She was well and truly exhausted, as she sat in the shadow of the Grove looking at the spilled blood, torn grass and shambles of the chime. Her cloak wrapped around her trying to keep the heat in and the rain out. Pain radiated from her back down her legs, her heels feeling like she was standing on daggers even though she was seated. Her heart was broken with the pain of what she had allow to happen in the tunnels, the ending of a Spirit, and she had begged, grovelled to Isabel , abasing herself pleading to have the Spirit released. All the time having to work with that hideous corruption of a mage. It all came to naught of course, the priests prevailed. It was all for the ‘good of the community’. Her head was buzzing, it was like having a hornets nest inside her skull.
She leaned into the tree, seeking solace in the familiar smell and texture of the bark under her cheek. She sung softly to the tree and to herself about spring and the flowing of sap and new buds and leaves. The buzzing did not abate, it droned and swirled around and stung her. She had risked everything, her Grove, her Circle to help them and still, they didn’t understand. They could never get over their stupid writing in their books telling them what was right and who was evil. Even when faced with one of their living Saint and hearing the truth from him, they were bound by their scribbles from small minded fools of ages past.
She worried about what the People would say, she hadn’t seen or hear any of them since Grandfather had whispered to her to welcome the elf as an honoured guest. She hadn’t, she’d been rude to it. Hadn’t offered Hospitality even when the elf demanded it. Had tried to get to the Great Spirit to see if a compromise could be made but the damned Lion people kept getting in the way and then when Etienne had stepped up, she hadn’t been quick enough to stop the Pact. It was one thing to bind yourself but, the whole community? That would be a mistake that everyone would bare.
She thought that maybe she could temper the Pact the next morning at the feast but, the priests were there again, and the mage. Then the worst had happened, when she had stepped back from the Spirit she had seen the mage, waving his hands and wriggling his finger, casting corruption on her! She had called out for him to stop but he had tried to silence her, in desperation she had order dear, sweet Hugo to attack him. He hadn’t, blessing of the Spirits on him, his head had been clear, no hornets sting or buzzing to distract him. Then, the community actually did something together and stopped it. The Great Spirit would have certainly gorged on those emotions. Cadence was there, bringing her back to herself,the Spirit entreating her, almost bending her to pray to him. So much so that she did start to Pray, like crossing a racing river, she Prayed for community, for friendship, anything to try to get to the other side,as the Spirit retreated, in one desperate grasp for safety she wretched away from the Spirit and dedicated the Prayer to Cadence instead.
She though of the Spirit from the tunnels again grieving for the loss, of the Great Spirit corrupted, tormented entreating her to Pray to him. She had denied so much recently, all for this community, these people. She wondered which would happen first, the people burning her as a Witch or would the Standing People destroy her. The buzzing crescendoed in her head, PAIN! Then, in a burst of light she had a brief vision of a figure surrounded by light, then silence and darkness as she collapsed against the tree in relief as the pain stopped and slept.