The Traitor’s Daughter
A little girl hid behind a stone column, her tiny hands resting against the cold material. She tried her best to keep her breath quiet so as not to reveal her hiding place. Her chest rose up and down rapidly as she fought to catch her breath, although it was increasingly difficult, since she was attempting to remain quiet. Her large brown eyes darted around her surroundings, as she tried to find any sign of movement. The wood floor creaked somewhere near her, and she immediately covered her mouth with her right hand, hoping it would help to muffle the sounds she was making. She felt as though her breaths were bouncing and traveling among the high eaves up on the ceiling, and she could swear that the sound of her heart beating could be heard all the way across the country.
She spotted a shadow creeping closer to her hiding place, and forced herself to stay in place, no matter how much she wanted to run. The shadow paused a few feet away from her, and panic washed over her as she realized that part of her skirts from her gown was likely exposed behind the column, revealing her hiding place.
Stay put. She told herself. Perhaps he doesn’t see you.
The person moved away, causing their shadow to follow. The young girl removed her hand from her mouth and let out a sigh of relief, but immediately covered her mouth again, knowing that she had made a grave mistake. Suddenly, she was gently grabbed from the side and pulled close to somebody.
“I have got you!” The person said with amusement as she wiggled around and fought to get out of their grasp.
“No, no, let me go! I beg of you!” She protested in a fit of giggles, her words hardly decipherable.
“Did you really think you could hide from me, my dear?” The man spoke, while moving his face down to kiss the young girl’s forehead.
“Papa, your beard,” She protested as she playfully attempted to push him away from her, although he was much stronger than she was.
He laughed, the sound echoing among the eaves, immediately causing the little girl to smile even wide. “Do you meanthisbeard, Elizabeth?” He questioned as he gently rubbed his chin against the girl’s forehead, causing her to laugh. The two sat on the ground together, illuminated by the sunlight that shone through the leaded glass, as a light breeze blew through the open windows, creating a perfect scene. “You are the light of my life, Elizabeth. I love you so very much,” Her father murmured against her forehead as he planted a few kisses on her flushed skin.
Elizabeth closed her eyes and smiled gently before answering.
“I love you too, Papa.”
Without warning, the door opened, causing both of them to turn towards the sound. A woman stood in the doorway, her face shimmering with tears. Elizabeth’s father immediately released his daughter and stood from his place, and took a step towards the woman who had been Elizabeth’s nurse since she had been a newborn.
“Jane? What’s the matter?” Her father asked with concern.
“I’m so sorry, Your Grace. I am so very sorry,” She sobbed as she shook her head from side to side slowly, refusing to look at Elizabeth’s father.
He immediately took a step backwards and maneuvered his body so Elizabeth was shielded behind his body.
The sound of numerous pairs of boots thudding against the stone floor in the corridor outside reached Elizabeth’s ears, and she immediately looked up at her father with worry. What was happening?
Jane was pushed aside by a man who Elizabeth vaguely recognized, who held a scroll out in front of him. He was flanked by many of the king’s guards.
“Elias Ledford,” The man started in a booming voice, which caused Elizabeth to shrink further behind her father. “For committing acts of treason against the crown and His Majesty the king, you are to be taken to the Tower to be detained until further notice.”
“What?” Elizabeth’s father demanded, his voice full of anger. “I have done nothing wrong! You have the wrong man!," He argued. He took a few steps back, causing Elizabeth to do the same. Where they would go, Elizabeth wasn’t sure of, seeing as there was no other way out of the room aside from the door that was being blocked by the king’s guards.
The man who was holding the scroll smiled, and motioned to the guards, while Jane, the woman who had come running into the room before the guards remained on the floor, her sobs resonating throughout the room. Elizabeth wished she would stop.
The guards stepped forward to seize Elizabeth’s father. They grabbed his arms while he struggled against them, calling out for help. Elizabeth did the same, her high-pitched screams causing some of the guards to grimace.
Nobody came for help. Instead, they dragged her father out of the room, and seized Elizabeth, forcing the young girl to move. She tried to fight as best as she could while screaming her father’s name, trying to get them to stop. They picked her up and carried her out of the room, while they led her father outside.
“Get your hands off of my daughter, you scoundrels,” Elias spoke angrily. They didn’t listen. “Elizabeth, I love you, my darling! I pray you never forget it,” Elias exclaimed, his voice shaking just the slightest bit.
“Father, please! Please don’t let them take us! Please,” she shrieked.
Her father was led in an opposite direction, while he continued to fight the guards, declaring his innocence. He kept telling the guards to release his daughter, but they ignored every word he said. Eventually, Elizabeth could no longer hear her father’s cries, but only her own. She had heard stories about the Tower and knew that it was a dark and evil place; a place where her father didn’t belong.
No matter how hard Elizabeth cried or how much she begged to be taken to her father, the people she was taken to ignored her requests and continued to tell her how terrible a person her father was. But she wouldn’t believe it. No. She couldn’t. Her father was a kind hearted man who would never hurt anybody. Elizabeth was sure of it.
She vowed to keep the good memories of her father in her mind, no matter what the bad men were telling her.
Her father was innocent, of that she was certain. And she promised herself that she would stop at nothing to prove that she was correct.
She would stop at nothing to get revenge.