Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rule of Three Contest, Fourth and Final Week

Here is the last segment of the Rule of Three Contest. Below are the links to the first three segments.
week 1
week 2
week 3

For this week, I used the prompt:
There is a new arrival in town

This segment came in at just under 600 words.
Here is the continuation of "Welcome to Renaissance"

            "Why are you snickering?” I asked the barmaid.
            “You are such a child.”
            “What do you mean?”
            “You are na├»ve, my lady.”
            “If I’m your lady, then I command you to explain.”
            “It’s the Rule of Three. There are three of everything. Three dimensions, three kinds of beings, three lives. You see: three-three-three.”
            “The sign said the population is three hundred and thirty-three.”
            “Always. Any other number is out of balance. Currently, Renaissance has three hundred and thirty-four. The balance must be restored. You’ve entered the dimension of death. You have been reborn into Renaissance. You are our newest member. But someone must be eliminated.”
            “Someone has to die. You must decide who.”
            “Me? Surely you jest.”
            “My lady, I am honest. You must choose between Prince Giovanni and Head Knight Benevento.”
            “How am I to do that?”
            “It’s up to you.”
            “But I cannot condemn either man to death.”
            “Yes you can, and you must.”
            “I can’t believe it.”
            “Believe it, my lady. Believe it.”

            I waited inside the tavern, afraid.  
At sunset, Prince Giovanni came inside, his green eyes glowing. “My lady, I’m here to guide you.”
Benevento entered. “I’m here to protect you, my lady.” His eyes glowed brilliant blue.
The barmaid smiled. “Soon we’ll be sisters. You have so much to learn.”
“I can’t do this,” I said. “I’ve lied. I’m not brave.”
“You must be brave, Camilla,” Giovanni said. “You have nothing to fear.”
“Time is wasting, my lady,” the barmaid said. “The sun has set. The moment of truth has arrived.”
The prince led me outside, the head knight and barmaid following. We headed toward the mountains. In the darkness, they appeared to be miles away, but we reached them in minutes. A sign said, Old Silver Mine. We entered the cavern alit by torches burning in several places, shadows flickering on the walls.
“It’s time, my lady,” the barmaid said. “This is your special day. Make the right choice and you will know happiness. Make the wrong choice and you will know misery.”
My tears were too thick to see clearly.
Prince Giovanni said, “Choose me, Camilla, and you will know happiness.”
“He lies,” Benevento said. “If you choose him, you will know misery.”
“Camilla,” the prince said, “he is a rogue—a villain. You must believe me. I’ve been sent here to guide you. I will not let you down.”
“He’s a liar, Camilla,” head knight said. “His blood is not pure. I’ve been sent to protect you from his kind. You must believe me, my lady. Choose me. You will know happiness.”
My heart beat wildly. The prince’s brilliant green eyes were like jewels. The knight’s eyes were like diamonds.
“Choose, my lady,” the barmaid said.
“Choose me, Camilla,” the prince said. “Please, for your sake.”
“Yes,” said the knight, “choose Giovanni. I must lay down my life for you. I am an honorable knight. Even if it means your misery, I must die for you.”
“He’s lying, Camilla,” Giovanni said. “It’s a trick. He’s using reverse psychology. His nobility is a lie.”
I saw the nobility in Benevento’s eyes. He must be the one. I looked at Giovanni, the royalty shining in his eyes. Who will it be? I turned to Prince Giovanni, knelt down, and said, “My lord, I am yours.”
At that instant, Benevento burst into flames and disappeared.
I fainted.

            I awoke in a magnificent canopy bed with silk sheets and soft pillows and transparent curtains.
Prince Giovanni stood at the end of the bed and bowed. “Camilla, my lady, welcome to Renaissance.”
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