The Road To Constantinople
Updated: Mar 20, 2021
With a crack of the driver's whip the horses tossed their black heads and the
carriage headed off into the fiery night.
Ruby's bright pink dress sparkled next to her traveling companions' drab attire. The little girl pulled her new river red cape out of her Travel Pack and was fastening the clasp under her chin when the stranger in black turned to her and asked,
"Where did you get such a fine new cloak, little girl?" The thin man smiled faintly at Ruby.
"It was a gift." Hazel replied firmly, watching the thin man closely.
"What's in your urn?" Zoe nodded her head at the small, silver urn the man held in his lap. The urn was silver cloisonné with a thin, yellow decorative band winding its way around the vase in different patterns like a ribbon.
The thin man turned his head to look at Zoe and said matter-of-factly, "This urn contains just the right amount of silver sand I'm hoping to sell to a man from a far-off land who is hoping to win his battle. Are we not on the road to Constantinople?"
"Yes, we are." Zoe nodded in agreement.
"What does the silver sand do?" Hazel asked the thin man. The thin man responded, "The silver sand guarantees eternal victory to anyone who carries it on a Blood Moon night."
"The sand must be very valuable." Zoe looked at the tall thin stranger until his eyes dropped to the small silver urn he held carefully with both hands on his lap.
"Perhaps, time will tell." The black-haired passenger looked wistfully out the carriage window and was silent.
Illustration by tincuta
Fiery orange, red and yellow flames lit up the night sky as the horses' black carriage sped quickly along the winding dirt road to Constantinople. They passed a merry band of Bulgarian Gypsies, singing and dancing along the way, but the driver didn't stop. The wild-haired driver was attempting to explain himself in Russian and control the horses at the same time.
"Why was the ship named Demeter?" Levi's Russian was rusty, so he switched back to English. His own black eyes pierced the gaze of driver's red ones.
"What are you hiding?" Levi reached his left hand over to grab the horses' reins from the driver when he felt something cold, metal and hard laying against the driver. Levi grabbed it with his left hand and pulled.
It was the sword Adamant.
"Tell me why the ship is named Demeter or I'll pierce your heart with this sword!"
The wild-eyed driver screamed out in the night, "Demeter is the Greek earth goddess whose sorrow for her missing daughter causes winter. The ship is filled with boxes of dirt!"
Levi plunged the sword into the driver's chest and grabbed the reins. He cracked the whip and they were gone. By the time they saw the walls of Constantinople in the distance, it was dawn.