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The Prophesy Tower. Chapter 67. Write a Novel Challenge.
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The Prophesy Tower. Chapter 67. Write a Novel Challenge.

by Christia BaghdadianSeptember 5, 2020

“No!” protested Neina. She just couldn’t do it. She could not kill her. Even worse, she was being asked to kill an innocent person. Life was sacrosanct. “Isla, she’s your mother. You can’t ask me to do this!”

“Can’t you see she’s already gone?” began Isla, standing up. “It shouldn’t be that hard! This thing is not my mother. Anyway, I wouldn’t be killing her – you would! I mean, come on… this is your chance to take your revenge on me – on all I have done to you. I deserve it. This is your chance to avenge your own mother. An eye for an eye. You are scared Neina. You are pathetic and weak. Are you really such a coward Neina?”

Isla’s threats and goading dissipated into background noise as Neina found herself  drawn to the heartbreaking sight of Isla’s mother. She watched as her azure blue eyes flowed with a violet light that lit the bed around her; it was as if her very life force was being sucked from her, like a pierced balloon being drained of air. And then, as if Isla’s Mother had registered that she was being watched, she felt her eyes lock onto hers. Did she recognise something? Was this Isla’s Mother? As their eyes locked, the lilac hues emanating from Isla’s Mother turned purple. It was as if life was now being pumped back into Isla’s Mother rather than evanescing away. She still had a ghostly mien, but Neina now saw consciousness sparkle behind her eyes.

“Isla,” interrupted Neina. “I know what you’re trying to do and no matter how much you remind me of all the horrible things you’ve done, I will not change my mind. Your mother doesn’t deserve this. I am telling you, if you have any role in her death, you will regret it for the rest of your life and -”

“You know what?” Isla snatched the blade out of Neina’s hand in a belligerent manner, “I guess I’ll just have to kill her myself then…”

Isla’s hands were shaking, betraying that, even for her, what she was suggesting was horrific. With the knife clutched in her hand, Neina’s words reached Isla’s ears only as muffled and obscure white noise. The only voice Isla could now discern was the prominent voice of her Mother tenderly calling out for her to come in from playing in the garden – and the giggles they had shared as she had wiped mud from her hands and face from a typical afternoon exploring the bushes pretending to be a great explorer of the wild. Isla found herself being taken back to memories of when she was young and happy – long before she had come home to find her Mother dead on the floor, long before she was dragged to the Mors world by the Queen, long before she had committed the terrible horrors demanded by Queen Orla. In a moment of piercing clarity, and sorrow, Isla saw herself for what she had become – a woman without integrity or humanity. Her innocence and kindness had been ripped from her leaving her a shell of the person she had once been. And Isla now knew that she could not do what was being demanded. She could not kill the woman who she had loved, no, loved, most in the world.

“Rise and shine!” Isla remembered how her Mother would open the curtains of her room, allowing the warming rays of golden sunshine to pour through the windows. She remembered how she had covered her closed eyes with her dainty little hands and squealed in imaginary horror at having to clamber out from the warmth of her covers. Isla would groan and her mother would giggle and hop in her bed and cuddle her. Memories flooded back into Isla’s mind as if somewhere deep inside of her, the better part of herself was warning her that using the blade would destroy whatever goodness she still had left, warning her that using it would mean that there would never be any going back to who she once was, who she still could be …

Looking down at her mother, Isla now saw her Mother as she was then, not the frail and vulnerable creature that she had become. Isla couldn’t do it. She could no longer distance herself from the reality of murder. She could no longer push all feelings aside. She could no longer brainwash herself to believe in the justification for murdering the woman before here. Where she had felt nothing, now her heart ached. Ached.

Isla found herself towering over her mother; her arms raised to the same level as her face and pointing the blade towards her Mother’s bony chest. What was she doing? How could killing her mother – the only person who ever truly loved her, be something she was even considering?

Isla collapsed onto the ground and threw the blade with all her strength across the room and listened whilst it clattered against the oak floor in the corner. “I can’t do it!” she wailed “Mama… I’m so sorry. I love you Mama. You’re the best person I have ever know! Mama, Mama….”

Isla’s voice trailed off as she leaned over her mother and gently wrapped her arms around her back sobbing. She rocked her back and forth, her face buried in her chest. “It will be all right Mama. It will all be alright. I love you Mama. Don’t worry Mama. I love you …..”

Neina watched and it broke her heart. She desperately wanted to comfort Isla. When you watch the strongest person you know break down, its impact is indescribably brutal.  Neina dropped down to Isla’s level and, as Isla rested her head on her shoulder, wrapped her arms around her. Isla sobbed: “I’m sorry. I really am. I know I’ve done horrible things. I deserve this. All of this. But not Mama. I don’t know what to do any more. Neina. Help me.” Isla lifted her head and looked at Neina and it dawned on Neina that our extraordinary capacity to love and forgive is what makes us human. It is the best of us.

