Treachery

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Continued From H Is For Honour

Angry, impatient shouts vibrated the walls of Rebecca’s dark prison. How alone she felt. Her father had come to say good-bye to her hours ago, and her mother had been grieving for her as though she were dead for days.
The guard opened her door at last. She welcomed the light as its rays reminded her that she still had life and senses to savour.
She stood and followed the red coat outside, surprised at her own resignation with death. Would it have been worth it to avoid capture, to survive the end of the war, only to return to normalcy one day? She had not ever imagined herself marrying, and she certainly would not tolerate living under her parents’ roof again. Perhaps she would have taken one of the horses and rode away in search of adventure, but even great journeys needed to have either an end or a purpose, and outside of espionage and smuggling letters, she could not think of any meaning for her life.
She walked on, staring at the sun rather than the faces of those who cheered for her death. Some were probably friends who had watched her grow up, attended her family’s balls. She could not look at them.
“Rebecca.”
His voice made her stomach knot. Brendan stood only three feet away, in front of her audience.
“I am sorry,” she said. Not for her actions, but for the fact that life had to be arranged in such a way that they could be nothing more than enemies, even if they longed for the opposite.
He shook his head. “I begged the Major to free you.” His voice was hoarse.
She reached out to take his hand, to savour the warmth of another human before her body would be sentenced to cold and decay.
The officer in front of her yanked on her chains, sending her to her knees.
“This is unacceptable!” Brendan cried.
“Shut up, whelp!” snarled another officer who came to grab Rebecca’s arm and pull her back to her feet.
She searched for Brendan again, but he had been swallowed up by the aggressive crowd.
At last, she stood at the gallows. Somewhere, her father watched. He promised her that he would be there for her, that she would not be alone. She did not have the heart to try and find Brendan again. A small, sad smile upturned her quivering lips as the executioner secured the rope around her neck. She had fulfilled exactly what Brendan had told her would happen if she did not end her treachery.
Here she was. A traitor. A spy. A woman who had lived her life fiercely and with passion.
“I could not have lived any other way,” she whispered.

-Sara Kjeldsen

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