Prologue to a story I have been writing. First time writer and just wanted some feedback.
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The Revolution failed…..
The people gather in the courtyard of Agros Castle, solemn and somber as they witness the fall of great men, and the death of a revolution. Not a single sound is heard, not a whisper of a jeer or a hint of a taunt. This crowd is not gathered to enjoy the sight taking place before them, they are here as silent solidarity offered to these lost souls.
Rising quietly, the onlookers watch as the men are shuffled onto the gallows, arms linked, and hands tied behind their backs. United until the end. These men comprise the council of The Revolution, the bringers of truth and justice, and the last hope of the people of Agros. The greatness they were meant to achieve and the peace they would bring the kingdom will fade today with the setting sun.
“A declaration by his mightiness King Liam, King of the Agros Realm, third of the five realms in the Lands of Caine. These men are accused and found guilty of the crimes of conspiracy against the crown and treason. For these crimes, they shall be hanged by the neck until dead. To show the extent of his mercy and grace, King Liam has granted these traitors the chance to confess their crimes and purge their souls before death. Speak your peace now,” a guard standing in the center of the gallows reads aloud.
Not a single man speaks. They all stand completely still, resolute in the face of death.
Twenty yards from the gallows, King Liam sits, observing each man like a bird of prey. His once black hair falls over his forehead in grey strings, and his dark brown eyes hold a hint of pleasure as he looks over the condemned men. With high cheekbones and a strong jaw, he has all the potential to be an attractive man. But a black soul can ruin even the most handsome face, and Liam Taylor’s soul is pure evil.
All at once, the eight men step forward as one to accept the nooses hanging before them. The crowd surges forward with a roar of anger and despair as the guards tighten the loops around the men’s necks and untie their hands from behind their backs. These men, who have become beacons of strength and hope in the darkness, now face death at the hands of the man who delivered the kingdom into the darkness.
A low hum of unrest continues through the crowd, and King Liam nods to his guard captain. Moments later, the yard fills with additional guards, but they are almost instantly outnumbered as the crowd grows and swells with newcomers. Soon the yard is overflowing with sympathetic spectators and uneasy guards.
The accused men grasp forearms, uniting once again, and stare directly into the growing crowd of friends and family. An ear-piercing scream is heard as a woman crumples to the ground near the front of the gallows, and the crowd expands and condenses around her. A guard grabs the woman in an attempt to drag her away, but the tension is too high and the crowd is too irritable.
Three men jump the guard as he makes off with the woman, and the four men wrestle over the woman’s limp body. In an instant the dam breaks and the crowd shifts from sympathetic bystanders to riotous protestors. Guards draw their weapons and brandish them threateningly to regain control, but it is too far gone, and they are greatly outnumbered.
Men and women begin attacking guards with sticks, rocks, and their bare hands. Cries of fear, pain, and rage mix together as hundreds of people turn on a few dozen guards in defense of the injustice being done to these men.
The accused stand still as statues, arms held and eyes forward as hell opens around them.
“Drop the damn floor and get this crowd under control!” Liam shouts to his captain, but his words are lost in the chaos. Seeing that his men are all engaged in fighting, he slowly rises from his seat and strolls towards the gallows. These men will die today, one way or another.
In an attempt to shield the condemned men, the people have surged and congregated around the gallows. Liam slowly draws his sword from the scabbard at his waist as he advances towards the throng of protesters. Several see him coming and withdraw into the crowd, but four men stand their ground between the accused and the devil himself.
The first man steps forward and attempts to block Liam’s path with a large stick. This is all the opening Liam needs to unleash his fury. He takes the man with the stick out quickly by slashing his leg with the sword and then running him through as he bows towards the ground. The next two men charge at the same time, but he is prepared. Liam brings his sword across the abdomen of the second man, spins, and buries it in the skull of the third.
Suddenly, he feels a sharp pain in the back of his head and his vision blurs. He quickly recovers and turns to find the fourth behind him, holding a bloody rock. He touches the back of his head and feels the sticky warmth of blood.
“You have courage boy. It’s a shame you chose the wrong cause to fight for,” Liam says to the boy, and a boy he is. He can’t be more than 10 years old.
“I fight with those who stand for honor and justice,” the boy says, and Liam shakes his head in pity. He draws his dagger from his sleeve and begins to toss it from hand to hand, and the boy watches it fly, completely transfixed. Liam tosses the dagger into his left hand and quickly grabs the boy by the back of the head with his right hand, pulling the boy towards him until their faces are only inches apart. Struggling, the boy tries to pull away, but Liam lifts the dagger to his throat and presses it into the skin until a trickle of blood runs down his neck.
“Go ahead and kill me!” Yells the boy.
“Oh, I will. Then I will climb onto that gallows, pull that lever, and kill those traitorous bastards. By the end of the today, I will be sitting on my throne, and you, those men, and anyone else who stands against me will be rotting in a field behind my castle, “Liam calmly says.
The boy’s eyes widen and he opens his mouth to speak again, but Liam quickly pushes the blade deeper into his throat and draws it across, silencing the child forever. He lets go and steps over the body as it crumples to the ground. He slowly climbs the stairs onto the gallows and stops at the top, taking in the sight of the eight men still standing silently watching the chaos in his courtyard. A wide smile spreads across his face as he sees the bodies littering the courtyard and the blood saturating the ground. He reaches into his pants pocket for a small golden whistle and lets out three short and one long whistle. With that, two hundred guards flood the yard with weapons drawn. The riot is over within minutes and those left alive are lined up before of the gallows.
Liam calmly leans against the lever that will drop the floor out from under the men as he looks out into the faces of his ‘loyal’ subjects. Most of the crowd looks away or shouts in anger, but one woman standing near the front of the gallows draws his attention. She doesn’t protest or look away in horror, instead, she stares straight at him with a mischievous grin. Staring directly at her, he pulls the lever but she doesn’t so much as flinch. He only looks away to take in the looks of shock and rage on the faces that stare back at him.
With the quick pull of a lever, eight lives and The Revolution are lost.
And the rebellion is born.