New World Ashes

Free New World Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Book: New World Ashes by Jennifer Wilson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jennifer Wilson
child, I’m sure you can understand why it’s hard for me to take your threats seriously.”
    I was fishing and the rash old man took the bait. His polished shoes tapped across the cement floor stopping just as his hands clasped around my throat. I nearly blacked out as he yanked me to my feet, pulling me toward his face. “ No one can evade me forever, child. Your mother is proof of that. I saw it in your eyes today, you’re giving up. Little by little you are wasting away here and you have two choices. You can either remember where you came from and rule obediently by my side, or be disposed of like the disease-riddled vermin you have let yourself become. You are disposable, child.”
    My eyes flickered open, trying wildly to focus on his.
    “You know Grandfather , I saw something in your eyes today too. Fear .” Grabbing the front of his shirt with my good hand, I pulled myself closer to him so my blood tainted breath washed his face. He began to recoil, but I held fast. “You can lie to yourself all you want, but I saw it. You need me. You are losing control of your city. Your people are turning against you, aren’t they? The revolution my mother started didn’t die with her.”
    My voice was rising both in pitch and volume as a manic high spread through me. Even as I spoke the crazed words, I knew they were true. Fandrin’s hand began to shake with anger against my throat, trying to choke the words but I only yelled louder. “I can read it all over your face. You reek of fear and desperation. You need someone the people will love again. A long-lost prodigy bloodline that you rescued from the depths of hell itself, only to bring back to life and raise as your beloved successor. HA!” I cackled with sick delight. “You can’t kill me, you need me.”
    “I DON’T NEED ANYONE!” The Minister screamed in my face, spit flying from his quivering lips.
    My demented crowing echoed off the barren walls of my cell. “Yes, you do old man. But you know what? You will never have me. I have so many more reasons to live than to die for, and you can never take them away. There is nothing you can do to me now. I know your weakness. I own you old man and I will never be your lap dog. Trust me, the second you think you’ve got me trained, the instant you take my collar off I… will… rip … out … your… throat.” I articulated each of the last words then lunged, snapping at him. My teeth just grazed his nose as he hastily shoved me back to arms length. True fear now burned in his eyes.
    The crazed laughter filled the tiny room again. It vibrated the air and hurt my ears, but it didn’t stop, not when he dropped me back onto the water-soaked mattress or even after the door closed. The hysterics lasted for what felt like hours and as sleep finally began to pull me away from my own deranged cackling, I realized this was what it must be like to lose your mind.

    I moaned, feeling the pain in my broken arm. I was shivering on the cold, still damp mattress. The room was finally quiet.
    My eyelids felt heavy with sleep. At first I could not tell if they were open or not. The cell was so dark it mirrored the backs of my eyelids perfectly. Surely they were still closed tight, but just as I thought that, a face came into focus. It was close to mine, laying on the pillow next to me, watching me with warmth in those hazel eyes. Tears welled in my swollen ones.
    “Triven.” I reached out to touch him but my hand fell on empty space. The tears began to fall in earnest now. I choked out a sob. “You’re not real are you?”
    He smiled softly, shaking his head. I closed my eyes, wanted to shut him out, but his face was still there. Swallowing, I opened them again.
    “I’m losing my mind aren’t I?” My voice broke and he nodded, frowning a little. I knew that lying here indulging in my mind’s sick torments would only hurt me more, that I would awake in the morning still alone in this

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