I was pushed roughly down a now dark corridor. The lavish tapestries, which had seemed grand and beautiful before, now seemed ugly and terrible. The scenes now depicted pointless, shallow court life, or immoral, slaughterous hunting parties. The torches on the wall flickered slightly, giving the passage an eerie, unsettling glow.
When I tripped slightly on the rough stone floor, the guard who was leading me grabbed my arm violently, steadying me.
"Keep walking!" he snarled out and continued dragging me down the corridor. We eventually came to the door that I was dreading. Only now did I start to feel something other than anger at the guard and the fact that I was currently bound and gagged. Now that I stood before this door, my feelings of fear and terror came back in full force. I knew that the moment I stepped through the door I would be meeting my fate. And I couldn't help but feel pessimistic about how that fate would turn out.
The giant wooden double doors were swung open. I was met with the sight of the throne room. My reaction to this place now was similar to the one I'd had to the simple corridor that led to it only moments ago. The first time I'd seen the large room, colored in deep reds, purples, and golds, I had been struck by its magnificence and grandeur. The two thrones of the king and queen, which stood in the middle of the room on a raised marble platform, had seemed to me the very epitome of power and grace. The stained glass windows had let in just the perfect amount of soft light, giving the place a beautiful glow. And of course I had been struck by the stately portraits and tapestries on the wall.
However when I looked in the room today, I saw only a darkened chamber filled with gloom and shadows. Granted it was raining; the sky was dark and occasionally sliced with lightening, but the room had also darkened to me because my mood had. It also didn't help when the king himself was sitting on his throne and glaring down at me, nothing but anger in his gaze.
The worst part, however, was not anything that I have just described. While I would have been delighted to have the approval and love king, I wasn't really all that bothered by his apparent hatred of me. No, it was another person's glare which burned through me that was causing the feelings in my chest of pain. And while there was pain, it also felt that there was a vacuum of emptiness there, a hole of dread and misery. As overly dramatic as that sounds it was the truth.
Despite these feelings, I made sure to keep my expression aloof and uncaring. They didn't need the satisfaction.
"Miss Amelia Day," said the king," You have been given the chance to confess to your crimes, yet you have continued to insist on your innocence," he said, as if this were the most ridiculous notion in the world. How quickly they lose their faith," I will give you one more chance to confess to what you have done and die having confessed your sins to God... not that I believe it will help you much," he added as an afterthought. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. And how was I supposed to confess anything with this rag in my mouth anyway?
An involuntary glance to the person standing just a few feet away from the king worked to sober my sarcastic thoughts. I looked to the guard next to me who was still holding me roughly, his grip on my arms painfully tight. He pulled one hand away from my arms and brought it up to my mouth, removing the gag. The king spoke again," Will you confess?"
I met his gaze steadily with what I hoped was a calm air despite the continually growing hole of panic in my chest. I considered my next few words. Was there any real point in behaving, trying to insist once more on my innocence, try make them see the light, try to gain their favor? If they were so convinced of what I had done then why even bother? What could possibly make my situation any worse?
"Miss Day!" the king stood suddenly from his throne, pure rage on his features. Evidently he did not appreciate my having been lost in thought," Will you confess!?"
Again I met his enraged gaze," Go to hell," I said simply. I was a little wary about how he would react to this. Would he become violent? He was clearly furious already. However he proved my fears to be wrong. He straightened his shoulders and arranged his features into a calm and cold mask.
"Very well," the king said," You have been found guilty of your crimes and will therefore suffer the consequences."