Oblivious to Disaster
Lavish ball gowns twirled around the feet of pampered girls with pristine makeup and piercing eyes. High heels blistered feet but were kept on because they held an air of class, never has a girl loved and hated something so much. Hands were outstretched to these girls with flowing locks and always in place hair paired with high cheekbones and sultry looks. Perfectly painted nails attached to dainty hands grabbed at any source of warmth. To dance the waltz with synchronized steps and small talk was not easy, but it was life.
A stranger’s hands gripped Saige Thompson's dainty fingertips. A chaste kiss was planted on the back of her hand. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. The stranger was a business partner of her father and to put it simply, a suck up. He invited her to dance but she being extremely uninterested, made up an excuse as to why she couldn’t, apologized, and went on with life. After all, there were much better things to do than dance with strangers and become buddy buddy with people who only wanted her for her father’s money.
She ventured out into the garden, it seemed so alive at this point in time. Fireflies hovered above the ground and wove their way in and out of trees, nature’s personal fairy lights. Petals from the cherry trees floated through the air and seemed to glow under the light of the full moon. There was a large spring of water in the middle of it all. So clear that you could see all the multi-colored fish that swam aimlessly. Saige dipped her manicured fingers into the waters depths and created a large ripple that spurred the fish into a panic and motivated them to scurry away from the possible threat. Saige looked into the water that was now distorted. ‘ It is sad how this is the most real I’ve seen anything in awhile,’she thought wistfully. She stood up, brushed off her floor length white ball gown, and straightened herself out,this was not the way the daughter of the most powerful huntsman should behave. She turned her back on the garden and strode into the ballroom with head held high.
The familiar sound of click - clacking heels bounced around in her ears, ricocheting until it reached her brain and created something recognizable. Saige was already tired of everyones frivolous antics. To put it simply, they bored her. Every single girl in this room put on a tight corset and handcrafted ball gown once a month in hopes of being swept off her feet by a prince with mysterious eyes and a handsome face. The guys on the other hand were looking for a nice girl with an even nicer face to lead in a dance and flirt with until they got bored and moved on to the next victim. Although this was the least of Saige’s worries.
She had a plan she had to execute. One that, if done wrong, would send her to an up close and personal experience with a guillotine. Saige snaked her way through the dancing strangers and dodged outstretched hands beckoning her to dance. She locked in on her target and felt comfort in the knife pressed against her side. There was a sudden tap on her shoulder. Saige whirled around to find a pair of dark purple eyes looking down at her instensley. The stranger asked monotonously, “Would you care to dance?”
Saige realized this as an opportunity to get closer to her victim without causing suspicion. She placed her delicate hand in the strangers after saying a quick yes, and allowed him to lead her in the waltz.
As the stranger twirled her around, Saige couldn't help but let her mind wander. She thought about how this night would play out if it wasn’t successful. She was afraid at the thought of her head detaching from her neck and rolling across the beautiful marble floor under her feet. With her hands nestled into the stranger’s, she twirled across the floor like she owned it. She decided that if she were to die, she was happy this would be one of her last memories.
Everyone in the ballroom bowed their heads in respect as the king descended the grand staircase and made his way to his throne. He sat down and spoke words that Saige couldn’t make out and the room erupted in cheers. She slunk back slightly and reached for the knife hidden in the fabric of her dress. “We have a special guest tonight,” the king bellowed into the crowd. “Meet Saige, the huntsman’s daughter.”
A tight lipped smile forced its way on Saige’s face. She approached the throne with a sense of purpose. She knew what she needed to do and was going to do it, no matter the cost.
Saige bowed in front of the throne where the king sat. To any watching eyes it would seem normal and respectful, but there was an underlying twinge of mockery. She stood up straight and approached the king. His crimson cape-like coat pooled around his feet and a golden crown rested on his head giving off a malicious glint. The king wrapped an arm around her shoulders and she could barely hide the disgust that churned under the surface of her cool facade.
She reached her hand to the carefully placed knife. She had to be precise or the whole plan would fall apart. More cheers exploded across the room and reached her ears, but she barely heard them over the blood thumping through her ears. She felt the cool hilt of the knife and a shiver crawled up and down her spine and stopped at the nape of her neck. She widened her smile slightly, realizing that it was starting to droop. Her hand tightened and drew up.
Saige’s hand shook around the hilt of the knife. The knife that was now embedded deep in the king’s throat. For a second everything was still; it was the calm before the storm. The first scream bubbled up from the throat of a teenage girl. Yelling soon followed. The now deceased king layed on the floor in front of his throne. His crimson cape matched the blood trickling out of his neck and covered his lifeless body. His eyes were empty of any emotion. The soul had been sucked out of his body.
The guards did not waste another moment and sprung into action. Saige quickly kicked off her heels and pulled up the skirts of her dress. She ran past the guards, dodging them easily. They shouted after her as she booked it through the ballroom that was now filled with terrified cries and pandemonium. She made her way towards the large doors at the entrance of the ballroom. The guards realized what she was doing a second to late. The doors were pushed open and the last thing every single person in that room saw was the girl with wildfire hair, the huntsman’s daughter.
Saige had no fear, for she knew this was only the beginning of something far greater. Her people would keep her safe, she was sure of it. As she ran off into the night there was one thought plaguing her mind. When would the game begin? Branches caught her hair as she ran, but she knew better than to stop. Behind her she could still hear grief stricken shouts and the soft thumping of footsteps. With these sounds flooding her ears she plunged into the darkness in front of her, barely breathing.
A cloaked figure snaked their way through the poverty stricken town. Their black boots were caked in squishy brown mud. On the side was a woman crying with a swaddled baby sprawled out in her arms. The baby was motionless, obviously dead. The figure side-stepped the woman and continued on their path. They made their way towards a house, if you could call it that. It was in shambles but was undoubtedly the most sound place in the whole village. A knock was placed on the door before the figure entered closing the door behind themselves.
“Did you do your job?” The voice of the huntsman was harsh and gruff. The cloaked figure now drew back their hood revealing Saige’s fiery red hair.
“Yes father,” she responded softly.
The huntsman nodded and left the room. Saige looked out of the window to see the meager people work hard for little. She watched children cry from hunger pains and parents in anguish begging for one more day to pay rent.
A smile broke out on her face. This was all going to change. Her town was in safe hands now. The king was dead and her people were free from the tyranny he bestowed upon them. As Saige’s smile faded into a wicked smirk she scornfully said a phrase that had been falling off her lips since childhood. “All hail the almighty king.” She rolled her eyes and let out one final statement. “For the mighty has fallen and with it taken the hierarchy that has enslaved us. We are free from the judgment of the wicked and rich. We are kings and queens of the forgotten and will rise again when we are called. For we are the lowest of the low, the foundation. Without us the rich are nothing.”
Guards stormed throughout the kingdom looking for the malicious soul who killed the king. What they found was shocking to say the least. The townsfolk were congregated together in the smallest, poorest town. Shouts echoed from the crowd and reached the guards ears before even arriving. When they arrived the people were in rows. Flimsy weapons pointed to the sky in defiance, and in front of it all was the girl with the red hair. There was no fear in their eyes only anger. The red headed girl’s mouth formed into a sick grin and said one phrase that spurred everyone into action, the poor folk and guards alike. ”Let the game begin.”