Daugher of the Dark Rose

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Queen Rosaleigh, high queen of Crendaw, nears the end of her reign, with only her daughter to take over. But, after a heartbreaking betrayal, Queen Alexandra is soon consumed by fear, power and a thirst for blood. With the kingdom's revolts on her tail, Queen Alexandra must either push forward, or lay down her life.

Up in the mountains, surrounded by ruins of ancient civilizations, a kingdom awaits, its waterfalls waiting for unwanted dangers, ready to protect the queen at all costs with their powerful sprays. There, inside the castle, the queen awaits her new threats with open arms, ruling her kingdom with an iron fist. She watches as the peasants cry and beg for her mercy, a smile upon her face, her cruel smile watching those who suffer. Alone, lives the queen, with no one but her daughter, Princess Alexandra. Though the queen lives with a crown upon her head, those who live, hardly surviving, in her kingdom, see no queen worthy of a crown inside those walls.
Hidden deep in the corridors of the stone castle lies secrets hidden to the naked eye. Betrayals and horrors that the holder of the crown could not see coming.
So, there the queen sat, laughing at the world from her throne, high above any man who dares thinks lowly of her. Listening as the peasants cry, she smiles.
Queen Rosaleigh watches as the castle doors open, three rows of four guards stormed in, stopping and bowing  to the queen in sync, fluidly and gracefully. Only one guard stood, shining in his silver armor. "My Queen," he spoke loudly. "Peasant found inside the walls of the kingdom. He won't answer to us, my Queen."
The queen lifted her chin in thought, her eyes fixed in cold frost on the guard. "Bring him," she commanded. "Let's see if  I can get him to speak."
The single guard left, backing out of the room with the others following behind him. She waited, her arms holding the armrests of her golden throne, her dark hair falling flawlessly over her deep emerald dress. Her golden eyes watched the large, wooden doors with the stone arches hanging over them. Her servants stood beside her throne, with lines of guards skirting the gray walls, swords in hand.
The Queen turned her head to the princess, who stood next to the throne. Dressed in pure gold and white lace, the princess flashed a smile of blood red lips at the queen. The two looked much alike, sharing the same silky black hair and golden eyes. Though, looks had nearly been the only thing passed down to the princess, for they did not share the same, cruel ways and thirst for power.
The wooden doors of the throne room burst open. Entering the room were two guards, dressed in silver armor and draped in green cloth for the kingdom. The man whom the guards had was a scraggly, burly old man. Underfed the man was, his blue eyes weighed down with hopelessness. His skin clung to his bones with wounds so raw and glossed with his crimson blood. "My men have caught you well beyond your borders, thief," Queen Rosaleigh stated, her voice smooth as stone and glossed with such severity. "Have you any reason? Or did the dungeon seem wonderfully comfortable on this particular day?"
"M'lady," the man said, blood trickling down his dark lips. "My family is starving. We haven't any food. Any of which we grow, is brought straight to you and we have no money. Please," he lowered his head, lips trembling and tears falling. "Spare me."
The queen sat back, her hands folding nicely in her lap, lips curled. "Very well, peasant. You may live for one more night." She waved the guards off and her eyes locked on the peasant man. "To the dungeon. Send him to the gallows at dawn."
The man cried to the queen, begging and pleading to see mercy under her stone heart. "Have mercy! My queen, I have children! A family, my lady please!"
"And that makes you special?" The queen sneered. "Haven't you thought that many other thieves may have children? Families? You're just the same, dear. I promise you as much."
The guards wasted no more time in taking the peasant man out of the room, dragging him against the hard ground. The last thing the man would see was doomed to be the faces of those who belonged inside the walls, all watching him as he stepped up to the gallows and his final goodbye was to be made to his dirty cell. To this, the man would not stand for, nor would he allow the queen to do as she wished. "Long live the king!" He screamed as the guards dragged him from the room. His screams carried from down the hall until he was choking on his own blood.
