Embers of fire burned in the distant as men of war trying to track down Queen Zena as she ran through the dark dense woods with two month old Zelena. Their countries were at war for power and sadly since Zelena was the next heir to the thrown her life was in grave danger.
Footsteps were getting closer. “Burn the entire woods down until you find them!” One of the men yelled. Zena tried to cover her daughters mouth as she cried hysterically. They were out numbered and they were out weapon. It was complete darkness. The only light came from the stars. Stars that Zelena were following to get to safe passage.
Her heels bleeding from running away from the kingdom of Breaux. She left her husband there to fight. Oh, how she longed to be by his side. However, Zelena’s safety came first. After all she was the future of what they were fighting so hard to protect. She could hear the hooves of the horses moving closer. Her fear was starting to slow her down. “Goddess Modjaji I ask of you please protect us and help me long the way to safety.” Zena whispered as she hid and took a breath.
It had been years since she prayed to the goddesses and the gods. Zena was once one of the most powerful in her homeland She came from a lineage of priestesses, seers, and priest. However, when she met King of Breaux, Damas Leroux. His kingdom was different from what she was accustomed to. She had to leave a lot of things behind including a part of her.
As she was lost in her train of thoughts. She had not noticed the rain that began to pout down. Thunder pounded the sky, making her path to safety a little easier. As she started running again, she realized that the fire that burned and lit her hunters path was no more. “Oh, thank you goddess of rain.” she knew that her cry was heard and her ancestors were not angry with her. Even though they had every right to be.
She could her the river raging and knew she was that much closer. As she reached the bank. She quickly sat down Zelena as she untied the Boat. She turned as she heard a snap of the branch. ” I found them, over here!” one of the hunters yelled. Zena closed her eyes tight and reached her arms to the sky and yelled ” I ask of you, god Shango, please bring down your wrath and protect us.” As the other huntsmen grew closer. She could their laughter. They mocked her, they mocked the god Shango. “There is no one here to help. You and your daughter must die. We will bring your heads to show your king before we execute him.” The hatred was on their faces and there was death in their eyes.
As they laughed and threw things, Zena continued to chant,” Shango please hear my cry.” There was a loud boom as the lightened struck the sky. The ran feel down hard , then there was hail. Trees lifted from their roots and flew across the woods. The huntsmen were scared. For they have never seen anything like this. As they watched as bolts of fire flew from the sky. Zena backed closer to the boat and placed little Zelena in it. One of the men yelled, ” Stop, she’s getting away.” As the leaped towards her a rod of lightening when through their bodies. Watching their fellow men burn from the inside out they huntsman ran for the lives. Protected by Shango the god, Zelena was able to escape down the river.
The only safe place for her daughter was back in her homeland. There she would be protected by family and friends. It had been a while since Zena had been home but she had heard of a covenant of Priestesses. Her friend Ramla was Mother of the covenant. Months ahead of this horrid night she has sent word to Ramla of the war that was brewing. It was supposed to be a just in case, but now it was definite reality. Zena wept as she rowed down the river and watched Zelena sleep peacefully.
Days had passed and Zena was hungry. Her head hurt and she was worried about what may have happened to her husband. She was fighting sleep and the cold. She had used the extra blanket in the boat to wrap up the baby. Between rowing and breast feeding Zelena she has absolutely no strength. She was surviving off of her will to get her daughter to safety. As the sun was setting she was finally reaching her destination.
They must have heard of the war at Breaux because as she approached home she saw to familiar faces. Her cousins Bruno and Bernard was waiting on her armed with weapons,food and drink. “It is so good to see you both.” she cried. “Hi cousin, we have food and water. Please eat and rest. We will camp here and head home in the morning. No need to worry about little Zelena. We will keep guard.” However after the nights she had Zelena felt as if she could not trust anyone, not even family. “That is alright you guys. I can hold Zelena and eat this bread. I want to go straight to the covenant. Then afterwards I have to go to the Kingdom of Breaux.” Zelena mounted the back of Bernard horse and through the darkness they continued their journey to the covenant.
Zena fought back tears as she knocked on the door of the covenant. She was placing her daughter in someone else hands. She hated that she would not see her first steps or hear her first words. There was no safer place for her to be and she knew that. She can hear footsteps scurrying towards the door. As the iron door swung open, there Ramla stood. She was not like she remembered her. As they grew up Ramla was a shy and skinny little girl. However, the lady who stood before her was not same girl that used to be afraid of her shadow. Ramla skins was as golden as bronze and her hair was a flowing down her back. Zelena was taken by surprise and stunned by her beauty. She had so many questions and so much to say but he did not want to make this farewell any harder.
They embraced each other with smiles. But no words were exchanged. Zena kissed Zelena on the lips and said a mental prayer. She could no longer hold back her tears. She placed Zelena in Ramlas arms and turned away to get back on Bernard's horse. She tried to get one more glance at her baby, but Ramla was already closing the door. She took one deep breath and wiped her tears. Looking at her cousins , Zelena said. “Zelena must be protected at all costs, because she is the future ruler of the house of Leroux, kingdom of Breaux.”