A Prophecy Is Born
I stared at my reflection in the crystal double doors that would lead me to a new life. My face was as pale as the freshly fallen snow outside, almost as if the bouquet of red roses I was clutching in my hand was draining my life force to maintain their vibrant color. My brown hair was held in place by a simple white lace vale stopped at my chest. I smoothed my simple white floor length gown with my free hand before someone pulled my hand away quickly, and knotted their tan fingers through my pale ones.
I smiled as brown eyes, met emerald green, and I saw short blonde hair the color of honey.
“Ready for your funeral?” My companion asked, and I smiled slightly, “Seems like these two are.”
He added looking at the two emotionless young guards wearing the traditional black suit, tie and dress shoes required for them to wear formal events. The only difference between them being one had strawberry blonde hair while the other had jet black hair, both were about tall, and had cold dark eyes that looked as if the life had left them years ago. I looked away from them quickly and gazed into the eyes that always reminded me of springtime. His attire was similar to the guards; the only difference was he was wearing a silver vest with a matching tie over his white dress shirt.
I slip my arm through his so I could lean in close to him without drawing attention to us. I can do this right? It isn’t that hard. I just have to marry him, produce his heirs, and he’ll help protect my kingdom. No big deal right? I felt a sharp prick on my finger and peered down to see drops of blood dripping down the fabric of my dress, staining its pristine appearance. Mom would have a fit when she saw this. I could change into my spare gown, and ask Riley to provide a diversion. No that would probably take too much time.
“You know it would take you hours to bleed to death that way?” Riley said amused as he pulled a soft black handkerchief stuffed in his breast pocket.
He pressed the handkerchief firmly around my finger in order to stop the bleeding. Always so thoughtful taking into my account anything I needed.
“Except physically, maybe you could convince the prince to let you use him as a consort. Riley could do all of the foreplay, and Mr. His Royal Grouchiness can finish the job,” My subconscious offered slyly as she twirled in her white dress in my head.
“Easier said than done,” I said quietly, blowing some of the beads hanging in front of my eyes out of the way.
“What? I didn’t know pre-wedding jitters included talking to yourself.” He said as he chuckled, his voice low, and comforting as if he were always about to tell you a bedtime story.
He seemed like one of those people who would tuck his kids in at night, and tell them a bedtime story. I could just see him lying on the floor in front of their beds while they fell asleep. Then because he would be too tired to move, he would just sleep there, and sneak out before his kids woke up the next morning. He would make a great father and husband one day.
“He could have been yours if you would have accepted his offer,” My subconscious pointed out. She’s never usually this chatty, only when Riley is involved. “Because you LOVE HIM.” She added, “No we are just friends. You are the one that loves him.” I said back calmly, adjusting my vale again so it dug into my scalp.
“You do realize we are the same person right? I’m just not bound by my country to do anything. I can make all of the inappropriate comments I want because only you can hear me. One wrong move and your head gets chopped off, stuffed, and mounted to a plaque to be hung in the royal study.” She said as she rested on her elbows.
“Exactly, See? This is why we must marry the prince.” I said , nodding my head glad to see that she is finally seeing sense.
“Ana, Are you okay?” Don’t make me have to drag you down the aisle.” Riley said smiling , but it doesn’t seem right as if he was putting on a face for the public, which I suppose, he was.
“Sorry Riles, I was distracted thinking about other things.” You mostly.
“Imaging your future children with the Great Stone Wall?” He chuckled, but it sounded more like a choke as if he had to force the words out.
“Something like that, you okay?” I asked, looking around for a pitcher of water so he wouldn’t see the sadness in my eyes.
“Just emotional. It’s not every day that your best friend marries a human statue.” He said as he playfully wiped away an imaginary tear.
I swatted him with my flowers.
“Must everything be a joke?” I asked as I rolled my eyes.
“Yes, because otherwise, you would end up like those guards over there. Watch, he’s about to catch a fly in his mouth.” Riley whispered amused as a fly flew straight into the black-haired guard’s mouth.
He handled it gracefully by putting his mouth into the crook of his arm to stifle his cough. I looked down at the stone floor as my lips curved into a smile. Riley, however, laughed loudly earning a glare from the strawberry blonde guard, causing Riley to be very interested in the sapphire stone pillar the choking guard leaned his back against.
I looked amused and elbowed him slightly to let him know he wasn’t fooling anyone.
Then I realized something he said earlier, “Riley? Where’s my father?” I said searching the room for my father’s short stocky frame, and “silvering” black hair.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. “ Riley said, rubbing his hands over his face. “I received a message from him this morning saying that he is very sorry, but his business with the Northern Kingdom would keep him tied up for a few more days. He requested that I walk you down the aisle, and give you away to the prince.” He explained calmly rubbing my back. “I cannot believe this.” I huffed as I moved away from Riley. I paced around him.
