Sunday 12 – Thursday 16 August 2012
‘Patrick, do you think this is wise?’ Ruby hesitantly asked. Patrick, considering her question, scratched his head, and glanced over at his sleeping children.
‘I will fight for the freedom of my children, Ruby. Other than them, I have nothing left to lose. I honestly don’t know if it’s the smartest thing to do, but she can’t keep getting away with executing people because she feels like it,’ he replied.
‘And what happens if you don’t come back from this? If you and your new friends fail? Josslyn will have you killed if you don’t die in battle,’ she said.
Patrick looked over at his children again. It was an end that he had thought about several times since Elle and Barnaby’s visit.
‘If we fail . . . that’s not an option, Ruby.’
‘You’re very sure,’ she stated. Patrick shrugged his shoulders. There was nothing he could say that would reassure Ruby that what he was about to embark on was a good idea.
He adored his children, and had worshipped his wife, but it was a life that Josslyn had ripped from him, and he would make her pay.
‘My wife, your husband, Richard’s children . . . everyone here lost someone, Ruby. Some lost more than one. Don’t you think that we owe it to them to fight back?’
The mention of her husband caused Ruby to catch her breath.
‘Hans wouldn’t have wanted any more death. He would had talked sense into you all,’ she snapped.
‘But what do you want, Ruby?’ Patrick gently asked her.
She held his gaze for a few seconds and then lowered her eyes to the ground, ashamed at what she really thought.
‘I want her – if I was younger, I’d do it myself. I want her to suffer the same way she’s making me suffer. And then I want her dead,’ she couldn’t disguise the anger in her voice.
‘Then you understand,’ Patrick whispered, ‘why I have to do this?’ He reached out and took her hands. She nodded.
‘Yes, I do. You go and do what you need to. I’ll take care of the children.’
At the same moment in time that Patrick and Ruby reached an understanding, Queen Josslyn received a visitor. He stumbled into the room followed by two burly guards. One kicked the man’s legs from beneath him, causing him to fall face first onto the stone floor. The other guard gripped the visitor’s shoulder and held him in a kneeling position. Queen Josslyn eyed the man suspiciously.
‘Who are you, and what is it that you want?’ she demanded.
He stumbled over his words just as he’d stumbled over his own feet.
‘Michael Smith, your majesty. I’m from the village –’
‘The one that burned the other day?’ Josslyn asked.
‘Yes, ma’am. I come with word of a plot against you,’ Michael replied.
. . . To be continued . . .