The Young Page

“The Night Queen must not ride alone,” (Episode 5 of Uprising — a six-part serialized fiction story)

( Need to catch up? Read From The Beginning | Read Episode 4 )

The King’s healers were brought in, and they bandaged his wound. He was angry — and secretly afraid.

“What manner of women are these?” he thought.

Two riders approached at a gallop. With tensions running high, a sentry killed one of them before the other gave the day’s word, his name and rank, and begged for mercy. He brought news from behind the wall. “Death and misery, Oh Light, Sehenis take pity on me, death and misery for us and our men. No one inside, fire archers all around. All dead, our men. Nothing inside — empty are the storerooms, the halls, the keep.” He wept. A silence fell upon the men around him.

When the ghastly news reached the wounded King, he bellowed. “Redouble your efforts! I want her whole host dead, and her head on my lance. I will piss into her skull before I leave this wretched place! Now see it’s done, or your head may just do for it!” His face was contorted into a horrific mask.

By dusk the Sargathian army broke through the Ulliahim lines. The Lyrrah had fought ardently, and even the Ulliahim peasants and merchants had slain some foes, but numbers are merciless, and ten-to-one begets a dark fate. By nightfall, the Ulliahim forces had been vanquished.

The Queen was alone now. An evil arrow had found Dayloh’i neck. Two more ‘Queens’ had yet risen, but by night they too had fallen. The silver warrior was, finally, indeed the Night Queen, and it was an end to all ruses. She summoned a Reb’Mantu and bade him bring the remaining fighters behind the city walls.

The command was relayed, repeated, and soon the surviving Ulliahim and remaining Lyrrah sank back behind the gates.

Only one stayed by her side, a very young page. “I ride to my death, child,” the Queen said. “Go to the walls.”

“The Night Queen must not ride alone,” said the young girl stubbornly. “The Ulliahim Lyrrah do not cower.”

The Queen smiled, tears streaming down her blood-smeared face. “Words, child, they’re just words. You need not die for them.” The girl said nothing, but rode silently by the Queen’s side. “They’ll rape you, torture you and kill you, you fool. Turn away.”

The girl rode on. “The Night Queen must not ride alone,” she said quietly. They rode together, and together they entered the Sargathian camp.

They were tied and bound, chains on their ankles, and brought into the Red King’s tent. The Red King staggered from a cot onto his feet. He spat blood. “Is it the Night Whore who kneels before me?” he said, with effort.

The Queen spoke quietly, but with a steady voice. “I am Amera’i Dainaxis, Third of my Line, Queen of the Night and Protector of the City State of Ulliah, The Golden City. I kneel before you, and I surrender my life to you. I plead mercy for my people.”

A silence followed her words. A long silence. She dared look up, and found, to her astonishment, that the Red King was dead.

👉 Read the Final Chapter — Rising Up 😀

Activist. Public speaker. Writer. Community Organizer. Mom. Creator & Host, Empowered Trans Woman Summit. Managing Editor, EmpoweredTransWoman.com

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