Sword (Flash Fiction)

The young maiden gasped, amber eyes wide. Her lips trembled as she looked down at the sword sticking through her chest. Then she lifted her gaze to her attacker. It was none other than her lifelong friend. They had grown together, cried together, laughed together. Fell in love together. The person she trusted most. While it was true that Anne was considered nothing more than a handmaiden to the rest of the castle, Princess Marie called her sister.

The heir to the throne blinked as she felt her blood running down the front of her gown. “Why?”

Anne gritted her teeth, holding the sword in place. “You know why!”

Tears ran down Marie’s cheeks. “I-I don’t.” She gasped for air at this point.

Despite herself, tears welled up in the handmaiden’s eyes. Seeing her friend in such a pained state. But she persisted. “Yes, you do. You sent John to his death. We were going to be married.”

The princess’s eyes fluttered, and she struggled to remain balanced. “I always supported you and John. I don’t, I don’t have that kind of…authority.”

Anne’s expression twitched. It was true that the princess did not have the ability to carry out executions. “But…but–” She cut herself off, looking down at the cold stone floor. “They talked. They all said you wanted him dead. That you begged your father…”

Marie swallowed, though trickles of blood came out the corners of her mouth. “No, Anne.” She choked. “You, you have been blinded.” A short breath. “Fooled.”

The handmaiden’s mouth opened and closed. Yet, no words came. Her dark eyes searched her sister. “Marie…”

The royal heir struggled. “I thought…I thought you trusted me. I trusted you.” A final breath escaped her, and the last thing she saw was her lifelong friend weeping. Her eyes finally fluttered close. She didn’t know what had caused this confusion in Anne, but she knew one thing before her death. It was not the sword that cut her heart.

 

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