The End of a Reign

The End of a Reign

A Story by Brooklyn
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A story about an evil king taking place in the renaissance time period.

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1528

 

“But…you’re a girl.” The last words of a dying man. As I hold my sword over his less than a centimeter from his throat, there is no begging for his life, no final words, no thought for his family. Only surprise that that a girl could beat him with a sword and, even more than that, outwit him. Because all men think they are the handsomest, the cleverest, invincible. And they think that we girls are pretty playthings at best.

That made that part that must happen next easier. “Lady,” I correct him. As if the most important thing at the moment is my age, not that I have to kill him. “I’m eighteen.” And then I close my eyes and cut his throat.

He falls, the look of surprise still on his face. The light flickers out of his eyes, leaving them dulled.

I wince as I look down upon the man the dead man. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, “but it had to be done. This is worth more than one life.” And then I leave, cursing my weakness. I had to close my eyes when I killed him. I couldn’t even see the job through.

They had said that caring was what made me a good leader. That if I was fearless than I would just get me and everyone around me killed. But I care too much. Every time that killing is necessary I think about his life, the reasons behind his actions, his family. I wonder whether I could have done anything differently, to spare his life. It haunts me.

I pause and wonder whether I should dispose of the body. NO, I decide after a moment, getting rid of the body will take much too long. And the blood tells tales. Besides, I think as I hurry away from the murder scene, even giving him a proper burial won’t help me when it comes my time. My sins are far too great.

 

“King Eadric! What do you wish me to do?” the general asked. He stood in front of his king, fully armored, marks of rank showing proudly. His helmet was tucked under one arm to stop its shaking. The other arm busied itself by raking through his thick brown hair, peppered from age. Despite the trials that he has faced in war that have hardened him into absolute indifference when it came to surprises, he flinched as the king turned to face him. 

The king stroked his short black beard thoughtfully. “We cannot allow the resistance to gain anymore members. If they do they will win by pure numbers.”

“I am at your service, your Majesty.” The general  bowed hastily.

The king smiled coldly and watched the general shiver. Weak, Eadric thought, he is weak. He cowers in fear of a man half his age. For good reason.  Because Eadric, unlike the dead guard, is invincible.

“I know, general.” The general flicked as if had suffered a physical blow. “No one knows better than I,” the king thought for a moment. “Have all those with reason to join the resistance to come to the throne room. Supply them with a gun.”

The general nodded his understanding and bowed hastily before attempting to make a prompt exit. “And general?” the king added to the general’s fleeting back.  The general stopped half way out the door. “Make sure your men are right outside the door when they are all gathered.” The general left the king.

 

“This is the time. The time when we end this war that has gone on for much too long. This King, this tyrant, has to be stopped. He has tortured his subjects, put thousands under his spell, killed innocents. Fathers, Mothers, Children all he same. He has tried to control our minds. But I do not need to remind you of his crimes,” I pause and survey my small unit. Completely outfitted in armor and ready to end this. “It is time that his reign ends.” Then louder, “It is time that Eadric’s reign ends!”

My speech is met by cheers and war cries form men and woman alike.   The men have finally learned to respect us ladies enough to fight beside us. It only took years of us proving our worth over and over. But they have been under my command for longer than that.

They get to work sharpening their swords and knives, loading their guns, and finishing putting on their armor. There is a knock on the door. The sound makes me jump and I reach for my weapon. Though I know that if the king’s guard had found us, they would not be knocking.

The knock forms a familiar pattern and I ease. I cross the room and open the door for my fellow comrade. A spy who had infatuated the court months before, leaking information to us. “the king…has a plan,” she said between gasping for breath. She had obviously run the whole way here.

“Plan?” I ask quietly.

She nods. “To get rid of those who have reason to join us,” she clarifies. “he plans on having them framed for treachery and attempt at murder. Attempt at his murder.”

I do not waste a moment. I grab my gun, leaving my sword, knowing that if it comes down to hand-to-hand combat it will be too late for me. And, more importantly, them. They will be hung for the crimes they did not commit.

“When?” I ask her.

Someone had found her a flask of water and she was breathing less heavily now. She looks up at me and I can clearly see the fear in her green eyes. “Now,” she whispers.

I am almost to the door when a hand touches me and stops me dead in my tracks. I turn, my eyes blazing in anger. Every second that I am held here is an innocent dead.

“Audrey, you can’t save them all,” Kara says. She knows me better than anyone. She’s my second in command and my best friend. She knows that those simple words, though they may be the truth, won’t stop me from trying.

I shake my head slowly and she nods. “I knew you’d be that pig-headed. That’s why I’m coming with you.” I am about to protest but she cuts me off with a glare from her chocolate brown eyes. “Just try to stop me,” the look said. I knew better than to do that.

So I give her a quick hug and wait impatiently for her to grab her gun.  “let’s go play defender to the weak,” she gestures to the door with her arm. She stops, frowns, and adds, “minus the playing.”

 

The castle is eerie and quite, unlike our headquarter which are full of hushed voices. Our guns are concealed in our skirts and no one gives us a second glance. They just hurry along trying to get there jobs in time in order not face the master’s wrath.

Still, every corner, every squeak of shoes, I’m sure that we are going to be spotted and called out on who we are. My face is on enough posters and my name on enough lips that if we run into the right person we ill be killed on the spot.

We can’t kill the king if we’re dead.

 

“This is a test of loyalty, “ the king said to the court members and servants that surrounded him, heeding his every word. “You must do exactly what I say, or I will know that you are a traitor.” He smiled at the crowd. “Let’s begin.”