“What should I do Neina? I am frightened of allowing myself to hope. I will break if this is not Mama. If we take her with us, and it is not her, I will have nothing left. She’s barely alive. And we cannot destroy the entire world only to save one person.  If we don’t kill her, then maybe Orla will win. If Orla wins, we will all die – including Mama. You’ve been through so much Neina and it’s all my fault. I’m sorry Neina. I am so, so sorry. You can’t die … I won’t let that happen.”

Isla stood up slowly, heading back towards the abandoned blade.

“We really have no choice in this situation.”

Neina was speechless. She knew that just as quickly as Isla had seesawed from “I will kill her” to “I’m so sorry I even considered it” she would do so again.

But Neina knew too that Isla was right. Everything she said was right. If what they now knew was true, they had to kill Isla’s Mother.

Finally, Neina simply nodded, acquiescing in the horror of what was to come. But she also could not let Isla do this. She could not let Isla kill her own Mother. Drawing on all her remaining strength, she gently took the blade from Isla.

“I’ll do it.”

Isla turned away. She could not watch. Could not be a part of this. She fell to the floor sobbing.

~

As Neina raised the knife, the door crashed open. The Queen stood before them, her eyes filled with spite and rage. “Do it, Neina. Kill her. Kill her. Kill. Now.”

But Neina stopped. The knife floated, suspended between two very different paths. Time, to all intents and purposes, stopped. “I think…”, Neina interrupted the stillness, “I found another way.”

Neina reached into her pocket. “Just Look. I can’t believe I forgot about this. I have had it with me all this time – through everything that has happened. I will never forget the day that Archie gave it to me.”

Write a Novel Challenge illustration showing a turquoise stone with all its hidden power of ... hope.

Isla turned around to see Neina holding the beautiful stone Archie had given her.

He had said, then, that one day she would need it.

He had said, then, that this stone would protect her from even the most powerful magician, even kill her enemies if it came to it.

Isla looked at the beautiful shimmering turquoise. She watched as it transformed in hues pulsing with power, twinkling much like the star-lit skies that light the darkest of childhood nights.

The stone had brought with it something priceless.

Hope.

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The Prophesy Tower – A Novel.

To read Chapter 1, click here.

To read Chapter 2, click here.

To read Chapter 3, click here.

To read Chapter 4, click here.

To read Chapter 5, click here.

To read Chapter 6, click here.

To read Chapter 7, click here.

To read Chapter 8, click here.

To read Chapter 9, click here.

To read Chapter 10, click here.

To read Chapter 11, click here.

To read Chapter 12, click here.

To read Chapter 13, click here.

To read Chapter 14, click here.

To read Chapter 15, Click here.

To read Chapter 16, click here.

To read Chapter 17, click here.

To read Chapter 18, click here.

To read Chapter 19, click here.

To read Chapter 20, click here.

To read Chapter 21, click here.

To read Chapter 22, click here.

To read Chapter 23, click here.

To read Chapter 24, click here.

To read Chapter 26. click here.

To read Chapter 27, click here.

To read Chapter 28, click here.

To read Chapter 29, click here.

To read Chapter 30, click here.

To read Chapter 31, click here.

To read Chapter 32, click here.

To read Chapter 33, click here.

To read Chapter 34, click here.

To read Chapter 35, click here

To read Chapter 36, click here.

To read Chapter 37, click here.

To read Chapter 38, click here.

To read Chapter 39, click here.

To read Chapter 40, click here.

To read Chapter 41, click here.

To read Chapter 42, click here.

To read Chapter 43, click here.

To read Chapter 44, click here.

To read Chapter 45, click here.

To read Chapter 46, click here

To read Chapter 47, click here.

To read Chapter 48, click here.

To read Chapter 49, click here.

To read Chapter 50, click here.

To read Chapter 51, click here.

To read Chapter 52, click here.

To read Chapter 53, click here.

To read Chapter 54, click here.

To read Chapter 55, click here.

To read Chapter 56, click here.

To read Chapter 57, click here.

To read Chapter 58, click here.

To read Chapter 59, click here.

To read Chapter 60, click here.

To read Chapter 61, click here.

To read Chapter 62, click here.

To read Chapter 63, click here.

To read Chapter 64, click here.

To read Chapter 65, click here.

To read Chapter 66, click here.

To read Chapter 67, click here.

About The Author
Christia Baghdadian
Christia Baghdadian is fifteen years old, Armenian and a Year 10 student at The English College in Dubai. Ms Baghdadian writes: "This has been a phenomenal experience. I really want to thank my English teachers for nominating me to participate in this challenge. I feel like this experience has definitely expanded my horizons and has inspired me to keep on writing. For that, thank you so much to everyone who participated and for keeping the story captivating and challenging me to improve my writing. For my chapter, I really wanted to use the turquoise gem because it offered a powerful means to open a small window of hope for defeating the Queen that did not involve a tragic death. Whether this works, or not, will now be up to the authors that follow me. To all of them I wish good luck - and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did."

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