Records of Years under the Emperor of Death

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mila Vermillion lives with her father in the capital city of a powerful empire, which destroyed their family and legacy and are forced to live in poverty. This is a story about a young girl who does her best for her father and herself to exist in a city where most of the people see the Emperor as a savior and them as vermin deserving of only death.

First Record: 

Under the empire 

 

In the days under the might of the emperor, the fires of rebellion would ignite when, while celebrating his birthday accompanied by loyal elites, a baby girl was born into a dying family. She belongs to the Vermillion family, one of the founders of the old kingdom. After Emperor Caules took hold of all power, the empire was born and the founding families were in immediate danger. The previous ruler, King Sig, was assassinated alongside his wife. After the sun had set, the Vermillion had some of its members escape, some killed, and just five of them kept alive. These are the only family members the baby girl would get to meet, except for one who disappeared not long after. 

 

Life was like a neverending nightmare where only those loyal to the core could feel at ease. The last twelve years have been harsh. The Pendragon family just sent us provisions for another week. They sure are careful to not let authorities know they help us. The Assassin Clan keeps their eyes on our surroundings to keep us safe from the goons of the emperor. A Vermillion alive in the empire is a threat after all. But for me, at least, I no longer go by that name. I am Mila Berryann now. It was the solution I came up with, aside from changing my hairstyle and other things. My father allows me to go to school under the protection of Serenity, a member of the Assassins. He asked their leader Arvio, who agreed right away. The Vermillion and Assassin Clan go back to the founding of the old kingdom. That said, the indoctrination of my classmates never fails to surprise me.They believe the Emperor to be their savior, their light. I see and listen to them cursing my family, the one I truly belong to. Some are my friends and they invite me to their homes, not knowing the truth. Serenity conceals her presence and follows me all the time, keeping her attention at my immediate surroundings. She taught me some basic swordsmanship and skills in case I need to defend myself, not that I actually had to do it yet. 

 

Today, a normal evening like usual, I decided to walk to the park. I had finished my project for our home. A little change that could improve the mood. I hope Father notices and smiles. Moving the furniture around and painting the living room into a bright sky blue color. It didn't take long since it's not that big. It is just a matter of waiting. 

With my lunch neatly packed and my favorite hat and dress, the path to the park takes me back in time, with the neighbors greeting me as they always do, I greet them back, even taking some time with a little chat with the oldest one among them. 

Arriving at the park, a couple of soldiers sit at a bench where I would normally sit if it's available. It has a nice view of the lake and the children playing catch. Nevertheless, looking for another spot is not a problem, but my body stopped on its own, feeling shivering down my spine. The feeling of uneasiness grows strong as I hear my name being mentioned by the soldiers. Hiding in the bushes behind them, it is easy to make out what they are saying. “That girl is a

strange one. Even using the good name of Berryann. Is that lord seriously letting her do that?”-said the younger-looking soldier. The more veteran soldier answered- “Doesn't matter if he did. Doesn't matter if he didn’t. A Vermillion coexists among us. The only criticism I have for these authorities is that they allow it.” They sure are not sugar.coating anything, I think to myself. “That's just because of the Emperor. His show of clemency makes him look like the savior everyone thinks he is. I, for one, think it's important to get rid of vermin”-added the other. “Should we kill her? Once that girl is dead, there will be no hope for them to return, especially her father. He licks the feet of the Emperor, the only good thing he does.”-said the younger soldier. I can believe their hatred for us is real, even palpable, but this still makes me tremble in fear. I remember my father’s words, “Use your fear to be brave, to be strong. You are not weak nor are you vulnerable. The blood in your veins is proof of your lineage. I ask of you, stand tall and victorious.” I relax my breathing, focusing to clear my mind of worries. I think, “Must return home, Father waits for me.” Serenity observes from a distance, that I know. Once the soldiers leave, I hold my lunch close to me, pressing the basket tightly against my chest. I stand up and head back, trying not to be seen by those men. At home, I open and close the door behind me, sighing in relief. Father is there, standing in the living room looking at the changed position of the furniture and the brighter sky blue walls. He notices me and my lunch basket. With a barely noticeable smile, he says, “Let’s have lunch. Surely what you have there is delicious.”He turns around and goes to the bathroom to wash his hands. Tears of joy flow from my eyes, “I did it!”I set the table and wait for Father to join me. The food was, in fact, delicious.

 

 


Submitted: May 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Robert Doust. All rights reserved.

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