A glittering gem is not enough - http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/03/08/flash-fiction-challenge-ten-random-sentences/
Filled with growing trees | and high-standing grass
Is Vithi, Vithar's land;
But there did the son | from his steed leap down,
When his father he fain would avenge.
His father’s murderer knelt before him. Jumping down from his horse, Balthazar landed on soggy ground. The rain had been a companion during the entire chase.
“A glittering gem is not enough,” Balthazar said while pushing the soaked hood from his head. His blond hair created rivulets of water down his wet face.
The kneeling cloaked figure before him held out a gem the size of a human heart. It glowed through the grey drizzle. Balthazar was chilled further as he steps closer to the stone and man.
“You cannot buy forgiveness for your crime. Either convince me I have chased the wrong man for the slaying of my father, or bare your neck and die by my sword,” said Balthazar as he unsheathed his blade.
The hands pushed the gem further towards Balthazar and bowed his head lower in response.
“I have no need of your rock,” hissed Balthazar and grabbed the figure to standing. The hood fell from the man’s head revealing a woman’s fine features. He shoved the girl away from him. “This is a trick. Explain yourself and where I will find the man who murdered my father.”
“I murdered your father. He possessed this stone and when I asked for it in payment for my services, he refused.” She knelt and removed the wet strands from her neck preparing it for his blade.
Balthazar swung the blade over his head and stopped. In this position, he desired to touch the glowing white skin of her neck. The delicate curve and smallness of the width reminded him of a stalk of wheat bending in the wind, and he knew that his blade would slice through it like a scythe harvesting wheat.
He let the sword fall to his side and step back leaning against his steed.
“What should I do, Moose? I fear I have Gna before me and that the true killer hides back at the castle.”
“Are you asking your horse for advice?” asked the girl not moving from her kneeling position.
“Indeed, who should I consult? You?”
“You named your horse, Moose?”
“Be quiet or I’ll lop of your head just in order to hear my thoughts. Forget that. Answer me. What is so important about the gem and why would your offer it to me, if you had committed murder to possess it?”
“Stop, look at me while you speak. I tire of looking at your neck and my duty.”
She brought up her head and stared at Balthazar. He almost wished he had not requested her to look at him. Her face shone with the delicacy of femininity and further made him understand how easy he could end her life.
“I hoped you would take it and leave me my life today.”
“Moose do you agree that if I took the stone and left her life that she would retrieve the gem from me another day.” The horse neighed on cue.
“He is a clever horse. Does he neigh if you say a certain word?”
“Do not distract me, woman.”
“My name is Helle. Do you not remember me from the Lencten Festival just two ago?”
“Why would I remember you from the festival?” he said looking to clearing sky and hoping for the sun to break through for some warmth.
“I sang the Lencten Ode. You stood next to your mother.”
He closed his eyes remembering the image of a maiden singing. Her voice was like no other he had heard. The voice echoed in his ears, but it was not the Lencten Ode but another springtime tune. Helle was singing.
Balthazar opened his eyes to see her standing before him. Moose stomped his foot and snorted.
“Shush, Moose and listen,” he said patting his horse’s neck.
The sun broke through the clouds blinding Balthazar or at least he thought that it was the sun. The melody faded. He blinked trying to remove the black spots dancing before his eyes.
Before him was the forest and on the ground, where she had stood, was the gem.
“By the gods, Moose, I do believe she was Gna.” He bent to pick up the stone but when his hand was almost touching it, he felt heat emanating from it. He reached into his pack on his horse and with a cloth; he picked up the hot stone that was no longer red but black.
Balthazar placed it into the pack and returned to the castle. He decided that she had been a distraction from him finding his father’s real murderer.