I was pushed roughly forward nearly losing my balance as I slipped on freshly fallen snow. My bare feet stung as it touched the frozen ground and the air was so cold it stole my breath away.
The crowd before me was wild with the tension of the coming advent. Screams of slander called out, and people pushed others to reach the front of the growing crowd. I didn’t know these people; I had lived in the castle all my life. I had been nothing more than a simple maid.
The knight that had pushed me now grabbed at my arm giving me another push to keep me walking forward. I didn’t try and fight I had excepted the fate I was being given; I was to be hung!
There was a clear path right up to a platform that was going to be used for the hanging. As I walked closer, I could see the rope swinging gently in the falling snow. I felt my blood turn cold at the sight; it was all so much more real now.
My eyes had been locked onto the rope, that when I felt a wet mass splatter across my face, I stood stunned. I kept my head down until I could make sense of what had happened, that’s when I noticed on the ground was a rotten tomato.
I reached up and rubbed the side of my cheek feeling the sting slowly fading away. I looked up to where the tomato had come from only to see more crowds of people standing there looking at me. The people held expressions of everything from anger to disgust; I could only imagine why they hated me.
Then a man held out his hand pointing at me screaming. “Devil Spawn, Devil Spawn, here comes the Devil Spawn!” This man didn’t know me, and I didn’t know him… how could he assume such accusations how could any of these people?
I didn’t respond, nor did I have time as the knight was once again pushing me on. I let my gaze drift over the crowd, but this time I looked up. I almost couldn’t; I had been so afraid that if I looked up, I was going to lose all my strength I had left.
I felt my heart skip a beat when my eyes landed on the person I had been searching for, and for the brief second, it felt as if time had stopped. It felt as if the crowd had gone quiet and the knights didn’t exist, and all I could see was Lucas, Prince Lucas. His eyes met mine, and at first, I felt relief, but it quickly turned into confusion. I had wanted him to look angry or upset by what was happening, but he didn’t. Lucas just stared blankly at me, not giving away any emotions.
Time snapped back into full play as I was given yet again another rough push to keep moving. I nearly tripped again as I was pulled up the steps onto the platform. I was yanked and pulled in any direction the knights wanted me in. I didn’t fight; it was useless, there was no escape.
I looked out once again to the balcony of the castle. I wanted to catch one more look at Lucas… I wanted to make sure I was not mistaken. He had to be feeling something. I felt the first tear roll down my cheek as my eyes came to rest on King Moldark instead. King Moldark stood in the spot Lucas had been standing with a smile spread across his face.
King Moldark looked straight at me he was the reason I was to be hung. He had accused me of being a thief and a liar. He had said I had stolen royal artifacts and sold them.
The real truth was King Moldark wanted me to die because I was carrying the next air to the throne. I had Prince Lucas’s child growing inside of me.
The rope was pulled down around my neck, and with a quick pull, I felt it tighten. The crowd grew louder with the anticipation and the tension in the air built. I felt my eyes close as a second tear rolled down my cheek.
Just as the doors that I stood on should have opened for me to hang was when everything grew deathly quiet. I had my eyes closed waiting I was prepared…
I just stood there.
Slowly I opened my eyes to see that several black hooded figures were standing at all corners of the crowd. They were cloaked from head to toe all in black with their heads hung down. Everyone stood waiting, watching, the only sound that came was from the Captain of the king’s guards as he yelled out at the cloaked figures.
Knights and guards were approaching the cloaked figures when the sound of cannon went off at that very moment every one of the cloaked figures raised their hands and threw black soot that quickly turned to smoke covering the whole courtyard in thick black smoke.
Everything was gone, screams filled the air as people ran about looking for a break in the smoke. Over it all, I could hear Prince Lucas scream out over the crowd. “Alastair!”
My heart jumped as I tried to look in the direction of the voice. Lucas had been worried after all. Just as I moved, I felt the rope around my neck pull tighter making my mind switch back panic quickly settling in. Then several of the dark hooded figures were standing there already untieing the restraints around my neck and wrist. The last thing I knew I was being rushed through the black smoke only to hear Prince Lucas call my name one last time.