Chapter 4: The end of Orfeo
The sounds of battle raged outside Orfeo’s palace walls. Slaves rose up using whatever they held to beat back the soldiers that had once brutally whipped them. Something in them had finally come alive, thanks to the woman who cut through the ranks of the soldiers as if they were not there. Her strength and presence inspired the one million slaves to rise up and overthrow their wicked masters.
Malachi stood nearby watching the battle with his hands held in the air. Two young men helped him keep his hands still. Many had tried to climb the steep cliffs to get to the prophet and all had failed. The King showed his presence through the protection of the prophet that had been spit upon by so many.
Achima continued to fight. Sweat fell from her brow as both her sword and spear were covered in the blood of her enemies. Part of her mind thanked the King that she was not on the other end of his judgment. Finding the way to the palace now open, she pulled away from the battle and made her way to the throne room.
The scene that greeted her was a strange one indeed. Amara stood before Orfeo in scarlet robes while Orfeo wore black ones. They spoke quietly. When Orfeo noted that Achima was in the room his lips turned up into a sneer.
“You silly girl, you will die for what you have started.” Raising a hand he summoned his guards.
The fight began and Achima found herself able to guess the guards’ every move. She slayed one after the other without thinking before realizing that they all lay dead around her feet.
“Orfeo. . .” Achima’s eyes widening, she threw her hands up. “No!”
A dagger plunged into Orfeo’s back, piercing deep into his being. Orfeo’s life spattered on Amara’s scarlet robes, staining them with the blood of the one who had made her his heir.
In the dead silence, Amara spoke. “I could not let your hands be tainted by killing our father. You are bound for greatness, no one should say that you have sinned against the King by taking your father’s life.”
Orfeo fell to the floor, his eyes quickly glazing over as his mouth filled with his own life blood. Amara stood over him.
“You have paid for your sins now, my father.” Staring into his eyes, tears trickled down her cheeks. Then Amara turned to her sister. “I wish I could serve the King as you, Achima, but I cannot. It is time for me to step down.”
Achima ran to her sister but arrived too late as Amara thrust the dagger into her own soft belly. The blood of the wicked and of repentance ran together as it flowed onto the stone floor. Grabbing her sister, Achima held her, “He would have welcomed you. The King would have welcomed you.”
“But His people would have rejected me, they would. . .” Coughing up some of her life, Amara continued, “. . .have thrown me aside, seeing only my sins, not my changing heart. Be strong.” Putting her forehead to Amara’s, Achima allowed their tears to mix. The King spared her but why not her sister?
Hours passed and victory was declared. Achima came out of the palace, her eyes red with weeping. The people cheered for her but she walked numbly through them until she came to Malachi. Standing before him she threw her weapons down, “No more.” With those whispered words, she turned and left her cheering people.
The King had chosen her for a task, but she could not go after Mephaust. The King must choose another. In order not to lose those they held dear, it must be one with no family. Watching her go, Malachi shook his head as his heart was falling in his chest. The heroine walked away from all that she was called to do.
Defeat bent Achima’s shoulders, she did not turn back to see her mother’s small smile and hear her say, “The King remembered us, and He will remember you my daughter. We are not called to a faith of apathy but one of action. He will come to you, my daughter. He will remember your pain and bring you the soothing balm your soul longs for.”
–Brittany Kramberg is a sophomore Psychology major.