The Lady Beatrix (NaNo 2010)

When King Roald of Disnarta is murdered, the kingdom falls into turmoil. The rightful heir to the throne flees, fearing for his life, the suspicion of murder fallen upon him, and his cousin takes the throne. The Lady Beatrix must choose her side and stand by it, as must all in Disnarta. But when you don't know who might turn and betray you to the enemy, how can you decide who to trust... ?

A black and white world.

Grey shadows. Black sky. White light.

Dawn fills the blanks, dripping the world with colour.

Out of the shadows emerge nightmare beings made normal. Gateposts, once twisted like human bodies, now everyday and simple. Boulders like lurking monsters in the dark changed with a touch of colour. Light dispels nightmares of this kind.

But the worst nightmares are the ones even light cannot banish.

The young man stands tall and upright, his sandy coloured hair flopping wild and unkempt over his face. He wears a heavy green cloak, but push it aside and beneath it lies a sword, concealed with the last of the night’s dark.

Beneath him, as he watches, the valley that was once his home changes from grey nightmare to green heaven. He does not belong there any more.

He has done things he will never forgive himself for. Not till the end of his days.

But this is his country. Selfishly, he still wants it, even if it casts him aside as a toy too soon grown tired of. His country, his people - they need protection.

Some men sit and watch, disgusted, talking of some hero they need. Some turn their faces away, pretend it doesn’t exist. Others join in, greed and lust pushing them to greater heights of wrongdoing.

But rarely do you come across one who does not watch, who does not turn away, who does not join. But who fights. Who stands up and declares for all to hear ‘this is wrong’. And who does something to change that.

This man is one of these rarities. And that makes him all the more precious.

The man continues down the mountain path, his pack slung over one shoulder, whistling gaily, but with eyes set in determination.

He knows what is to come.

And he is ready for it.

The End

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