I knelt low in the church. The icon carved from ivory was nearly crushed in my palm. I murmured incessantly in prayer Beseech Thee, O Lord and Lover of mankind...The tears never stopped rolling down my cheeks. I gazed through blurred vision at her icon, the holy mother and child, a precious thing, it reminds me of her. Her smile and her face. All their smiles, all of their faces...They should of hated me, but they showed such kindness! Oh how I loved them, oh how I loathe them....

The elder girls were more aloof, that is certain, but so graceful! They moved like spirits, like ghosts before death...They were never suppose to be a part of my world, never to suffer anything more than harsh words from their father. They should of married prince's not shared their suppers with paupers! They had little enough food for themselves as it was, I watched them waste away to nothing.

The younger ones were charming and lively. The glowed. They physically glowed you could see it in their eyes, the hope that tomorrow would bring better things, new hope, if only they knew....They would sometimes share what food they had with me, Maria once gave a piece of her last birthday cake. Her nineteenth birthday cake, nineteen short years, for a girl whose only crime was to be born under the wrong name. Nineteen years is no life, and I took it from her.

And now they're all dead. Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Marie. All dead. Lying in pools of their own blood, blood a swept up with a sweepers brush.

Oh please forgive me Marie! Oh God forgive me!

-------------------------------------------------

This is told from the POV of one of the soldiers who guaurded the Romanovs in the time shortly before their deaths he is trying to come to terms with their deaths. This story is based in fact because many of the soldiers who gaureded the Imperial Family became friends with the Grand Duchesses.

Enjoy!