"Our first teacher is our heart”
The early morning sunlight cast the sky in a hue of orange tones. Wiping the sweat from my brow I admired the serene sight of the log cabin surrounded by majestic trees its golden colour complimented by the vibrant green grass and swaying flowers.
The morning wind stirred and caressed my cheeks in refreshing kisses, its cool fingers brushed the brown strands of my hair away from my sweaty face, lifting my face I closed my eyes enjoying the relief it brought to my heated features.
Turning back to the task at hand, I raised the axe over my head bringing it down swiftly as I chopped the firewood needed for the day.
Father had left at the crack of dawn, the horse cart loaded with goods from the garden. It was how we survived, selling the excess vegetables from our produce. I enjoyed going to market with him, especially the bustling and hustling of the vendors. Now with the advent of war, the colour of my skin and my ancestrial background had become a force of contention with the villagers. Papa was afraid and now I wasn't allowed to go near the village.
Finishing my chore, I walked to the small stream flowing gaily at the side of the forest. The trickling crystal clear water sparkled against the rays of the sun. Kneeling down I splashed my face with the cold refreshing coolness. Taking an old clean rag from the back pocket of my khaki pants I wiped my hands and face dry heading towards the cabin.
Pushing the door gently open I entered. "Songbird?" My mother called. "Yes mama," I answered. "Come little one, before the heat takes you to an early grave." "Yes Mama."
Sitting at the makeshift table crafted by my father, I ate the simple meal prepared by my mother.
Mama walked towards the window peering out as she wrung her hands nervously, her almond shaped brown eyes creased at the edges with worry. "What's wrong mama?" I frowned. She sighed. "The villagers are on high alert, it is rumored that the commander will be here anyday now." "Yes! John told me, but papa will be safe, don't worry he knows what he is doing." I said trying to reassure my nervous mother.
"While that may be true, it is a dangerous time. Your father has done nothing wrong but refuse to fight a war that is unjust. They see him as a traitor, some of the villagers understand but they would never stand against the commander. We leave tonight as soon as your father returns."
At the side of the door are our bags, packed and ready to leave, if all goes well we would be able to return by the end of the week when the soldiers have left.
The beauty of the evening was lost, all colour had faded leaving only a matt black canvas. The light of a single candle illuminated the cabin. Mother and I sat together cocooned in fear, father had not yet returned from the village.
The rattling of cart wheels could be heard in the distance. Looking out I could not decipher anything. Before I could act, father burst through the cabin door his frantic eyes searching for us in the dark. "We need to go," he gasped out picking up his packed bag from the floor. "They are coming!"
Scuttling forward we prepared to leave. The rattling of the windows from a strong gust of wind camouflaged the sound of thundering hoofs. Turning to father, mother whispered defeatedly. "They are here."
If your reading this, thank you for giving this story a chance, it starts up slow but builds as it grows. Please comment and vote, any criticisms are welcomed. This chapter has been edited.