Once Upon a Time/8


By the time she arrived, her legs were about to give. She stopped at the castle's gate and tried to slow down her breathing. After a few moments, she straightened up and walked into the castle. She only had to move a few feet when she saw the huge crowd gathered.
She saw her family on their knees at the king's feet, his son next to him. She started to push away through the crowds, trying to get a closer look. The people around her shoved her back as she tried to excuse herself and move through the crowd. Once she finally reached the front, she jumped up onto the platform and found herself face to face with the king. She glanced quickly at the prince and saw the suprised look on his face.
She bowed her head slightly and said, "If you'll excuse me, my dear king. I am part of this family."
Her mother looked at her sharply, she felt a pang, her mother still looked at her as if she were a stranger.
The king nodded and replied, "Yes, I know. They abandoned you when you were a child, because you were different. They deserve to be punished for such behavior."
"I know, but if I have reached the point where I have been able to forgive them. Does it give you the right to punish these people for something that they did so many years ago?"
The king's eyes flared, "How dare you talk to me in such a manner? I am the king! If I see it fit to punish your family for a wrongdoing, then it will be so!"
Before the king could continue, the prince put his hand on his father's shoulder and said, "My king, don't listen to this girl. She is obviously crazy. Let's not do more harm to her than she has already suffered."
She stared at him, but he looked away. How dare he! She thought. She fidgeted with her fingers. She couldn't let her family die. Everyone knew that there was no way out of the island. Once they were thrown into the water, they would die from swimming for too long. The whirlpool would just pull them under if they couldn't make it back to shore.
Her mind searched for a way out, but there didn't seem to be anything she could do. The prince looked at her compassionately and a hint of something else. His look confused her. As if she was struck by lightening, she looked around. The castle wasn't very far from the beach. There were some guards at the other exit, the one that went directly to the beach. She felt her family's, her guardian, the prince and even the king's eyes on her as she stood there without making a sound. She turned on her heel and started running. She ran so fast, she even suprised herself. She reached the guards and before they could grab her, she ducked and went out the gate. Only a few more steps, she thought, as her body screamed from the exhaustion. She could hardly breathe. Yet, she had to get to the water.
When she finally did, she could hear the crowd that had come after her. It had taken them several moments to realize what she was doing. Her feet touched the water and she heard the prince shout, "No! You will never come back!" As the water grew deeper, she started wading in, she could feel the pull of the water, but she kept kicking her legs. The shouts had become distant and all she saw was water.
To her suprise, she wasn't scared.


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