War has torn the land apart. Men dead and women raped and children missing. It is enough to drive anyone mad. But despite this life continued on. Crops were planted and children born and all sought to make it through the day. Edwin was such a man. A simple man married to the midwife of his village. He did was was needed to survive. He hunted and tilled the ground and killed anyone who stood in his way. Once a soldier a always a soldier he supposed.
One day in the forest he came across a curious sight. One that made his heart stutter and his senses scream as he drew his sword. In a clearing he could smell the stench of blood. A trail of it led to the body. It was a woman. Dressed in clothing that gave away her noble origins. She was covered in blood. It was days old. Edwin was not a man prone to mercy. But even he could show decency. So he moved to turn the body so that he could give the woman a burial at least.
It was when he was turning the body he noticed her hair. It was as red as the blood covering her. The gown was too big for her and it was then he saw it. A cut in the fabric on her stomach. And he could see the wound itself. His blood was chilled and he crossed himself. What the hells??? In the moment he made the motion of the cross he heard a gasp as the women's eyes opened and she coughed up blood. It stained her lips as she looked at him wild and helpless.
"My baby....where...." She coughed again and tears formed in her eyes. Her skin was hot to the touch. A fever then. "My baby....." She muttered the same words over and over. Edwin sheathed his sword and swung he woman into his arms. He took off as fast as he could and began bellowing for his wife Anna.
On the edge of the village stood his hut. And it was here Edwin rushed and his wife stood from feeding the chickens to take in the sight of her husband with a half dead woman in his arms. Soon they were in the kitchen and she instructed him to go and fetch the healer. Hot water was boiled and clean linens found. Others rushed into the hut. The sun had barely risen when Edwin began his day. It had set when his wife finally emerged covered in sweat and blood. She collapsed next to him in the dirt. He drew her into his arms.
"We have done all we can."
"Anna that wound..."
his wife is silent before she speaks."she kept begging for her baby Edwin. Was there another body?"
"No. Will she live?"
"If she can make it though tonight anything is possible. The cut was clean. But it was covered in dirt and infected. She must have dragged herself through the forest to get help Edwin. Something tells me this woman is too stubborn to die."
so the couple hold bated breaths and take turns watching the woman through the night. In the morning her chest is still rising.