The Last Angel

                    

            "How sick is he?" Lord Darius asked as he wrung and twisted his used-to-be flawless red and blue striped cap. Doctor Lawerence, who was leaning over a purple-canopied bed where an elderly man was sleeping, slowly took his hand away from the old man's pulse and shook his head. "I'm afraid there is nothing more we can do."

Lord Darius twisted his cap harder and stared at the old man desperately. Please do not die my friend please do not die. The old man ignored Lord Darius's silent plea and slept on, Darius studied his friend's raisin wrinkles that lined every corner of his face. His small cracked lips that use to be bursting with wit now lay crumpled and drained. The once shimmering dark brown hair faded with his friend's life force and his unseen pale green eyes flickered like green flames. Joneas, please do not leave us, if you do we are all doomed, Lord Darius pushed away the doctor and grasped his friend's hand. "Joneas, Joneas, Joneas! Please answer me!"

            The doctor grasped Lord Darius's shoulder and moved him to the side so he could take the old man's pulse again. "How much longer?" Lord Darius asked his voice quivering with inconsolable sobs. The doctor held the man's wrist, watched his watch for a few minutes, and then held a hand that went limp from the ending life force of Lord Darius's friend. "I'm sorry my Lord but Emperor Joneas has been taken to heaven," mumbling a little prayer the doctor closed the dead Emperor's eyes and rose to get up. Lord Darius grasped the Emperor's hand once more and looked at his best friend's face. Oh Joneas, my dear, dear friend, you have destroyed us all!

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            "And I hereby Crown you Emperor Bafilor ruler of the land of Charity." The Archbishop then placed a solid gold, ruby studded crown upon the head of a kneeling brown-haired, green-eyed, and wickedly grinning man. The new Emperor stood and turned to face the royal court. Everyone gazed at him with a mixture of admiration and fear. Lord Darius was among the ones who watched him in fear. Is this what you wanted Joneas? To put your tyrannical son on the throne and let him kill all that dares to anger him. I tried to convince you Joneas, but you did not listen and now look! You have put a madman on your throne!

            "My friends, my countrymen, my loyal servants," the Emperor smiled like a slaughtering devil and paced up and down the steps of the church, "I know that some of you believed in my father's way of governing but let me assure you that my way of running an empire shall impress you beyond mortal imagination. Let go of my father's foolish belief of peace and brotherly love. Those silly notions shall give us nothing but a weak empire and state of mind. I, your faithful Emperor, will root out those who believe these notions and restore true power upon the kingdom and royal court of Charity."

            The royal court foolishly clapped at the speech not knowing its true meaning. Lord Darius stared at Bafilor's satisfied grin and shivered. Joneas, if only you did not leave us, this would have never happened; it would have never been planned. The true meaning of those honeyed words your only son uttered will bring nothing but death and destruction. Did it ever occur to you of the true colors of his plans, his plans to kill those who were loyal to you and build an empire of blood and tears? Did you realize that he hated your beliefs beyond reason and plotted against you for years? Joneas, you have put the devil himself in charge of your country.

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            "HELP! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP US!" an Angelus woman screamed as a burly solider pushed her into the cage. Several of the Angelus clan members followed suit and screamed their pleas to the silent woods.

            A large, heavily armored, man who sat upon a royal court horse with the new Crest of the Emperor on its forehead, laughed like a hyena and said, "No one can save you, Insolent traitors of the Emperor! You shall all rot in the bowels of hell!" He continued to laugh.

            "Why are we traitors?" a brave Angelus man yelled, "we have never plotted against the Emperor, nor have we disobeyed him! You are arresting innocent people!"

The armored man motioned for the Angelus man to be brought forward to him. "You are charged with the treasonous act of loyalty to Emperor Joneas!"

            "Emperor Joneas was a kind, fair, ruler who, unlike his son, would never dip his hands into innocent blood!" The Angelus shouted as he struggled for freedom. The armored man smiled and grabbed the insolent Angelus's throat. He gasped for breath, and kicked his legs furiously. "If I were you," the armored man said as he clutched the throat tighter, "I would never be insolent to men who are stronger then you'll ever be." The armored man then broke the Angelus man's neck and cackled into the sky.

            Meanwhile a black-haired woman dressed in white and clutching a small bundle in her arms ran through the forest as fast as her legs could carry her. The branches of the trees caught hold of her skirt and tried to hold her back but still she ran. Sounds of horses running and soldiers shouting came from behind her and were gaining fast the woman ran faster and stopped to look for a hiding place. Her eyes quickly darted left and right and then spotted a hollow willow tree in a clearing. She rushed towards it and climbed in. Breathing heavily she listened for the soldiers, they were coming closer towards the tree, she had to do something!

Staring at the bundle in her arms, she began to cry as she set it down. A five-year-old child then burst from the bundle and reached for the woman. "Mama!" Motioning for her child to be quiet, she placed a dagger in her hands, "take care of this dagger Eleanor for this is the key to your past and future." Turning her head, she prepared to run out of the tree. "Mama," said Eleanor as she reached for her mother again. "Stay here Eleanor," her mother ordered. Noticing the hurt in her daughter's eyes she planted a kiss on her head, "I love you," and then without so much of a backwards glance she raced out of the tree. Eleanor attempted to follow but then she heard the screams, the screams of her mother's slow and painful death. She backed into the tree and huddled into a ball, "Mama" she cried. "Mama!"