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A stranger stops at an inn. He has run away from something. He is dressed in wedding clothes, but where is his bride?

Submitted:May 19, 2013    Reads: 27    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   

A broken wedding

The wind howled and the rain lashed out cruelly. The thunder shook the earth whilst the lightening illuminated the skies. On a lonely road a cloaked figure rode sombrely towards the town of Aktahan, his cloak billowing in the air. As he began to approach he pulled his cloak tighter to hide his face, elves were not welcomed in these parts. He was young, the age of twenty one; he had perfectly straight waist length hair, a sandy yellow colour, almost gold however in the moonlight at this time of the night it shone a rare pure silver colour, brighter than the moon. His skin was perfectly smooth and pale, his eyebrows typically slanted inwards and his ears slightly pointed. His emerald green eyes showed signs of wisdom and endless time yet his young face showed no sign of age.

As he passed the city, lights were switched off and doors were closed. Tzaneka disliked the attitude towards strangers, in the elfish parts; guests were an honour and treated as such. He rode on through the empty streets and finally stopped at an inn. As he entered he was surprised to see so many young men at this time of the night, drunk as lords yet continuously drinking. Wine was considered sacred to the elves; it was only used on special occasions, not wasted on petty drinking. He walked up to the landlord, "one room for the night, please" he asked politely. The innkeeper looked him up and down, observing him, probably seeing how much he could charge, "that will be five silver pieces" he said finally. The elf withdrew a leather pouch from his waist belt, counted five silver pieces and put them on the counter. The innkeeper greedily grabbed them in his hand and threw him a key, "you will find yourself on the second floor, last room" he said gruffly.

Tzaneka silently climbed the stairs and opened the door to his room. He sat on the bed at the far corner of the room and looked around. There was a dresser and chair on his right and a sink to his left, beside that there was no other furniture, just a lot of cobwebs. He took off his cloak and folded it neatly on the chair. His previously magnificent white and moonlight threaded costume was now dirty with mud, creased and damp. He closed his eyes and heaved with exhaustion; he had been on the run for weeks, only stopping for food and water. He could feel his mind drifting, slowly and then there he was surrounded by shattered glass and he could see her, no anything but that. He tried to remember the fields in the summer, the golden sunsets but no, it was coming back to him that cursed memory. White swirls, and then a glass marquee draped in white cloth, a huge crystal chandelier, rows and rows of empty pews seating only four people. He was there; at the front, all dressed in white, standing beside him, his best friend who had agreed to be the "priest" of this ceremony. Suddenly, the tense atmosphere softened as she entered. She was dressed in a beautifully embroided gown, a tight corseted material that emphasised her slim waist, before falling out in to elegant pleated silk segments. Her sleeves were tight at the top and gradually became longer and wider and pointed at the ends. Her face radiated with joy and her green eyes shone. Her pale slender face was surrounded by a shining light and her cascade of golden hair fell to her waist entwined with magnificent purple flowers. At first her stride was patient and paced, but as she approached him she walked faster and faster until she was running towards him. He greeted her with open arms and she fell into them with obvious delight. The "priest" coughed lightly and she broke away from him in slight embarrassment to face her fiancé. The wedding began, but neither of them could hear, they were oblivious to anything but each other right now. As the "priest" began to chant a flower appeared in his hands and spread golden swirls of light to surround them. He could only see her, she was his world, he had loved her at first sight, before he had known that she was a princess, and now she would be his, forever. He looked up at her smiling as though in a dream and was surprised to see her face change into a look of utter horror. He heard the smashing of glass as the entire marquee fell to pieces and felt them stab into his skin. He blinked in the sunlight and saw that they were surrounded from every side by elf archers on white horses. Before he could move he felt two strong hands gab his arms and twist them back in such a position that he was forced to kneel. He was shocked to see that the Isabella was also being restrained. The leader of the patrol jumped off his horse and walked towards them with nothing but glee in his eyes. He was short, large and almost tripped on his dull, greasy blond hair they were so long. The general walked up to him and punched him with incredible strength in his gut. He doubled over, still restrained and felt the air sucked out of his breath. The man laughed cruelly, without humour and produced a blade from inside his cloak. "Mmm, I wonder how your face would look after I add a few scars" he snarled. Tzaneka could feel the cold blade taunting against his skin. "No, please I'll do anything just leave him alone" he looked up in surprise to see Isabella with tears streaming down her face. "Please, for all the love you have for me, only spare him and I will marry you as promised" she begged. He swung around and strode arrogantly towards her as though enjoying her lack of power. "Ah, but you see I have no love for you, only my status as rightful heir to the throne" he said maliciously.


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