This is based off the picture prompt from io9, "A Young Woman Ponders the Next Step of Her Journey. But Where Is She Going?"

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Please let me know what you think.

Cherry paused, considering. There were vines over the bridge at the edge of the forest, within arm's reach…. She grasped one, wrapping it around her wrist. She could grab it, just swing away and never return. She knew these woods; she could survive for however long it took her family to come to their senses.

She was an elf, proud and free. The woods were hers to take care of, hers to love, and in return, they took care of her. Princess or not, alliance or no, she would not marry Prince Arik. He was an orc, one of the fierce mountain people. She'd never see her woods again.

Yet, the orcs were far stronger than the elves. If Cherry didn't cement this alliance, the orcs would massacre her people (including Rowan). She was seventeen now. It was her duty to protect her people. It should have been her honor.

Her hand tightened on the vine, strangling it as a thought came to her. The orcs might take her sister, force thirteen-year-old Daisy to marry Arik. The prince was a brute. Daisy wouldn't survive.

Cherry touched her red marriage sash, an idea coming to her. She'd go to marry Arik like a good princess.

And on their wedding night, she'd kill him.

Her sash was strong. She'd woven it herself. It would do the job.

Cherry released the vine, turning toward the orc garrison and her soon-to-be husband. As Arik's princess and widow, she'd rule the outpost.

But how could one girl, princess or not, ever hope to stop a hundred-year war?

She had to try.

All is not lost until we give up Hope.

I do not plan to write more of this story; however if people want me to I'd love to oblige! Let me know what you'd like to see- backstory? sequel? another POV? (You have to review if you want me to know you want more. I can't read minds, especially not through electronics.)