The Blood of Roses: Book I; Chapter One

The moon sparkled down onto the newly fallen snow. The trees were silhouettes against the midnight sky. The moat below the castle was a black, shining strip. The scene outside Faeryn’s window sent chills up her back. It was a beautiful picture, yet it was tainted with a sense of lurking evil. Despite the evil feeling, Faeryn longed to be outside. She wanted to escape.
Since her imprisonment two months ago, Faeryn’s radiant beauty had faded as her health failed. Her long golden hair hung heavy and dull upon her shoulders, her fine features sharpened and her slender figure was becoming stooped and weak. Her ragged gown hung in strips from her starving body. Her golden eyes lost their glimmer, and her cheeks were dirty and tear stained. She was often very tired, thus she slept most of the time.
Faeryn sighed, breathing in the crisp February air. A light breeze blew through the window, numbing her. She moved away to the dirty straw pallet that served as her bed. There she curled up and tried to will herself to sleep.
Outside the evil swelled, appoaching the castle. It was like a host of invisible phantoms swirling madly around in the winter air. The fire in the study’s hearth flickered violently. Shutters on the windows slapped against the walls of the castle. The clattering of hooves could be heard shaking the planks of the drawbridge.
Faeryn shivered on her pallet. The sense of evil overpowered her will to sleep. The feeling was familiar, since she had felt it for two months now. Giving up her attempts to find sleep, Faeryn sat up weakly. A faint whinny of a horse reached Faeryn’s tower prison. The girl stood up and paced around the room. The familiarity of the evil feeling did not cease its ability to drive Faeryn temporarily mad.
Foot steps on the stone staircase leading up to the tower pounded against the nervous beating of Faeryn’s heart. Faeryn stopped walking and stood shakily, warily watching the door. The door handle moved, followed by the creaking of the rusty hinges. The crack in the doorway widened to emit an incredible sense of evil that consumed Faeryn’s mind. She fell to the floor helpless and in pain.
In the doorway stood a tall figure surrounded by looming shadows. The February air seemed to accomany the shadows. The figure’s blood red robes rustled with an unidentified breeze. The man’s face was hidden by a large hood, causing the man himself to seem a shadow. Faeryn shuddered on the floor as the man approached her. The door slammed shut on its own accord. the omnious figure stood above Faeryn glaring down at her through the depth of his hood.
Faeryn gasped and attempted to control the emotions that tormented her. Pain convulsed throughout her body. She cried out and sought to strike the man in the leg. The man laughed and used his foot to turn the girl over. She stared up at him, searching the shadows for a face.
“Surrender to the power, Faeryn.” came a gentle voice from beyond the hood. “You’ll feel better.”
“Can’t - you - s-stop - it like you’ve done -before?” Faeryn gasped.
“No, Faeryn, you must surrender to me now,” the voice coaxed. “I’ve ended the feeling for you too many times before. Now, you must end it for yourself. Surrender to the power.”
Faeryn struggled with the idea of letting go to the evil. The pain became worse. She cried out and clutched at the hem of the man’s robes.
The man knelt down at her side. Her eyes had closed and the grip on his robes had loosened. He took her frail hands in his muscular ones and whispered, “Surrender,” pleadingly.
His touch cooled her feverish body. Despite the refreshing touch, the pain continued. Faeryn wanted to die, but still she struggled.
“You are still fighting.” the voice said.
*I can’t let the pain consume me, Faeryn thought.*
“You can,” the mad answered what was in her mind. “If you accept it, the pain will stop.”
Weary and ill, Faeryn could no longer fight. The man’s voice was a soothing contrast to the final sharp pain that tormented her. Unable to fight the evil any longer, Faeryn gave up and fainted away to the power.
The man removed his billowing hood. A weathered, but handsome face was revealed. He looked at his prisoner with a feeling of mercy. She looked so fragile and even though her beauty had faded, her frailness gave her another sort of beauty. He lifted her into his arms and carried her out of the prison cell.