Sixty: Part Two

Twenty-three.

I shake my head, clearing my thoughts with a forced chuckle. Forgive me, Father, I pray. And forgive them. I cannot hate what you have created.

While I’m at it, I decide to get everything else off my chest, too. I repent for every time I’ve disobeyed my parents, pulled my sister’s hair, lied to get out of trouble, etcetera. My stomach turns with each new memory of some sin I’ve committed, and the words become like a chant in my head; forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.

Fifteen.

It isn’t long before my regrets stop being about what I’ve done and turn to what I never got the chance to do. Every minute wasted, every word unsaid, every suppressed emotion comes thundering back from my past to haunt me. I remember my last words to my parents before the riot that killed them; “Meet me back here in one hour.” The soul-crushing reality that they never came back finally hits me, seven months later. Tears draw stripes in the dirt on my cheeks, but it’s a silent cry. No moaning or wailing, just tears.

Fourteen.

And my sister, Naomi. When was the last time I saw her? When she was sixteen, and I thirteen; the day the King took her, along with the other girls in the village, to be tested and married off to his six sons. We never heard from her again. That was eight years ago. She’s likely to be a mother now, perhaps married to the King’s first heir. All I can hope for is that she’s made him into a better man than his father.

Thirteen.

A sudden desire to be with Thomas overcomes me. I want to tell him how much I love him, over and over until his ears bleed from hearing it. I want to kiss him until the world melts away and our imminent deaths mean nothing because we have each other, and only each other, and it will all be okay because of it.

Twelve.

“I love you.” The whisper slips out before I realize it will never reach him. I had to say it, though. One more time.

Eleven.

Wait – eleven?

Ten.

Ten minutes. Only ten minutes. No, that can’t be right. Already? It hasn’t been that long… Impossible. I shake my head.

Impossible.

Nine.

Four months in this cell gave me one thing: an accurate internal clock. I know I’m not mistaken, and yet, for the first time in my life, I wish I am. I wish it with all my heart.

Eight.

No, no, no, my thoughts wail. More time! I need more time!

Seven.

“Seven,” I mutter. “Seven… Give me more time…” My plea bounces off the silent walls. “Please…”

Six.

The darkness gets deeper. My vision blurs again as tears return. This time, though, it isn’t a silent cry. My body shudders with the first sob.

Five.

“Please!” I push out between cries. Nobody answers. I put my hands over my ears in an attempt to block out reality. My whisper is barely audible: “Four.”

Four.

I curl up on the floor, hugging my knees to my chest. I am defeated. My cries get quieter until I’m able to suck in a shaky breath.

Three.

A tear squeezes through my shut eyelids. It runs down my head, over my temple, and pools  in my ear. It’s uncomfortable, but I don’t move to dry it. I don’t move at all.

Two.

My overwhelmed mind reaches in the fog for a coherent thought. It finds only one: I want to disappear. I want to crawl away from this terrible place and disappear forever.

One.

I want to live.

Sixty: Part One

“You have one hour,” the guard says, extinguishing the torch. My cell is flooded with darkness. “Enjoy it.”

One hour, the words echo in my mind. Ha, I smirk. One hour is an eternity. One exact hour until the end of my life. How liberating it is to finally know my fate, after months of uncertainty in this dank little cell. Sixty whole minutes to enjoy my pathetic existence.

No, not pathetic, the small voice in the back of my head corrects me. Just unfulfilled.

I imagine my remaining hour in a tiny hourglass, watch the sand trickle to the bottom. My internal clock ticks away each of the 3,600 seconds until I meet my executioner. At each minute mark, I imagine a bell tower ringing.

Fifty-nine.

My thoughts go to Thomas, my fiancè and partner in crime. I wonder if he’s still alive, but I suppose now I’ll never know.

Fifty-eight.

