Rating – G
Frail, her composure, the looks – pale, the speech – lost.
The image of the night that brought so much loss – left unmeasurable dent in her heart, ripped part filled with fear.
It was midst of winter – the lord of the vale came over to ask of her fathers opinions of matters known to crown. Father served as an adversary under protection of crowned king that was in power for a long time. The king – as far as eavesdropping could help – was on his deathbed.
The council of father was worthy in matters – that’s why he was still precious council.
Until that day.
That day brought the crisp cold snow, sun and very bright sun. It was perfect winter day.
The carriage with three horsemen came in the evening – the sun was setting down, leaving the brim of crimson light over the horizon. It was like the edge of the world was on fire. Beauty beyond my imagination.
The men stopped and got down from horses, then carriage opened a young lord came out. By looks he was barely of age. Tall, well built, maybe he was seventeen. He was, after all – the beloved son of old king.
Four of them went inside the house. I was outside – on the apple tree. I was eating my share of pie, whilst sitting up on them, although parents were prohibiting me from it. I was nagged a lot due to acting up like such.
As the gents went in, it was around ten or so minutes that passed, when I heard mothers scream.
Moment later she was running out the door – followed by the men. One of them shot arrow in her back – it went through chest. She was still alive.
Then the youngster came up to her, with his swift movement he slashed her throat. Blood gushed everywhere.
The world was at a stand still. It was really quiet.
I was glued to branch I sat on. Perched like a bird, now with mouth agape, wishing to scream, but no sound came out, tears fogging up vision, then rolling down my pale cheeks.
I heard his voice – the young lords voice. Strong, stern, yet so soft that my heart squeezed up hard – aching.
“Since old man died, and now all the witnesses with him – there is none to top my reign.” – He stood up, looking at how fine the sunset looked, red glistening in the snow.
Then he gazed up at the at the tree. His eyes met mine. He smiled.
Then turned around and went back into carriage. They promptly left.
It took me a while. It took a while to get down, to go to the neighbour and sit there. Shock instilled on my face.
Many questions asked, all of them endless – and then i managed to push out “They’re dead” – so that the old farmer would go check my home.
Upon return – he spoke to wife, to eldest daughter, sons – they let me stay there. With them.
I didn’t say who the killer was. I was barely fifteen at the time.
Just a month later – it all it took – the land went into war with the nearby country. It was madness. I was blessed to be in such hidden place – with this family, that we were lucky to be left alive. For whole year that the war was reigning through lands.
Then it was more peaceful, for a bit.
Once I turned seventeen, I went to court, to see what happened of the castle and the ruler, with hopes of the Young Lord dead.
It didn’t take tong. It really didn’t. Once I was at the bridge to the castle – I saw him. On horseback, crowned, off to hunt. Same smile, same voice, more handsome.
Painful. Yet horror froze my blood – he managed to look me in the eyes, with that smile of his, as he passed by. It was all it took to make my throat get lump and breath short of air, heart in pain, hands trembling, eyes watering, knees weak. I slumped on the ground.
I heard his laugh – “Next time I hope that it will be more fun”
The guards looked at their king in sheer wonder who was the line said to – but I knew. I knew that is was a game for him. Real sad game.
“One day I might get my revenge…” – so I thought. Yet days went by, and all I managed was to start working in the court.
The Maiden of the court – one to look after food served, night bowels empty and library clean.
Library – that is where I found my peace for a moment, but then I discovered the night garden on the top left castle wing. The marvels of moonshine and orchids. Night lilies, the shades and fragrances.
The garden became my curse. I’d sneak into it, picking the lock. I’d be dreaming of the ways of killing this king – avenging my parents. But once, I was very tired – and fell asleep.
That was a mistake that I’ve made. One that cost me life.
“It’s punishable by death to come into private garden of his majesty, didn’t you know it?” – His voice woke me up. In shock, I sprung up on my knees and froze. In cold fear of him – my body would not move.
“You did grow into a fine material. I was right to keep you alive.” – He came closer, now in front of me, his hand stretching towards my face. – “How fine, how fine.”
His mildly rough fingers touched my cheek – his hands were warm. Very warm – felt like burning on my cold skin.
He tilted his head, as his fingers pulled my chin up.
“Say, you pale thing, you fear me that much, huh?” – His voice softer, just a slight notch, but the stern grace kept on.
He sat next to me, drawing his face closer to mine. As my tears rolled down my cheeks – I close my eyes.
Then I felt warmth om my lips. My eyes opened up – he gave me a kiss, forceful. He hugged me tightly.
“Now you’ll be trained to obey me. If not in mind – then in body.”
That’s when true nightmare began. That’s when I broke and became his puppet – that somehow fell for this tyrant.