“You shall pay the ultimate price for your sins: Death.” The executioner’s voice boomed across the village square as we were forced to watch.
He shoved the girl forward roughly and she fell from the stage. The noose tightened around her small, thin neck as she writhed in agony. Her tiny limbs went limp and her long black hair fell into her face. I knew this girl. She was only ten. Her crime? Stealing bread for her sick mother.
I too had lost my mother to sickness. My father, on the other hand, had been executed just like this girl. His crimes were much more severe. Treason against our sick ruler, and manslaughter. He was my martyr, my reason, my fighting spirit. This world was sick.
Lord Numen had ruled over our little country since my mother was a little girl. I could see him, watching the girl’s body sway with a sadistic smile on his face, distorting his calm features into the thing of nightmares. His dark brown ponytail was long and princely and his eyes were as black as his soul.
He was worshipped like a god by around seventy percent of the population. His followers believe that he is Gods messenger, and that by killing sinners he is striving towards a perfect society. Then there’s the twenty percent that are too scared to do anything about it. Then there’s the ten percent that won’t stop until his head is on the end of a spear and his blood is on our hands. We are part of that ten percent.
Perditus grabs my hand. I knew how hard this sort of thing was for him. Despite everything he’d been through, he was still like an innocent little child. I think that’s why I felt the need to protect him. I squeezed back as we were all filed out by the Lords guards. I looked into his brown, watery eyes.
“Don’t cry.” I whispered.
I understood how he felt. I understood him completely. I wanted to cry, too, but I knew no good would come of it. I was his rock. If I lost it as well the relatively stable relationship we’d worked so hard for would be gone.
Once we got back to the small stone building that was our home I took my red hair out of its bun and let it fall into my silver eyes. Perditus was slumped across the small wooden table and his hands gripped at his short black hair.
“Calm down, it’s all going to be okay.” I held him close to me and just waited for him to run out of tears. It was all I could do.