All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Her Last Stand
She saw his eyes through the crowd of people and looked away. She knew who he was, and the way his eyes scrutinized her made her stomach churn with a mixture of distaste and fright. She took a deep breath, and turned to the merchant and made her purchase of fruit. She knew he was approaching her; she could feel his presence as he got closer.
Sure enough as she turned around she saw him; staring at her with dark, stormy brown eyes. There wasn’t any friendliness in them; only lust and coldness. She couldn’t help but send him an icy glare despite that she knew that when he spoke to her he was causing a scene.
“What is your name, beautiful maiden?” he said with a sly smile on his face, his dirty blonde hair falling into his face.
If he wasn’t the man who she had grown to loathe she might have been flattered, but it was King Fayne; the man who had killed her father for speaking out against his wrongful ways. She would prefer to keep her name to herself, but she knew that it would be best to tell him instead of being punished.
“Lucy.” She said without making any effort to hide the bitterness and disdain in her voice.
He grinned anyways, as if her coldness was giving him joy, “Nice to meet you Lucy, would you like to join me for a walk?”
She frowned, “No, I have to start dinner at home.” It was true that her husband, elderly mother, and newborn baby girl were at home and waiting for dinner to be ready. Her mother had started with the soup, but there were a few other ingredients she needed. Her family wasn’t rich, but they weren’t quite poor either. They had just enough to get by in this kingdom.
“They can wait.” He said with a low voice, “Come with me.”
He reached out and grabbed her arm, and instinctively she pulled it away. Everything was quiet in the usually noisy marketplace as everyone watched them; nothing could be heard except the whispering of the curious bystanders. Lucy saw the guards’ angry expressions, and reluctantly she decided to comply. She would deal with whatever he needed and then she would never have to see him. After all, she had not done anything wrong… had she?
He led her outside of the marketplace and onto a stone path that meandered up to the stone castle where he lived. The sun was going to vanish behind the mountains to and night was going to set in; Lucy just wanted to get this over with and go home. King Fayne signaled for the guards to leave them alone.
“What do you want?” she said coldly.
“You.” He replied with a grin.
“Well you can’t have me. I have a husband and child at home.” Lucy hissed to him.
He shrugged, “Leave them, I don’t care. I want you to marry me. You see, I have been watching you for a few days now, and after my wife passed my poor son, Cassel, is without a mother. I can’t leave the future to be raised by maids, now can I? He needs a mother, and I want you.” He smiled.
“I would rather die than marry you.” Lucy hissed and turned away.
Fayne gritted his teeth, “I don’t care. You will marry me. I am the king and you will do as I say.”
“I don’t care. It was because of you my father is dead. Please believe me when I say that I will never, ever have any feelings for you, Fayne.” Lucy said venomously as she turned away to leave.
He grabbed her arm forcefully and Lucy let out a small whimper as the pain shot through her arm, “Oh, beautiful Lucy. You should not underestimate what I am capable of. Go home to your family and bid them goodbye. When morning comes you will be mine.”
Lucy pulled her arm away and clutched it; her eyes narrowed at Fayne. She didn’t say anything as she left for home. A dark starry blanket was cast over the sky by the time she arrived at their small cottage.
“Sorry it took so long, I was forced to talk to someone.” She called as she walked in to her house and made her way into the kitchen where her whole family was seated.
Her mother was stirring the soup and she turned to Lucy with concern. Her once black hair was streaked with gray, and her face was just starting to wrinkle, “What happened, Lucy?”
She forced a smile, “Just had to talk to the King. No big deal.”
At the table she could see her husband, James, holding their six-month daughter. He had light brown hair that was in a mess, and a friendly face that she fell in love with everyday. He, too, looked worried about Lucy, “What did he want?”
“Me.” Lucy replied with disgust, “He needed someone to raise the prince. I refused, don’t worry. It is all right now, don’t worry.”
Lucy reached out and picked up her daughter, Vasilyssia, who cooed with happiness. Her little fingers reached out and tugged softly on her mother’s hair. Lyssa already had her mother’s inky black hair and bright green eyes, but when Lyssa smiled she knew that her daughter had James’s smile.
They all came for Lucy that morning. The whole house shook with the banging of the knights, calling out for Lucy to open the door or else they would break it down. Lucy shook with terror as she slowly opened the door.
“What’s going on?” James said as he rubbed his tired eyes.
“They came for me. I have to go.” Lucy said with a wavering voice.
James’s eyes flashed with protectiveness, “No, I won’t let them take you.”
Lucy forced a smile, “I will come back, I promise.” James did not look convinced.
“You need to take care of Lyssa and mom here. He can’t keep me locked up forever.” Lucy said to him.
James leaned in and pressed his lips against hers softly. She kissed him back softly, but then let her kiss grow more forceful. She would come back, right? Everything would be okay. Lucy wished she could hold onto this moment forever.
“Open the door!” one of the guards hissed.
“Goodbye.” Lucy whispered to James, “For a little while at least.”
“I love you, Lucy.” James said; his eyes heavy with sadness and longing.
“I love you too, James.” Lucy said, as she went to give herself up the gaurds.
Lucy has been at the castle for a week now. She only left her room to eat, and spent most of her days gazing out her window and wondering how James, her mother, and Lyssa were doing. The hope that she would be with them someday soon kept her going when things looked bleak. Fayne came to talk to her every night in her room, and she would get away with saying as little words as possible. All she wanted to do was stay in her room and be left alone until she could convince him to let her go.
