7.2

Purple eyes watched the sunset once more, envious of the rays that disappeared behind the never ending wall of mountains. It was day three of four, and she just wanted it to end. She missed being able to stand and enjoy the outside without people rushing to check on her. She missed being on horseback and feeling the breeze and sun on her bald head. She missed eating real food and processing the textures and tastes. She missed–

His Majesty walked into her private quarters of the convoy, holding onto a tray that had her “dinner”. She gave him a smile and looked at her hands. They used to be so strong and full of callouses from archery, from wood working. Now they looked so frail and fragile, that if she twitched, her hands might fall off. His Majesty set the plate on her bedside table. A medley of medications sat in a small cup, while a taller cup full of honey water sat next to it. He began to change out her IV bags of various colorful fluids. He wouldn’t allow anyone to do this but him after watching the doctors abuse her while trying to get the ports into her arms, ignoring her pleads for them to stop hurting her. They never made it home to their families that day. After he had disposed the empty bags, he leaned down and kissed her cheek, smiling at her. She smiled back, her strength growing from seeing him smile.

They were childhood friends and were arranged to be married since birth. When they would visit each other in their respective kingdoms, he would never leave her side. They would cross hidden streams deep within the forests that sat outside her home, and they would sit under the shade of the lone palm tree that sat in his courtyard and read. She taught home how to fire an arrow, and he taught her how to ride atop a horse. She was the first one to hold his hands, while he was the first one to initiate their first kiss.

After they had gotten married, they murdered their families. They had spent years talking with close friends, planning how they would make their families pay for the horrors they had to endure as children. After the speeches, she had ordered a toast. He smiled, agreeing. The close friends were part of the staff, moving about the ballroom with ease, exchanging empty wine glasses with full ones laced with poison that would be handed to extended family members. As they thrust their glasses in the air and started drinking the King and Queen watched, drinking water from their own glasses. Once an uncle had fallen face-first into his plate of food, they pulled out daggers hidden under their wedding clothes, moving behind their parents and slicing their throats.

Once the screaming started it, it was too late. The “intimate” party of 200 were locked in the ballroom with them and their friends. Blood covered the front of the Queen’s pearl white dress. The King’s eyes were wild with bloodlust as he stabbed a distant cousin in the chest, remembering a memory of deceit and pain. Those who tried to fight were too drunk to swing their swords or punch or shoot them. As the Queen pulled her dagger from her own brother’s spine, she tossed her head back, letting out a deep sigh. Her King walked to her side, grabbing her by the hip and kissing her neck. They thanked their friends for the help, changing out of their blood covered clothes as their friends robbed the guests of their jewelry and money. When everyone was changed and thoroughly robbed, the poured gasoline in the room, pouring it over bodies and into surprised mouths.

As the ballroom fire spread throughout the rest of the castle, the King and Queen hugged their friends before getting into the King’s car and driving off from the scene. Locals still haven’t been able to figure out what the hell happened that night.

He helped her drink her honey water as she took her “dinner”. He placed a hand on her cheek, watching her eyes. He could tell she was tired of existing like this. He shouldn’t have gotten her pregnant. He should have been more careful. She placed a thin hand on his, a tear falling down her cheek. He pressed his forehead against hers, crying with her.

They arrived at the medical cabin a bit after dawn two days later. The Queen was still asleep as they moved her bed from her room in the convoy to a sterile room in the cabin. Dr. Tory moved about the room as the King watched his wife. Dr. Tory was about to hook the Queen to an IV when the King shot her a stare that made her turn around and go back to her computer. He got his wife situated with the IV and Dr. Tory came back, clicking a cold, metal band closed on her forehead.

“Okay, this will make sure that I am safe and that the portal will stay open until I come back. Are you ready to see yourself from 300 years ago?” she teased. He didn’t smile. She turned her attention back to her work.

The Queen started to groan, curling her fingers and toes, and she started to have contractions.

“Looks like its showtime,” Dr. Tory said, watching the Queen and checking her levels. An hour went by before the Queen let out a sharp scream, blood pouring from between her legs. Dr. Tory nodded at the King, whose cheeks were wet with tears as he watched his wife start to die. He squeezed her hand, trying his best to comfort her as the baby slipped out of her. As Dr. Tory caught the baby, she tapped the band on her head, wind rushing into the room as the spot in front of her started to open. She was bathed in a red light that would protect her from breaking time and space by covering her face. Just in case she was on the other side of the portal as well. The King pleaded to his wife for forgiveness, placing his forehead on hers, but she was already gone. He sobbed, his eyes changing color again.

You knew this was the cost. I need that other baby,” the voice from inside his mind demanded. The king turned his attention to the portal in front of Dr. Tory, watching her hold the seed that had sucked the life out of his wife to please the spirit inside him. As Dr. Tory stepped into the portal, he could see the dark portal the spirit came from. It laughed.

Who knew it was me whom I was stealing from,” it joked.

NATH Y’RAL RO GATHO!” Dr. Tory called out. The King, the spirit rather, had told the doctor that it would confuse its former self so that she would have enough time to switch out the babies.

When the doctor stepped back to her side of the portal, holding a nearly identical baby, the King was inconsolable as he tried to get the love of his life to wake again. Her purple eyes were still open. But instead of pain, they held peace. Her pain was finally over. She could finally rest once more.

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