I stared through the gap of the barn doors.
My mother and younger brother huddled in the stable, but I had no interest in hiding. Before my eyes, a battle was raging, terrified screams and the smell of smoke and clashing metal piercing the air. The tyrant king who had recently conquered Simeona, and executed our last king, King Simeon, has launched an army to defeat all that defied his rule (which was basically everyone), meaning that my village was now infested with the tyrant’s soldiers who were burning and killing everything in sight—hence our hiding. Though infamous and powerful, no one knew his real name, and for that reason, everyone called this tyrant, Hisca, the god of demons and all things evil and wrong, though rumour had it he was strikingly beautiful and young.
“Angia, get back here at once! We’ll be noticed!” My mother hissed, reaching out an arm, using the other to grip and pin my brother even tighter. To prove my rebellious spirit, I pushed into the doorway even harder, waving her beseeching off. She sighed in frustration, and leaned in to grasp my wrist, but I slipped from her grip, and pulled my hand in close. Suddenly, a man walked in front of the doorway, and we all froze, the crunching of the gravel giving him away. He stood so close that I could even see the weaving of his shirt and the tiniest of dents in his armour. In the terrified silence, my mother leaned in even closer and grabbed my elbow in a grip like hawk’s claws. This time, I was perfectly fine with hiding. But—curse and be damned my clumsiness—I slipped on the muddy floor, mud giving a faint patter on the door. In seconds the door crashed open and two soldiers walked in. I pushed as hard as I could into the dark shadows of the stable corner, praying…
The two soldiers gave yelps of surprise as a thirrage—one of the tyrant king’s specially-bred battle horses—with my nine-year-old brother riding it, raced past them into the battle, but in the process, gave my mother away. Suddenly, an eye flickered in my direction, and a mischievous half-smile grew on one of the ensign’s faces. One walked over to me, another to my mother, but she was fast for an oldish woman, and raced over to me, shielding me from them.
“Go away you filthy scum! And take that scum of a tyrant with you!” She snarled at them, in the way she only reserves for when people burn the house down, which, technically soldiers were doing now.
One soldier eyed the other. “Insulting your king is punishable by death. Get her.” In a single blink, my mother screamed and then she was…dead. I cried out in horror and disbelief, but as soon as it happened, the blade stained with my parent’s blood was pointed at me. “Surrender or die.”
I made a face of you’re dead to me. Dead. and snarled, “No.”
They laughed. “So we have an immortal.” One said.
“Stubborn too.” The other agreed. “If we can't kill her, see if Marius can.”
And that’s when I bolted.
* * *
Hands caught me like a fish in a net. A few seconds later, a huge cohort of soldiers strolled into the barn, all laughing like they’d just had a great time by killing and pillaging, led by the man who I’d loathe forever. “And here’s the immortal!” He announced, sending another wave of intense laughter. “All marvel at her and bow before her!” He bowed in mock, and every other soldier (besides the once restraining me) followed the leader.
“Shut up!” I spat.
Surges of ooo sneered at me. Mother-murderer grinned. “Whatcha gonna do about it?” he smirked, walking closer, “Curse us, blast us to smithereens?” Another wave of laughter rang through the barn. He lowered his voice, “Turn us into…poultry?”
Someone in the crowd of men yelled, “I honestly like chickens,” which was immediately replied by several: “Shut up, Redrick!”
I made a face at Mother-murderer, only a meter from my face, and sneered. “I said, shut up.” I spat, sending a splotch of saliva into his face. He sneered back, wiping off my spit-splotch, and kneed me in the ribs. I gritted my teeth so stop him getting the satisfaction of making me cry. He was about to knee me again, when he stopped, and cocked his head, listening. I was confused until I realised that there was a hushed silence over the mocking laughter that once lingered. The men parted to allow what I soon saw as their commander, with piercing blue eyes, and a body that showed he had spend hours training. The man was a buffy giant. Mother-murderer grinned in fiendish delight. “Nice knowing you.” He kneed me hard in the ribs again just for the fun of it, before stepping aside.
“Enough, Victor. I hope you haven’t brought me some useless—” His gaze fell upon me and he grinned. Victor (though, to me he was still some stupid soldier who thought it was okay to shove some stupid sword into my now-dead mother’s heart) smiled smugly back in reply, but soon dropped it after a cold response from the man. “Hello, sweetheart. Where’s your mommy?”
“Don’t you dare talk about my mother, you DOG!” I snarled darkly, sending another spitball at his face. This was becoming a handy weapon. Suddenly, the grip on my arms tightened, and something cold sliced my skin, making a hot liquid run down my back.
“NO!” The man roared in outrage, turning so fierce and terrifying that it would have given hungry lions a run for their money. The grip loosened. I realised in shock that this soldier—I could hardly say the term without disgust—had cut me! After a few breaths, the man finally got his flare of sudden rage under control. Still shaking, he breathed, “The king pays high for slaves.”
I nearly choked. The man noticed my shock, and smiled. “Be grateful. If you hadn’t interested me, there’d be another addition to this village’s graveyard—if there is even one. From what I’ve heard, we fitted the king’s orders pretty well.” Everyone laughed, but parted as the man started to exit. “Lock her up.”
“You’ll never get away with this!” I screamed, as the soldiers rushed in for the kill.
He laughed sinisterly. “But my dear, I already have.”
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