Dark Tyrant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Hopes

Submitted: July 07, 2013

Reads: 131

Comments: 2

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Submitted: July 07, 2013

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Chapter Three: Hopes

 “Angia, it’ll be alright.” My father whispered cautiously, as not to slip any sign of fear. He placed his hand on my shoulder, level with me by kneeling as I sat on a hard wooden chair, a cold cup of once-warm milk in my hands. I looked into the white liquid like it was a crystal ball, as if it would solve my problems just from a glance. Two rough fingers tugged my chin up and I gazed into his worried dirty-green eyes—yet they where worried for me and not for what was coming: The soldiers…the war…the invaders. Sorrow filled me: I missed his long, shaggy, caramel hair. It was like little waves as it rippled in the wind; I missed when he absentmindedly tried to keep it disciplined as he tucked it behind his ear; I missed when his hair always won eventually and he’d have to re-tuck it. I’d miss him even more when he left. My father smiled as I looked away from his naked scalp. “It’ll be just fine.”

Then why am I scared? I replied to him in thought, but no physical answer was spoken. The sudden clop of horses outside released my floodgates. My vision was blurry from tears, but I recognised my father’s shaken composure: He was holding himself together for his family’s sake. A course thumb swept my steady tears away. “No, my daughter, Angia. Be strong. I’m so proud of you…of your brother, of your mother. I’m proud to be the father and husband of such an amazing, perfect family. I don't know what will happen on the battlefield—and I don’t really care. The invaders may do what they please, even kill me, but they’ll never take away the fact that I’m your father. A father who will always love you, will always live to protect you. And I pray to Sannophia that I’ll come back, so I can continue to love you—”

The doors crashed open and two men in full armour walked in. My father noticed them but continued to look at me. Panic escaped his composure as the soldiers stood behind them, holding a scroll in front of his face. The tears streamed down faster, tickling the hairs on my neck and chin as they ran their course.

“Get up. By order of your king, you are hereby called to your duty to protect the Kingdom of Simeon,” one soldier, with tanned skin, sandy hair and brown, serious yet sorrowful eyes told my father. He stole one last glace at me—that one glance held all the hopes, dreams and love for me. It also held the pain. The pain of leaving me—the pain of knowing it might be the last time. He stood and my mother and brother suddenly rushed in, both crying. They enwrapped him tightly, despite the awkward looks from the soldiers. I stared into my cup again, tears dropping in with a downhearted plop. I looked around the small room, as if I was envisioning my home for the last time with my father in it: A mud floor and walls, and two tiny, rectangular windows providing dim light right below the roofline. The front door was on my left, the back on my right, a wooden table and two chairs in the middle. Northeast of my location was a corridor leading to two rooms: One for my parents, another for their children. I looked down. I barely heard my father’s rushed assurances, my family’s loud sobbing, the soldiers exasperated grunting and impatient weight shifting on the mud floor. My father’s speaking increased. I looked up again in curiosity, but was shocked to see my father being torn away from my family’s grip and thrown outside by the soldiers. The door slammed shut, and my mother fell on her knees, pulling her hair and continually dipping to kiss the floor—the way people mourned in the kingdom’s religion, her tears splattering on the mud. My brother just sobbed, resting his head on my knees. I stared at the door, thinking of his unfinished sentence. I wanted to run outside and rescue him from the war, from the soldiers. But I was frozen on the chair. It seemed as if the whole kingdom was holding its breath as war approached…

I woke, shivering for reasons beside the cold. Turning my head across the metal floor, I focused on watchful, black eyes, glinting in the moonlight. Behind him, the silhouettes of hills back dropped by the stars twinkling innocently in the midnight-blue sky. Another shiver rippled across my back. In my absence of gaze, I didn’t notice the figure had walked around and unlocked the cage. I heard him step up inside, and he powerfully flipped me over.

Damn it, damn it, damn it, my mind panicked, He’s going to rape you, Angia!

But my reflexes were slow to my mind’s quick and urgent commands. Strong hands held my shoulders as he knelt down on both legs. I saw his black, dangerous eyes examine me. He set me down on one elbow and covered me with a soft, long material. The cold metal on my neck helped me identify the fabric’s purpose: A cape, with buckles. The man then held out something. “Bread, slave.”

My growling stomach seemed to please him and I cautiously took the roll, wary of any tricks the soldiers dared play on me, even after Marius’s warning. The bread tasted hard, old. Horrible. I wanted to spit it out, but remembered an old saying often used in times of extreme poverty: Eat bad food, grow good bones.

Ha, my logical side snorted. As if that was ever true. I swallowed, nearly choking as the revolting lump rolled down my throat. The figure threw another set of clothing at me: A shirt. “Put that on, or you will tempt my soldiers too much.” My soldiers?

“Marius?”

A frown. “No. Maneus. And your name is…?”

I pressed my lips together at the thought of giving away personal information. But I decided he deserved the very least for his kindness. “Angia,” I mumbled, using the darkness to safely tug on the cotton shirt.

Maneus smiled in appreciation. “That's a very pretty name...do you miss your family?”

Anger welled up in defence. “I’m not answering that.”

He had the consideration to leave the subject alone, understanding my hidden mourning and agony. Still, he threw questions at me. “How do you feel?”

I looked around, focusing on the unlocked door, considering. Everyone is asleep, I noted, but Maneus’s laugh shocked me out of my brooding. “Don’t even consider it. For one thing, you have no idea where you are…”

I considered that too, and half-heartedly admitted it was true, my hopes of escape crushed. I was about to answer when a loud snort made me jump. Even more so when Maneus’s fingers individually stroked my lips.

“Shh…” He soothed, but I hated the sense of sexual harassment. My two front teeth crushed his thumb, loathing my imprisonment. He snarled and slapped me across the face, so forcefully that my head turned ninety-degrees. “Don't make me regret my kindness. Marius would have you regurgitate that bread if he knew I’d given it to you. Then he would take all your clothes and incinerate them. He wouldn’t even care if you got raped nightly, and whipped daily.”

“You’re all sick, disgusting…” I couldn’t even think of a word that was horrible enough.

I bared my teeth when my guard racked his hands through my long hair. “And then do you know what he would do?” Maneus continued wistfully, almost mournfully.

Good, several voices grudgingly said. These invaders need some sense of regret.

“He’d make you pull heavy loads, even whole carts stocked high. And we’d all go along with it.”

I looked down—my fingers tightened into a fist around the soft, silk cape, and I tugged it higher over my chest, leaning away. “Leave, now.”

An eyebrow rose, his black orbs twinkling menacingly. The following smirk made me hiss and shuffle hastily away from him, but my back hit the iron cage only centimetres from my last location. Maneus crept closer—my hand instinctively reached out and pushed his chest, but I screamed quietly when my guard gripped my wrist and tugged me to standing, towing me up as he rose. I tried to slip out of his grip, but to no avail. Even in the bare moments I had when he let go, I couldn't move a muscle before his hands reclasped on my shoulder. The moonlight shone across Maneus, revealing hard, toned feline features and dark eyes, a serious expression fixed into his face. The voices in my head where for once silent, shocked as the seriousness and series of events processed. “One whisper and you’re dead meat.”

I barely caught his silhouette before the snapping of a lock made me sink in despair and I gave into sleep.

 

 


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