Clyde stood at the bottom of the winding steps that led to the tower that was once a monastery before the monks had been driven from the land. He wondered how many others like him, loyal to the crown, had been forced to march up these same steps, hands bound tightly behind their backs, and walk into the tower. He knew that shortly he’d be taking his last breath after being suspended, hanging in agony, his arms tied to the uppermost wooden rafters high above the tower’s cold stone floor, until death finally overcame his incredible pain and his suffering ceased.
He had fought the hard fight for freedom and independence. The country he once loved had fallen into chaos after the invading hordes of barbarians from the north assassinated his beloved king. The once beautiful, tranquil countryside, with its rolling hills and fields of green, had been turned into killing fields, the blood and bodies of the dead, both defenders and invaders, were strewn across the landscape. It broke Clyde’s heart as he tried to remember what life was like before the invasion.
But nothing was as it once was, and Clyde’s capture by the barbarians was, for them, something to be celebrated, for he was a great warrior and the barbarians were sure to make a spectacle of his death.
Yet to Clyde’s surprise, there was no spectacle, no great celebration. Upon entering the tower, he was led to a table and, with his hands still bound, he was told to take a seat. There were only a few men inside the tower with him. After a moment, the leader of the invading army sat down on the other side of the table, directly across from Clyde.
“Clyde,” said the man sitting across the table, “I am Therrin, the leader of the….”
“I know who you are,” Clyde interrupted. “Where are all of your subjects? What of the music and the celebration for having captured me?”
“Ah,” said Therrin. “You wish to be a martyr, a symbol for your people to rally around.” Therrin paused. “You must think me a fool. I will not let that happen. Only a few know of your capture and none but this small group assembled within this tower shall witness your demise.”
“So be it,” Clyde said. “Be done with me as you will. I am not afraid to die.”
And that is when they heard the irresistible song of the siren, calling out to the two of them from a distance.
“Clyde! Timmy! Come on home, boys, supper is ready.”
Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.