Khon’Tor’s Wrath by Leigh Roberts
Things were never easy between them – the beautiful young Healer and the powerful virile Leader of their people. He demanded unfailing obedience and ruled with a clenched fist. She wanted only to fulfill her calling; to live a life of celibacy in dedication to caring for the weak, sick, and helpless. Perhaps if she had known, the secret he harbored, she might have understood the difficulty of their relationship. Little did she know, everything would change, the morning she set out to deliver a gift of Goldenseal roots to the neighboring tribe’s medicine woman. The river waters were up, and she had to take a different route. It was not her choice; but what happened next, on this pleasant walk down an unfamiliar route, was. A choice that ended up changing everything. As she approached a clearing, the wind brought the stench of blood to her nostrils. She looked to find a scene of incredible brutality; a male and female lie bloodied and massacred, stretched out on the ground before her. There was no aid she could administer. It was too late for them. She said a prayer to the Great Mother and turned to leave. Then she stopped. Frozen. Her blood run cold. She followed the sound she heard to its source – fearing the truth of what she would find. Her heart sank as she discovered an infant, somehow missed in the slaughter – it’s parents dead – now doomed to suffer a slow and terrible death. Or, if the predators come, a quick and excruciating one. Oh but this is not just any infant. It was an offspring of the heartless Outsiders whom the Ancients predicted would usher in the threat of the Wrak-Ayya: The Age of Shadows. And worse – a male. To rescue it was to break sacred law, a direct act of disobedience. Perhaps even risking the sanctity of the community, which had lived for ages undisturbed in their massive hidden system of underground caves. She looked down at the child. “You are not a monster – at least not yet,” she whispered. And her heart won out. She tucked the forbidden child safely in her satchel of Goldenseal roots and snuck it back, to their underground home, Kthama. And then she waited - and planned - for the best way to confess to the Leader Khon’Tor what she has done. She was prepared for him to be angry. She was prepared for him to punish her. But she was not prepared for Khon'Tor's Wrath.