He was woken up by loud shouting from the burly guards. The door to his cell opened with loud shriek that made his head hurt. Two sets of arms pulled him up against his will. He tried to thrash out but it hopeless, he was far too weak and malnourished. He tried to stay on his feet but the guards were moving to quickly and he couldn't hope to keep up. He slipped and ended up being dragged painfully across the stone floor, then even more painfully, up sets of stairs.
He couldn't even begin to measure his relief as he was released, nor his shock as he smelled clean, unputrid air fill his tired lungs. His body collapsed under him, he would've made sounds of complaint, but his throat was so parched, even a cough hurt like a thousand needles. Using all his strength he sat up and looked through the thick tangled mess of black and dirt that was his hair and saw a tall, well built man tower over him, he had a receding, grey hairline and cold stormy blue eyes that brimmed with disgust.
“Here he is, murdering freak” He said to someone else before storming out of the room, placing a foot on his back and forcing him back to the hard floor as he did. He heard the clip-clap of high heels come closer. He kept his chin resting on the gritty floor, not wanting to feel heels on his back.
“Do you have the strength to stand up?” A soft female voice asked, He flicked his brown, green-flecked eyes upwards to see a woman in a simple dress. Her long brown hair had been pulled into a plait and she had baby blue eyes, such a contrast to the blue eyes that had glared at him seconds ago.
“I can help you move to the chair if you want” She said, reaching for his arm. He jerked away from her touch and stood up on his own, it was a slow and agonizing process. But walking was harder still. His legs couldn't support his body anymore, what was left of it. He lifted one foot and dragged it forward before he began to fall. The woman caught him, her sweet honey perfume washing over him. He wanted to struggle against her and have at least a small amount of dignity before his death sentence was announced. But she ignored his weak fumblings and sat him in the chair. She walked behind a small, simple, wooden desk with a few papers on it and studied him.
“Francis Myre” She began, picking up some papers and reading out loud, “You are convicted of murdering the high lord Lexington using methods of the blade and poisonous herb, and as the laws of Cosilla state. You are to be killed. But your-” She hesitated, searching for the right wording, “Special circumstance, allows you the opportunity to pay back your debt by serving Cosilla”
“You mean 'cause I'm a freak” he growled, ignoring the gut-wrenching pain each vowel caused him. She looked at him, her blue eyes thick with pity.
“You have a chance to join the Gifted, it's that or death. All you need to do is pick” She said matter-of-factly, her arms crossed, ruby lips pursed. Francis felt a smile touched his dry, cracked, bleeding lips. Finally showing her true colours he thought. He considered her two options. Death certainly held it's appeal. Being free of it all at last. Being oblivious of everything that's ever happened to him. But the idea of giving up on just being. Just existing seemed weak. And if there's one thing Francis Myre would never be, it was weak. No matter what that Lexington bastard had told him his whole life. Francis was strong. He had fought back and he was innocent. But in the eyes of these ignorant people, he was very guilty.
“When do I start work?” Francis whispered, his heartbeat erratic from this new possibility. He had long accepted that his life was forfeit. As those words left his sore mouth he wondered if he would regret not choosing oblivion.