(WP) The End and the Beginning

The End and the Beginning

               You
stand in the king’s throne room, beaten and bruised and coughing up blood. Spitefully,
you’re glad that your blood is staining his fine, expensive carpets. You should
regret all this, but you can’t, you don’t. He’s sitting on a high throne, and
your eldest daughter is weeping, clothed in silks and jewels.

               “Father,
how could you do this?” She cries, tears streaming down her cheeks. “You must
have known that it would turn out this way—”

               “Silence!”
The king’s voice is quiet, but she flinches anyway, cringing away from him.

               “Well?
Any last words before I destroy your home and take your daughter as my bride?”
He drawls, barely able to contain his laughter, and your fists clench.

               “You may
have defeated me and taken my child, but this will not stand,” You warn, a dark
undercurrent in your words. “You have to know that this is foolishness. You
cannot rule with hatred and fear.”

               “And
what, pray tell, does a man who makes clothes for a living know of ruling a
kingdom?” He has the audacity to laugh, and your daughter glares at him. But he’s
only got eyes for you, and you know he’s playing with you, as a cat does with a
mouse before killing it.

               “Very
little,” You reply, smirking, knowing that your mouth is bright scarlet. “But I
do know that you’re not doing it correctly.”

               “Say
goodbye to your father, Vivianne, send him to his grave with words of love and
kindness. And be grateful I allowed you a chance.”

               Vivi stands
up, descending the stairs and kneeling in front of you.

               “Papa,
you know it isn’t too late, you could repent, you could go to the stocks for a
week or so. But at least you’d still be alive! Please, Papa—”

               “I won’t
take back what I’ve done, Vivianne. I cannot. What good is a man without his
honor?”

               “To the
gods with your honor!” Vivi hisses, her green eyes going dark with rage and
desperation. “You cannot leave me to marry this monster of a man!”

               “It
doesn’t have to end this way, not for you.” You reply. “I’ve lived my life,
child. And you’re barely seventeen. Run, flee, the revolution will shelter you—”

               “Even
in your last moments you are trying to turn my fiancé against me,” The king
says, voice dripping with disgust. He waves a guard forward, and your daughter
is torn from your arms, before you can so much as kiss her forehead.

               “I love
you, Vivianne.” You say softly, your eyes never leaving her. “I love you, and the
revolt is your legacy. Run, escape, do everything you can to make sure that the
people’s will will never die.”

               Guards
begin to haul you out of the throne room, and you don’t make it easy for them;
you struggle the whole way, and the last thing you see and hear is a vicious,
violent scream, and your daughter goes up in flames that are sky blue.

               The
king is devoured by the strange fire, and your daughter’s laughter echoes
through the room like an ominous portent.

               **