Shara’s tears dried and, in an all to mature voice, continued with detached passion. “I worried about them so I crept silently to a spot on the hill where we had watched the villagers come and go for years. They took my parents to the public square. The Magistrate accused them of harboring a witch and told the rest of the people that they must be purified by pain. They tortured them in full view of the village. Elarinya, they cut them and flayed them with hot irons, they beat my father with a club and then stripped my mother naked and flogged her in the square. The people, they watched and did nothing. Some cheered, and some laughed. My parents uttered not a sound, not a cry, not a scream. I could take no more and I pulled my bow. I do not recall the spell I cast upon the arrow but I whispered to it “death to all” and let the arrow of death fly. It struck the Technocrat Centurion who was their torturer through the belly, leaving spray of blood and entrails, then it burst into flame and the entire village exploded. I rushed to my parents, pulled their bodies from the flames but it was too late, they were already dead.” Shara’s head dropped to her chest in defeat.
“What became of the rest of the villagers?” Elarinya asked intently.
Shara raised her head and defiance flashed in her eyes. “I killed them, every. last. one.”
“What of the women and children?” she asked.
Shara answered, anger making her brave. “The women were just as guilty as the men. They stood by and cheered and laughed and hooted. I killed them all.” She paused for a moment recalling specifics. “There, there were no children.” Shara’s puzzled expression told Elarinya the truth of it. “What could have become of them?”
Elarinya considered Shara’s question about the fate of the children.
“Possibly gnomes, more likely Elves,” she mused. “Gnomes will take children sometimes, if they think they are in danger but they seldom take any that are more than a couple of turns so it seems unlikely that they would have taken an entire village.” Elarinya began to pace, decapitating unoffending grass seed heads as she did. “More likely it’s the Elves. They’re big buttinskis, they live very long lives.”
“How long?” Shara was curious.
“Nobody really knows, millenia at least. One simply does not ask an elf their age. But they don’t reproduce well, or very often. Consequently, children, all children not just elvish children, are more precious to them than gold or jewels. If they thought that the parents of this village were as evil as I’m inclined to believe they were; the elves would have taken them straight away.”
“What would they do with them?” Concern colored Shara’s voice.
“Oh don’t worry little one. The elves will lavish them with love, attention and education, rearing them just as they would their own children. Along side their own children if there are any right now. Then, when they are ready to make their own way, the elves will send them back to the human world. Lucky is the human child that is adopted by an elf.” Elarinya nodded her head as if, in a way, she admired the elves.
Elarinya grabbed Shara in a rough embrace and consoled “It is fitting. Your parents are avenged. You did well little witch.”
Shara pulled herself from Elarinya’s embrace. “I killed EVERYONE. My mother taught me to do no harm but I killed everyone, not just the Centurion and the Magistrate, but everyone.”
Taking her by the shoulders and looking deep into eyes the color of spring grass, Elarinya spoke firmly, “Those who stand by and do nothing in the face of atrocities are just as guilty as those who wield the knife. You, my friend do no harm, but you also must tolerate no abuse. You kept those mindless cowards from inflicting such pains on any other being. When we avenge a wrong, we save the future victims of those ignorant savages.”
Shara stared into Elarinya’s eyes, the deepest blue Shara had ever seen, and saw the belief behind her words. Shara had a duty to heal and protect but not to suffer abuse from the pond scum of life. The two embraced for a long moment, until finally Elarinya said “we’d better get some sleep. It will be a long trip tomorrow.” She began pulling evergreen boughs together to make a bed.
Shara did the same, placing them both near the banked fire. “Where are we going?”
“To the Greenwood Fairy Queendom of course.”