I have lost count of how many days I have been this strange room. People keep coming in and checking on me, every time I ask them “where am I”, but the only answer I have got was “stop talking”. There are no windows, just a single bed to sleep in. My long black hair blends in with the dark walls. This time I’m going to try something different, they can’t control me forever, I have to take control. I jump at the sound of the door opening. The light from the hallway blinds me. It takes my eyes a couple seconds to adjust, but when they do I see a silhouette of a young girl standing in the doorway. Her knuckles white from squeezing the door knob. Her body trembles and she looks at me in complete fear.
“Just give her the food, Lila.” Says an annoyed voice coming from the hallway. Lila doesn’t respond. Instead we stare at each other for what seems like eternity. Then my thoughts take over. I can’t do anything to her, she’s already afraid of me. She’s afraid of me. She tiptoes over to me, but she doesn’t get close. The metal plate of food crashes to the ground and she sprints to the wooden door, slamming it. The food is on the floor and the metal plate is upside down. The water is spilled on the floor leaving it slippery. I stand up, and try to walk to the door, but my chains stop me. What have I done to make her scared of me. What are they going to do with me? This room in this house smells like defeat, a strong odor, in which I can’t get used to. I eat most of the food, even though most of it has been on the floor, it is the only food that I will get for the rest of day. I freeze. There is the sound of boots coming from the hallway, along with stern voices.
“Get down!”, yelled a stern voice.
“Lila get down!” Screamed a voice that I had heard earlier.
“Where is she!” One yelled over the chaos.
“By the order of King William, we are here to take her, where is she?” yelled another. To get me? Why would they want me? I hear no more talking, only the beating of my heart. Do I want the soldiers to take me? Or do I want to stay in this small room. The sound of boots in the hallway get closer, threatening to take me away. The sound of boots stop outside of my door. There is no talking. No yelling. No screaming for them not to find me. The door opens slowly. The faces of soldiers revealed to me. They walk in, the first soldier holds a lantern in one hand and the others have their swords out and ready. I stay still hoping to blend in to the dark room, but feel sick and pale. His eyes scan the tense room. He stops. Our eyes meet. I try to think of what to do, but his eyes see my ideas, my actions. Seeing my soul. He sheaths his sword.
“Are you crazy!” One soldier exclaims, breaking to silence. I jump.
“What did I tell you Simon?”, His voice starts to rise, “Stop talking!” The soldier in front points to me, and everything goes dark.
I wake to find myself in a small circular, stone room, perhaps a dungeon. Two armed soldiers are at the door, looking at me.
“She’s awake” one soldier tells someone outside of the door.
“Then bring her to the king, like he asked” demanded an annoyed voice.
“As you wish, Capitan” says a soldier.
“It’s not my wish, nothing is ever my wish, just bring her to the king!” the irritated capitan marches away. The soldiers walk over to me, with their stone faces. I try hard to read their expressions, but there is nothing. Nothing at all. They haul me up to stand, and release the chains that connect to the center of cell. I try to walk, but even the idea makes me light headed.
“Drink this, it will make you feel better.” Exclaimed one. I don’t question it, the feeling right now makes me just want lie down. The soldier brings a small cup containing a bright blue substance up to my lips. I swallow the sour tasting medicine and immediately I start to feel better. They bring me to a dark staircase, leading up. I hope I never have to come back down here, in this damp, dark place, but I know I will. The two soldiers lead me up this ever winding staircase. We go in silence.
“Why are you still here?! I told you to go and scout the city for him! It was your fault he escaped, so you are going to be the one to find him!” The Captain's voice makes me jump. Yearning to hear more of the fight, the soldiers take a detour around the tension.
Finally, I see light. I quicken my steps, hoping that the soldiers will too. Despite my hopes they don’t. In fact they seem to be going slower.
“Slow” they tell me, “slow.” Their words make me confused. Slow, why would they want me to go slow? The soldiers stop as we approach the doors.
“You may not speak, unless spoken to. You may not ask questions as to why you are here, you may not ask the king personal questions. You may not insult the kingdom, his kingdom. You always have to address the king as ‘your majesty’ or ‘King William’, and you have to always address the kingdom as his kingdom. And lastly just don’t get yourself killed.” It seems that the last part was directed right to me. The soldiers open the grand door revealing the throne room of King William. The golden light form the sunset outside reflects on the pure gold crown of King William. We walk in. The king stares at me until we stop at his thorne. The soldiers push me down to a kneel, but I refuse. Something in my gut tells me that I have have seen him before. Something tells me to refuse.
“Kneel!” They say. They finally push me down with their strong force. I try to get back up, but they hold me there.