“We’ll just have to postpone the wedding until he gets back. He was the one who agreed to this alliance. It would be wrong to have him miss the alliance he fought so hard to bring about be joined forever like he wanted. “ I said keeping my flowers behind my back.
“And give the troops outside a reason to charge the palace walls?” A voice behind me said, and it takes every part of me not to visibly cringe as I turn to face the same emerald green eyes I have come to adore on her cousin, but they come from a much more ambitious soul. Her face is white like the dishes they use to serve our meals in the banquet hall. Her lips are blood red.
Riley always jokes that her lips are so red from sucking out the life force of all of the victims, and her inky black hair is a mirror to the color of her heart. She is wearing a long silk dress that matches her green eyes perfectly. There is a large emerald hanging down to rest on her chest, and I find myself wanting to know what royal favors she had to do in order to receive such a necklace.
“What are you talking about Ariadne?” I asked her not trying to hide the contempt in my voice.
“The Northern King has posted 20,000 troops who are surrounding the castle as a little incentive to ensure that his son’s getting married today. “ She said smiling, her eyes glowing with happiness at my possible demise.
“What would give him the idea that I would not honor our agreement?” I ask keeping my voice steady even though inside I am panicking. Did he somehow find out about my friendship with Riley, and has convinced himself that I am going to run away with him, and betray the agreement to join our two kingdoms? I glare at the girl in front of me.
“What did you do?” I asked glaring at her. I tried not to imagine her erupting into flames like the witches she admires so much. This would be a terrible way to be remembered as a ruler. The sort whose nobles came up missing after disagreements with their queen. I smelled the scent of something burning behind me.
“Ana, Move your flowers” Riley commented calmly only they were no longer the blood red roses from a little bit ago. They were charged bits of ash.
I flushed with embarrassment as I looked at ruined flowers, “How’s the dress look Riles?” I asked as I spun around for him.
“The back is a little charred but nothing a simple change won’t fix.” Riley said smiling. “Ariadne go distract the prince we all know you are good at that.
Ariadne smiled, “Anything for our future queen.” I arched an eyebrow at her sudden urge to help the good of the crown.
“Do I want to know?” I asked Riley as he ushered me to a door in the back of the room.
“No time for that now hurry up and change.” He said as he shoved me into the small space. I glared at the door.
“I could have you arrested for mistreatment of the queen. “ I joked as I imagined my dress on the floor around my ankles. The soft fabric laying at my feet.
“You would never do that. You love me too much.” He said, his voice muffled by both the door, and me sliding the new dress over my head. This knocked my vale off my head, tearing it from my scalp.
I contemplated fixing it with my powers after all in about an hour or so that’s probably all I’m going to be able to use them for, unless we’re at war. Thanks to my new husband. Who came up with that stupid rule anyway? Why would you pass on the strongest powers to the female in most cases if her mate is the one who gets to decide how much power she has?
I glare at the door angry at the choices that have been made for me. I should not be forced to marry someone who I do not love for the sake of keeping my kingdom protected from my enemies.
“That’s a princesses job though to serve her country, and her people.” My subconscious said.
I rolled my eyes. Now you’re choosing to agree with me?” I asked her annoyed as I put my hands on my hips.
“I’m all for the power of love, and everything, but did forget about the 20,000 troops outside ready to storm the castle if we don’t marry His Royal Grumpiness?” She reminds me, mirroring my gesture.
“Of course I haven’t forgotten I meant for our future generations.” I said as I placed the vale upon my head.
“How do you propose we do that? The daughters will suffer the same fate.” My subconscious said glumly.
“Not if we bind the powers.” I said in a singsong voice as I remembered a passage in the old book father gave me so I would understand the history of my powers.
One night I came across a passage that read. “If a possessor of the powers feels her partner will abuse her powers. She may bind them so that she may choose whom among the future generations shall receive the special gift. However, the possessor must have full control over her powers when she makes the decree. This is possible on nights of the lunar eclipse, once every 5 years on the anniversary of her birth, and the day of her wedding up until her final vows are taken. “
I make sure my dress is free of wrinkles, open the door, and turn around so Riley can button the buttons along the back. I offered him my arm “Shall we?”
He arched an eyebrow at my sudden change in mood but waved to the guards to open the door.
I, Anastasia Fille, Keeper of the sacred powers, decree that the powers shall not be passed down until there are two descendants, one from my line and one from my husband’s whom are pure of heart, and love each other unconditionally, so much so that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for each other.” I say to myself as I walked down the aisle to my fate. I walked toward the man with cold sapphire eyes, and a cruel smile.
He may have had a fit body with muscles that would make every other girl in the kingdom swoon. I knew better. I knew his heart was shriveled by his obsession with grief and power. I said I do with a smile on my face knowing that one day, one of my ancestor’s wouldn’t have to suffer my fate.