EllaMature

I had always marvelled at sunlight, ever since I was a child. My mother used to say my hair looked like it was one with the sunlight. But what I loved most is when I could watch the sun streaming in rays through the trees, and eventhough the branches were rustling with the wind, everything seemed to be still and peaceful.

That's what I was watching now; one beam of sunlight braving its way in to the leafy canopy, and on discovering it could not exit, it fell to the floor softly, caressing the dusty floor. I smiled from the tree I was perched in. Surely there is nothing more beautiful than nature? Nothing stronger, nothing as everlasting? You cannot hurt a sun beam, cannot stop it from shining through if it wishes, cannot escape from it.

The cooing of a pigeon reached my ears. I slipped down from the tree and stretched my muscles, allowing myself one last longing glance at the soft ray of sunlight, solitary, in the middle of the trees. And then I left, silently on the leafy earth, to find food for my people.

***

The market place was busy, and I had to keep a close eye on the people around me so they wouldn't knock in to the food I had bought. As I made my way through the crowds, head down so they wouldn't see my face, I heard a bell begin to ring. I thought nothing of it, but as it continued I began to realise this ringing meant something important. People began gossiping, wondering what all the uproar could be about. And then, suddenly, as if some signal had sounded, a hush filled the market. All I could hear was the clattering of a singular horse. And then the clattering became louder, until a soldier in full armour gallpoed in to the crowded place.

"The King is dead! The King is dead!" There was a hush, one pause for only a second, before the wailing began. Women clutched their children and buyers stopped selling their wares. And I, I slipped from that place and headed back in to the woods. Nature took a back seat in my interests now. All I could do was hurry home as fast as possible. When I reached the familiar path I cast around to make sure I had not been followed, then headed into the darkness.

"Father! Father! News from the village!" My father turned from his business and opened his arms.

"Daughter, you have returned! And what news should concern me from that place?"

"The King is dead."

The End

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