“Yes, your majesty,” they chorused as was law. However, some said it more enthusiastically than others.

“The first task is that you all must line up in a row facing me.” there was much hustle as the tried to line up across the width of the throne room. This wasn’t a hard request but with the numbers of people there was much confusion of where to go.

“Excellent,” the king told the crowd. “But the next task is harder. Remember, you must do exactly as I say or you will be accused of treason. “ they all nodded their agreement. “Very well. Point your guns at me.”

This time there was hesitation. Did he really mean for them to point guns at him? Is this some sort of test more than what was stated? They whispered amongst themselves.

All conversation and movement halted with a impatient cluck of the king’s tongue. “Remember, if you don’t do it, it’s treason,” he reminded them. “And treason is punishable by death.” All the guns went up and pointed at their king.

The king smiled at his ignorant subjects. It was time for the final stage of his plan. “Gu�"“

 

His cry for the guards is covered by two shots. Mine and Kara’s. Kara’s goes wide and hits his left shoulder. My bullet hits its mark: the heart.

It’s over, I think, it’s finally over. But he doesn’t fall. A look of surprise crosses his face and then it is wiped away. I wonder it really was ever there. I wait for him to die.

Die like the guard, die like so many others by my hand. Yet the one person that I would not have any regrets about killing remained upright. In control. His eyes cutting into me like a knife. He is very much alive.

But I am not. Or, I will not be. I load aim my gun a second time, but it is too late. “Guards!” he screams.

Kara takes my hand and drags me out through a hidden passageway that had been found by our spies. “We can’t just leave them,” I whisper to her as I hear the guards barge through the door.

“We can’t save them if we’re dead!” she snaps.

“The resistance is here!” Eadric screams. “Search the castle! Find them at any cost.” There is a pause where a guard says something. “No,” the King orders. “Don’t bother with these people. Find the resistance!”

“They’ll be fine,” Kara assures me, “let’s go.”

I nod my head in agreement and we run down the passage. As we run, I notice something about the floors. They were sparkling, spotless. “Kara, this passage is not a secret.”

Her eyes widen in understanding and we gain speed. We need to make it to the other end before they realize where we went.

 

We curl together for warmth in a stone storage room. The only company we have beside for each other is bottles of wine, an old piano, some moldy cheese, and broken china. It’s been hours since we escaped the king and the cold is making my bone ache.   

I know that we cannot win. They will find us here and bring us to the king that we had just tried to kill. Or they will kill us on the spot. The later is the more likely choice. And the safer one.

I am tired of waiting for my end to come. If I am to die, than I don’t want it to be running or hiding. I want to say that I looked death in the face and for once was not afraid.

“Will you play?” I ask Kara. But I know that it is too much to ask. In Kara’s eyes, we sill have a chance.

But she nods. She’s not dumb: she knows what it means for both of us if she does play. And still she walks over to the abandoned instrument, staring the first notes of a familiar song.

A small smile comes to my lips as the song comes to its end. “Another?” I request. She starts the second song and I open my mouth to sing. My voice rings out in harmony with the piano.

The door bursts open and a voice yells, “Halt in the name of the king!” I turn toward the voice. I am painfully aware of the guard’s jet-black uniform. The helmet covers his face and hid his stunning green eyes. He looked like any other of the king’s guards, but I know who he is. I have spent years memorizing that voice, those footsteps.

But he can never love as I’ve hoped all these years. He is a guard and I am a traitor to his King. He must hate me with all his heart, almost as much as I hate myself for falling for a man who is twisted enough to join Eadric.

They had warned me, of course. They had told me this is what he has become since I left. They had not wanted me to be in shock were something like this to happen. But there is no use fighting, he clearly has the advantage.

I smile ruefully at all the memories we had shared. None of that will help me know. The figure in the doorway aims his gun at me and I have to ask.  “Will you kill me James?” 

© 2012 Brooklyn


Author's Note

Brooklyn
Guys, I am sorry for making you seem so...despicable. But, c'mon! Men treated the girls like crap in the renaissance period.

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Reviews

This is very nice, I loved the intro :)
One thing I would try doing, which I find myself doing often, is reading your story out loud. I noticed some words that were missing, which would be picked up if you were to read out loud. You don't have to speak, you can just murmur the words to yourself. I do this all the time, and people think I'm crazy. If it helps, it's not crazy :D
Another thing I would recommend is shortening or separating some sentences with commas, semi-colons, or colons.
Otherwise, i LOVED this idea! It reminds me of the ending of a novel I wrote a while back :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


Very nicely written.
I liked it a lot, great plot

Posted 7 Years Ago


This is really good :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


Wow!! Really amazing job!!! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

lol, love the author's note. and I don't feel like retyping what I told you in the message, but it's fudging amazing. Brilliant. Incredible. Flawless. Stunning. Dumfounding. (I'm using a thesaurus at this point) staggering. Shocking. Astounding, and now, for the finale: FLABBERGASTING.
okay, I'm just gonna go kill myself because I can never be this good. Byes :) (ps, that Kara character? She sounds awesome.)

Posted 7 Years Ago


Brooklyn

7 Years Ago

lol... The queen of all words had to use a thesaurus?! Then there is definitely no hope for us mort.. read more
Sophie

7 Years Ago

lolol

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Added on September 11, 2012
Last Updated on September 11, 2012

Author

Brooklyn
Brooklyn

why do you want to know?, MA



About
I'm a fourteen year old girl that is now in her freshman year of highschool. wish me luck!. I'm awful at spelling, and I need to work on "down time" in stories. I also can't seem to write one book for.. more..

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