The Queen and I

Helena is one of Queen Elizabeth I's servants . She has a completely ordinary life, a simple girl working hard and earning her keep for her endlessly long family back at home. Everything has a routine for her and is completely orderly, just how she likes it but when she is accused of a life threatening crime, here whole world turns upside down.


12. Chapter 12

The night was finally coming to a close. I hadn't slept a wink, of course. My whole life's memories had been toiled with and on top of that, my execution was upon me. Of course, no one had told me but somehow, my body knew that I was going to be leaving this world today. Despite the sun being oblivious to my doom and rising anyways, I felt almost peaceful. Despite Lydia practically murdering me, I felt no anger. Just nothing. No tears, no anger, no happiness. Just nothing. I sat and stared at the wall, my eyes wide and glassy. My cornsilk hair was tangled and wild, just like a mental persons. My clothing was ratted and dirty as well as my face which had a huge welt blooming on it, thanks to the constable. My mouth was dry from lack of water and my stomach was growling like a dog.

I heard the pounding footsteps down the hall before I saw him. His uniform was so tight, it looked as though he was being strangled. His eyes dashed back and forth, no more then little reptile sized ones. The mans nose was fairly normal except that there was a huge boil oozing on the side of it. Lips pulled tightly in a line, he jangled his keys and opened my gate, pointing a sword at me, threatening me. I stood up wordlessly, wobbling slightly to the right. I caught my footing just before he yanked my arms behind my back digging metal handcuffs into my wrists. When I winced, he only tightened them. Then, we were marching. Well, I was shuffling and he was marching.

The tunnel we were in was an seemed to be an endless labyrinth of darkness. My eyes traced the ground and I closed them momentarily, trying to escape the chains of reality when suddenly they lightened up. I opened my eyes and saw pure, unadulterated white light at the end of the corridor. A sob of happiness escaped my throat just as the constable shoved my harshly to go faster. Maybe he was sick of these despairing hallways, too. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally reached the light and I realized then how much I truly missed the sun and the outside world. I might have only been in the dungeons for a mere day and night but that was plenty of shadowy darkness to last a lifetime. Not that I would have any more lifetime to be in the dungeons....

My breath caught in my throat when I saw them. The gallows. The structure was simple yet the air surrounding it smelled like death and despair. The three nooses hung limply, swaying ever so slightly in the breeze. A small, anonymous crowd had gathered and most of them stood their looking bored as if this was the only form entertainment they had. Some members looked jobless, scruffy and hopeless but at least they had a chance, at least they had a life. It was mostly silent, only a few murmurs of small talk filled the tiny encirclement of people when suddenly,an unexpected series of footsteps began. Beth was running at full speed, her face full of blotchy red spots that matched her sizzling red hair. With red rimmed eyes, she looked exactly like a tomato, red all over. "LEENA, LEENA, WAIT!" She was crying and yelling all at the same time as she shoved through the now curious crowd. Finally emerging from the sea of people, she grasped her arms around me, cutting off my breath. Beth buried her face into my dress as her sobs came out ragged and strangled.

"Oh, God, Leena, can't go, YOU JUST CAN'T! Your the only friend I've got, the only friend that is like a sister to me, PLEASE!" 

"Beth, I-"

The guard handling me ripped Beth off of me so harshly she fell back, scraping her knees and elbows on the hard, rocky ground. Yet my best friend jumped right back up and started hitting him back. Hard.

"You... Can't... Take... Her, I WON'T LET YOU...I won't!" She was panting so hard I thought she might faint. Tears streamed down her cheeks, an endless river. Finally the constable got a grip and slapped her across the cheek. I drew my breath in as I heard her whimper just before she fell to the floor in a heap of sweat, tears and blood. I bent down immediately and squeezed her hand, whispering, "Beth, you are much more to me than you will ever know, thank you."

The scrawny man who slapped Beth picked me up and started shoving me towards the stairs. Finally it dawned on me what was happening. The numbness I had felt earlier left me in a second and I started panicking. As my heart rate picked up rapidly, a soft scream was emitted from my throat. "Please...stop...I haven't-" I haven't what? I thought. I haven't done a million things. I haven't hugged my siblings. I haven't told Miss. Tune thank you. I haven't told Cole I loved him. I haven't....

I dropped to the ground by the guards feet into a begging position. I was going crazy. "Please, you have to stop, let me explain, I CAN EXPLAIN!" I was crying hysterically now. He picked  me up by my arm pits and pushed me over to the gallows. A tall man stoop behind one of the posts was dressed in complete black and I realized this was the executioner. "Please, sir, wait, just-" A doomed drum roll started behind me. This meant that Death was hovering right above me and it was only a matter of time until he came down and swept me up into his unforgiving arms. My heart was racing so fast, I couldn't take it. I went limp once more and the man in black was forced to stoop down and pick me up. Uncontrollable sadness consumed my heart as I felt the tough, scratchy rope drop loosely around me neck. Imagining all the other dead men that swung from this very noose made me throw up, yet as there was no contents in my stomach, the only thing that came out of my mouth was slimy, red blood. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the lever the executioner would pull to drop me down into a small opening until I suffocated to death. As he moved closer, the drum got louder and my heart beat faster. The words move, drum, heart ripped through my head. Move, drum, heart. Move, drum, heart. Finally his black hand grabbed the lever, the drum stopped and my heart ceased to beat. I took one last fleeting glance up at the world when, all of a sudden, I saw them. 

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