Alone ~ Original Story
This is for MrsKyleeHoran_Sheeran's contest! Read, rate, and comment please!
My lyric is: Holy water cannot help you now, see I've come to burn your kingdom down, and no rivers and no lakes can put the fire out, I'm gonna raise the stakes, I'm gonna smoke you out - Seven Devils, Florence and the machine
The king sat silently, his chin in his left hand, staring blankly at a tapestry. This was a typical fairy-tale kingdom, with a beautiful princess, a strong, old king, a deceased queen, and an evil stepmother. But after years of peace and prosperity, an old enemy of the king's had threatened the kingdom. He had horrible contraptions and witchcraft on his side, setting the king's kingdom on fire, with fire that couldn't be put out.
It didn't help that the evil stepmother was trying to murder the king; something the king was very aware of. And his beautiful daughter, Silvia, was sought after by so many men, it was impossible for the king to choose. But he had a difficult time, because even though Silvia had physical beauty, she had no beauty, whatsoever, in her personality. She was unkind and sometimes described as cruel; most likely from years of mistreatment from her stepmother.
King Egbert, for that was his name, had never wanted to marry evil, merciless Veta, but he had been forced to. The people of his village had made him marry her, unable to bear her cruelty and thinking that the king could handle her and reshape her. Veta needed to be taught correctly, by a man of authority and power. Of course poor, old King Egbert didn't have the strength to put up with Veta, nor the time, allowing her to grow more wretched with power and money.
The king also had a second daughter, kind, sweet Cynthia, who would happily give her life to a peasant, just so that the peasant may have more luxuries and live a life being safe and healthy. But, she wasn't as beautiful. Cynthia had front teeth that were rather large, a big forehead, a large nose, and rather thick eyebrows. She had very pale skin, and her hair was constantly getting tangled, despite the fact that she always tied it up.
Cynthia was a hard worker, she was always helping someone or another; her favorite place to work was the stables, and she was an incredible horse rider.
King Egbert stroked his beard. He was sure that Veta and Silvia would scheme to get rid of Cynthia, and he looked around the throne room again, ignoring the rambling squire. He already knew that there was no hope for his kingdom. It would burn down, and much like how the captain of a ship went down with the ship, old Egbert would go down with his castle.
His only regret was that he would have to leave his beautiful daughters in the care of Veta. He felt horrible for leaving them with a witch like her. But there was no other choice. His enemy, King Davet, the one waging war against Egbert, wouldn't rest until Egbert was dead. Egbert couldn't bear to leave his people at the mercy of Davet. Especially his daughters.
Egbert's gray eyes wandered back to the tapestry, a large, beautifully woven piece of artwork, made from the finest silk in the kingdom. His wife, Esmeralda, had woven it before she had passed away, and Egbert valued it more than his own life. He remembered the weeks that Esmeralda had spent on it, not even stopping to eat or drink. She had hardly even seen sunlight inside of the dank, windowless weaving room of the castle. Egbert himself had tended to her every need, bringing candles, food, water, blankets, anything that she had needed. And it had all payed off in the end.
The tapestry depicted the kingdom in its long years of fortune. It showed plentiful fields, peaceful, organized villages, and peasants and farmers working in the fields on sunny, but breezy days.
Now, this was the complete opposite of what the kingdom was. The Emerald Kingdom, named for its almost emerald hills, was now a place of panic and chaos, with screaming people and perils everywhere. Davet was attacking with fire, enchanted by the best wizards and witches to end the rule of Egbert.
The sun had disappeared, replaced by dark clouds and the flashes of lightning that added even more fear to the situation. The kingdom had also been closed off from travelers and paths.
Crops and houses had been burned down, and there was fire as far as the eye could see.
Egbert cleared his throat to stop the mumbling squire. He then started his speech, carefully picking out his words.
"Everyone must leave the Emerald Kingdom. There is no other option. We cannot afford to lose all of our people, and this kingdom will never again reach the plentifulness and peace that we were at before these dark times. Take all of my soldiers and use the underground tunnels to reach the main village; I know that everyone is hiding there.
"Take as many horses, food, water, and crop seeds as you can, along with a few, small, important personal belongings. And tell Veta and my daughters to see me immediately. I will not be going with you."
There was a long moments of silence as the words that Egbert's booming, but gentle, voice had said made sense to the people in the throne room. Suddenly, there were questions, cries of outrage, and screams as people realized that their leader was leaving himself here to die.
"Sir, you must not leave us! You are the leader that must lead us to a different kingdom, this cannot be done by just anyone! Please, your majesty, why must you die here, alone? With the king, the entire kingdom shall go down! We must all stand by your side and sacrifice our lives! It must be that way!" The squire shouted.
"I have made my decision. Davet will rest at nothing to have my head, and I cannot risk everyone else's safety for my own. It would be quite ridiculous to ask that my kingdom die with me, there is no point in that!"
The squire looked down, embarrassed that he had suggested that hundreds of people should die.
"Now, as your king, my words are law. Bring my daughters and second wife to me," Egbert commanded.
The squire nodded, sadly, looking at the king with pride, extreme respect, and grief before exiting the room. Before the door could even shut, Silvia shoved it open and rushed in, with Cynthia close behind and Veta following with a smug smile.
"Father! What is this nonsense of us leaving the kingdom and you not coming along?" Silvia cried desperately.
"You, my daughters, and Veta are to leave tonight and to pack immediately. The reason I must stay is... Your mother."
"What?!" The two young girls exclaimed.
"If Veta is the problem-" Silvia started, her eyes full of fire.
