‘What is it?’ Ada squinted into the woods at the edge of the field where she and her mother gleaned corn, following the swathe of the harvest and the glint of the scythes ahead.
The hot sun scorched her back as she bent to the task. Ada was hungry, but more than that she was thirsty. And wanting the long day to be over. She had taken a moment to stretch, and that was when she caught the glimmering of … something … in the trees.
Her mother unbent, one hand easing her lower back, and peered where Ada pointed.
‘Do you see it?’ Ada asked. ‘There!’ as the gleam came again, low down, as if someone carried a shiny object, a light, along the shaded pathss.
Her mother gasped. ‘Come, be hasty, daughter.’ She dropped her basket with its hard-earned harvest to the parched ground, grabbed Ada’s arm and pulled her away. ‘Fly like a bird,’ she urged.
Ada stumbled after her mother, glancing back once – as the men in armour, swords raised, spilled from the trees…
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