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Sankofa: Blue Sand Red Waters

The kingdom of Daffiondale was a quiet place. Its tight knit community showcased the modest wealth the King was able to achieve with the alliances of the other kingdoms. A story many have heard as it was out of the ordinary for a king to be so generous to his neighbors. This was a time of conqueror's demanding admiration and praying for safety from the brutal tactics they rain down on villages and then later the kingdoms. Like hellfire, ruthless destroying what ever and whom ever is in their path, King Harrison took a different approach.

Harrison had come from a long line of Kings. Each as soulless as the last. Terrorizing not only neighboring lands but also their citizen. They used them like pones for their entertainment. Forcing them to work under treacherous conditions. Harrison was just a boy when he stumbled upon his father's office, troubled by the hushed voices and quiet whimpers that crept under the doors. His curiosity could not be held in as he peaked in through the crack in the door only to have his young eyes forced open for the first time.

In the middle of his father's office, on the rug, Harrison had memories playing on was a young woman. Her dark complexion was highlighted by the sweat dripping from her frail body, and tattered clothes. She looked to be no more than 20, Harrison's father looming over her. His eyes were bloodshot, and alcohol bottles sprayed around the room. Harrison looked on in horror as he watched his father strike the girl across her jar with the glass alcohol bottle. Harrison could not find the time to shield his eyes as he watched her blood spray across the beige rug. The woman cried out in anguish clutching her jaw. Harrison turns running away, his shallow breath leaving him dizzy, his thoughts leaving him confused as the last image of his dad pouncing on the woman like a wild bear repeats behind his eyes as he collapses. Silent sobs rocking his body.

From that day on Harrison's life became a repeated act of violence. It seems to follow him, attached to his shadow. It all came to a head on the day of his 18th birthday. The day he was crowned king and displayed his first act of bloodshed. The night approaching his 18th birthday, Harrison paced around his room. His hands leaveing his hair in disarray. Tracing the patterns of his face, he takes a breath trying to ease his mind.

With his 18th birthday beginning at sun up he knew some things needed to be done, he had plans. Plans he has been creating since that night.

He needed some air. Quickly dressing in loose comfortable clothing he quietly slipped out the castle door. Around the back of the castle near the guard's tower, is the secret garden he built when he was a young boy. Before he would slip through the iron gates stationed around the guard tower he felt the wind dance up his spin bringing with the piercing screeches of a dying woman. His body reacted before his mind as he ran around towards the front of the guard tower. Stopping in his tracks, there under the shadow of the Tower a group of guards circled a women whimpering on the ground. Flashes of the other women began showcasing within Harrison's mind.

He could almost cry. Little has changed. Here under his father's rule, his men were deemed to protect and serve instead they are attacking this woman. Harrison was not a boy anymore. With the strength of his furry Harrison charged forward. Grabbing the first guard who has laid his drunken body across the woman's tattered form. Grabbing him by the back of his neck Harrison flung him off the women, a panicked yelp as the man lay crumpled to the side his nude chest and limp member showcasing his intention.

“ Run now!” Harrison yelled to the woman as she scrambled up clutching the scraps of cloth that hang from battered body it did little to hide the colorful bruises forming. Before he knew it the Three other men jumped on top of him as he went to continue his rampage on the main man. Blinded by his furry and numb from his inner guilt, he took their punches and kicks. Tearing at his clothes he refused to lessen the assault on the man under him. His face swelled under the force of Harrison's fist. Harrison tasted the splatter of blood landing across his face, before whipping his head around at the sound of a war cry.

The woman had returned, equipped with a broken bottle in both her hands, swinging wildly at the men that were on top of Harrison.

Startled by the wild women the drunken men ran off leaving the man blooded under Harrison. Harrison watched curiously as the woman dropped the bottles, before falling to her knees. Rushing over Harrison forgot about the man and scooped the young woman in his hands. This woman later becoming Queen, Queen Arena


Flinging the blanket off of her body Princes Nia ran to her closet to change when her ladies in waiting charged in silently, they might as well have been yelling with the energy in the room electrifying. Goosebumps began rising on Nia's arms.

