True and Proud

   "Hurry now. They're here!" a woman shouts out her front door for her children, as they scramble quickly to meet her. 

   It was early morning, and the sky was on fire, bright and red. Men, women, and children alike rushed for the safety of their homes. Cries and screams could be heard near and distant as innocent families were shot down by arrows and slain by shiny pewter swords. The village was under attack.

   The two children ran up the porch and hugged their mother tight. With haste, the mother shut the door, locking it. She pushed her children into a secret compartment in the floor under a maroon chair. She then shut the shutters of the windows and found herself a place to hide.

   In the compartment under the chair, the children huddled close together. It was small, dark and damp, and smelled of mildew; there was barely enough room for them.  Nobody needed to tell them to remain quiet.

The fact that there was little room did not worry them. Instead, they worried for their mother. Loud bang after bang could be heard upon the white door. Then a thud. The children dared not to breathe or move. Fear consumed them whole, and they whimpered softly in each others arms. Tears leaked from the corners of their eyes as an echoing scream sounded, followed by a cruel laugh.

   "Where are they?" the soldier asked.

   "I know naught of whom you speak," they heard their mother answer the man firmly.

   "The girls! Where have you put them?" He shouted, hitting her in the face.

   "You will not find them," she said, glaring at the man. "Not any time soon," she spat.

   "Very well then," he barked. They heard a sickening snap, followed by short gasp of pain and another thud. The mother, now dead, had been a true and proud woman. She did not deserve such cruelty.

    The soldier stomped through their home, knocking things over and throwing objects aside.

   It could have been hours, days, months, or years that had passed... it wouldn't have mattered either way.

   "They are not here," the soldier said finally as more men intruded.

   "Damn. Where could they be then? Search all of the homes. Do not rest until they are found. Burn everything, and kill everyone. These people have been forsaken by His Glorious Majesty and do not deserve the right of life after committing such treason," a different soldier said. His voice was deep and gruff, and mean, too. This man did not know the meaning of mercy and kindness.

The End

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