Princess Alexandra, who had taken her eyes from the old man, unable to witness his agony, turned to her mother. "Mother," the child princess asked, her voice already holding the authority that she would soon need. "I fear he did nothing wrong. Would you send an innocent man to the gallows for starving?"
The queen, however, did not share the same opinion as the child princess. Her cruel smile twisted into a sleek, blood red scowl. "Any form of thievery or treason found within these walls are to be met with severe punishment. We rule the kingdom, they do not rule us. If you allow them chances, they will devour you, take you for granted. Child, that is not what a queen wants."

Those were the last words spoken between the two, for Queen Rosaleigh was fated to die that night at the hands of a murderer. Tragically, the queen was to be found by the child princess, who had hardly been old enough to become queen. Out of desperation, the twelve year old princess was to become Queen Alexandra, who ruled with prosperity and peace. Never did she send a man to the gallows, nor did any turn on the young queen, for she was worthy of the crown placed upon her head.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

As the years went by, the young queen had grown into a lovely woman, the striking image of her mother. Long, silky black hair and pale skin with the golden eyes and red lips. The queen, who had not yet found herself a suitor, had not left her castle for many months. Locked up behind her walls, the townsfolk began to wonder what it was the young queen was hiding. Though, she had nothing to hide nor anything worth the trouble, for she believed in equality. No such thing as peasants, slaves nor royals besides the queen herself were to live in protection of the kingdom. 'Man shall not turn on man', the queen had said. 'For without man, this kingdom would not exist here, nor would I.'
The Queen was soon to find her suitor, a young man, whom she found sneaking through the corridors one night.
In the flickering glow of the torchlight, strung along the dark stone walls, the queen waited. Firelight illuminating off her black cloak as the heavy echo of approaching footsteps, she waited for her murderer, an assassin sent to kill her. She was, indeed a good queen, though vengeance still lurked in the hearts of those who had been uprooted by her mother. She waited, a gleam of authority  in her eyes and a dark smile upon her red lips. The cloaked figure appeared at the end of the hall, the wooden doors opened slightly, swaying in the breeze from the windows. "Have you come to kill me?" The queen demanded, her voice rising.
The dark figure stood, silent, prowling along in the shadows, just out of reach of the torchlight. She watched the figure, slinking closer to her. The queen, however, did not move, nor did she try to escape. Queen Alexandra stood, hidden in her black cloak of night and watched as the figure crept closer, blanketed in the dark shadows that the firelight did not reach. The young queen spoke not a single word as the cloaked figure stood before her, the cloak nothing but tattered rags and pieces of other clothing. His brown hair greasy and uneven, bright blue eyes staring hatefully at the queen, a pick ax in his hand. "Tell me, child," said the queen. "What is it I have done to make you hate me so?"
"My father," the man spoke boldly, "sent to the gallows at the hand of our queen. The tyrant Queen Rosaleigh, who now shall pay for her wrong doing!"
"Was it I who has wronged your family?" The queen inquired. "Or I who sent your father to the gallows? Lower your weapon, dear, it was not of my hand, for my hands remain clean. Do tell why it is that you seek me out?"
The man lowered his ax and stared at the great queen. He was not unaware that the tyrant queen had been murdered, though dirty blood crosses into clean blood, forever staining those with fair intentions, poisoning the minds of those who descend from ruthless beings. Did he dare take it out on the queen who had restored the kingdom to its original beauty? "Well," the queen prompted, "have you come to kill me? After all I have done for your home, you dare try to kill me?"
"I am to rid the world of royal blood that has scarred our kingdom," the assassin told the queen. "To be sure that no harm will dare corrupt our kingdom and watch as royal blood  burns. My queen, this I shall do. This, I promise."
The queen held a steady gaze, her golden eyes holding steady to the assassin's gaze. With all the grace as a queen could carry, she dropped the hood of her cloak and tilted her head back. "If it is royal blood you seek, royal blood you shall spill, young assassin. My mother has indeed wronged you and the kingdom, this I know. Though, Queen Rosaliegh is dead. I know this, for I watched her blood bubble over her lips and her eyes fade to the darkness she held deep within her heart."
