The Autumn Queen No. 1 – Elodie

This is Part 1 of a Serial called The Autumn Queen. A link to the next part is at the bottom.

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When the guards burst in, I had my back to the door, and Kellis was only inches away, hand on his sword. “Why are you doing this?” he hissed in my face, narrowing his eyes. “What could you possibly have to gain from saying these things?”

Before I could answer him, three of my men were grappling him, pulling him back and away. He was raving all the while, but they managed to wear him down, pinning him to the stone floor in a puddle of cold moonlight. “Do you even remember what it was like?” he wondered, panting, breath become plumes of misting silver in the chill room. “Do you remember, at all, the court of the Autumn Queen? You were there, Elodie!” he shouted at me, twisting, straining, turning to look up over his shoulder at me as the guards tightened the shackles on his wrists.

“I wasn’t,” I said numbly, shaking my head in denial.

“You were there!” Kellis raged, his eyes wild, his muscles trembling as he fought against his captors. For one terrifying moment, he broke free of them, and lunged for me. His teeth were bared in a snarl of hatred I didn’t want to understand. “Liar!”

“I’m sorry, Kel,” I whispered, looking at him, shaking my head. My eyes stung, but now was not the time. I glanced to the Lieutenant, who looked stone-faced, and said, “Take him to Elias. My brother will… handle… him.”

“Traitor!” Kellis screamed. I could see the cords standing out on his neck. “TRAITOR!”

“Yes, Commander,” the Lieutenant said, nodding. He and the guards dragged the struggling knight back and away from me; it took four of them to subdue his fury. I closed the door behind them and continued my ascent to the tower, putting as many steps between myself and the sound of betrayal as I could.

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