Forty days Muirdain had walked the path of All-Mother Macca through the wilderness. Her fair skin was burnt crimson and her hair was a fiery tangle of curls and thorns. Her scabbard hung empty by her side.
By the foot of a green hill, where stone steps carried on the ancient path, she met a woman, clothed in rags, her eyes milk-white and her teeth rot-brown. The woman called to her.
“Pilgrim, have you water for an old woman?”
Muirdain stepped past her.
“Spare a moment.”
Muirdain kept climbing.
“What brings you to this road?”
“Penance,” Muirdain replied. “The Queen asked that I walk the All-Mother’s path. Only then may I earn my sword again.”
“Then stop and spare me some water.”
Muirdain didn’t look back.
The All-Mother sighed. Three times she had tested the knight and three times Muirdain had failed.
She did not give fourth chances.
Word Count: 148
This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and J.S. Brand for providing the prompt photo!