Off With Her Head

“Move.”

The point of the spear dug into her lower spine, her face giving way to a wince in the dark tunnel. She had never been on this side of an execution before.

Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot–

She counted how many steps it would take before she would be blinded.

She could hear the gears buried in the walls turning and clacking.

She held her head up, her eyes staying open as the heavy stone doors moved away to the bright and burning Blood Sun that sat in the throne of the coliseum’s magnificent entrance.

They let her keep her crown, almost as a way to shame her since the new government had seen fit to dress her in rags. The black and red gems seemed to ooze as the red sun shined its light into the rock, the reflections “dripping” down the top of her head.

She continued to walk, the people in the crowd raising their fists in agreeance to the event taking place. Only a dozen sat silently, sprinkled throughout the screeching and bellowing folk.

As the crowned yet disheveled queen made her final step to the center of the coliseum, the new leader yelled down to her, something she tuned out every time they opened their mouth. She thanked her gods that this was the last time she had to deal with this person.

She was brought to her knees when she refused to answer a question, the butt of the weapon to remove her head knocking the wind out of her. She huffed a giggle that turned into a howl, the crowd shushing and shivering. The laughing cry of a woman who reigned for nearly a hundred years brought dark clouds over the sun as if a dark handkerchief was cleaning up a spot of blood in the sky. Her laughter continued, the wind kicking up the dust and sand beneath her feet. The new head in power yelled out to swing the ax to end her but the howl of the storm muted his voice. An attentive soldier near the bottom of the stairs saw what was happening higher up and rushed to a less windy part of the stands and aimed their bow and arrow with a steady hand.

The hidden dozen stood up as the rest of the crowd sat down when her laughter stopped. Although the wind had slowed, the storm still remained, red streaks of lightning peeking through the dark clouds.

An arrow pierced through the side of her neck, the possessed grin of madness stayed on her face as her soul slowly and violently pried itself from her physical form. It dripped matter onto the dirt that caused the executioner to vomit and to lose the rest of their faculties.

The dozen had made their way inside the arena itself, muttering a chant as they got closer to the matter of spirit in the center of them. The spirit tittered and twitched, its “eyes” still on the new leader that was stuck in awe as thick and heavy drops of warm rain fell from the sky.

“BLOOD!?”

The crowd scrambled to get out and away from the coliseum, people trampling over each other and stepping in blood from the sky and from someone’s skull.

The dozen spat out one last word before the earth shook. The world around them to started to crumble into the earth below, people screaming as dirt fell on top of them. The new leader panicked as the balcony they were on tumbled onto the bit of dirt that held the dozen and the spirit-matter. The 13 stared at the leader, the same creepy smiling spreading on their faces. The matter spread wide and above the leader’s head before taking it off with one bite.

As the sun poked through the clouds one last time before night arrived, the dozen said one last rite before one of them held a metal orb out in front of them, inscribed with protection. The spirit-matter cackled one last time before being sucked into the orb with the dozen and falling into the dirt below, its old body cradling its new metal home in her caved-in chest.

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