It was the dead of night, and under an inky black sky with brilliant white stars scattered across, treachery and betrayal was marching onwards, and cared for no man. As the citizens slept soundly, comfortable in their own securities, outside were four figures, headed by non-other than King Antonio himself. His royal cloak billowed behind him, the velvet hood hung in elegant folds across his shoulders, bouncing with every step he took. The soles of his shoes struck the cobbled pavements with a sound akin to a hammer against a nail, and the echoes cascaded around him. Behind him, two well-built men were marching in unison, dragging a decrepit figure between their arms. The king came to an abrupt halt, his feet inches away from the water’s edge, indulging his senses as the water lapped up and licked his toes. He turned his head, the flame he held gave an eerie glow to his face, defining his elongated nose with shadows that leapt across his cheeks. His lips turned upwards to an arrogant smirk, and he swivelled on his heels to face the man he was soon to condemn.
‘Antonio… please…don’t do this’ Prospero spluttered, his cheeks stained with tears, his chin stained with blood, and his soul scarred with an unrelenting hatred for his once brother. The guards threw him onto the ground, expressionlessly following orders. The metal cuffs that bound his wrists together struck the ground and let loose a jarring sound. Through matted hair Prospero looked up at his superior, but nothing was in his eyes, they were glazed over as if all contempt and rage had engulfed his being, so that he was rendered unable to express such anger. His cold stare pierced Antonio’s heart, albeit briefly; the kink in his armour was repaired once again by sheer arrogance.
Antonio stepped aside, and his cloak burst out, and then subsided, to unveil what Prospero had only ever dreamed of in his nightmares. His infant daughter, who was but three years old, stood weeping uncontrollably on the moonlit jetty. ‘father…’ she managed to gasp between wails. The once almighty wizard cried out into the blackness of the night. But his rage subsided; a smile grew on his face, and let out an unnerving cackle. Antonio frowned.
‘What? What are you laughing at? Stop it. Stop it!’ He shook Prospero by the shoulders, but to no avail.
‘just you wait my Brother, just you wait.’
‘Send him away! Now! Cast him off and let us never be burdened with his presence!’
The guards bundled Prospero into the boat, and threw Miranda into his arms without mercy. Prospero stroked his child’s hair with gentle love. He embraced her, and felt the boat surge forward. Without thinking he flung his arm out, and tore the cloak from his brothers shoulders, letting a blood-curdling scream erupt from his lungs. It now belonged with its rightful owner, and ignoring Antonio’s desperate screams, the almighty wizard muttered incantations in a long forgotten tongue. A clap of thunder, a flash of lighting split the sky in two, a new era was beginning, another age was dawning.