Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prompt: The bearer of bad news, Part 3

She looked up at him with eyes dark and damp with tears no one would ever see again, against the ashen beauty of her grief-stricken face. Finally, without a word, she bowed her head, leaning forward on her throne. He raised the Crown of Rule and rested it over her silken hair. He felt the band tighten across her brow, where she would wear it for all the days of her life. His fingers brushed through her hair, down her cheek, as he pulled back, kneeling before her once again. His fate was in her hands.

Tradition dictated her first act of rule should be one of strength. Kill the messenger who bore the ill tidings of her father’s death. Despite any fondness, Jazared had sacrificed him, knowing he would convince the Oracle to accept the Crown.

He dared not speak, to beg for his life. He waited, head bent, for her decision.

“I was never one for tradition,” she said softly. He felt a flare of hope as he lifted his head. She held out her hand, and he reached for it, rising with a deep breath he had not known he held. She stood up on the dais, as tall as he. Staring into her eyes, he felt the cold steel slide into his chest, felt the warm blood pulsing out of his heart across her hand, still pressed against him. “But now I must be Queen,” she finished.

He staggered and fell to his knees once more, keeping his eyes locked with hers. He felt a calm resignation. Acceptance. His sorrow was for her, not himself. When he accepted the Messenger’s sacred duty, he knew it carried such a fate.

“Long live the Queen,” he whispered, sinking back on his heels and onto the marble floor. As his eyes closed, he saw a single tear glisten on her lashes and slide down her cheek for the last time.

Dogs in house

Allegro Classical 2011 Winter Sampler

Time writing:
~1 hour

September word count:

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