Cry of Pluto This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 2, 2017
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Blood seeped out from underneath her hand as she tried to cover up the wound in her side. It wasn’t deep, but with the amount of blood permeating through the cloth, it was certainly lethal with time. The woman clutched her crimson stained dress while holding her sleeping daughter in her hand. Her wolf shaped necklace dangled from her neck, echoing quietly in the lifeless hallway. Darkness loomed over her as bodies were strewn all over the floor, the wall plastered with both the blood of friends and foes. The scent of rust and despair filled the air; her crown laid cracked on the ground
It was only just yesterday when she could remember the party. In commemoration of their daughter’s birth, it was the grandest ball the kingdom had ever seen. However, when a mysterious figure seemingly came out of nowhere, everything changed for the worst. He demanded to see the king immediately. The king stood up from his throne and addressed him promptly. The only thing the woman saw before the lights went out was the dark and distant yet, insane eyes of the murderer who overthrew the nation within a single night.
A scream echoed across the hallways in the distance. She flicked her head back in a panic and felt her chest tighten when the screams suddenly stopped by the sound of steel against flesh. Her heart began to beat faster and faster, panic settling into her mind. She tripped over one of the bodies on the ground and gasped sharply as she fell. She fell on her back and cried out in pain; the gash in her side reopened, releasing another wave of blood. The baby mumbled in her sleep as the woman shushed her and quickly comforted her back to sleep. She gathered what remained of her strength and pushed herself up off the ground with a groan.
Desperation settling in, she limped over to a room containing four spherical pods. From what little light was shining through the room, she saw that each pod was destroyed from the chaos. Crackles of electricity sparked from each of the destroyed machines. The woman groaned as her dress darkened to a deeper shade of red. She placed her hand on the wall as a small rectangular panel glowed from beneath her hand before unveiling a fifth pod on the opposite side of the room. A moment later, the lid slowly lifted open revealing a single seat within it. She limped over to the open pod and lowered her child into it. She tucked her daughter into the seat, securing her into place. The woman caressed the baby's cheek as a tear fell from her face. Suddenly, the sound of footsteps echoed in the hallway behind her. Realizing her time was running out, she started to input several numbers into the system of the pod.
After she finished, she leaned towards the child's ear and whispered, her voice shaking, “For a little while longer, the Light will be with you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become a child of light.”?
She pressed a button in the interface which caused the pod to glow. The door began to slowly close, sealing the child inside. After a couple of seconds, the floor opened from beneath the pod and it sunk into the ground. The footsteps began to get louder behind the woman before suddenly coming to a halt. She turned around to face the unknown figure. She gripped her necklace while she recited a phrase. She winced as her hand was basked in a bright, blue light. After a few moments, she unsheathed an intricate blade with several markings inscribed in its hilt. She gripped the hilt in her hand as the man took a step towards her.
A deep voice rumbled from the figure, “I’ve never known what freedom is. Trapped by your empire’s rule; His to command and to conquer,” The room resonated with his voice. “People have told me, ‘Don’t rebel, you’ll lose your head.’ But I beg to disagree. You see, I say it’s time for a change; an insurrection you can say. This land is ours to change; The people, not the government. To those who fear death,” He gripped the hilt of the blade and shaked in anger. “I think I would much rather take my last breath here than kneel at another’s foot.”
The woman gasped for breath, “What are you talking about?”
“I would rather follow the path of rebellion and freedom than to face your kingdom’s wrath again.” The sharp sound of steel cut into the woman’s ears as he unsheathed his weapon. A dull green glow, streaked across the blade, faintly lighting up the dark room.
Please Pluto, she thought to herself. Please find a way back. Her vision blurred and her body swung from side to side. She let out a breath to steady herself before charging straight forward. All she saw was a blur before she felt the blade slide into her stomach and out through her back. She felt her own blood curdling behind her throat. She coughed up blood as her grip on her blade weakened before falling to the floor. The man pulled the blade out from her stomach and sheathed it. The woman fell to the ground with a thud. Her heartbeat slowed and her breath became shallow as her vision slowly faded to darkness.






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