Prologue-Strange things begin to occur when wanted rebels try to live a normal life...
“She is beautiful,” the woman murmured as she held her newborn baby close to her,
pulling the patched quilt up around her.
The humble patchwork quilt, sewn from scraps of homespun cloth, blanketed a straw-stuffed mattress that was the largest piece of furniture in the one-room hut. In the center of the circular room was a crudely carved square table that stood shakily on the worn-wood floor. The roof and walls were also crafted of wood, as well as the shutters on the gaping hole, that would have otherwise been in the wall, were pulled tight against the pounding rain. Pails and buckets littered the floor, in a desperate attempt to catch the dripping rainwater seeping in through the many unseen holes in the roof, even the washbasin had been utilized for the purpose. Lighting the entire scene was a single stub of a candle, gingerly set in its holder on the warped table.
“She is our miracle,” her husband agreed as he came to sit next to her on the bed, wearily stepping around pots and bowls.
“She deserves better,” the mother said quietly, pushing her light brown hair from her face and behind her ear.
Her husband already knew what she was thinking. He looked at her delicate features while she was still smiling at her newborn child; her deep brown eyes, her creamy coloured skin and her determinedly set jaw, and thinking her more beautiful than ever, he reached under the bed to pull out her grey cloak.
The woman pushed herself from the bed, still wearing the same brown homespun cotton as the day before, and reached for the cloak her husband held out for her.
“ Be careful and trust your instincts,” he said moving the cloak just to the side before she could grasp it, leaving her grasping at thin air and standing on the tips of her toes, almost ready to topple forward.
“I love you too,” she said, gently caressing his strong cheekbones, as much out of affection as to steady herself.
He clasped her hand and held it there a moment, against the side of his face, before kissing her, possibly for the last time. Even simply leaving the house had become a matter of life and death, and she knew it. She was also counting on the fact that their exact location had not yet been pinpointed.
He held her at arms length, and she stared into his dark misty coloured eyes that were a greyish-blue, and gently ran her hand through his sandy coloured hair that was neither brown nor blond. He draped the cloak around her, and his child, and stepped back before she disappeared.
Suddenly, the door burst open, pushed open with such ferocity that it hit the wall with the sound of wood slamming against wood, which coincided with the deafening crack of thunder that illuminated the sky behind the dark-robed figure in the doorway.
“Where is she?!” the black-cloaked witch demanded as she stormed into the room.
Her shoes left miniscule wet-prints on the wood floor as she passed and the hem of her cloak was soaked and stained from dragging in the mud, it was so long that it covered her feet so that you could not tell what she wore on them, this only adding to her dark and mysterious persona.
“Who?” the man asked innocently, glaring into the hateful black dots that were the woman’s eyes. They reflected perfectly the dark abyss that was her soul, filled with dark hate.
“You know perfectly well who!” the hateful woman snapped at him as massive, bulky guards filed into the room after their queen, clinging to the walls and awaiting her signal to disable the pathetic little man. Each one had eyes whose colour became unrecognisable because all that you would see if you dared look into them was pure hate, and icy heartlessness.
“WHERE IS SHE?!!!” the queen shouted, advancing on him to appear even more intimidating, and starring him in the eyes with a hateful glare; often the sight of her eyes alone were enough to send any peasant cowering in fear. The young man said nothing, simply glared back.
“Your Highness,” one of the guards called, as to draw her attention to something of possible importance. He was holding a scrap of raggedy cloth.
The spiteful woman snatched the scrap of swaddling cloth from her guard and silently considered it for a moment.
“So you have a child,” she said with bone-chilling calm that lost none of her hatred.
She slowly looked up from the cloth, at him, her gaze filled with contempt and pride. “Find them!” she ordered her guards, not lifting her gaze from the man who stood before her.
As suddenly as the storm had conjured itself, he launched himself at her in a desperate attempt to save his wife and child by ridding the world of this heartless creature. Being unable to contain his anger towards her any longer, he didn’t think of how useless this attempt would be, he only thought of how much better life for the entire realm would be if she were eliminated.
The guards caught him and dragged him to a chair before he even reached the target of his anguish.
“I could kill you now,” she said as she stood over him, “but I have a different punishment in mind,” she stated sinisterly, allowing him time to imagine all the things worse than death, and likely thinking that he could easily handle any kind of torture that she had prepared. “You shall witness the murder of your own wife and child. You shall pay the dearest price imaginable for your rebelry!!!”