• Even now as old age grips my mind in its cruel poisoned tentacles, taking from me everything I once remembered, one memory still lingers just as sharp and clear as the day it occurred. Every sight, smell, sound, and event that I was involved in, I could recite to you without even the blink of an eye.

    The cool early morning air was clouded with the bile producing aroma of bad magic or, if you will, battle magic. Our forefathers had never intended us to use our powers with such vile intentions, but even so, evil will always endure no matter the time it must wait to reclaim its throne.

    All through the morning the clashes of shields and swords resonated throughout the castle, which even today stands untouched by time. By the noon meal, young men carrying messages scurried about the narrow passages of the castle as if they were mice in a grain room. As I sat quietly picking through my lavish and perfectly cooked meal, I could feel the battle raging on through my whole body, a battle of the oldest kind, a battle over what is good and what is evil. Out in the courtyard the servants gathered together fretting over their loved ones who could have fallen or been harmed in the epic fray that continued evermore outside the castle walls. The sound of thunder blossomed in the air as the winds of change began to work about our fiefdom, almost as if the gods themselves were intervening. My guards worriedly ushered me from the great hall into the throne room with the others of my family who had any right to power.

    Mother had already seated herself in her overly zealous, gold plated throne that had once held my father in his time of glory. I took my own seat a little behind her and to the side, in a modest wooden throne chair with only the carvings of roses to adorn it. Whispers flitted about the throne room, reaching my ears as unintelligible soft sounds of music. Mother gripped the arms of her chair tightly through each boom and crack of magic that filled the air. Guards gripped their weapons and charms ever tightly as the day inched by.
    By early evening the tension in the room had escalated to that of terror, as the sweet music of the battle became ever closer. For the first time that evening my eyes searched about the noble room in search of someone familiar to me. I spotted several of my friends and finally to my relief and horror I spotted the one man who had stolen every inch of my being with only his gentle smile. There only a few steps away stood Nicolas, Captain of the Royal Guards, sporting a grim smile. I stood at once and made my way over to him, my own guards gliding behind me wary of my destination. He met me with a reassuring smile that only lengthened my horror at the plans my people and I had made. Before he had even the chance to take me into his arms, a thunderous sound shook my very bones, making me fight to hold back a smile. Now if only the two other horns would sound, my role in this war would soon be over.

    Everyone waited, the time stretching into seconds, making each and every individual paralyzed by fear, except for me. The final thunder horn sounded, signaling a breach of the castle wall at long last. I waited not one moment to act, even as I saw mother rising from her chair in fright. I quickly hugged Nicolas, and gathering all my strength I put my lips to his forehead before he could tear away from my grasp, he fell to the floor with more than half of the royal guard, fast asleep. I staggered slightly and was caught by Andrayus, my mentor, whose eyes encouraged me to keep going.

    The rest of the royal guard flinched away from me in horror of my deed. Mother stood frozen her eyes locked upon my traitorous face. I gather my skirts from the floor and walked forward up the isle to my mother’s throne, oblivious to the stares of the guards. From my bosom I pulled a crystal dagger made especially for my hand to grasp it. I reached my mother and cupped her face in one of my hands for a hairsbreadth of a second, and just as quickly thrust my dagger through her torso. As her eyes began to dull with the awesome embrace of death I whispered into her ear, “Treat others as you would like to be treated, everything in moderation and, love your kin to the best of your ability. Those are the rules my father taught me to live by, and by watching your actions and the results you were rewarded with, I believe he taught me right. I know that now our people will be put in the most capable hands.” I stepped away from my mother’s dead body, and was caught by my mother’s own guards as my knees buckled beneath me.

    Through the door came a leader of the rebels, all his words caught in his throat at the sight of my mother’s still body. He knelt before me as my guards placed me on my mother’s throne. As everyone began to kneel they stopped short gazing in my direction with wonderment as my mother’s lavish decorations melted away leaving behind a beautiful wooden throne decorated only with the simple carvings of the gods. Taking a deep breath I lifted my spell on the sleeping guards who I had forcefully lulled into deep sleep. The leader of the rebels lifted his head and smile, “I do believe your father also said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

    With those words my day ended with the cheers of my people happy to know that a new era had dawned.