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  1. #41
    Dinah and Mariel

    In the dungeon beneath Castle Florian

    "I'm sorry," Dinah said, reaching through the bars of her cell door to grasp her sister's hand as best she could. "I never wanted this to happen. I just didn't know what to do. He's the king. How do you say no to the king? And he was just so relentless about it. He was going to get his way eventually, so I thought if I just... gave him what he wanted, it would be over and he'd leave me alone. But it all turned into a nightmare! Please don't hate me. I can't bear it if you hate me too."

    "I don't hate you," Mariel assured her, clinging tightly to as much of Dinah's hand as she could reach. She was the only person who had visited Dinah in the dungeon. "I love you. I'm going to get you out of here."

    Dinah was grateful to her sister for wanting to rescue her, but shook her head. It just wasn't going to be possible. What could a twelve-year-old do against stone walls, iron bars, and a whole bevy of guards determined to keep her imprisoned till her scheduled date of death?

    "There's no changing my fate now," Dinah said gently. "Mariel, I don't want you to attend the execution. They told me what they're going to do to me, and it's... it's bad." Her voice shook at the memory of the detailed description she was given of what awaited her. "You don't need to see it. Just promise me you'll stay well away. I don't want you to remember me that way."

    Dinah knew Mariel was still having nightmares about the torture she had witnessed at the royal wedding. That day Dinah had been kept busy with work from well before dawn till long after the sun had set, and she counted herself fortunate to have missed the sight. Mariel hadn't been so lucky. Dinah could only imagine how much more traumatized the younger girl would be by the sight of her own sister being put to an agonizing death.

    "You aren't going to die," Mariel said determinedly. "I'm going to find Queen Isobel. She's still alive. I heard Willard telling Mother so. He's going off after her. I'm going to find her first, and I'll bring her to help you."

    "Queen Isobel wouldn't care what happens to me," Dinah said, not wanting to cause her sister pain but also not wanting to offer false hope that would only make things harder later. "I was just a servant to her. And besides, we're Willard's stepdaughters. You were there for what Willard did to her. The king and queen may have ordered the torture, but Willard was the one who carried it out, and I'm sure she hasn't forgotten that. She might be happy to see one of us die. Besides, even if you convinced her to come here... what would she be able to do? She can't break through stone and iron any more than we can. Mariel, you just have to prepare yourself..."

    "No!" Mariel sounded angry, though Dinah knew it was from fear. "I'm not going to prepare myself! I'm going to go find Queen Isobel, and she's going to save you like she saved us before when Willard was going to give us away!"

    Dinah considered a moment, and decided not to object any further. She was sure her little sister's plan had no hope of success, but maybe it was still the best alternative. Mariel could go wander around in the woods for awhile trying to find the exiled former queen, and it would get her away from here so she didn't show up for the execution and witness the gore - or worse, attempt to intervene and get herself killed too. Yes, it was probably safer for Mariel to just let her go.

    "Alright," Dinah said, and pressed her face against the cold iron to kiss Mariel's fingertips. "Good luck. Never forget how much I love you."

    (Continued: http://quarrelsandquills.com/showthr...l=1#post249355)
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 11-18-2017 at 04:17 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

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