I woke up in a cell with my hands cuffed to a hook on the wall. My head was hurting and I had no recollection of what happened. One minute I was fighting in the battle and the next, my head was covered with a sack and I instantly went limp.
I stood up and dragged myself to the window to look outside. The building was floating on water. Where was I? I must have been drugged for the whole journey. I heard the sound of footsteps approaching the cell. I stood back ready to face them. I didn’t want them to find me on my feet like a beggar.
The girl that opened the door was tiny and wistful like a flower. She had long red braids that came over to her shoulders. She looked at me hesitantly before she fully stepped into the cell making way for the man behind her.
The first thing I notice is the edge of a golden sword tucked into a patch tied to his trousers. He had a rough beard and deep brown eyes that were cold.
He stepped in and looked at me, his facial expression blank as a canvas the whole time. The girl looks to him constantly as if to get reassurance. After what seems like a decade of him inspecting the room and me, he turned around to her and said, “Untie her. She’s a prisoner not a criminal.”
“What’s the difference?” I blurted out to my surprise. The silent gasp of the girl was the hint it was the wrong move.
He wore an amused expression on his for a short while – I could have sworn I saw the peep of a smile – then his face was blank again.
“And bring her food to eat.”
He turned around and walked out of the cell not responding to my question leaving behind the girl with the red braids.
She moved towards me hesitantly and pulled out the keys to unlock the cuffs binding my hands and legs.
“Thank you.” I said and she smiled in response.
The next time I saw her was in my court. News of her fighting prowess spread around the region like wildfire. Her ability to bring her opponent to their knees with her sword was the talk of many kingdoms and when I got news that I would have to capture her on the battle field I had no intention of being her latest victim.
My sword was the first thing she looked at when I entered her cell. The marking of a true warrior. This morning she appears in my court before the chiefs but before her appearance she sent a message through Fiya that her hands and feet were to be left uncuffed otherwise she wouldn’t come.
I don’t know what game her father is playing with her life but if she is found guilty today, the law sticks and there won’t be much I can do to save her.
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this short extract, thank you for reading. In sha Allah when I actually edit the whole story, I can share it in full. Don’t forget to check out the audio journals if you’re interested in doing the challenge in October. You’ll be amazed at what you can do in a month.