The Dark Side of Heaven

Rebecca Jones

They began in three different places: Anella, right where she should be, Restella in the practice field, amidst the warriors, and Serella with a heathen tribe that planned to sacrifice her. But in the end they were all in the same place, in love with the wrong man, unhappy, and determined to change it. And maybe, just maybe, if everything worked as planned, they could prove themselves, and receive what they most coveted. But they would find that perhaps their dreams came from the wrong side of fate, and their destiny is much darker than their past.

Chapter One

Restella jumped up onto the horse, excitement coursing through her veins. The Dark Night jumped up behind her and put an iron arm around her, holding her to him as the horse galloped like lightening into the sunset. Restella laughed with pure joy, feeling the wind blow against her. "Having fun kiddo?"

"Yes sir!" They rode for a time, until they had left the castle behind, and all that was ahead or behind were rolling hills and green fields. The Dark Night jumped off and lifted Restella, gesturing around him.

"This, this is the most beautiful place the world has ever known. And it's all yours, Princess."

"No, it belongs to my father then Anella after him."

"You don't think his new wife will give him a son?"

"I have cursed her womb. Any man who kills his wife because she is barren does not deserve what he most covets."

"You are no witch, kiddo. How do you know it will work?"

"Some things I know. My mother, when she knew she was dying, taught me enough to make myself useful. She told me never to let my father win."

"What about the young wife though? Is it not a woman's sole purpose in life to give her husband sons? How will she feel if she is unable to fulfill her dream?"

"How do you know that's what she really wants? If she has any brains to her, she'll be glad she never had to bear a child to that man."

"For such a terrible view of your own father, he seems to like you."

"He promised me my choice in marriage. That is my one power, the one thing I am able to do. Everything else is up to him, and I have no doubt he will make my life more than difficult."

The Dark Knight laughed, hugging the girl close, watching the last rays of the sun disappear behind a hill. "May I ask a favor of you, Princess?"

"It depends on the favor."

Above her, The Dark Knight smiled. "You know the little baby I brought with me, Ron?"


"Would you take care of him for me?"

"You're not leaving, are you?"

"No, I'll be here for a while. But I am a man, I do not have the time nor skill in taking care of a child. And when I do leave I would like him to stay. You are still a child, but I'm sure you can handle it."

"Will you teach me the arts of war?"

"Why would you wish to learn the arts of war? Do you wish to be a man?"

"No, just more than a woman."

"What's wrong with being a woman?"

"Nothing is wrong with being a woman. It's just that women don't have a say in anything that happens to them, and men have a say in everything. It is men that hold power and influence. Men that are able to have dreams and fulfill them."

"I'll teach you the arts of war little one. And one day I'll see you fight for your dream, whatever it may be, and when you win, I can credit it to myself."

Restella punched his arm and ran from him, squealing. When he caught up to her he picked her up and held her upside-down, until she yelled, "All right, I surrender!" And he let her go, saying,

"Never surrender, little one. Never let it go."

Restella just looked at him, and neither of them said anything the rest of the evening, or the ride back. But as the days wore on he began teaching her the basic skills of a warrior, and marveled at her ability to learn, and her steady arm, sharp eye, and iron will. He would make a warrior out of her, all right, and he feared for those who would one day be stuck in her path.


"This is your first test, kiddo."

"And what exactly might that be?"

"See this knife? That is what you use to shave a man's beard. Today, you are going to shave mine."

"But- but Sir, if I cut you-"

"If you keep your hand steady, and just move the blade down my face, you will have no problems. I trust you. Pretend we are in the practice yard. Keep calm, and remember how steady your hand is when you hold the sword straight out. The knife is easier to keep still anyway."

Restella took a deep breath and began, slowly at first, then more quickly as she became more and more confident. And when she was done The Dark Knight put a hand to his face and smiled widely. "This is the smoothest I've ever been. Well done, little one. Now come, I will teach you to use the bow and arrow."


Anella looked out the window then back at her father. "That's hardly likely. She's only nine, da, and he's seventeen. By the time she is grown, he'll be settled with wife and children. Besides, you surely don't want your daughter to end up with riffraff like him?"

"He's a notable warrior, and he has his uses. He just doesn't like to stay in one place too long. He comes, then goes, and he never returns. Some say that's why he has no real name, because he doesn't want people to find out who he really is or where he came from. He likes to think he's spent eternity traveling around the world, staying and going as he pleases. If he married Restella when she came of age, he would have no choice but to stay."

Anella shrugged. "You would just have to get him to stay until she came of age, which is a difficult feat, considering he plans to leave before the moon is out."

"Has he told Restella?"

"Oh, come now father, he's smarter than that. If he told her he was going to leave she'd do anything and everything in her power to keep him here. They're like two peas in a pod. And now that he's got her trained as a warrior, I fear for the world."

"Oh, all he's taught her is childish tricks. She's a woman, what more can she do?"

"One day just stand here and watch the two of them fighting in the yard below, and tell me she fights with childish tricks."

The King shook his head at his daughter, the turned back to watch his other daughter and The Dark Knight in the courtyard.