The sun was shining down in to the open clearing, all the daisies and dandelions looked at the golden star drinking in the light, bathing in its heat. I laid amongst the flowers, watching the perfect clouds go by, wishing to be one of them, to be as free as to follow the wind. I let my hands wander over the familiar ground, feeling  each blade of grass as if it was the first time. Butterfly's danced around each other, each colour as dazzling as the last, like flying jewels. The wind gently passed across the clearing, making the tall grass bend and sway, dandelion heads lost their seeds as they flew like little parachutes to the ground. I closed my eyes and let my thoughts be consumed in a clouding dream.

I felt the sun's warmth drench my face, kissing my eyelids delicately, opening my eyes I got up. The sun was high in the sky and my shadow was no more than a black line attached to my feet. Picking up my little basket I headed back towards Eriseth, plucking luscious red berries off the thick green bushes along the way. The mossy smell of rotting vegetation was thick yet comforting, almost pleasant. Rabbits scurried amongst the undergrowth, birds twittered in the canopy above me.  A light breeze passed through the wood, making leaves rustle peacefully, some fell, twisting towards the ground. My basket now full, I started my journey home. Standing on the skirt of the wood I prepared to leave my fantasies behind and put on the face of a perfect citizen. I strolled through rolling fields which carpeted the land between the wood and the city; I took my time to cross dribbling streams and to clamber over wooden fences. I stopped in a field to admire a dark stallion, tall and strong, whipping its mane in the heat. I patted its strong flank and fed it some of the berries i had picked, it looked at me with it's dark eyes and whinnied.

It wasn't long before i reached the main gates. Stepping onto the gravel path i meandered to the ashen doors of the city. The warped wood was old and twisted through centuries of standing strong against weather, vicious armies and unspeakable enemies. I hit the wood hard, three times in succession, the noise echoed around the archway. A square flap opened and a man looked out, his skin wrinkled and weathered like the gate, his skin the same ashen colour. His grey eyes were the same iron cast colour as the metal which kept the gates together.

"What's your business here?" he croaked.

"I'm a local citizen, let me pass gatekeeper," I said

"On your way," he replied, sliding back a heavy bolt, in the huge gates a small door had been carved in to allow traders and citizens into the town easily. I passed through the looming archway and past the gatekeepers piercing eyes into the city. I passed  small thatched cottages, some had smoking chimneys, whilst the children ran about outside playing with dogs. I passed a few streets before I reached Althina square. The large fountain glistened with drops of clear water. A small rainbow shimmered from the sunlight hitting the fall of continuous water. The stalls were bustling with business, fruits were being sold, along with freshly dried leather. I wandered aimlessly across the square heading for home. A loud clinking of metal resounded from every direction, down every street a blinding flash of chestplates made it difficult to look at them.

"She's there!" a man shouted. The speed of the incoming soldiers increased, their pace doubled, quickened. They started to circle me, making it impossible to see from the reflection of the sun. I clutched my basket to my chest in fear. Big hands grasped my upper arms, shoulders, forcing me to march towards the castle. The hustle and bustle of the market life had stopped, everybody was staring at me as I was frog marched out of the square. Walking through the streets surrounded by shining soldiers I hung my head in unknown shame. People whispered as I passed, children were hustled inside by wary parents. The houses either side started to thin out before becoming extinct, up ahead the great castle overshadowed the city. The courtyard was crowded with people and at the front was the king, instantly recognisable with his shining golden crown and long silver beard. The soldiers in front of me parted and those behind me moved to form a line next to those who had already parted away. Most of the kings court was stood with him, his arms folded across his chest, his dark brown eyes glaring with an unforseen hatred. The two soldiers which had remained their tight grip thrusted me forwards, making me stumble to my knees in front of the king. My basket rolled away, the berries scattering like drops of blood of the paved paths.

"You know what you've done..." his deep voice rumbled.

"N-no actually i don't" I stammered, interupting him. His dark eyes looked deep into mine in sheer disgust.

"Don't play fool with me girl. We have evidence that you killed him and for it you've been given a life sentence" he said, keeping his royal compsure.

"Killed who? I havent been here to do anything," I said, rushing to get it all out.

"You've tested my patience already, Xefor take her down to basement level and lock her in room 702"

"Yes sir," Xefor said, the front soldier saluted and grabbed my wrist so tight he threatened to break it. As I was dragged off I saw a glimpse of flaming red in one of the upper open windows. Throught the marble courtyard, statues of past kings stood proud, untouched by time. Hedges perfectly trimmed all along the paths. We entered the dark cold shadow of the castle, stairs were carved into the hard ground, a chilling breeze blew up from out of it. Xefor first, he dragged me down. The cold, hard stones dripped with cold moisture, moss clung to the rocks absorbing all the liquid that it could spreading like an infectious disease. I passed room after room, screams could be heard from behind some of the rotting doors. Sobs echoed from others. Room 702, a dark rotting door had brown rusted numbers on it. The handle was close to falling off, woodworm had infected the whole door. Xefor pulled a ring of keys from his belt, each one a different shape and size. For this particular door he pulled a long brown key out from the others, the rest dropped and clunked together. He put the key into the rusting hole and turned, the lock clicked uneasily. The door swung open, creaking unsteadily, swinging on it's hinges. With a harsh push Xefor pushed me in and slammed the door shut behind me. 

"Enjoy your arrest lady," he chuckled as he turned the key in the lock. I slumped down in the grimy corner and hugged my knees.


The End

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