Written by Gracielle Dedo
“Grab my hand! Sylvia please!” A clammed hand shakes uncontrollably.
I could make a choice right now. I could grab her hand and run deep into a desolate forest of harsh winter, the carriage still waiting. Or I could accept my fate and wallow in a jail cell only to be sentenced to death, a redemption of my sins. As soon as I see that look, the fire in those wide eyes, our fingers intertwine immediately. I have signed away my life to death’s crux, my fate up to him now. She pulls the entire weight of my body from the arms of the guard restraining me. Breaking out into a broken sprint, gasping for air to enter my lungs, we run. There is no time to use the carriage as thought of beforehand. One after another, we fling ourselves onto a nearby horse that awaits its occupied owner.
Her hands shake nervously, trying her best to untie the rope. As she kicks the horse into the pursuit of the nearby line of trees, everything but the wind in my hair goes still. I feel as if I’m floating. I laugh once, and then again, and again until I’m hysterical with tears pouring down my cheeks. The Princess reciprocates the mindless glee. Riding deeper into the woods to our planned destination, I can’t make out the sound of anyone behind us. My ears still ring from all of the screaming from inside the chapel. My mind slips for a second, indulging in some newfound hope, happiness. The scent of freedom is near, I can taste it. The tang of metal hits my tongue, a strange taste for this new life on the run.
How a mere second changes everything. Liquid red iron, my blood, begins to pool in my mouth. I cough it up all over my chest. The horse screams in terror, bucking us both off in a panicked lunge away from the sudden disturbance. A blade lays through my chest. I limply fall to the ground. I can’t hear exactly what she screams, but I do see my killer, the King himself, sitting proudly on his steed. His blade had come with me as I fell. Landing on the frosted ground, only to vigorously rip the blade from my back, I linch and let out a sharp gasp. The Princess falls to her knees and places a trembling hand on my face, I barely feel the touch.
“Please, God! Why?”
“Because It is a sin!” her father sneers menacingly.
“You, my daughter, are an abomination to this family and world! God has made it my duty that you are not alive!”
The large blade makes its way through the young Princess’s skin until she cries no more. She took her last breath and stared blankly at me. I looked on numbly at the few stars that shone that night. They dwindled and blurred as blood and tears mixed near my eyes. It wasn’t long until everything was dark and the only thing I could feel was the weight of her Majesty’s cold dead body that lay on my chest.
“I love you,” I whisper to her for the last time. In the end, it seems I may have been able to accept myself, yet God and his people had not.