I stood in the middle of the small, snowy village, hearing the high-pitched screams of their women and children. Blood spattered the white, abundant blanket covering the ground. The blood of their men. I set my jaw, pushing forward over the broken wagons, avoiding the burning, thatched roofs. A woman tumbled out of her house backwards, tripping over her long shift. She fell onto her back, into the mud and snow.
Get up, I thought. Run.
She held her hands up defensively, her pleas barely meeting my ears over the din caused by the Blood Brotherhood. Her long blond hair caused a twinge of sorrow in my chest. Agnar stepped from the doorway, smiling down at her as he did with every woman he claimed. He reached down, gripping her arm and pulling her back to her feet as he smiled broadly. I knew I should look away, knew this was something I couldn’t bear to witness again. But my heart had become a callous, hardened beyond recognition. She screamed, swiping at his face, kicking at his shins. He already had five women at home. What was one more?
Asserting his dominance to the woman—and to the rest of us as well—Agnar flipped her around, pulling up her shift as he readied himself.
Finally, I tore my eyes from the scene before me, her screams added to the rest that forever plagued my nightmares.