Sometimes the truth could be hard to handle.

But she wouldn't break.

They had already begun drawing blood, the red liquid staining her filthy, torn clothing. Her mouth was set in a tight line, lips pale with the effort of keeping quiet. With every torture weapon they brought out, she kept still, as relaxed as possible, breathing heavily through her nose when the agony slammed into her.

But she wouldn't break.

She wouldn't give them the satisfaction of her screams, her pain, her brokenness.

The betrayal she felt.

Instead, she drifts off against the present, memories flooding her mind of more pleasant times, when she was loved and ruled a happy people. No, not ruled...guided. A time when she led the outcasts, the shamed, the abhorred, all to a new life. She was a generous queen. Her people admired her.

So she thought.

It wasn't long before someone began to hate her. War was always inevitable, as were the rumors and tension produced by it. Battles brought her staggering back to the kingdom, dripping, wounded, and after one particular disturbing skirmish, left her womb shredded to pieces. With her lineage doomed to a sterile end, they felt uncertain. What would become of them? Surely she couldn't live forever, she would grow old and die, and they would be once again undefended. Open to the accusers. Left to be killed. One by one, the people began to hate what at a time had been their shield. One by one, they plotted her downfall.

One by one, they ripped her of her dignity.

She didn't feel remorse. She had led them to the best of her abilities--she pretended she understood why the turned against her while they were being picked off by the hundred. The truth was that she didn't. Why hurt what saved you? Who saved you? It didn't make sense. But, then again, she reasons, neither did human emotions.

The dagger slices, white hot, into her abused flesh.

Lashes against her back, rips apart muscle and sinew. She refrains from stiffening. It wouldn't do any good to fight the pain. She's forgotten how many days have passed here, alone but for the tormentor. She doesn't respond to the taunts, the questions. It was easy to rise to the bait, to answer clearly, well, except for the constant choke of blood.

It must be painful, to think that such an end is coming. To know that escape is not guaranteed...

She can't bring herself to tell them it is hopeless, what they are doing. Through their anger, they aren't able to see.

She's been healing through each torture with ease after the sun sets.

The End

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