them astray, but you must run now."
"Run where? I don't know where we are. I don’t know these woods at night. What if we plead with them?
Beg for them to us go?" Myr'ia knew her husband was right but attempted to hold on to what little hope was
The rolling pulse of galloping horses and the feral twist in Doran's face was the only answer to Myr'ia’s questions.
Doran pushed her and Gonath into the river's current. Myr'ia lost the hold she had on her son Gonath. The glacial shock gripped her spine and paralyzed her senses. In a turbulent mix of maternal guardianship and self reservation, Myr'ia reached out for her son with her right hand with her left and she clutched out at the darkness in hopes of reaching a solid handhold that would end her stormy immersion in and out of the river's course. She frantically reached out toward Gonath's cries and failed to seize him each time she tried. It was only when the clouds resigned to the moon and allowed the light to cascade down over Myr'ia that she finally saw the boy. She summoned the last of her strength and lunged herself further out into the river. She reached out again and felt resolve as the leather strap of the boy’s necklace filled her clenched fist and she was able to pull him in to her. The pace of the river carried them through the current and slammed them against the rocky bank. Myr'ia struck headfirst into the rugged shoreline and went limp; her body was caught at the water's edge while Gonath rested unconscious upon his mother's lifeless chest.
Doran stood fixed when he heard the splash after Myr'ia and Gonath fell past the sandy bank and plunged into the river. In his harried attempt to propel her into action, he miscalculated. He lost all sense of sanity when he realized what he had done. Anger and anguish filled his mind and left no room for sober thought. At that moment the moon broke through its clouded veil and exposed the riders approaching where he stood. Doran turned and faced the oncoming threat and wailed as the riders approached. He stormed the assailants in a burst of madness. As a lifelong farmer, Doran wasn’t prepared to engage the men but fury fueled his melee. He only saw a brief shine of the sword as it sliced through the indifferent space and rendered the death sentence he bestowed on himself.
The moon was swallowed again by the gluttonous clouds just as Doran’s lifeless body rolled into the river and disappeared under the rolling waves. The riders searched as darkness overtook the area again. They found nothing in their impatient search. The men quickly deserted the site and rode back into the woods with uncertain hope of finding the boy they chased from the village. Their lives depended on it.