Willow's arms were tied behind her back, as she kept her head bowed, covered by the helmet - she put it on earlier - and her short curly hair, again, by the advice of Tara. She was roughly led through the tribe; the curses and mumbles she heard as she past each hut did not go unrecognized. Apparently, the rest of the tribe's residents had been notified of her arrival ten days previously.
One large wad of mucus landed on her shoe.
How sweet, they remember me.
But she didn't say anything.
Tara said it's best to keep quiet-not spitting from me, no sirree... I'm to be a good quiet, girl. Yes, very quiet, exceedingly quiet... until the right moment... if the right moment ever comes... it will come right? Because I am in no way liking the possibility of no moment at all, else this momentum has no moment and that means we're heading into anti-climatic-world which is never fun, especially when you're reading your favorite novel and suddenly out of nowhere Raskolnikov has a change of heart and goes biblical on you and... wait, what am I thinking about...?
Soon she felt herself being shoved to the side of a large rink filled with dirt, a lighter shade than the surrounding dirt she had been walking on. Two sets of hands pushed her shoulders down forcefully, causing the redhead to take a kneeling position on the soft earth.
Keep your eyes down, keep your eyes down. Don't argue and Don't. Look. Up.
But the image of Tara walking onto the scene with the rest of the now-audio tribe snuck into Willow's mind unbidden. Her head almost shot up had it not been for an immediate recovery reaction of her brain shouting at her to stop her chin mid-lift.
This is going to be hard.
Several moments passed... it seemed like an eternity waiting for something new than the torture of possibly seeing Tara.
But she could be strong.
Strong like an amazon.
A low thump, ba-thump, thump, ba-thump sounded as Willow could hear feet, many more pairs of bare feet walking towards the rink, towards her. Voices could be heard, she felt the beat increase in volume and more women were coming, bubbling with laughter, giggles, whispers, shouts, jovial cheers. Yet she dared not look up, knowing it was best to keep inconspicuous-and quiet.
No need to rush death.
A soft breeze caressed her cheeks as it delicately ran over the ground.
"How much longer do we have until it's show-time?" The two guards were aimlessly wandering as Tar'airah was dressing - it was tradition to use the ceremonial war armor for the final fight that ended the Sacrament.
"Tara said soon, but if she doesn't hurry it up I'm going to pick her up myself, armor or no and drag her there. She can wrestler with her girl in the dirt naked for all I care." Fa'aithlia thought about the image her words inferred for a second and then suddenly tacked on, "Hey, actually, I would care about that!" She mocked-running back to Tar'airah's hut - and would've - had it not been for a quick hand on her elbow stopping her.
"Fa'aith, I think you should learn to keep your mouth shut until the things inside your head form credible - not crude - sentences."
"Hey! I'm only saying that a lot of women would pay to see that. Wouldn't you?"
Buf'aneah thwacked the arm of her friend, "Are you trying to tell me you want to see Tar' naked in the mud, wrestling? What a perverted, sick, stupid-"
"It wouldn't be the first time," Fa'aith reiterated under her breath, but at the immediate sharp look she received from Buf', stuttered, "Childhood pastime, remember? Summer nights? You were there too! Don't try to deny it!"
"Oh never mind" Buf'aneah waved her hand flippantly, "Forget it."
"Aw, Buf' com' on, what have I done to piss you off now?"
"It's nothing," Came the firm reply, yet her expression said otherwise. Sometimes she can be so thick. But something else, faint, at first, caught the girl's attention besides the clueless look she was receiving from Fa'aithlia.
"Hey, Buf', seriously, what's-"
"Hey, hold on, listen..."
"What?" The brunette stopped walking, waiting for whatever it was her companion heard, turning her head around. After a few moments of silence, she became restless "Listen...? Listen to wha-"
Buf'aneah clamped her hands down over the girl's mouth, "Shh..."
Fa'aithlia stayed quiet as she slowly heard the deep beats drift across the grass with the soft breeze.
"They're... they're playing the sacrificial drums!"
"What?! Why would they be doing that?"
"I don't know, but I don't like the sound of it... Tar'... we need to get Tar! We have to get her, she doesn't know!" Buf'aneah's voice faded as the two scrambled away.
The sound however, stayed, and slowly... every so slowly, rose above each octave.
She rose as the sun went down; her blonde hair and back let the few drops of light scatter delicately from the cutout window of her cell until she had moved off her bed completely. Dressing slowly, she heard the voices of her two friends outside. She methodically placed her greaves and leather bodice that belonged on every limb of her body. After several moments, wondering when was the last time she had walked free of war clothing, she pulled apart the skin curtain and stepped out onto the soft earth.
It was time.
She walked forward onto the soft earth, wondering quietly where Fa'aithlia and Buf'aneah had gone.
Never able to keep still...
She chuckled at her childhood friends' inane restlessness and decided she could walk to the ceremony by herself.
They'll catch up...
She took a step forward onto the soft grass.
Another step and soon her body was in a rhythmic motion towards her final destination.
That is if they don't see something shiny...
She chuckled again as she walked towards the Calethia, it was a trek even within the boundaries of the tribe - but she could manage.