"Not your stepmother. Esmeralda, your birth mother. Like many old tales, we, my enemy, Davet, and I were both in in love with her. I proposed first and she accepted, as we moved to this kingdom. I always knew Davet would seek vengeance. It is time that I showed myself to him. I cannot allow myself to part from this world if I know that you are in danger of him. So, as my final decision, you will all leave without me." Egbert said weakly.
Veta clicked her tongue and smiled a fake, sad smile. "Oh, poor Egbert, I always knew Esmeralda would be the death of you,"
Egbert cleared his throat. "Children, I put you in charge of my kingdom. Veta will never be allowed to be queen, I absolutely refuse the idea,"
Veta's face turned bright red with anger.
"Silvia, my dear, you will become queen first," Egbert said, as she approached the throne. He clasped her hands tightly.
Silvia stood up a little taller and looked down at her long, flowing blue dress, finally accepting the way she looked. Cynthia's eyes shone with pride and happiness.
"But you have much to learn about kindness. If you are intelligent, wise, and wish to be a good queen, you must also follow Cynthia's words. And find yourself a suitable husband to be king. He must also be kind, noble, wise, and brave. It doesn't matter if he is a peasant or a prince, as long as he possesses those traits, he is fit to be a king."
Egbert now cupped his hands around Cynthia's face, which was clean instead of dirty; probably because she hadn't been able to go outside to help anywhere.
"My dear daughter, what you lack in beauty, you make up for in kindness. Take care, and do not let people deceive or control you."
Lastly, Egbert turned to Veta, who had only gotten redder since his declaration that she couldn't become queen of the Emerald Kingdom.
"You are a witch. The villagers thrust you at me so that I could re-mold you, change you for the better. But even I failed to do so. The last thing that I can do for my kingdom is refuse you as queen so that I may protect them from your horrible rule. You will be under arrest for the journey, and when everyone comes back to this kingdom, my daughters will make sure you become a good person again. I always thought that you would have made a lovely wife if you had been good, Veta." Egbert said, sadly.
Veta, disgusted, stormed out of the room, followed by guards who took her to the dungeons for the time being.
After kissing his daughters' foreheads and saying good bye, Egbert made sure everyone left the kingdom, the last people to leave being his daughters on two, strong horses. He waved goodbye and took one last tour of the castle, wanting to keep the images fresh in his mind when he died.
It was early the next morning, Egbert had slept in his throne with Esmeralda's tapestry draped over him. Every part of his old body ached, but he knew that soon it would be over. Almost as if it was cued, Davet entered the room with a small group of knights, in full armor. He shook his small head and laughed at the old king who sat with dropping eyelids in the throne.
"Couldn't do it, could you? Old Egbert had to go down with his castle so that no one else would get hurt. Well, this is the end, old friend!" Davet laughed, running a hand through his graying, close-cropped brown hair.
"It's never the end, Davet. I must actually thank you, I will finally see someone I've been waiting to see in a long time. We both know who I'm talking about." Egbert said, smiling at the memories of Esmeralda.
She was a tall, skinny girl with beautiful, waist-length black curls, and the brightest emerald colored eyes that Egbert had ever seen. She had been quite rebellious when they were teens, but Esmeralda had blossomed into an elegant, kind-hearted woman who made a perfect queen.
Egbert sighed in happiness. He also remembered Silvia, who took after her mother. She looked almost exactly like Esmeralda, with the long hair, dainty nose, heart-shaped face, and almond-shaped eyes. But her iris color was gray, like Egbert's. Cynthia took after Egbert, with his broad fore-head, large nose, rather short stature, and red, fiery hair, but her eye color was closer to Esmeralda's, though not as bright.
Davet's eyes filled with fury and his face darkened. The laughter immediately ceased and he pulled out his sword, holding the point at Egbert's throat.
"It's time to meet your end, old man. But I know a better way to do it," Davet said, an evil grin appearing. He pricked Egbert's throat and a drop of blood rolled down the blade of the sword before hitting the thin carpet, making a small, red stain.
He backed away and laughed maniacally before setting the room on fire. It was witch-enchanted fire; the hottest type fire that burned through anything, whether it was flammable or not.
"Good by, Egbert, have a nice journey out of our world!" Davet laughed before leaving.
Egbert sighed, the smoke already making his breathing harder. Egbert's body racked with coughs and tears streamed down his face. He wanted to flee, to escape, but he knew that Davet would be back in search of Egbert's skull, probably to keep as a souvenir, and if it wasn't there, he would slay Egbert's family.
Egbert clutched the tapestry tightly and looked at the fine details, and how every stitch had been placed perfectly. In the end, all the colors blended to make a beautiful picture, his favorite out of all of the tapestries, paintings, and any other work of art that he had seen in his long lifetime of 83 years.
Egbert gently closed his eyes, breathing deeper and deeper and getting closer to unconsciousness. He looked at the tapestry one last time and noticed something in the corner. Something he hadn't noticed before. A signature and a message. Esmeralda's signature.
My dear, Egbert, this is for you, to show you that I'll always be near. I love you, and someday we will meet after I am gone.
Egbert touched her name gently and closed his eyes. Yes, my dear, he thought, silently. We will be together again.
And Egbert faded away, off to see his Esmeralda, as the flames, the flames that couldn't be put out by anything, the flames that brought Egbert back to Esmeralda, the flames that united two hearts again, consumed the tapestry and the man that had been waiting to see his beloved again.
Hey guys, sorry that the end is a little depressing but, hey, at least the king and queen are together again! Please do not kill me for killing off the main character, but I kinda ran out of ideas, so... Yeah, comment, rate, and I hope you liked it!
~ Lexi :)