett A Warren