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The Sacrifice (Alternate World)

Novel By: Mistress of Word Play
Fantasy



The story of Cape Town, Africa in an alternate world. A story of war and political upheavel and the men and women who believe that freedom is worth paying the ultimate price. View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3 4

Submitted:Mar 23, 2010    Reads: 36    Comments: 16    Likes: 18   


Into death's dark deep tunnel I shall go,
Where might it lead me I do not know?
Though difficult I will make this sacrifice.
Perhaps it is enough and it might suffice.
The two men spoke not a word as they took Celine to the Alliance's home base. She noticed one of the men carried a strange looking rifle. She wondered if this was like the weapon of destruction the Alliance had been using to destroy the people who lived outside Cape Town. It mattered little now, so she rode in silence taking in the desolate and harsh landscape.
Africa had once been covered with a wide variety of trees and vegetation. Wild animals of many breeds roamed freely. There was nothing left of what had been. All that remained was sand, barren land, and the ash the Alliance had created. Perhaps one day given the time her people would revive the land and make it beautiful once more.
As they approached the complex Celine noticed how down trodden and frail the population looked. Unlike Cape Town's people who were happy and healthy the people here lived in fear and terror of their masters. It was a shame the innocent among them would die as well. Celine took her hand and rubbed her forehead. She felt the drops of sweat as her hand made contact. It felt as if she had a fever.
The car they were riding in soon came to a halt in front of a large building surrounded by armed guards. Celine took a deep breath and followed her escorts inside as she walked sharp pains radiated down both her legs.
Thorn met the group as they entered the building. Celine could feel her muscles tense and took a guarded stance as Thorn stood staring at her. His hair was long and unruly and unlike her father's face which was kind and gentle, Thorn's face revealed the cruel and vile nature of the man.
"So this is my prize," Thorn laughed as he grabbed Celine's arm and drew her close to him, "Well I must say you mixed breeds certainly are an attractive lot."
Celine jerked her arm free of Thorn's grasp and spat directly in his face. Thorn's hand came up and he slapped Celine across the lips. She whimpered in pain and backed away from him.
"Just so we understand each other," Thorn growled wiping her spit off his face, "I am your master and soon to be your husband. You will obey me."
Too tired and sick to fight with Thorn, Celine simply glared at him. Thorn laughed as he observed her look of contempt.
"Take my bride to be to her room," Thorn bellowed at his men, "Have her dress for the feast we are holding in her honor."
"Yes sir," the larger of the two men replied as he took Celine's arm and lead her away.
Celine was taken to her room and given a revealing low cut gown of emerald green. Shoes had also been provided for her. An elderly woman stood waiting to assist her in anyway necessary.
"My name is Rose," the woman had informed Celine in a formal tone.
"I am Celine," she replied, "I can manage just fine dressing myself."
The elderly woman had curtsied and vanished without another word. Celine dressed in silence and applied a cool compress to her bruised face. Her whole body was aching from fever and she was finding it hard to stand. The high heels Celine wore made it difficult for her to walk. She steadied herself and waited.
It was not long and Thorn came to retrieve her. He bowed jokingly and offered Celine his arm. Celine pulled away from him hoping he would see the animosity she felt for him.
"So we are going to play Miss High and mighty are we?" Thorn said sarcastically and then before she could answer he pulled her close and kissed her on the lips.
This time Celine did not push him away, but welcomed the close contact with Thorn. The virus had reached its peak and soon Celine would not be here to suffer at his hands. She hoped he died slowly writhing in pain. Thorn felt the beginnings of a smile on Celine's bruised lips and he pushed her back and away from him.
"What's so funny?" Thorn asked.
"You," Celine answered, "Just like a man to take what he can't have any other way."
"Just thank your lucky stars I decided to marry you and spare Cape Town," he replied taking her arm into his own, "I could have just killed you all."
They entered the grand dining hall and Thorn seated Celine next to him. Celine could feel the tightness in her chest as she drank and tried to eat the meal in front of her. The festivities went on until well into the night. Celine felt death as it approached her. A light headedness and coolness touched the outer edge of her brain. Her last thoughts were of her father and brother. Celine prayed what she had done would spare them. Celine's head went crashing forward onto the table as she died.
*********************************
It was not long after Celine started her trek to the Alliance when Lester found out what Celine intended to do. Thar came to him and delivered the news.
"How could this happen?" Lester groaned, "I told her to marry him and she disobeyed me. What was she thinking?"
"She was thinking of you and the others here in Cape Town," Thar replied sadly, "Celine told me one life compared to the lives of many was a small price to pay. She knew what she was doing. Her act of self sacrifice has saved us all."
"Not my child," Lester answered as tears trailed down his cheeks, "Not my child."
Four days after Celine left Cape Town word reached Lester that the Alliance had crumbled. Most of the population had perished over a two day span. A handful of people remained but they too would soon be dead. There were no celebrations in Cape Town. All that lived within the city knew the price that had been paid to insure their freedom and happiness.
Thar and the members of the Council commissioned a statue of Celine and erected it in Cape Town's main square. Inscribed on the bronze plaque were these words:
What price for freedom I ask of you?
What would you forfeit or chose to do?
Would you give your life dear friend?
Would you fight until the bitter end?
I would!




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