Note: These are not intentionally in any order, chronological or symbolic, so...sure. I'll continue posting more as they come to mind. They are also a little short, since they each are only small scenes composed of her thoughts.
Harley Zorzo's Past
Scene 1: Honor
"One," he breathed out in response, his breath fogging up the window. "Just one. That's all there is. That's all we have left." I looked out the window at him, shivering in the cold, but there was nothing I could have done to help him at the moment.
I sighed in response. "Is that all? Surely the warlock will be forgiving of our town," I whispered. In spite of saying that, it wasn't what I believed. The warlock is not a forgiving man. We had already lost too many good men from his war conscription. I only hope this blasted war ends sooner than the cursed winter.
"Now go," I told him. I couldn't let anyone else see me conversing with him. Anyone seen even looking at the traitor would be burned as a witch. I knew my mother was just waiting for me to slip up. One misplaced word, and she would eagerly hand me over to the loyalists. One single mistake, and I would be turned over to the warlock.
I watched him trudge off through the snow. I'll have to take care of his footprints later today. Right now, though, I have to find a way to keep my half-sister from leaving the house. She could throw a wrench in all our plans. She might destroy our revolution before it even starts.
I can't allow that to happen.
My father's honor is at stake.
Scene 2: Freedom
There‘s only six guards left standing between me and my freedom. I even trained half of them. There‘s no chance they‘re stopping my escape; not while The Consolate was thrown into disarray after my trial.
I easily dispatch half of them. Non-lethally, of course. Just weeks ago, I risked my life to save theirs. If I hadn‘t have saved them, they wouldn‘t have labeled me a traitor.
Two more flee. After all, in all the weeks training them, not once could they match me in swordsmanship. Armed with nothing but my father‘s scabbard, I was sure to win.
All that remains between me and sunlight is Jeremy. Boy, did he ever become such a brave knight. I can see his body quivering, but his voice is strong. “I can‘t let you pass. I gave my word as a knight. If that even means anything to you anymore.“
I sigh. “Jeremy. I don‘t want to hurt you, so please just step aside. Noone will know.“
He lunges at me. “If I have to die, so be it. But I will stop you.“ We continue our swordplay.
“Jeremy, your footing is off. Please stop, or you‘ll break your ankle.“
“I can‘t believe you. You were our mentor. I trusted you!“ As he swings his blade at me, I can‘t help but notice the tears on his face. “You said you cared about us. Or was it all a lie, from the very beginning? You‘re nothing but a lying demon!“
Then, I hit him on the head with my scabbard. Jeremy was always bad at blocking head-shots. He crumpled, but I felt as if I was the one hit. “I‘m sorry.“ I ran up the stairs with a ball of sorrow in my chest.
I was free, but why didn‘t I feel that way?
Scene 3: Betrayal
There are fifteen minutes before this door breaks in. Fifteen minutes before a swarm of so-called "heroes" break through this last barrier and storm the castle, slaughtering everyone in their way. There's knights, mages, crossbowmen, and sages all battering at the door. I can feel every heave crash against the door. The wood's almost giving way.
Why can't they just leave? The Queen of Shadows took us all in, knighted us, and charged us with protection over her daughter. Sure, there's all the atrocious things she's done, but there are some things you overlook for family. As much as I hate the princess, she's family.
Now, there's only four more minutes before the door gives way. I give the order "to arms!" and all under my command get ready to fight a hopeless battle. The men take courage that I'm in charge - they figure there's a chance of survival if I'm directing the battle.
Just before the doorway gave way, the loathsome princess and my queenly mother called me back from the defense. They knew of a secret passageway that would lead out. They wanted me to escort them safely through the passageway - after all, it would be dangerous and they would need help. My men would be the distraction as we fled.
I betrayed my men and their cries of fear echoed throughout the castle as we slipped out into the night.
Scene 4: Lies
One cannot understand how painful this is. Here I am, one literally born of evil, surrounded by holy knights. The pain isn't from any sort of mystical artifact or magic or whatever. Rather, it is from the knowledge that I am swearing an oath to uphold truth, righteousness, and goodness while at the same time I am being completely untruthful, unrighteous, ungood.
Every word becomes deception as it leaves my mouth.
Every thought becomes perverted because of my parents' sins.
Every deed becomes evil due to my nature.
I've been dreaming of this moment ever since I was born. I've been training for this moment ever since I could hold a sword. My disguise is perfect, my coat of arms is flawless, my story checks out.
But it's all a lie.
Nothing can change that.
Scene 5: Change
Twenty-seven. That's the number of people I assassinated last year. Next year, it will be zero. We've won the war, and everything seems alright. We finally have equality with the others.
Actually, we haven't completely won the war; The Consulate has refused to sign the treaty. However, in the minds of every last person in the city, the war is over. Today, I'm at a dinner party with dozens of people from all over the country. We're in the house of a general, and I'm helping his wife prepare the turkey.
Two weeks ago, all of us were facing each other, willing to kill at a moment's glance. Not one of us were on the same side. If, two weeks ago, someone had predicted we would all be together, laughing and telling war stories in the same house, that person would have been strung up and burned as a false prophet. Now, though...the laughter and music rings out throughout the house.
Some of us were fighting for ideology. Others, for money. Some, for equality or freedom or laws. Six days ago, we drafted the treaty. If only The Consulate would sign it, this country would change for the better.
Things change. Everything's going for the better. I can change; no more need for death.
Scene 6: Fallen
Thirty-three days ago, I was so sure of myself. I can hardly believe what has happened since. Thirty-three days ago, I had finally become a hero. Now, no more. Thirty-three days ago, I was what I had always dreamed of being.
Now, I'm as vile a villain as I was before. I sought redemption, but now I realize that's not for me. I simply can't do it, despite what everyone says. I'm evil through and through; I was born like this and there's nothing I can do to stop it.
Tears drip down my face. I wish it wasn't true. I wish it was possible. I wish I could undo everything. Start over. My mistake was trying to be good. If only I had accepted staying a villain, I wouldn't be so sad. If only I had stayed in the darkness, I would have never felt regret. If I had only stayed in the depths of the abyss, I wouldn't have seen what kind of monster I am. If only...if only...
If only I had never seen the light, I would never have fallen.
Scene 7: Pain
Seventy-seven steps down and the same amount back up. I've taken this trip so many times that I could do it with my eyes closed. I might as well, because it's as dark as pitch down here in the dungeons.
This is the third time this week I've come down here. I'm being as quiet as I can because I know my mother doesn't want me to go down here. That's why I take my shoes off even though the stone floor is cold: so she won't hear my footsteps echo up into the house. I'll bet she's not even aware that I know about the secret trapdoor that leads here.
Down at the very depths of this place, there's a few torches that are kept lit. There's seven doors here at the bottom. I don't know where six of them go, because they're always kept locked. But the third on the right is usually unlocked. The door creaks as I open it, but the man chained up in there is still asleep.
I love his armor. It's so shiny. His sword is very well-made. It makes me feel comforted whenever I see it. Sometimes, I just stand here and watch him, wondering what sort of heroic knight he would be if he were free. Sometimes, I dream about saving him and bringing him out of this dungeon when I'm older, and we go off slaying dragons and great evils. Sometimes, I try talking with him.
He hates me. Every waking breath of his is spent vowing to slay me and my mother. He doesn't know who brought him a blanket for the coldest nights, and he doesn't know how I sneak him some extra food every so often.
He doesn't know how much it hurts every time he wishes I wasn't born.