*REPOST* To Live or Die: Segment Six

Fiction By Emily Grace // 2/21/2012

Segment Six
His Story

“But…but…” Kaleigh was so shocked she couldn’t speak. Brodie smiled.
“I know. I was dead, wasn’t I? In your eyes at least.”
“How?!” Kaleigh blurted out. Brodie rubbed his cheek and swallowed.
“After I found Bobby, we were escaping rather well. But I tripped on a dropped sword and as I delayed one of posts from the fort  collapsed on me.”
Brodie’s hand automatically slid to his right leg without him knowing. Kaleigh glanced down, then looked into Brodie’s eyes – and saw pain.
“It trapped my legs under it. Bobby tried to lift it, but couldn’t. I told her to leave, and after some reasoning, she did. I thought I had just sent my last hope of getting out away. But Marks came across me. He was able to lift the post enough for me to pull myself out. He helped me up and with my arm slug around his shoulder, I limped terribly towards the gate.”
Kaleigh bit her lower lip and she clutched the skirt of her tunic.
“Unfortunately, we were attacked before we could escape the camp. And I was captured. But not killed; Zidzendoff  enslaved me instead. One day, about a year later, while tending to my business, the Captain of the Guard – Brenton Shark – started mocking me. I challenged him by saying that he probably wasn’t fit to be Captain of the Guard.”
Kaleigh laughed triumphantly.
“I’ve been waiting for someone to tell him that!” she replied. Brodie smiled.
“Later he handed me a sword and we had a duel. I won, and when the king heard about it, he made me Captain of the Guard in Shark’s place!Naturally, I didn’t want the job; I’d be training knights to fight against my own side. But Zidzendoff insisted that I do it, and I figured that maybe some good could come out of it. Shark didn’t like this any more than I did; after two months or so, he accused me of being in league with some knights who – though not part the outlaws’ army – were plotting against the king. Although there was no way of proving this, the king had me flogged while he executed the other knights – he didn’t want to kill me because of my skill. Instead, since he didn’t trust me fully, he had me turned back into a slave and Shark was made Captain of the Guard once again.”
Kaleigh scowled and rested her head on her fist.
“I served the king as a slave for two more years. Shark still wasn’t satisfied, so he again accused me of something that was not true – stirring up some other slaves and meeting secretly with them for a different attempt to overthrow the king. This was about a month ago, and the king had me put in here.”
“Jeez! Shark means business!”
Brodie laughed, which he probably hadn’t done for a long time.
It had been five years since Kaleigh had last seen her brother – like he said, he had been captured in a battle. Kaleigh had been thirteen at the time, just old enough to start helping around the camps, bringing food and other supplies to the troops. Both she and Bobby had been in trapped at Longhorn when the battle and fire had taken place and both thought that Brodie had been killed.
Of course, he hadn’t.
Kaleigh and Brodie both crawled to the edge of their chains and embraced.
“Bobby isn’t going to believe this!” Kaleigh said as they hugged. Brodie jumped at the mention of Bobby. He pushed Kaleigh away and grabbed her shoulders.
“How is RASGR?” he asked, his tone revealing deep concern. Kaleigh tottered her head from side to side, smiling at his seriousness.
“Taller, stronger, ruder, hair is much longer, new weapon. Other than that, the same.”
Brodie smirked at Kaleigh, who returned it with her own.How could RASGR be anything but well?he asked himself.
But their reunion was cut short when two knights entered the dungeon, one with smaller shackles in his hands.
His deep voice boomed as he said, “Crest, I’ve gotten orders to take you out to the courtyard. You’re to be hanged.”


Keaton rushed into Bobby’s tent. “Bobby!”
Bobby, of course, didn’t move; she lay in a giant lump on her cot – she looked like a heap of potatoes with a lion’s mane. Keaton bent over her and shook her. “Bobby!” he shouted again.
Bobby stirred, opened one eye, and rolled over with a grunt.
“Go away,” she muttered. “I’m still asleep.”
“Bobby, a Crest is being hanged today!”
Bobby slowly turned back around.
“A certain Crest isn’t in her tent!”
“She went to Woodlock two days ago, I forgot to tell you when you came back…when did you come back?”
“Never mind that, she never arrived.”
“How do you know?”
“A recent betrayer of the king just told me!” Keaton said, his muscles tensing by the minute. “He said he fought alongside Kaleigh in a skirmish and witnessed her capture!”
“What’s his name?” Bobby asked, completely out of it.
“Who’s name?”
“The betrayer of the king?”
“Agh!” Keaton shouted. “Does it matter?! There’s a good chance that Kaleigh is that Crest!”
Bobby threw her covers off, grabbed her black cloak, and put it on.
“Let’s go then.”
Bobby and Keaton raced to the town, which had been set to the East of the war camps, not far off. But by the time they got there, a giant crowd had already gathered and was cheering. Keaton and Bobby were forced to stand by a stable and peer over peoples’ heads on their tiptoes.
A man stood on a little platform in front of the people, but the yelping crowd drowned out the sound of his voice.
Keaton strained his ears to listen while Bobby pushed people out of the way to get closer, but they both heard loud and clear what the man said next, “...Crest, the descendant of Stevie Hood and Matthew Fulton, is dead!”
Bobby and Keaton both froze. Both tuned everything out, and both looked for something to lean on.
Bobby’s knees buckled and she fell against the blacksmith’s shop she had been smushed against. Then she became angry.
She grabbed a random man’s knife right out of its sheath and chucked it at the man who was talking.
It ran through his eye and into his brain, and he instantly fell dead.
Keaton saw it and then screamed in frustration, “Bobby!”
Bobby realized what she had done and ran back. She hopped on a horse and rode away as fast as lightning, leaving Keaton behind.
Keaton threw his arms up in the air and then, seeing an opportunity, pulled a guy off his horse. He mounted it and galloped after her.
It started pouring rain. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder rang in their ears. The black clouds made it so dark that Bobby, who was ahead of Keaton, didn’t see the cliff she has heading for.
Her vision was blurred by a mixture of rain and tears. She grasped the reins of her horse tightly to help the anger pass through a little less violently and kept riding forward.
She was about to ride right off the cliff when lightning struck and not only lit up the sky long enough for Bobby to see the edge of the precipice, but spooked the horse.
It stopped and reared right before running off.
The horse landed and snorted. Bobby started crying bitterly and, being overwhelmed by grief, fell off the horse. She lied on the ground, curled up into ball, soaked.
Keaton rode up to her and dismounted his horse. He knelt beside her. “Bobby,” he soothed. “There’s nothing we could’ve done to stop the death.”
“I know,” Bobby replied, choking on her tears. “That makes it even worse. I was in a cage, Keaton; just watching. I couldn’t do anything. I’ve been in that cage before – when my father died. I couldn’t do anything but let the cold iron sting me as I watched the man they called Dinkleman run my father through. I don’t know which is worse, losing my father or losing Kaleigh – because now I can pick up a sword; I know how to fight. I could’ve done something if I had known, as of with my father, even if I did know beforehand that he was going to get killed, I couldn’t have done anything. That cage is worse than anything I’ve experienced.”
Then the tears that had stopped to let Bobby talk returned and drowned her.


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