Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The other side of the story

SPOILER WARNING!!! Before reading this, go here to read this other post I wrote. Once you've read that you can go on.

He would be here soon.  I had no doubt as to whether he would follow the clues I left him.  The man was clever, no denying it, but I was far more so.  There was no trap more perfect than the girl who lay in the corner.  She had not spoken to me once since I brought her here.  Was she afraid of me?  Carefully I knelt by her and removed her gag.  “I’m not going to hurt you.”

As an answer she spit in my face.

“I mean it.” I looked down at her arm sheepishly.  She was a fighter, that girl, and taking her had been a challenge.  Her dress was badly torn and her arm was covered in dried blood, the result of multiple escape attempts over the four months since I took her prisoner.  This cave was only the most recent of many prisons, and getting her here was one of the most challenging battles yet.  But it wasn't my fault that she fought so hard.  I felt badly about it; I’d never meant to hurt a woman, but I had to follow through.  There was no other way to take her.  “That was an accident.  I didn't mean for it to happen.” 

Her only response was a stony silence that left me frustrated.  What did she expect me to do?  “I’ll let you go if you cooperate.  I promise.”

As I walked away from her I heard her quiet voice for the first time since we arrived.  “What do you want with me?”  Her voice was broken, and I finally sensed her shattered spirit.  How had I come so far, to do this to a lady?  I closed my eyes briefly, trying to block out the guilt, before looking back at her. 

“I want nothing with you but to have you off my hands.  You weren't a part of my plan.”  She’d been in the way, and I had adapted accordingly.  But she wasn't the one I wanted. 

It was time.  He would be here soon if all went according to the plan I’d so carefully laid.  I knelt beside her once more, this time to bind her hands behind her back.  She did not struggle now, yet it was clear that her unwilling compliance was not the cooperation I had asked for.  Was she really so broken?  What had happened to the fighter I’d kidnapped?  Where had that girl gone?

She closed her eyes as I leaned her against the wall.  The light cast by the one torch was limited, allowing me to hide.  Pressing myself into the shadows, I placed my hand on my knife, waiting for the perfect moment. 

The door creaked as he slipped in, thinking himself unseen.  The fool.  He was by her in an instant, pulling her close and caressing her cheek, the same way father used to caress mother.  He inherited too much of father: his charm, the way he spoke to the people, it was no wonder they followed him.  But he didn't inherit the kingdom, and that would never be his.

Her eyes opened, staring into his.  “You shouldn't have come,” she whispered.  My fist tightened around the handle of my knife.  Would she warn him?

He ignored her remark, instead untying her hands.  “It’s ok.  You’re going to be alright.”  She would, but not him. 

“No, leave me,” she pleaded.  “Leave now while you still can.”   Still he disregarded her warning, but I could not take the chance of waiting any longer.  Silently, I pulled my knife from my belt. 

That was when her eyes met mine.  “You don’t know what you’re saying,” he said.  But she did, and as she saw the knife raised in the air her eyes filled with a mixture of realization, fear, horror, and determination.  Too late to pull back, I saw her warrior spirit resurface, and as the knife flew toward them she kicked him away, calling up every ounce of strength left in her body.  As he fell back the twisted blade hit, not its intended mark, but her already fragile body, shattering what I was sure was the last of her life. 

Yes, this is that same scene from the POV of the villain.  What you do think?  And now that you've read this, who do you think is really the villain?  Is it the kidnapper, who's trying to kill his own brother?  Or could it be the "good guy"? Is he a rebel who's trying to take the kingdom from his brother? Is the "villain" really just a king trying to keep his kingdom out of civil war by ending the life of the rebel leader? What do you think? And do you think the girl actually dies?  Or does she somehow survive? And which version do you like better, and for what reason? Comment and tell me! (And by the way, I have no idea what the answers to any of these questions are.  That's why I'm asking what you think.  So tell me!) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Writing (I couldn't think of a name)

I thought of this scene a while ago, and I decided to write it down.  I'm starting to get a few ideas for the story behind it, but I'm not sure if it will really go anywhere.  I'll probably end up using it for something sometime though.  Let me know what you think!

He emerged from the woods with caution.  Here was his warrior princess: the brave girl who had fought beside him; the beautiful maiden taken in battle.  For four long months he had searched, tracking her with every skill he had.  And now he was here outside the cave that was, if the clues he followed were not false, the prison of his bride-to-be.

Gently, he lowered himself through the hole in the ground, and with careful step he followed the passage he found just beneath the earth's surface.  The further he moved from the hole, the darker it became.  Not wanting to light a torch for fear of drawing attention to himself, he stepped forward slowly, feeling the air in front of him in case of danger ahead.  The air was cold and still, and he wished for a cross breeze.  At last his fingertips touched wood, and he felt about for some kind of door handle.  He grasped the cold metal knob he found, and the door swung open.

There she lay in the shadows, propped up against the wall, her hair matted and tangled, her hands bound behind her back, her dress torn, her arm encrusted in dried blood.  Dashing to her side he gathered her broken form in his arms.  Her eyes fluttered open, and she whispered, "You shouldn't have come."

He began to untie her hands.  "It's ok.  You're going to be alright."

"No!" she cried weakly.  "Leave me.  Leave now while you still can."  She tried to pull away from him, but injured as she was it did no good.

"You don't know what you're saying."  He bent over her to lift her in his arms.  Something struck him, and he fell against the wall, propelled backward by her kick.  He staggered, gasping for breath, and for the first time noticed a shadowy form in the corner.  Gradually, he came to understand as he saw the weapon, a blade he knew too well.  Its handle was black and twisted as the heart of the man who threw it.  The bit of steel he could see glinted in the low light of the single torch on the wall, and he remembered the pain of that jagged blade.  All this ran through his mind as he stared, in unbelieving horror, at the knife lodged in her side. The knife that was meant for him.