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.
*Author’s Note: I decided to write either a short story or a poem for each of the drawings that I complete for Inktober. I know I’ve been rather absent on this blog for the past few(?) months. I’ve been letting life get in the way of my muses, so I’m hoping the daily challenges will help jump start me back into writing on a more consistent basis. As I didn’t decide to do so until this morning, there may be a few posts that go up today. This poem goes with the drawing I made yesterday.
How long will you lie
Up until the time you die
Something that’s inevitable
Lining your tongue with silver
The truth isn’t even a sliver
You have no meaning of trust
All your relationships bust
You can only blame yourself
When you put honesty on a shelf
There is nothing you can say
That’ll justify you devious ways
Prepare to forever be alone
All that you loved will be gone
Who wants to be around a liar
I’m better off standing in fire
You’re a ruthless, insensitive soul
Convincing others lead is actually gold
Up until the time you die
I’m sorry that’s how long you’ll lie
Decided to participate in Inktober, even if I am five days late. The point of Inktober isn’t to be perfect but to develop drawing skills throw small daily challenges. That’s what I’m hoping to get out of it, at least. Day 5 Challenge is “long.”
Personal art completed with graphite and charcoal on toned gray sketch paper.
The Unknown presence descended upon the mortal world with what it could pass as a smile. A devilishly wicked smile. It knew exactly what it was going to do and where it was going to go. With a cackle, it went for the nearest source of greed and discontent. Passing over rows and rows of vehicles stuck in lanes of traffic, where the mortals yelled and cursed at each other. Instead, it went to the largest retail establishment. Soared into the air as its form grew to blanket the entire store. Settled into position and waited for the fun to begin.
The mortals reacted accordingly, giving in to hatred, anger, greed, envy. Every single one who walked through the store doors was affected. Their hearts turned to stone. The unsuspecting retail associates suddenly dealing with irate customers who could not be pleased, even if the world was offered to them.
“This box is scratched. I need a discount.”
“This product is missing its price tag. I want it for free.”
“I want to speak to a manager.”
“What do you mean it’s ‘online only?'”
“This was on clearance online; I want that price.”
“I demand to speak to a manager.”
“You’re insanely rude for being in customer service.”
“Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”
“Get me your manager, now!”
“How dare you say I’m wrong. I don’t care if you work here. You are obviously stupid.”
“Do you think I’m fine if I’m obviously searching for something in particular?”
“Uh, it’s your job, right? Do it.”
And so the day went. The associates couldn’t wait until their shifts ended or the store closed. Whichever came first. They went home exhausted, devastated, depressed. Many ended up in tears, wondering why people could be so cruel. What would cause them to be this way? What would make them take out their personal problems on retail workers?
But the Unknown presence knew. It knew very well, indeed. And it would be back the next day to feed on the ignorance and strife. And the next day. The next day. All the days until the mortals ceased to exist. It would make sure their materialistic nature was at least good for something.