The silent night was broken by a bloodcurdling scream. The blackbirds that had been perched asleep in the trees startled and, in a scurry, flew into the dark sky. An orange glow lit up the windows along the stone prison walls, loud hurried footsteps echoed across the cobblestone corridors, their steps urgent and loud. Soon frantic shouting joined the loud cries, getting louder and louder, as the old doctor came busting around the corner, tucking his long shirt into his pants. His leather bag clanked loudly against his thigh; the prison guards stepped aside to let the old man through.
Lying on the dirty floor was a middle-aged woman, her hands clutched at her bulging stomach, a dark liquid oozing around her in a puddle. The guards stood around her, stepping uneasily from foot-to-foot as the old doctor opened up his leather bag. It wasn’t often the prison doctor delivered babies in the cell block. The old doctor lifted his grey head and began barking orders at the guards to bring water and clean cloths so that he could get to work. His jaw tightened as his deft hands concentrated on delivering the child, eyes on the protruding bloody head, he ignored the screams of the pained mother. Her tormented screams rattled the rusty bars on the window and inside the guards' steel helmets. Eventually, the woman passed out, lying in a lake of her own blood. With one last tug, the old doctor removed the child and handed the squirming blue baby to one of the nervous guards “Take it to my office now”. The old doctor stood up on shaky legs and surveyed the mess before him. The woman lay on her back on the floor, her hair was mangled with sweat and blood. Her dress was soaked from the blood on the floor, the fabric sticking to her stomach like a red blanket strewn across her lap. With one last glance he left the guards to clean up the mess, he needed to check on the baby.
The woman woke the following morning, her body felt as if it was ripped apart. Flashbacks from last night flooded her mind, ignoring the pain she jumps off from the hard prison bed and pounds on the solid metal door. The young guard outside the door clenched his teeth, annoyed that he had to be the one to tell her that she lost the child.
Instead of her cries, a deathly still silence filled the room. The kind of silence that speaks a thousand words. The silence that wraps itself around the neck, the kind of silence that squeezes until there’s nothing left to squeeze. She felt no grief at the guard’s words, only anger, she felt anger at the prison, anger at the kingdom, and herself for ending up in here in the first place. Her thoughts turned to her sweet husband; he probably was still in hiding somewhere safe. They had just found out that she was with child before they got caught. She remembers the soldiers breaking through their front door and she distracted them as her husband hurriedly gathered their papers, that was the last time she saw him as she was dragged away.
Hours later as the day became night, she sat unmoving in her cell with her back against the wall, eyes closed. Her fingers lay resting in her lap, the fain tremor coursing through them the only indication that she was still alive. She sat still, allowing her mind to fill with venomous thoughts of vengeance and hatred towards the people who tore her family away. The only sound heard in the late evening was the faint echoes of the guards doing their rounds. Earlier she heard the guard stationed behind the door left. Her thoughts were interrupted by the light tapping on her door and the clanking of a key inside the lock. A dark hooded cladded figure opens the door and peers around the room, a huge grin made its way onto her face as the figure revealed their face.
"It's about time."
The next morning passed in a blur as the prison guards spent hours searching the prison grounds, posters were put up, soldiers were ordered to search houses, yet nothing showed up. She had simply disappeared. Up in his room, the old doctor stood by the window overlooking the kingdom lost in thought until the stirring of the baby roused him. With a heavy heart, he glanced at the sleeping babe, her ruddy cheeks and teary eyes pulled him. Risking his life, he refused to stab the child with the small steel blade in his bag, directly disobeying the King’s orders. Instead, he hid her in his room to buy him some time. However, it wasn’t long before the old doctor was summoned to the throne room and a new doctor was stationed at the prison. The King then decided that the child would remain in the prison with strict orders that she was not allowed to leave the prison and when questioned he wouldn’t say why. What the King didn’t know, was that day he set a series of events into motion that would come to shake the very ground he stood upon.