It was a day of sorrow and a day of joy. The queen drew a steadying breath and her limbs trembled and quivered beneath her emerald, royal gown with the ruler’s robes draped over her slim shoulders.
She knew that her time was short. She needed to crown her successor as her last act as reigning queen. There was little life left in her hopes, she knew it. Every breath was harder to draw than the lash. Pain racked her weary frame and she almost wished death to come. But not yet. She had something she needed to do first.
Her brother swept in, followed by his entourage. There was a glint in his eye, something that she wished wasn’t there. She had more than one qualm about leaving her throne to a man such as her brother.
Most did not understand her hesitancy. He always followed the letter of the law, was an upright man and one with a habit of doing the right thing. But, being his sister, she knew in her heart of hearts that he followed the law in deed only, not with his heart. She knew in the very depths of her soul, that it would only take one small tipping point to push him off the razors edge of a balance act that he performed day after day.
A cough rose in her throat and she stifled it, trying not to choke on the acrid taste of blood that rose to the surface. She was not long for this world. If only she could feel as though she hadn’t wasted her life. She had done much good, but she couldn’t help but feel that she had failed in her duty as a surrogate mother to her orphaned brother.
There was something there that she knew wasn’t right. Any accusation she could bring against him would be unfounded. She had many a misgiving about crowning him her successor, but there was nothing she could do.
In the presence of the witnesses, those of royal blood and the rulers of the land. Her brother knelt before her hands folded in front of himself and head down.
She drew a shuddering breath and tried not to cough. Her very strength was draining out of her by the second.
She took the crown from the pillows made of satin on which it sat.
“I hereby name you as ruling king over this country when time seems fit to take me. You will rule by my side until the time comes that I am no longer able, then you will be the king of Eriskroy.”
She took up the ceremonial sword and the weight nearly made it fall from her hands. She rested it on his shoulder to finish the ceremony with the traditional sword cross over the head. In one fluid movement, he wrested the sword from her grasp, spun and buried it into her mid-section.
She fell to her knees, the collective gasp of the room echoing in her ears. She looked up into his eyes, so dark, the full potential of his evil finally unleashed.
“Now, that I have the throne, you may die now sister.”
She looked down at the sword buried in body and at the blood that was all over her hands and spilled onto the floor. IT was as if she were looking at someone else’s body.
Feeling as though she was moving through ice, she lifted her head. The edges of her vision blacked but she kept her focus on his face.
“I’m – sorry – I failed you.” The words came out a gasp and ended on a gurgle. She wheezed and coughed, the pain eliminating her vision altogether. She needed to get the last few words out. HE would come to the right at some point in his life. The knowledge was so real, the dying thought could only have been placed there by the hand of the Holy One Himself. “I forgive you.” And then, the darkness was replaced by a blinding light.
Well, so this was something new for me. I am definitely NOT one to kill a character. So. . . I’m still kind of freaking out about it. What do you think?
By God’s Grace,