The King held out his hand and flames shot from it, surrounding me. I scrunched myself together, holding my breath. I was terrified of fire. It was so hot. The King walked towards me slowly, a curious look on his face.
"Who are you?" he demanded in a ringing voice. When I said nothing, the flames around my came closer, almost touching me. "Who are you?" the King repeated. I was paralized with fear. I couldn't open my mouth, move, make a single sound. The flames around me came even closer, suffocating me.The heat burnt my skin. Icouldn't have breathed if I wanted to.
"Stop, father!" Out of the corner of my eye I saw the prince re-enter the garden. He ran up to his father. "Let me question her," he said in an almost pursuasive tone. "It will help me practice." The King sighed, but lowered his hand. The flames died down, leaving me surrounded in a circle of scortched grass.
"Ten minutes," the King said with finality. He left the garden, his gold and red robes flying around him like flames. The prince walked up to me and grabbed my arm, forcing me to look him in his firey eyes.
"Who are you?" he asked with the same tone of his father's. My blue eyes widdened.
"N- N- N- Niobe," I stuttered. His eye brows pulled together in confusion.
"You're from the Ocean Kingdom, aren't you?" he asked harshly, giving my shoulder a slight shake. "What are you doing here?"
"No," I said. "I- I'm not from th- there."
The prince laughed. "Right. Blue eyes, white skin, not to mention your name. That's all Ocean Kingdom stuff."
"I- I- I'm not," I insisted.
His good humor vanished. "I'm not that gullible," he said. "You're trespassing on the King's soil. That is puishable by life in prison." My eyes widdened in horror.
"Please, no!" I begged, tears coming.
He smiled at my dispair. "Not to mention you're an escaped slave," he said.
"I'm not!" I exclaimed. "Not yet."
He just smiled evilly again. Gripping my arm, he forced me to walk, to where I knew would be the prison. I'd heard stories of the Pheonix King's prisons. They were dug right out of the ground, dark and endless. You were lucky to live for even a week. You suffered, then died. I started sobbing, trying to pull away from the prince's grip. But my feeble attempts did nothing. His dark hands were exceedingly strong. We arrived at a door that stuck out of the ground. The prince opened it one-handed and forced me down the endless steps. He placed me in a dark cell and closed the door. I shook with sobs as I slumped to the floor. He just looked at me strangly.
"Why are you here?" he asked finally.
I looked up at him through loose strands of my hair. I decided to answer honestly. "To find my parents."
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