At the words of the queen, the assassin lowered his ax and watched her with careful eyes. Then, he knelt before her, ax falling to the stone floor beside him. "My Queen, forgive me. You are not the same queen your mother once was."
Queen Alexandra lifted her hood and placed it back over her head with such grace. "Be gone, then, assassin. Let me see you no more."
The assassin stood, leaving the ax on the cold floor and the queen watched as he disappeared down the stone hallway, nothing but the flickering firelight holding the shadow of the assassin in her sight. The queen did not fear for her life, for she knew the assassin would not return to spill her blood. She watched as the large wooden doors closed behind the man. The queen had known for quite some time that she was to be a target for the young killer and had waited each night for the killer to arrive. "Guards!" The queen screamed.
The guards came, quickly and quietly, as they had been trained. "Your majesty," the one guard said, his green eyes glossed over and heavy with sleep. "Is something wrong? Are you injured?"
"Intruder in the castle," said the queen, flatly. "Find him and bring him to me. I want him unharmed. Go, now."
She watched as the guards left and listened as the bells rang outside, alerting the townsfolk. A smile fell upon her blood red lips as she turned, fastening the strings of her black cloak and entered the room that stood behind her. The room was dark, nothing but the occasional flash of lightning to light the room, though Queen Alexandra knew every inch of the throne room. The sixteen kingdom flags against opposite walls, the three stone steps that led to her golden throne, the eighteen arched windows. She needed no light in a place filled with such dark secrets.
There sat the queen, looking less like her mother as she did so. Her mother, beautiful as she had been, had been easily consumed by darkness and destruction and she did indeed pay the price, the night death paid her a visit. The two were alike in their faces, though no further. One could confuse the two as the same tyrant queen, though Alexandra's soft, kind features told the kingdom that the ruthless queen was no more.
The large doors creaked open, allowing dim firelight to seep through. The queen lifted her head and lowered her hood. In the arms of the two guards was the assassin. "Kneel before me, boy," she demanded, gesturing to the bottom of the stone stairs, curling her fingers over the armrests of her throne.
"M'lady," the assassin said, his voice shaking as he knelt down and bowed his head to the floor. "Forgive me. I have agreed to leave the kingdom, taking nothing with me."
Queen Alexandra waved her hand in dismissal to her guards. "Leave us," she commanded. "This assassin will not bring harm to me."
They guards looked at the queen before bowing to her and backing out of the room. Once they had gone, she turned her attention to the assassin. "I am not going to kill you, I merely wish to speak to you. Your father was the innocent man whom Queen Rosaleigh sent to the gallows for stealing, was he not?"
The assassin nodded, his head still bowed to the floor. "What do I call you?" Asked the queen.
The assassin still did not raise his head. "My queen, what do you mean? I am a peasant, a man who has tried to kill you and yet you ask my name, why?"
The queen did not understand his confusion. "Each man has a name, young assassin. One that shall define them until their dying breath and years after, therefore every man has a right to his name, so what is yours?"
The man trembled at the lack of emotion in the queens voice. "Drake," the boy replied in a shaky voice, though he hardened it immediately. "Drake the Assassin."
"Stand, Drake the Assassin."
The harshly spoken words caused Drake to cringe as he rose to his feet, slowly. "As I said, my mother has wronged you, Assassin, and though you made a point to spill royal blood on this very night, you have not. You are a very noble person, Assassin and because of this, I will try and repay you in any way that I can, starting with protection inside the walls."
The Assassin just stated at the queen, his blue eyes wide. Had he no truth of the goodness of the queen? Surely he had heard? "You and your family may live within the walls of the castle, under one condition."
Drake nodded, his brown hair and dirt smeared face lighting up briefly in the flash of lightning. "Of course! Anything! Thank you, my queen! What is it you ask of me?"
