“Ana, I need you to feed Brin,” mother calls.
My eyes fly open at her call and I turn over, wishing for more sleep. “Yes mother,” I reply groggily.
I kick my blanket off of me and go over to my dresser. I pick out a pair of brown riding pants and a black shirt to go with it. Once I’ve changed I go over to my small mirror and pull my hair into a ponytail.
I examine my reflection as I tighten my dark brown ponytail that brushes the small of my back. I smile at my reflection in the small mirror and a girl with an olive complexion and hazel eyes smiles back at me. Giving my reflection one more glance, I take my silver locket from where it sits on a table beside my bed.
I gaze at the locket with fondness. It was made by the finest silversmith in Markarth, my great-grandfather. The image of an oak tree is engraved on the front. Mother gave me this locket on my sixteenth birthday. She said that the locket has been passed through the women of our family for generations. Besides my mother, it is means the most to me.
Pulling on a pair of brown leather boots, I hurry down the stairs. Mother is folding the laundry when I enter the kitchen. She looks up at me and smiles. “After you feed Brin, can you sweep off the porch? The wind blew leaves into the town again.”
“Sure,” I reply taking an apple from the table. Outside, the people are milling around as normal but to my surprise, I see General Tulius and the Thalmor near the entrance to Helgen.
Ignoring the Empire’s presence, I walk over to my black mare Brin and pat her on the nose. “Ready for some breakfast?” I ask her.
In answer, Brin makes a grab for my apple. “No way little miss,” I laugh taking a bite of it. “This is my breakfast. Let me go get yours.” I walk around the side of the house and pour a bag of oats in a bucket and haul it over to my horse.
Brin plunges her nose into the food, devouring the oats in a few moments. She nudges my shoulder and I refill the bucket and place it in front of her again.
While Brin is enjoying her breakfast, I pull out the broom and begin to sweep the leaves off the porch. The sound of carriages makes me look up and I see that they’re carrying people. Probably more Stormcloaks who are fighting faithfully for Skyrim’s freedom. I gaze at the prisoners and my heart lurches as I recognize one of them.
“By Talos,” I whisper. “They have Ulfric...” I trail off as my mother comes to stand beside me.
She covers her mouth with her hand and lets out a muffle sob. Once she has composed herself, she lowers her hand and turns to face me. “Ana, go inside,” mother tells me quietly but firmly.
“Mother-” I begin to protest but seeing the distressed look in her eyes I merely nod and go back into the house.
I close the door and have to clutch onto the wall to hold myself upright. Ulfric Stormcloak is the leader of the rebellion against the empire but more than that he is my betrothed.
And now the empire is going to kill him.
“Talos help me,” I whisper.
I hear the Priestess of Arkay giving the prisoners their last rites and then the swing and the fall of an axe.
I can’t help myself, I run to the small window and search for Ulfric . To my relief I see him standing in line with the other prisoners.
“Next, the cat,” I hear the imperial captain call.
Then a roar splits the air and my eyes lift to the sky.
“What was that?” An imperial soldier asks, his voice more curious then afraid.
The captain repeats her call and a slight Khajit woman makes her way to the headsman.
The headsman is lifting the axe when the dragon attacks.The force of it’s roar knocks me to the floor. I’m getting to my feet when my mother bursts through the door.
“Ana,” she gasps. “Go, you have to get out of Helgen. Take Brin and get out.”
“What about you?” I shout over the commotion outside.
“Don’t worry about me,” she replies. “Just go!” She grabs my arm and pulls me out the door. “GO!” She yells pushing me away.
I stumble over to Brin who is bucking wildly trying to free herself from where she is tied to the porch.
As my fumbling fingers untie the rope, I look around the clearing for Ulfric but I can’t see him anywhere. Who I do see is the Khajit woman laying on the ground beside the headsman.
She raises her head weakly and her eyes meet mine. She calls something but I’m too far away to hear.
I mount Brin and race over to the Khajit woman. I lower my hand and call, “Come on.”
The woman pushes herself to her feet and places her hand in mine.
I help her into the saddle then kick Brin into a run. We’re nearing the entrance gate when I see that it’s locked and my stomach drops.
I’m deciding what to do when a ball of fire hits the gates and they burst open. I look back at my companion who just looks back at me with a slightly amused expression.
I turn my attention back to the road and I kick Brin into an extra burst of speed.
As Brin gallops through the burning gates, we leave Helgen and the dragon far behind.