We’re not criminals. We’re traitors, but that’s the best thing a person can be in this kingdom. You can either defy the King or be his slave: your choice. We chose liberty, and now, we’re getting it, by way of guillotine. Death is our final escape, and I much prefer it to living another day under that tyrant’s rule.

Fifty-six.

A scuffling outside my cell sends my heart into a flutter. Keys jingle on a ring. I hear a short exchange, but I’m not close enough to make out the words. A cell is unlocked, a door opened and shut. They’re not here for me, I remind myself. Still, I creep to the door, peer through the barred window. The opening’s only big enough for me to see the guards’ shadows flickering on the wall. One of them lights another torch in the hallway, allowing me to see a slumped figure between the two large shadows. One of the guards hits him, but the prisoner doesn’t cry out. He doesn’t even flinch. I wonder how long he’s been unconscious.

They drag the prisoner’s body in my direction, and I shrink back into the shadows.

Fifty-three.

Hiding from the light, I watch the trio as they pass my cell. When their backs are to me, I press myself to the door once more. I study the prisoner’s lifeless body. His matted hair has begun to fall out in tufts. His skin, covered in a layer of grime, is pulled tight over his bones. I realize how long he must have been locked up; it’s been four months since I’ve seen sunlight, but I’m sure my bones aren’t as prominent.

Forty-nine.

My stomach growls at me, unhappy with the utter lack of food it’s gotten today. I guess I don’t get a last meal, being a traitor and all. Not that I’d know what to ask for, but it’d be nice not to die on an empty stomach.

Forty-four.

I curse myself for being so selfish. What about all those who have died from an empty stomach? I apologize to myself, and my God. I should be grateful; my death will be much quicker than those sentenced to starvation.

Thirty-eight.

I realize how handsome a life in the palace prison is compared to the poorer sections of this wretched kingdom. Everyone should just rebel. They’ll either kill you quickly or throw you in a cell, where you’ll get enough food each day to survive, until they decide you’re better off dead.

Thirty-one.

My chest tightens in rage. Those can’t be the only options! Obey and starve or stand up and be killed. One could run… but to where? There isn’t anything but wasteland for miles surrounding the kingdom. At least, that’s what they tell us. I ball my fists, my hatred for the King surfacing in a scarlet wave, blurring my vision.

From “Ink Stained”

“Who’s Prince Charming?” he asked, pointing to the sketch. Lydia held up the drawing.

“Hugo Vaughn, criminal for hire. He’s here on a job – one we can’t let him complete.”

“What’s the job?” Theo asked.

“Kidnapping, robbery, and possible murder, if anyone gets in the way.”

“‘Anyone’ meaning us, right?” Lydia nodded her head once, slowly. “Sounds dangerous.”

“You up for it?” she asked, one eyebrow raised. Theo chuckled, running a hand through his thick, brown curls.

“You kidding? I’ve always wanted to be 007.”

“You are,” Lydia said, her eyes lit with a mischievous glint. “Today, Theo, we’re spies.”

lettersandlight:

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 is almost here! What makes Camp different? You can set your own word-count goal, and tackle any writing project you can think of, including scripts, revisions, or theses. It’s a virtual writing retreat where your pen can run wild. 
Graphic by Dominic Flask for Camp NaNoWriMo.

lettersandlight:

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 is almost here! What makes Camp different? You can set your own word-count goal, and tackle any writing project you can think of, including scripts, revisions, or theses. It’s a virtual writing retreat where your pen can run wild. 

Graphic by Dominic Flask for Camp NaNoWriMo.

http://thewritingcafe.tumblr.com/post/79186593713/betterbemeta-these-are-some-of-my-girl-rules

betterbemeta:

These are some of my girl rules when regarding and writing female characters:

  • Girls have authority. Show leaders that are female and show leaders that aren’t female taking advice from women and girls. Every other piece of media and the world around us is sure to impress that…

reyairia:

70% of editing is just looking at ur work for a few hours with this face

image

(via juliajm15)