"You will be here at my fingertips and come the instant I call," Queen Alexandra said, her gold eyes gleaming. "You are to become my assassin."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

And so the months went on. Autumn turned to winter and winter turned to spring. The weather grew warmer and the days grew longer. The queen had no worry in her heart, nor did she ever have reason to worry, though she had less of a reason with her new assassin. She spoke little of his name, only referring to him as 'Assassin', as though no one was to know who he really was. The queen and the assassin had began spending much time together, falling, perhaps. Before long, the queen was entranced by the assassin and knew that she would want to be with him until her kingdom fell, though she could not fall for the assassin. Because of this, he became her heir.
He was trustworthy, as far as assassins went. He would do as told, no questions asked, fighting to keep the kingdom under the queens control. Soon, though, the queen saw this as an opportunity. She saw that she could take more land and expand her kingdom. No man would dare step in and take her place, for she would see to it that man would soon meet his last breath. Though, the queen had never intended on using her assassin for greed, until she saw other lands weakened by rebellion and torn down by tyrant kings. 'To liberate is to destroy,' the queen had said, 'to save them is to take over. Down with rebellion, down with the king!'
And so, to battle her knights were sent, taking kingdom by kingdom until nothing remained. Her assassin stood at her side, beside her throne. Queen Alexandra had not yet become her mother, though she was close. The assassin seduced the queen, and by doing so he convinced her to take more land, more power. Darkness began consuming the queen, turning her against her own kingdom. She pushed her knights on to lands far beyond her borders. No army could defeat hers. Powerful and strong, her army marched forward, taking out every kingdom who dared refuse her. The queen was indeed blinded by her greed.
"My queen," her assassin told her from beside her throne. "I fear that you have taken too much land and are putting your own people in danger."
The assassin was right, though the queen could not see this. "Queen Rosaleigh ruled her kingdom in a way that no man dared challenge her rule," Queen Alexandra told him, her fingers gripping the throne tightly, her black hair falling in perfect waves over her shoulders, blood red lips pulled into a genuine smile. "Now, it is only time that I step in and take her place as queen."
"M'lady, you are indeed already queen. An queen in which no man would challenge," the assassin begged. "Please, my queen. Call back your army, there is no need to claim all this land, bringing kingdom after kingdom to the ground, burning them to ash!"
The queen turned her head and looked at the assassin. "Tell me, have I not allowed you safety inside my walls?" She asked, her voice dripping with sweet honey.  "Is it not because of me your family is forever safe from harm? I did you a favor, Assassin, you shall not turn on me now."
She dismissed him with a wave of her pale hand. "Leave me."
The assassin did as the queen commanded, leaving her in her throne room, doors closed behind him. She waited until the suns golden rays shone in through the windows, lighting up the stone room with golden light. It was then that she stood, looking out the window over her kingdom, destroyed by fear and her greed. She saw nothing wrong with what she had done, for she had only done this for the 'good of the kingdom'.
Her assassin knew that this had gone too far and knew that it had been his fault. Had he never agreed to kill her, he would not be her assassin. Late one night when the blossoming trees were shadowed by darkness and the moonlight hovered over the castle, the assassin decided to end the reign of the queen. Though no, she was not the same  ruthless queen her mother had been and the assassin knew this. But, as he slept closer to Queen Alexandra's bedroom, he remembered the cold, eager look in the golden eyes of the former queen as he was forced to watch as his father was led to the gallows. The same cruel smile on her blood red lips that Queen Rosaleigh had resided on the young queens face. It was not a face that the assassin wanted to see.
And so, he pushed forward. Two guards stood outside her doors, watching carefully. They drew their swords at the sight of Drake the Assassin. Eyes narrowed and sword steady, the guard to the left of the door spoke. "Speak your business or be gone, Assassin."
Those who lived within the castle knew the assassin, though not his true name, for it was a piece of unspoken identity. "I come baring grave news," the assassin told them with a smirk. "Queen Alexandra might wish to hear this."
