Aalen found herself in a thicket. Coming into a clearing she found two dead bodies before her. Both human soldiers dressed in similar garb to the ones she killed on the borders of her land. Probably scouts of some kind. One had an arrow through his throat, while the other had one through the right eye. Pinpoint accuracy. Both arrows were painted black. She was unaware of anyone who did this. The fact that someone else was also hunting the soldiers Aalen took as a sign she was doing the right thing. Somewhere out there she had an ally.
Aalen cut down all the bodies from the trees in the village. She spent the day burying her kin in the village outskirts. Every time saying a prayer to the Goddess while wiping away tears. She removed the sacred crystal shards from around the neck of the village Elder and buried her last. She cupped the largest one in her hands praying for a way to find the killers of her people. The shard glowing brilliantly in her hands showed the way. A rage filled her heart. She grabbed all her weapons and followed the path she had seen.
Something seemed strange when Aalen returned to her village in the heart of the forest. She had been on the borders of their land helping repel an attack from the humans. It was too quiet and Aalen couldn’t see any sentries hiding up in the trees with her sharp eyes. Then Aalen cried out dropping to her knees in despair.
In the centre of the village where there was a natural colonnade formed by a double row of trees were all the villagers hanging from them. All of them dead.
The attack on the borders had been a diversion.
This was written with the prompt of colonnade from the January 17 Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch.
She was up in one of the trees hidden by the branches. As she stood at the base of a large branch with her back against the trunk she watched a band of humans about to enter the forest below her. The way they were armed suggested they were a raiding party heading for her village still some miles away from here.
As soon as they set foot into her land she knocked an arrow and then aimed her longbow at one of the men. She knew her companions in the other trees would be doing the same. None of these trespassers would survive. She waited for the signal.