Monday, October 5, 2009


Long before she reached the doors, she missed the sound of the musicians that should have been filling the furthest corners with sound.  When she cautiously opened the side door to the great hall, the first thing she saw was several men, also in the black and red she’d seen too much of already, struggling with something she couldn’t identify.  It wasn’t until she followed the ropes up from their hands that she saw the hanging bodies.  Two of them.  They were wearing gold pants.  Their sleeves were red.  Both of them.  Their short armor was hooked in the back with a grappling hook.  The rope made a twisted detour around their necks before going up - up to . . . .  They were swinging but they were doing nothing to make themselves swing.  ‘Why were they . . . ?’  ‘Who were they?’  With horror, all the pieces fell into place.  Her brothers were hanging . . . had been hung . . . were dead.  Her brothers were dead.  Her eyes went to the throne.  ‘Father should have . . . .’  A gasp escaped before she could stifle it and his head turned.  His eyes found her and widened with surprise.  A sound came from his mouth or was it something else?  Was it a word?  ‘Did he say run?’  ‘Why was he so high?’  Her eyes looked for the answer and found only the flagstaff firmly planted upright ‘but how . . . .  Oh no, not that.  No, not that.  It couldn’t be.’  She tried to breathe.  The flag was on the floor soiled with more than blood.  Discarded.  Desecrated.  Another whisper came from her father.  She looked up in time to see his head fall forward onto his chest.

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