Sometimes I don’t understand how I end up in these situations. It used to be small things like taking candy from the gas station. However, when I joined The Bandits, a group of skillful, mischievous girls, everything changed. I went from a low life town thief, to the leader of the Bandits.
After a while of training with the group they had elected me to lead them. So, lead them I did. I lead them through many heists, many rescues, many cons. We enjoyed it, the ten of us, we were a team.
After two months of leading them one of our girls quit and told the monarchy everything about us.(Yes we live in a monarchy, deal with it.) Soon, my name and face was wanted everywhere, dead or alive.
That is pretty much why I am rotting in a jail cell right now. A few weeks ago we were in the middle of pulling an easy election con when the royal guard came down on us. I stayed behind to hold them off so my sisters could escape. We lost two sisters that day.
The cell I am in is located in the very back of their prison. It smells wet and moldy making me gag every time I breathe through my nose. Though they have tried a few things to get me to break, nothing will work. Because I keep telling myself that most girls would dissolve into tears and need some man to come rescue them.
Not me, only I am capable of taking care of me. Never, ever, am I going to be one of those girls. Because those girls are the ones that would tease me and hurt me thru grade school. No way am I going to be like them.
Most days I spend tormenting the guards or bouncing a rubber ball back and forth... Actually I’m scheduled to start annoying my favorite guard right now,
“So, Tom,” His name could be anything but he won’t tell me it. So, I give the guards fake names, “I was just sitting here thinking to myself and the strangest idea came to me. Do you want to know what it is?” I pause even though I know he isn’t going to answer, “Well, if you would just let me out then we both would benefit. I can get out of this filthy stink hole and you, you can stop listening to my crazy ideas and messed up thoughts. Sound great right?” I smile with fake enthusiasm.
A few more minutes tick by before I open my mouth again. But before I can actually say anything he turns and glares at me, “Listen you little runt,” He growls, “The only reason you aren’t dead right now is because the king and queen think you are usful. One word from me though and you will be destroyed. So you better hold your tongue,” He threatens,
“Listen, Tom,” I lean closer to the bars so we are inches apart. His hot breath hits my skin making my stomach churn, “If you could actually get them to kill me, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” My voice is low and menacing. Judging by the shocked look on his face, I think I guessed correctly. With a smirk I return to my daily ball bouncing and drift off into a empty state.
A few hours later, to my utter disbelief, my cell door swings open. A gruff voice I don’t recognize calls me out, “Come, the king wants to see you,” Without hesitation I get up and exit the cell. To my dismay shackles are secured around my wrists the moment I am out.
“Taking no risks I see,” I grumble watching them triple check my restraints. Silently the four guards lead me around the castle until we arrive in the throne room.
The first thing I see when we get there is the king and queen. Second, I see the king’s two sons and daughter. As soon as we enter the room the guards kneel down. I, however, do not. The kings icy glare looks down at me but I don’t flinch. This man killed half of his people and torments them unjustly, no way am I bowing.
“I. Am. Not. Kneeling.” I state bluntly. Everyone in the room stiffens. The king up on the his chair especially. A man standing beside to the king’s right side opposite of the queen steps forward.
“You are authorized to kneel before your king,” At the sound of his voice my own body stiffens. This man killed Sunny and Raven. This man will pay for the pain he caused me and my sisters. Lunging forward I attack him. I somehow manage to get the chains binding me around his neck, I pull tight.
“Murderer,” I growl into his ear. His face is beginning to become purple, he is swinging his arms around trying to claw at me and get me off, “You killed my sisters, now you will pay,” My accent makes my low words shaper and more menacing.
Around me people are just starting to come to their senses. The king is shouting orders, the princes are nowhere to be seen and all the guards are trying to get to me. With every cautious step the guards take towards me the chains in my hands go tighter around the Generals neck,
“Take one more step and I promise no matter what you will be needing a new General after today,” I keep my voice cool and calm, everyone around me freezes. Taking a moment to get a look around my surroundings I take everything in. The marble floors, the grand window, the royal family... Where are the princes? My eyes widen and I realize a second to late. Hands grab me from behind and haul me away from the General.
“Better make your next move wisely,” The prince who grabbed me hisses into my ear. Furious I twist around and look him right in the eye. After a moment of hesitation I start spewing curses at him in my native tongue. My voice is low enough that only he can hear, I’m not even sure if he can speak my language. But he definitely gets the message.
“*Shadow*,” The king booms my name across the room. I flinch at the use of my name, well what I call myself. Everyone in The Bandits goes by a nickname. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn’t. Mine did.
“What could you possibly want, your highness,” I ask sarcastically, still restrained by the prince.
“You are in my palace, in my kingdom. If I were you I would watch my mouth,” The king growls, “Would you like to know why you aren’t dead? Or do you want to go back to your cell for a good month or so and then find out?”
“Gee let me consider it, I’ll get back to you,” Ignoring my sarcasm he continues.
“I King Titus, have brought you here to be a tool. You hear that? Nothing more than a tool,” He repeats like I couldn’t hear him, “You are going to become a guest in this palace and show the kingdom that you think highly of us,” I scoff. I get it now, this man is a lunatic, “You, the leader of the bandits, will show our kingdom that they are ruled by a just and powerful king. Any questions?”
“Uh, just one I think, Why the heck do you think I am going to do any of this?” I ask angrily. This kingdom is on a tipping point, either they are going to hate the royal family or love them. I’m not going to be the little tool they use to show the people that event the most corrupt can be forgiven.
“Well you see,” king Titus smiles evilly at me. “If you don’t we will hunt down your sisters and kill them off one by one. When all of them are gone you’ll have to live your life in that darkcell, with the guilt of knowing you could have stopped their deaths,” I open my mouth then close it again.
“Let go of my arms and unchain me. I’m not going to do anything stupid,” I mutter, to the prince behind me. His brother is now standing beside his sisters again.
“Alright,” He relents releasing me. After massaging my sore wrists I look up at the king.
“Let’s get one thing very clear right now, no matter what you make me say to the people, I hate you. I hate all of you stuck up, evil, high end society royals who walk around doing whatever they want whenever they want. Do you all understand?” Wordlessly they all nod.
“Take Shadow to her room, Lucy,” The king commands, and the princess rises wordlessly leading me away. stiffening ay her touch I take in a breath. As we walkthrough the palace the weight of my situation starts to sink in; I am trapped.
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