But today she was leaving her room whether she liked it or not. Today was the day that Fayne had set to be their wedding day. All morning the maids had fussed over her hair that was now curled into a bun and intertwined with white flowers, and dressed her in a lovely white wedding gown. There was a knock at the door and she heard one of the maid’s voices, “It’s time, Queen Lucy.”
“Not yet.” Lucy said out loud and then added quietly, “Not ever, either.”
Lucy grabbed her bouquet of many flowers and walked out the door. She could hear the music playing as she floated down the staircase, nervously avoiding the crowd’s gaze. Many were smiling and cheering with happiness, and she wished that they all knew the truth of how she had been forced here.
I still love you, James. Lucy thought to herself two large, wooden doors swung open. She walked through more people, and stepped up to the altar. King Fayne waited for her, smiling as if there was some sort of romantic connection between them. The priest began to speak and Lucy’s eyes scanned over the crowd.
Lucy’s heart caught a beat as she saw one familiar face in the crowd; James. She grinned, and he smiled back. He stood near the door, and gestured towards the exit. Lucy knew what he wanted.
Lucy turned to Fayne and grinned, “I will never love you Fayne.” She interrupted the priest.
“You will come to love me eventually.” He said slowly.
“No, I won’t. I hate you, Fayne. I hate you with every piece of my heart. The man I love is James, and if you are a good man you will let me go back to him and my family.” Lucy told him.
“I will never let you go, Lucy. You are mine!” he exclaimed
“You cannot have something you have never had.” Lucy said as she took a step back.
The crowd burst with surprise as Lucy turned and ran towards the doors. She could hear the commotion behind her but didn’t turn back to see what was happening. All that mattered was James and her escape. She heard Fayne call after her as she grabbed James’s hand and ran outside, “If I cannot have you Lucy, no one ever will!”
“Mom, take Vasilyssia and go somewhere else. We are going to run, too.” Lucy told her mother frantically as they reached the house.
Her mother frowned, “How will we find you?”
“We have to trust god that we will meet again someday. We have to get out of this kingdom; King Fayne won’t stop until he has me.” Lucy said sadly, “You have to protect Lyssa.”
Her mother’s eyes were soft, “All right. Take care, Lucy.” Her mother kissed her forehead softly, and Lucy knew she would miss her strongly. She picked up Lyssa and buried her face into her small daughter.
“Goodbye my little flower.” She said softly as she kissed the confused little girl on the cheek and handed her back to her mother. Lyssa let out a small cry and reached back towards Lucy, and it was going to break Lucy’s heart. I will see her again soon. She promised herself.
“Ready?” James said to her?
“Yes, let’s get out of here.” Lucy agreed and they left their house.
It was a week later when they found them. Lucy had thought they were safe in an outside village of Dashykov, but now the guard’s surrounded them with the help of angry villagers carrying torches.
“Leave Witches!” an angry villager shouted.
“Witches?” James whispered in confusion from their room.
Suddenly the door burst open and revealed the friendly inn keeper that had helped them so much in the past week, but now he looked frightened and angry like the rest of the village.
“Take them away!” he told the guards with a shaking voice.
Lucy screamed and reached for James as a guard grabbed her. Another guard reached for James and they were dragged out of their room.
“What is happening? I demand to know what is going on!” Lucy said, trying to kick away from the guard.
“A notice has been given by the King stating that you and Mr. Caste are witches and you will be hung for your dark ways.” The guard said angrily.
“What? I am not a witch, and neither is James!” Lucy yelled as she cast a desperate look at James.
“There is no arguing with the King.” He stated as they were taken away to their death.
Two days later her prison cell door swung open. Lucy could not make out anyone through the darkness, but she knew what was coming. Lucy wasn’t afraid of dying; she knew it was going to come someday; but she never thought that someday would be today. She prayed that Lyssa and her mother had gotten away all right. A tear fell down her cheek as she thought about her small daughter who she would never see again, and her aging mother who she would miss for all eternity.
“Get up.” The guard grunted angrily and kicked her to the side.
Lucy winced as she slowly staggered to her feet, and through the darkness the guards tied her hands behind her, and dragged her out.
She squinted at the harsh light as they walked out of the cells. Her heart jumped a little as she saw James. Being in the cell had taken a toll on him, and she could only imagine what she looked like; his eyes were wild, his hair was tangled, and his face was ashen. He saw her, and managed to give her a small smile.
They were dragged through a crowd of people. Many of them picked up rocks and threw them at them. Lucy winced as a large on hit her arm and broke through the skin; drawing blood.
“Rot in hell, Witch!” a man yelled in the crowd.
It isn’t true. She wanted so badly to say, but she knew it was all hopeless.
Lucy and James were taken upon a wooden platform where two nooses hung. She stood as the guards placed the noose over her neck.
“I love you James.” She managed to call out to him.
Before he could reply the platform in front of him dropped down and left him hanging. He gurgled as his neck snapped. Lucy let out a sob as she tried to tear her gaze away from the man she loved hanging lifelessly before her.
“Wait!” the King said before the guard dropped her platform. He walked up to her and smiled, “It’s your last chance. I will tell them everything if you stay with me.”
“Never. You are a cruel man.” Lucy said, and suddenly an idea crossed her mind, “And if you say I am a witch than I curse you, Fayne. Another’s love will take away what you love most; your kingdom and power.” She said bitterly, yelling so her last statement could be heard all the way up in the heavens.
“You can’t curse me, you are not a witch. Guards, Kill her.” He said.
Lucy smiled with malice, “Is that not what I am being killed for? Before you ask someone to marry you make sure you know everything about them.”
The last thing Lucy saw before was King Fayne’s panicked, twisted face that frowned at her in disgust. Then the darkness consumed her.