Helena of Australia, Chapter One

(setting just north of Sydney, Australia; Mid May, 1899 A.D. The following year, Australia would be it's own country.)

The sun was dying. Its blood poured over the earth and seeped into the sand. Helena was running. She still clutched the ancient knife. Its blade bit her palm as the dying sun bit the sea. She cast the savage's knife from her despite the resistance of her numbing fingers.
She ran from the sun. she ran from the blood. She did not think. Thoughts came from memories. Memories brought pain. All around her stretched the beach. Once upon a time the cool, pallid sand tickled her toes and eased her mind.

Now it turned her away. Now it was nothing. Nothingmore than mile upon mile of blood-drenched earth. Earth cold and hard as the metal of the ancient knife.

Damn that knife!

She ran against the wind. In it she could still smell the smoke. It was the smoke of the village. HER village. The one where she had once lived happily with her aunt, uncle and cousins. The one that the savages had burned to the ground.
Having no one else to yell at, she turned on the wind.

"Why have you done this to me," the poor girl screamed, "Wh-y oh whyyyyy?"
She had not expected it to answer, but in its own breezy way, it did. Down blew the wind, brushing her gold-ringed hair from her lost blue eyes, pulling her down the beach away from the inferno. "Like the hand of the Savior guiding his diciples into the Kingdom of Heaven," she mused against her will. Oh damn it all! Could she not control her wanderings even in this time of danger? Had this been an ordinary wandering, on an ordinary day, Uncle Wilhem would have beaten her for her lack of concentration. But oh, how the old venerate would have approved of the religious comparison!

'He's such a religious man,' she thought. 'And Aunt Maria too! Oh how cousin Jake would have...'
"What is WRONG with me?" She yelled and forced herself again to think of nothing. Maybe if it were not for her horrid childish wanderings, the village would have been safe...