Author note: I changed my story a bit so I re-posted an old chapter changed and a new additional chapter.
Hypatia looked up towards the sky, at the gloomy clouds hanging in stillness against the backdrop of the heavens. The sombre waves veiled the sun completely from sight. The Gods were constantly toying with man. The last few weeks, Poteidaia had experienced the hot scalding heat of summer in all its agonizing glory. The sun, like a shiny pearl proudly displayed by its fashioner, blinding the mortal peasants with its beauty. The heatwave had lasted so long the elders of the village had begun to suspect that a drought was eminent. Hypatia's parents had already began to carefully ration their stockpile of wheat in preparation for an uncertain future. Dinner had become less appealing and evolved into a ritual full of tensed silence. Hypatia had tried hard to savour the bread and appreciate its taste but often found herself feeling nauseous, the anxiety causing her to lose her appetite.
On one such solemn occasion, her kid brother had suddenly burst into tears, yelling and stammering as he tried to grasp for air. Hypatia had looked at him with puzzlement, unable to understand his incoherent rant. But her mother, a kind and caring woman, rose swiftly from her seat and kneeled beside him, pulling his head onto her bosom and hugging him close.
"There, there. No one is going to starve, honey." She consoled him softly. Her hand gently stoking his arm.
Hypatia remembered her father's stare at the scene unfolding before them. Unknowingly, his eyes had glistened for a moment with tears. When he felt the pressure of the gathering moisture tugging at his eyelids he quickly blinked the tears away and gathered his composure. In all the short sixteen summers that she had lived, Hypatia had never seen her father display such emotion. He had always been a quite figure who worked hard and humbly as a farmer. To him, a man could not display such weak emotions and, with responsibility of protecting his family, he could not afford to either. Hypatia had no doubt that Herodotus loved his wife and children but, in the past, had often longed to feel the affection. Seeing him in that vulnerable moment as he sat across from her at the dinner table, however, had made her change her mind. She had not realized how accustomed she had become to his reserved yet reliable behaviour. As much as she hated to admit, she was relieved he could bare the burdens of the family, it had made her feel safe and protected. As she had watched her mother calm her only son down, she observed the weariness etched on Hecuba's face. Seeing her parents filled with worry only ignited fear in herself.
But today, the Gods decided the sun was no longer meant to dangle in front of face of mankind, mocking them like a carrot stick to a donkey. Today, it was a rare precious pearl to be hidden from prying, greedy hands. Thankfully, the air had chilled the night before and the quite, gentle sound of a rain shower filled the valley. Soon it built had into a downpour and, with her brother's insistence, Hypatia finally went to join the other villagers outside in a gathering full of dancing, cheering and thank-filled prayers to the Gods.
Hypatia lost her footing on a small rock and stumbled slightly as she continued to trek up the steep hill. The grass was damp with dew and a layer of thick fog filled the scenery before her. It was difficult to see even even an arm's length away. As she continued to carefully hike, her ears perked up to the sounds of birds chirping from the forest nearby. And she thought she heard something else as well. But she couldn't quite understand what it was. It was faint, almost in the back of her mind, as if she were dreaming it. She stopped for a moment to try to figure out what it was. Hands clenched and eyes shut tight, the young blonde tried to comprehend the uneasy feeling that was creeping up. A moment later, she gave up with a frustrating sigh and continued past the hill towards her destination.
It was difficult to see through the white haze but she took her best guess and turned right, hoping she was on the right path towards the well. Hypatia continued her slow, methodical walk, listening again to the songs of the birds. She attempted to hum along to the sound to keep herself amused but chuckled at her pathetic attempts. Suddenly, it occurred to her that she had probably walked too far. For some reason she panicked, as if fearing she would get lost and never be able to find her way home. Don't be silly Hypatia. Your turning into a worrywart like Lila.
She turned around sharply and retraced her footsteps until she was back at the foot of the hill. Facing right once again, she headed out into the deep, this time slightly north. As she walked, the grass became scarce, the dark rich soil pregnant with water could be seen. Hypatia signed inwardly, recognizing the familiar trodden patch of land near the well. As she continued to walk, the grass cleared completed as she found her footing on the slimy mud. Tip toeing so as not to ruin the soles of her boots in the mud. Finally she found the recognized the well head, a simple circular structure built of large stones. She noticed the extra supply of buckets next to it, strewn about haphazardly, probably from last night's storm. Picking one up, Hypatia lamented at the muddied bottom, scolding herself for not bringing a clean one from
The blonde began to methodically retrieve water from the well, as she had done several times before. She placed the water into her portable bucket and sat it on the ledge. Catching her breath from the heavy lifting she noticed something peculiar. The water in the bucket was rippling, rhythmically. She stared at it a few moment in confused amazement. Stilling herself, she listened. That feeling of uneasiness that had nagged her earlier was returning and its roots seemed to be stemming from the ground. In her stillness, she felt the ground vibrating subtly. She held her breath and listened close to what it felt like the rumbled begins of thunder.
She watched the water as the ripples grew intense, the ground began to shake beneath her and the rumble grew louder until she could hear neighing. Her eyes fell forward, trying desperately to see past the fog.
Suddenly out of the fog emerged dozens upon dozens of war horses. They galloped past her at lightening speed, soldiers sitting on top, grunting and urging the horses on. The young girl stood still, frozen by fear. One after another, the cavalry cleared from the fog continuously, as if they were waves endlessly hitting the shore. Hearing a loud neighing, her eyes whipped to the site in front of her. A horse charged towards her. She turned around in an attempt to run away, out of the horse's path, but was quickly caught when a rough hand gripped tightly across her abdomen and swooped her up. Violently, she was thrown on top of the horse like a carpet, her head hitting the the armoured dressing that decorated the mare.
"I've got you now, little girl!"