The King starts. “Well Verona we finally got you. This kingdom will finally be able to see who’s in charge again, me. Since your little runaway, Verona, these people have been living in fear. Afraid that you will get out of control.” On his last word I collapse, everything goes black.
I see my childhood village. Children running along the dirt road, parents preparing food for dinner. The jungle around the village is dense this time of year. The hot sun hangs above us, and it was a cloudless day. It was the Navaira Festival, supposed be the happiest day of year. I was 11 and my brother was 8. We were running around the small homes with the other children, playing and laughing. Then we hear galloping horses, coming towards the village. I didn’t think twice, but my brother ran to me and grabbed my arm with great force pulled me to Mom.
“Mom! Horses are coming!” My brother panicked.
“We need to hide her, wait where is Verona?” My Mother noticed.
“She is right…”
I see myself get out of my brother’s grasp and I see me run, not looking back. My mother screams for me to stop, she starts to run after me, but I am faster. I don’t know why I ran, I just had this feeling that I had to get out of there. I see myself run, as fast as my legs could go. I hear my village crumpled behind me, screams full my ears, my brain. Tears start running down my cheek, then my legs give out, and the ground rushes to me. I see myself lay on the leaf covered ground. I see myself cry, regretting leaving my family. What were they going to tell me tonight? Earlier Mom said that she needs to tell me something tonight. The nice, sunny day, turns dark and rains. And slowly I see myself drift asleep. That dream that night when I was running away, was not at all like a dream I had before, Mom was there. She told me that I have to be careful, and to always follow and understand something. She said that something is always telling me information. Mom told me to not tell anyone. But what was it? I see myself jerk awake at sound of horses. I look around, but they seem to be coming from everywhere. My heartbeat quickens until I feel like I am going to throw up. My 11 year old self gets up and starts running, I don’t stop, I keep swinging my clumsy legs. I look down.
“Halt” demands someone. I look up, but it's too late, the front of the body of a horse comes too fast. I fall to ground. My brain hurts and my vision turns blurry. I see myself get grabbed by a silver man on horseback, But I can’t fight, I am weak and they know it.
Now even at 17 years old, I still haven’t forgot about that, despite my hopes. My brain hurts, and a cold cloth covers my forehead.
“Oh, thank heavens,” A kind voices says, “ you’re awake. I thought we would lose you.” I try to sit up on the bed, but my head protests, so I obey and lay back down. The room, white as glistening snow, but this white was not glistening, there was no emotion, no life to it.
“Who are you?” I ask her.
“Well, all you need to know is that I am a nurse here at the castle, and I am here to make sure that you stay, well, alive. We lost you there for a few minutes, but what was weird, is that you screamed, even when you had no heartbeat.”
I start to feel pale again. “You mean I died?”
“Oh dear, do you feel okay, you look pale again. I will be right back I need go tell His majesty.”
I lay there, stunned. I died. It happened, I died. My eyes focus on the pale-pink colored ceiling. My family. If I really did die, then where are they? My mom? My brother? I had always dreamed that when I did die, it wouldn’t be as bad as I dread. I would get see my family again. But now it came and I see no one, no one who really cares about me. My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the door opening.
“I’m back” The nurse told me.
“Where are they?” I ask her, my eyes still facing up.
“My family? Where are they?”
“I’m sorry I still don’t understand.”
“If I am really dead then I should see my mom and my brother.”
“No, no, no. You didn’t have a heartbeat for a few minutes, you have one now. You are alive.” The nurse tries to tell me.
“No you said I died!” At that my head starts pounding, angry I get up off the bed and throw the wet cloth at her, she catches it. I start marching to the door but she gets there first. Her face is wet, tears run down her face. Something in her bright blue eyes tells me that the wet cloth is not what is making the tears.
“Your family is not in this world. You are still alive.” At that I pushed the nurse out of the way, on to the ground and I sprint out the door of the room and don’t look back. I would never look back, never look down. The fallen nurse screams words that I heard before but don’t care about. Then I heard the sound of thick boots running. The sound gets louder. I run faster. I run down the hall, ignoring the overwhelming pain in my head. Sprinting, I hear the shouts of the soldiers running after me, yelling commands, demanding me stop, surrender. The grand door leading to outside comes into view, I sprint faster and I hope that the guards outside don’t hear chaos. Suddenly I hear “FIRE”. Bullets fly past me, threatening to bring me down. I scream, louder than ever. The pain of bullets scraping my skin is unbearable. I push with all my weight on to the door. The grand door opens, leaving me facing the world. And for the first time since my Mom and brother had died, I thought if they would want me to leave, have a life in hiding. Hiding from the king, myself, and reality. Or would they want me to surrender, to be truthful with myself, and leave my life up to king.