When the strangers had come over the hilltop, with their horses, with their weapons, they had been accompanied by screams. First, their own shouts and the whinnying of the spirited animals they rode. Then, the terrified scream of the man who saw them first. And finally the uproar in the village, the screams of humans who see death approaching.
She remembered the screams well, oh so well.
Even as she came to know their faces and names, one by one, they stayed strangers. Only one among them got close enough to her to be something else. Only one ever got under her skin.
For a little while she had thought she knew him. She had thought she understood. But one didn't know or understand one of the Horsemen. They still were strangers. Strangers: people who watch calmly while you are dragged away to be killed. Or worse.
Yet even when one thought one had got them sized up, they were still strangers. Finally, you thought, you knew what you were up against. But you didn't. No. You still knew nothing. The stranger was even more of a stranger than you had realised.
One day she learned that the one had indeed watched, but not calmly. Which did not make the memory any easier to bear. She learned that he had watched her escape, as well. That didn't help, either. If anything, it made things worse. It made you wonder if you could have done anything more to be allowed to escape just those few hours sooner. Maybe if you had been more submissive, more...
And that took you back. Back to something you had been long, long ago. Back to someone you had been in an age long past. And who you had hoped was by now gone. Alas, that someone was still there, incomprehensibly little more of a stranger to your soul.
This was written in response to the prompt "strangers", one of jinxed_wood's 50 prompts of highlander50 at livejournal.
Again, I own neither the character(s) nor any part of the Highlander universe, I merely play and dabble there without any intention of infringing on the true owners' rights. No money being made off my fanfic, either.