The guards nodded, returning their swords to their sheaths. As the assassin passed through the doors into the queens room, his sword seemed to grow only heavier. His eyes locked on the queen, lying peacefully on her bed, eyes closed and lips parted ever so slightly. Her black hair sprawled out over her white blankets, pale skin glowing under the light of the moonlight that shone in from the windows. He stood beside her bed, raising his sword. Rays of light glinted off the blade of the sword as he held it above her head.
The guards would not know who it had been, for they knew how he and the queen were and knew he would not have brought harm to her nor the kingdom. Such grief, such destruction, he knew would be punishable by hanging, just as his father had.
The assassin took one last look at his queen, the moonlight casting shadows over her, perfectly. Lying there, the queen looked exactly as her mother had, just before she had died, by the very assassin who now stood over the young queen. The swore seemed heavier than ever, the hilt was stone cold, as was his heart. "Long live the bloody queen!" He hollered, bringing the sword down with ferocity and power.
The blade tore through nothing but pillow and the bed itself. He stared, releasing his grip on the sword and watched as it hit the ground. The queen sat, unharmed, sword in hand. She stood. "I should have known," she hissed, "you are an assassin, after all. My most trusted heir, my only heir. Assassin, did you think that I was unaware of how you might attempt this? The kingdom of Crendaw is mine, and mine alone, Assassin. Now, you shall pay for your crime. Guards!"
The Assassin stepped away, eyes wide. He did not try to defend himself, nor did he try to escape. The guards stormed in, grabbing the assassin, who only hung his head in defeat and regret. "Get him out of my sight," the queen snarled. "Send him to the gallows at once!"
"Your majesty, it is too dark. We will be unable to-"
The queen whirled on the guard with her sword, the tip hovering inches from his neck. "Now!" She screamed. "Do it now! This assassin has no place here!" She pointed the sword at him, her voice shaking with anger as she spoke. "You and your family will pay, Assassin. Forget the gallows, send him to the dungeon. I have better plans for my dear Assassin."
The last thing the assassin saw was the queen, a wicked smile on her lips, watching as he was dragged from the room. "Goodbye, Assassin," she growled, darkly. "I assure you, this will be the last time you turn on your queen."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dawn came quickly, passing her golden rays of sun over the dew-stricken trees and shedding light over the shadowed corners of the castle, casting a rather large shadow over the guillotine. Queen Alexandra watched from her balcony as the towns people gathered around to watch the execution. The first time man was to be executed since Queen Rosaleigh was murdered. Though, little did the people know that the assassin was not to step foot on the guillotine. Instead, he was chained up to a post, only feet away from the horrid blade. Confusion took over the features of the assassin, until the guards brought out two young children, no more than four years old, and a woman. The queen watched as the little children huddled close to their crying mother. Queen Alexandra stared down at the crowd of townspeople, all staring in horror of what the queen had become. The woman and her small children were led to the guillotine and the queen stepped forward to the stone rail of her balcony. "Peasants!" She announced, causing all heads to turn in her direction. "This here is what comes of a traitor. One who dares challenge the holder of the crown. He," she pointed a pale finger at the Assassin, who had just barely began to realize what she was doing. "Has lived as a trustworthy heir to my throne for three years. He has gained my trust and my love, though he has turned on me and has tried to kill me. This is what comes of those who turn on me. Now, he shall pay!"
The assassin watched, horror and fear covering his face, begging and screaming to the queen, to his family, tears on his face. The queen would not hear his please, for she already had gone forward with her plan.  She drew her sword and raised it in the air, sunlight streaking over the silver blade. "Off with their heads!"
The mother was the first to be executed. The assassin fought, tearing and pulling at the chains that bound him to the wooden post, screaming in horror. "Kill me! Kill me, please! Do not kill my wife and children! They are innocent! Innocent! Please, spare them!"
The blade came down and with a sickening snap, the mother was no more. The queens people screamed in outrage, though the queen ignored them.
Next came the eldest child, hardly six years old. The executioner moved the body of the woman, dropping carelessly off to the side. Then, the masked man laid the child boy down, his little cheeks streaked with tears, his agonizing sobs carried to the queen. She watched, a cruel smile on her lips, eyes gleaming eagerly. Her fingers clutched the gray stone rail. The blade came down and the child's screams choked into nothing, almost immediately.
