by Oksana Vasilenko
Copyright Oksana Vasilenko 2010
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Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam.
(Perchance you pronounce my sentence with greater fear than I receive it.)
8 February 1600
The door opened with an ear-splitting screech.
Already? It was barely the crack of dawn. Through the tiny window high above my head I could see the stars blending into the brightening skies. The last day of my life had started.
‘You’re too early, fra’ Ricardo.’ I didn’t bother to turn my head. ‘The crowds haven’t gathered yet. It’ll be no fun.’
‘I’m afraid I’m too late, Nolan.’
The voice was familiar. I turned around, squinting against the flame of the torch. Bright light hurt my eyes—I had spent too long a time in dark dungeons.