Like a Light. ‘The Diamond of Truth’ Part Five.

When Fel woke, it took her a moment to realise where she was.  It took a little longer for her to remember what she had done let alone open her eyes.  Her chest ached and her nose was itchy with foreign matter.

She turned over.  Stupid fool!  She scolded herself.  The earth beneath her arms felt cold and unfriendly.  The twigs poked into her bare arms and tangled in her hair.  And she was pretty sure her skirt was ruined now.

But she didn’t care, as she stood and surveyed her surroundings, she felt the warmth and love of the sun and its light shining down on her beloved Kyrinia.

Down below where she and her father had landed, she saw the walled city bustling in the midday bustle.  The streets seemed to glitter with gold as the townspeople rushed from left to right over the golden sandstone roads.

This was Kyrinia ten years ago.  Twinkling in the daylight, set in the desert wasteland of Arlord, it was a sand land oasis.  This was the only place where trees from the other worlds grew, flourishing by some unknown power.  They served the kingdom and fed the people.  This was a sacred land.

On her chest the diamond burned and she clutched at it, for a moment, waiting, breathing, letting this past consume her, before letting it go once again.

‘How many years Felicity?’

She turned to face her father.  ‘Ten father.  Two years before mother passed away.’

He stood next to her, his silken robes equally tattered as hers.  ‘I do not want to see this Felicity.’

‘But I do.’

She began walking down the hill.  Her purple silk threads gathered in her hand while she rewrapped the top half.  Her hair which she had never bothered to do, curtained the nape of her neck with natural short curls.  She sighed.

After some time walking her father joined her, a little puffed, but not too shabby.  In the city they exchanged their tattered robes for a cleaner, plainer and more common set of clothes.  Her father winced as he dressed, but Fel just shrugged.  During her short time with her little adopted groups of orphan brother and sisters, she had worn such garments in all kinds of conditions.  But her father didn’t know that, and she was sure when deciding not to tell him.

As they changed though there were gasps in the crowds.  There were whispers passing down the line like a game of secret wish.  Curious she asked the first guy she saw, ‘what’s going on?’

‘It’s the queen.’  He pointed to a slender figure in the centre of the crowd.  Four scarlet figures surrounded her to protect her, but it seemed she refused to let herself be smothered.

‘Queen mother,’ she breathed taking in the strikingly beautiful woman.  She was frail but her smile lit up the world with its sincerity and kindness.  Fel moved closer unwittingly towards the mother she’d lost.  But then she stopped, behind her rose the imposing steps that lead to the palace up the top and beside her was the eight year old Felicity wearing a diamond on her chest.

Fel was captured by this strangely alluring sight.  The Queen was fearless daringly coming out to see her people taking her young daughter too.  Fel remembered this.  She remembered her mother putting the diamond around her neck.

‘Because you are the heir, and what is mine will be yours anyway, wear it for me today,’ Fel whispered.  They were the words her mother had told her once.

A hand touched her shoulder and Fel jumped only to see that it was her father, also captured by the beautiful sight in front of him.

‘Lavinia…’

She touched his hand.  She had been determined to prove to him his wrong, but she had forgotten something as well.  It didn’t matter how truthful she was, down there in the bottom of her heart was the same guilt that she shared with her father.  Together they both were afraid that day.  And somehow Fel had let the magic of the diamond bring her here.

Together they watched as the events unfolded.  Young Felicity never let go of her mother’s hand as they walked through the market.  The guards followed wary.  And the Queen always smiled.  None of them ever expected the horse to come stampeding through the crowd.  In fact, not one of them suspected it to have been a planned event.

The Queen fell first dragging her daughter with her.  Felicity cried out and the guards, though their job was to protect, they couldn’t even do anything as the horse trampled over the Queen and heir presumptive.

Fel looked away, her mother never even screamed once.

The guards attacked the horse, but it grew wilder, continually rearing up and slamming down.  The Queen who was in agony, never let Felicity know how much she was hurting, even though there was blood dripping from her mouth.  And Felicity believed her, staring deeply into her mother’s eyes.  She never looked away once, even though she was so scared.

‘Look at me,’ said the Queen, ‘Look only at me.’

Felicity just looked.  In her head she knew what was happening and knew what the blood was.  But her mother was telling her with a smile that everything was okay.  Her mother was telling her this.  This was her mother.  So everything should be fine.  And Felicity looked at her mother as the guards dragged the horse away, executing it on the spot.  Felicity never looked away once when the women and children screamed and gasped at the execution.  She just kept looking at the smiling face of her mother.

The mother who she loved with all her heart.  The mother who was the light of the dark, shining as brightly as the sun.  But she was a memory.

 

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