My first attempt at fictional writing in a while. Enjoy!

Their looks didn’t scare her. She’d grown used to them. Nothing they could do would frighten her away. Since when was silence valued? People were given voices to speak, to express emotions, to tell stories.

Well, maybe not that last part.

A recent change had occurred amongst the people. They used to be energetic, with wide eyes and vast imaginations. Now they shuffle about, doing their daily tasks barely uttering a complete sentence to each other. The reason for the change came from the new leaders, those in power who could enforce any rule at merely their own willing desire. A conservative clan who rose to power through gaining favor among the people by actually giving back instead of taking everything from them, they felt that the only words that should be spoken were those of a pure, truthful nature. Anything else was to be considered malicious and, if deemed severe enough, treated as heresy.

Emma wasn’t bothered by such threats. She refused to let go of what life was once like, when children could be children, running wild and free. She grasped hold of her vivid imagination and eloquent manner of speaking with everything that she had. Every day she would go to the square and begin telling stories, whatever was on her mind. She’d gained not one ounce of favor for her bold defiance, but instead lost what few friends she’d had and was constantly in the presence of taunts and threats about being punished.

Then one day….

She was in the middle of a tale about a brave servant boy traveling the kingdom in search of his one true love, the king’s ward who had been taken captive by a clan of ruthless bandits. She noticed the people’s attitude changed, they actually were paying attention to her this time, some even smiling slightly. Emma sensed something wasn’t right, but she was a performer, and didn’t let her unease seep into her story. She continued on bravely, trying to ignore the onlookers and bystanders.

A small cluster of horses and riders clothed in black, the royal color, suddenly came barrelling into the square, separating the crowd that had gathered. She attempted to continue through the scene, her mind whirling so fast it was difficult to concentrate. A few of the riders dismounted their horses and walked towards her, one drawing their weapon.  As they approached her, he began to speak, but his words blurred together and she couldn’t focus on what was being said. After all this time, she’d dismissed their petty threats but now they’d come true. It was happening.

With a forceful grip, she was pulled forward, almost losing her footing. Her heartbeat pounded thunderously loud behind her ears and her vision blurred. She was terrified. She imagined what would happen to her. Images danced before her eyes, a stake surrounded by burning flames, the final knot being tied on a hangman’s noose, the sunlight catching the sharpened blade of an axe as it was raised…..

It was too much. She fell to the ground, unconscious. Darkness crept up to take her away, and she welcomed it gladly, seeking relief from this hellish nightmare.

The End

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