Drake the Assassin screamed, his tears dropping onto the dusty earth. The townsfolk surged forward, the towns square erupting into mass chaos. "Treason!" The queen screamed, then turned to the guards that surrounded her stone balcony. "Traitors. All of them. You know what to do."
And so the guards did as trained, taking orders from Queen Alexandra. They lowered their swords and crossbows and charged into the crowds of people. "I want their heads." The queen said in such a normal voice. "I want to see bloodshed. They have betrayed me, therefore they have betrayed their kingdom."
The guards who still lingered inside the archway nodded and proceeded to carry out her orders.
That was the end of peace in the kingdom of Crendaw, for the queen had struck fear into the hearts of her people. Any who opposed her were sent to the gallows or the guillotine and she watched the bloodshed with eager eyes, her blood red lips always in a cruel grin, white teeth glistening.
It took three days to rid her kingdom of the bodies of over fifty men, women and children who had stood against her. From there, she sent her armies out to the remaining kingdoms that skirted hers.
Driven by fear that her escaped assassin would return, she sent her knights out to search for him and his daughter, for the child's body had not been found in those claimed in the mass execution. He and the child had escaped and Queen Alexandra knew that he would seek refuge in neighboring kingdoms and villages. She sent what remained of her colossal army to those villages and they fell under her rule. Her thirst for the assassins blood had faded into an obsession; a thirst for power, a greed for land. She spent her days ordering and executing. Her kingdom dared not refuse the queen, though she saw not the revolts that were to take place, but loyalty created by fear.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The queen lived her days in the shadows, fear watching over her, paranoia transforming into greed in a vicious cycle. Dozens of kingdoms fell to her reign, bowing down in fear. She sat, high on her throne, revolts and war waging outside her doors, though her greed and desire pushed her forward. "I shall not fall to those who do not know what loyalty is," she hissed from her throne. "It is far better to be feared than loved. Kill them all."
And so the guards did, slashing their silver swords and firing their crossbows into the crowds of her own people. She took whatever food and money the peasants had. Guards began to turn on the queen, this she saw.
It was cold and dark inside her throne room. She stood, nothing but a shadow against the window. "My kingdom, my own men, turning against me. It was not my fault that none of those executed where traitors. They all work for my old friend, that assassin. They all want my crown. They were never loyal to begin with. He's coming. The assassin is returning. This time, he's going to see to it that I am dead. No more royal blood. He is to spill my blood. There is no escape. He's coming for me. He's coming."
The queen knew that if she continued to send out her armies, her own men would kill her.  Though, she knew that more land meant more armies. It was this that caused Queen Alexandra to continue.
She turned from her window to face three of her guards. "Find him," she ordered. "Find the assassin. I want him dead. I want his head!"
The three loyal guards rode from the castle on horseback to find the assassin. The great, peaceful Queen Alexandra was no more. Instead, she had been consumed by greed and the thirst for power and blood, which was to be spilled in that same night.
The queen was unable to sleep. She paced across her throne room, her silky red dress glowing in the moonlight that shone through the windows. She drew her sword at the sound of footsteps. Behind her, dressed in black stood the assassin. "You will never have my kingdom. This kingdom belongs to me, it runs my veins. You cannot take my power away. Not you, not anyone."
The assassin spoke not a single word as he raised his sword, knocking hers away. "Off with your head!" There was only a flash of the silver blade and the queen fell.
The assassin stared at the beautiful queen, worn down and corrupted by fear and greed. Her once silky black hair had mixed with her blood and her chest, sliced open with her blood pooling out. The assassin dropped his sword and sank to his knees in grief, knowing he killed his love, though it was for her own good.
There she lay, royal blood spreading across the floor of the throne room. The queen was dead, and so her kingdom was to die with her, for royal blood had indeed been poisoned with greed and for that, Queen Alexandra had paid the price.


Submitted: April 21, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Price. All rights reserved.

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