“ Where is my father”. Nia's head snapped towards Jasmine her leading lady as well as the eldest, Nia often looked to this woman for guidance and reassurance, but there was none to give as Jasmine looked at her with pleading eyes, glazed over with tears.

“ My lady please our orders are to get you dressed and away from harm”.

Gently grabbing her by the arm the ladies continue to prep her wardrobe. Nia all but shoved at the large bulky dresses they had laid out for her. Without another thought Nia dashed towards her door, ripping it open, and darted down the hall. Her ladies cried drowned out by the alarm bells bouncing off the castle walls and ringing in her ears. Nia quickly swallowed her panic. Her parents lurking in the corners of her mind, running down the long corridors she promptly made a left turn and reached solid wood doors. The fighting chambers. Refused to stop and admire the emerald green, delicately decorated arena. Promptly shrugged off her night close and got into her fighting wrap. If the alarm bells are ringing shed rather be safe than sorry. Yanking her tightly curled hair into two braids falling down her back, her thoughts trailed back to the ship's lights eliminating the dark forest.

Though she was never allowed near those waters or forests she knows the scouts that lurk in the trees would give those pirates a fight.

Slipping out Nia ran along the far walls following the twist and turns it takes to get to her parent's chambers before a light under the meeting room door caught her eye. Slowly she crept towards the door, hearing the mumbling of voices. Remembering how she used to creep on meetings when she was younger Nia quickly rounded the corner finding the loose paneling in the wall and squeezing her way through, leaving her in the dark corner of the meeting room, behind the large throne chairs of her mother and father.

“ They have finally made their move brother, it is time we assert out dominates. Peace has no place here when war has been decreed!”. Uncle Daejeon all but spit at the king. The head of the army and brother of the king, clenched and unclenched his fist trying to stay calm.

“ Do you reject the king's position on this General, are you saying the king is wrong “ The king's advisor snapped accusingly. Advisor Mike has stood behind the king in all his decisions. He never faltered and refuses to allow others to disvalue his words.

The king had taken pity on Miko when he was a boy. At the time the king had only just received the crown, and Miko was nothing but the tailor's boy. The tailor had stayed in the kingdom and been very fond of the young king. Even during his last days, he sewed his blessing in love within the silk fabric of the new King robs. King Harrison watched the tailors shaken hands and the quickness his son had in aiding his father's weakened movement. He decided that day to begin training Miko. They have been joined at the hip for 22 years. Miko was not afraid to bark back when needed.

“I do not take well to your insinuations councilman” Daejeon could not help the near.

The king looked off the distance, following his eye he looked out the dark window. King Harrison has always been a gentleman. His spirit radiates forgiveness and second chances. He believes there is good to come from any situation or person.

There was no confusion on what the men sailing across the seas could potentially want from this kingdom. King Harrison has always been a generous king building relations with those from other kingdoms and taking refugees. On this passing moon, he passed a new initiative opening his land to refugees seeking a safe place. Not many cared enough to notice but a new kingdom had settled across the waters a few moons ago, Kingdom Rasabell there practices appalled King Harrison.

He had forbidden Princess Nia to travel beyond the village walls. The forest leads to the River that separates the Kingdom from the rest of the world. Nia has always imagined leaving, escaping into the mystic forest feel the water on her skin. From her tower, she can see just beyond the forest. Every morning she rises with the sun to greet its rays sprayed out onto the water. Now coming across her waters was a ship unwelcomed.

Nia could feel the familiar heat trickling up her neck at the thought of one day escaping the castle walls. Allowing her inner fire to take over. A fire her mom had once told her father would die down in hopes to smooth down the worry lines permanently etched into his skin. This was it, the moment she could prove that she was more than capable of defending her people. Puffing her chest, she prepared herself to march into the council room demanding the respect she deserves. She has given up her life to train, and prepare for this moment and it would not escape her.

“I've always enjoyed the game of hide and seek my dear”

A voice crawled out from the darkest corners, bouncing through the shadows causing the hair on Nia's neck to rise in alarm. She could barely react to the unfamiliar voice coming from the small area before the rough material of a sack was forced around her head. She tried to swing her elbows out, useless as panic seized her. The strings of the sack quickly tied around her exposed neck. Sucking the air from her lungs, Nia could not fight unconsciousness as she tried to call out to her father one last time before everything went black.

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