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Marerider

United States

Hey I'm a sixteen year old aspiring writer and horse trainer! I'm homeschooled and I love serving my God! I enjoy writing, reading, riding my mares, and any kind if sewing or embroidery!

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The Twisting Dagger #cliffhangerqueencontest

December 25, 2018

FREE WRITING

5
Gregory stalked through the forest, his left hand resting on his sword hilt and his right brushing the thick branches out of his way. He could not go as fast as he would have liked for fear of tripping as the light that filtered through the thick leaves was faint, but he kept on. With each step he took his chest ached. It felt as if someone had driven a dagger into it, and every time he thought about it a pang shot through him. He had been a fool. Again! To be tricked once was pardonable, but to fall for the same trick twice was just humiliating! He had been so sure that Talia was different from Jenna, that she would never betray him. But she did. He thought bitterly and at that thought he felt the dagger twist. 
​    He had gone searching for her as soon as he returned from his assignment. He had found important information regarding the war. He found her in the palace garden, with her high-ranking friends. He hadn't let that bother him. She'd always told him rank didn't matter to her and that she would see him anytime.
    He laughed derisively; anytime, right.
​    He had called out to her from a little ways away. She had turned and seen him. When he first saw her he could have sworn she looked glad to see him, relieved that he had returned safely. Then her expression shifted and she frowned.
​    "What are you doing here, Gregory?" Her voice had sounded annoyed and stopped him in his tracks.
​    "I need to talk to you. It's important." He tried to convey the urgency of his message with his voice. Talia turned away.
​    "Go away, Gregory. I'm busy." She started talking to her friends and slipped her hand into the arm of one of the young men. That was the moment the dagger had plunged into his chest. No, he had thought, not again.
    Gregory slapped at a branch and barely managed to duck in time when it came swinging back at him.
​    "Stupid branch." He muttered continuing on. "Well, it won't happen again." He said to himself. "I'm done with women, especially high-ranking ones. They aren't worth the trouble." Twice he had fallen in love above his station. Twice his heart had been broken. He would not let it happen again. He was leaving Tenzia and he was not coming back.
​    Gregory continued on, trying not to think about Talia and ignore the pain in his chest. Suddenly, he heard a voice. He froze, listening.
​    "Ahh, I have found you. Thought you could get away, did you?" Gregory thought the voice sounded vaguely familiar, but it was the sound of the next one that drove the dagger deeper into his heart.
​    "Let me go." Talia said. Her voice was defiant. Gregory found himself moving in her direction, the sound of her voice drawing him in just as it had done the first time he heard it.
​     "With all you know?" The man laughed. "You are a fool to think I would let you live."
​     "Please, just leave me alone!" Talia said. Her voice still strong, but slightly unsure.
​     "No, you don't deserve to live after all you have done." Gregory had reached the edge of a clearing. In the middle he could see Talia, she was as beautiful as always, her golden hair and blue dress shining in the moonlight, a pang traveled out from the dagger. Her tormentor was a tall man dressed in green, his back was to Gregory and he couldn’t see his face, but it sounded like the spymaster. What was he doing chasing Talia?
​    "I haven't done anything." Talia said. Her voice now sounded desperate as if she was trying to convince herself of that. The man laughed again. 
​    "Oh, so it isn't your fault your family is dead? It isn't your fault your cousin is in the dungeon? It isn't your fault the country is on the brink of war? That the nobles are questioning their rulers?" With each accusation Talia seemed to shrink, her courage fading. 
​    "Please, please stop." She was on her knees now, sobbing. Part of Gregory wanted to run to her. To comfort her and tell her that all of this wasn't her fault. The other part told him that she deserved this. That she should feel pain as he did.
    The man towered over Talia and reached for his sword.
​    "And if all that wasn't enough, you played with Gregory's feelings, made him think you cared, then stabbed him in the back." The dagger twisted and the small part of Gregory that stood detached from this scene quietly noted that she had stabbed him in the chest, not the back, but that was irrelevant.   
​    Talia cried out, sinking to her side and tucking her head in.
​    "No! I do care about him. I saved him." Talia was desperate, again sounding as if she was trying to convince herself that she was not the terrible person this man said she was. Gregory tensed. What? The man laughed. 
​    "You saved him?" He was mocking her now. "Do you think that is how he sees it? All he knows is that the woman he loved, betrayed him. You turned your back on him, humiliated him! Hurt him in just the way he was hurt before! Made the pain and betrayal twice as terrible!" 
​   "Please!" Talia shouted. "I did save him. You had your men waiting all throughout that garden. The instant I ran to him, hugged him, showed that I cared, told him how I missed him, they would have killed him. Taken him, just like you have taken everyone else I have ever loved." Tears streamed down Talia's face. Her voice broke. "I couldn't let you have him too." 
​    "Do you think he would thank you?" The man asked. "You broke his heart! He hates you now! He probably curses the day he met you!" Talia cringed with each word the man spoke. When he was done she lay limp on the ground. Out of tears, out of fight.
​    "Please." She whispered one last time. "I love him." At those three words Gregory's heart stopped. She loved him? The pain from the dagger lessened, just for a moment. Did she really mean those words?

​    Talia lay on the cold hard ground, but she didn't feel any of it. All she felt was the pain in her heart and the guilt over what she had helped accomplish, however unknowingly. Kirnan raised his sword, preparing to end her life. She couldn't bring herself to care. She couldn't fight anymore. She was too tired. Everyone would probably be better off without her anyway. She always seemed to bring harm to those she cared about. The sword swung down, Talia closed her eyes.
    Gregory stood at the edge of the clearing. A war raging within him. He saw the man advance toward Talia, sword raised. Should he save her? Give her another chance? The dagger twisted sharply as Gregory saw the man prepare to strike and in that instant… he made his choice.

 
This is a piece I had published earlier under a different title and without the cliff hanger. When I saw the contest though I immediately thought of this piece and the potential it had, with a few adjustments, to be a cliff hanger! So here it is! I hope you enjoyed it!

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  • December 25, 2018 - 7:24pm (Now Viewing)

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6 Comments
  • The Bubbling Pen

    amazing piece, I love it!! <3 especially how you slowly build up the plot line through dialogue :)


    5 months ago
  • Quille

    Winners announced! :)
    https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/103314/version/197305
    Thank you for entering :DD


    5 months ago
  • spearmint

    And this is why I hate cliffhangers. You made a really good one, and now I kind of hate you because I don't know what's coming next. Good job!!


    6 months ago
  • Marerider

    Thanks for the comment! Tenzia is the country he lives in.


    7 months ago
  • muppet

    neat! i really like historical fiction. this reminds me of the medieval era, which is like, my favorite. i have a victorian piece published if you're interested, it's called 'the juice of apples and other fruits.' anywhomst, i really liked this. i like the parallel between gregory and talia. my only question is when it says, "he was leaving Tenzia" does it mean he's leaving Talia or where he lives?


    7 months ago
  • Quille

    Awesome! I think you did a really good job with the cliffhanger while still providing a good conclusion to this piece! :D


    7 months ago