“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE ARE BESEIGED?”
If Sarah had been in the Princess’s room she probably would have heard Wholawski’s bellow. Unfortunately, she had just entered the Great Hall and her ears rung with its force. The messenger looked petrified. The lad’s knees knocked together and Sarah felt sorry for the young man.
“Well speak up!” General Wholawski demanded as the man began to stammer.
Sarah set the tray of food down and stayed to listen and eat.
“Th, there’s a ring of pikes th, that’s been p, put up from the r, river to the la, lake around the fo, fortress.”
“What direction does it point?” Wholawski growled.
“T, toward us,” the young man stammered.
“Take a nice step back for me, please.”
The smile on the General’s face spoke danger despite his politeness. The man stepped back with a gulp, his fear palpable.
“Goodwoman Sarah, push that for me.”
Wholawski’s foot indicated a strange lever on the floor that was obviously foot operated. Sarah glanced at the trembling messenger and then at Wholawski. The General grabbed his food as he looked expectantly at her.
Gods forgive me for whatever I’m about to do, she whispered to herself as she pushed the board forward.
The young man yelped as the floor disappeared from below his feet. Sarah let her foot off the lever with a sharp intake of breath. But it was too late, the man had already fallen.
“Do not worry,” Wholawski patted her arm. “Not many are lucky enough to survive the fall. Why don’t you go tell the Jailer he’s got fresh meat for the wall while I inspect this siege that was mentioned.”
“Of course,” Sarah rose and took the empty tray with her. After all, she’d be passing by the kitchen. Sharon wasn’t there when Sarah set the tray down, so she didn’t stay long. One of the girls she’d met in the Bake house grabbed her arm.
“Are we being rescued?” she whispered.
“Don’t know,” Sarah stated.
She left quickly and moved purposefully down the hall. The guards were conspicuously absent from the guard hall and Sarah took the opportunity to look out. There was chaos by the gate, she hoped James was okay and that he’d returned. Shaking her head Sarah moved on down to the dungeon.
The doors to the cellblock and hall of horrors were closed. She heard a whip crack and a scream from the hall just as she was about to open the door. Snatching her hand away Sarah decided instead to see if the lad had survived the fall or not. The least she could do was offer him a swift death if he was still alive. Her stomach churned.
I can’t believe I’m thinking like this. She swallowed.
Mercy is a gift of the Gods, Jason’s whisper consoled her, do it in their name.
Right, Sarah replied, not really feeling all that better. Thou shalt not kill, was the commandment she had learned.