By Emmaline Westlund
Martyr, © 2011 Emmaline Westlund.
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She spent each day sitting by the window, staring out at the castle she had grown up in, knowing that she would never again walk those halls. Her name was Aurora, and she was the King’s eldest daughter. She had been found guilty of witchcraft when she had lain with her new husband nightly for more than a year without ever falling pregnant. Now she found herself waiting for death, counting off the hours as she waited for her father to give the order that she be executed. It wasn’t a matter of if she would die, but when.
The view from her window at the top of the tower was not a good one; all she could see was the northern wall of the castle and a very small amount of the forest that lay beyond it. On a sunny day, she could see her sister and brother playing just outside the walls. Since learning of her fate, she had spent nearly one hundred days in that room, sitting, just staring out the window.
A sharp knock shook her from her thoughts, and she turned to face the door. “Yes, come in.” As the door swung open, she stood and smoothed her skirt. Into her room came two armed guards followed by her mother and father. Aurora bowed stiffly, making sure not to look at either of them. The King gave a sigh of disapproval, and the Queen took a step forward and reached her hands out to Aurora.