The next morning, Sabit was roused from her slumber while the sun still hung low in the sky. The warriors of the Pride gathered their newest members in front of their stronghold. The head of the entire Sisterhood, Meriama, had arrived.
Walking quickly through the gate from the outer courtyard, the head of the Sisterhood of the Lioness cut a striking figure. Standing nearly as tall as the chief huntress Dessine, she walked with the swift, driven step of one who has no patience for fools. Years of harsh sun and harder work had pulled her skin tight across muscle and bone—save for her right arm, which hung scarred and shriveled from a sling across her chest. Meriama’s simple linen dress was marked with soot and mud along the hem. Her hair was cut short and unkempt—a frizzy cloud of deepest black with a single, thick streak of steel gray on the right side. Meriama’s eyes surveyed the row of young women, sparking hard and cold like flints.
“Where are these so-called ‘hunters’ you have for me, Dessine?” the head of the Sisterhood called in a sour voice. “We have not had a mouthful of meat outside your stronghold for days!”
The chief huntress stepped forward. “The initiates dared not wander too far afield, Meriama. There are assassins and mercenaries from the king of Bahteel along every road, seeking your head. They would not hesitate to capture any of the Sisterhood who fell into their clutches.”
Meriama looked at Sabit and the other initiates with contempt. “When I formed the Pride, my warriors had courage. They knew what they risked and they knew why they risked it. If this lot will not support the Sisterhood, perhaps the Sisterhood would be better off without them.”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Sisterhood of the Lioness is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/