This is #22 of The Autumn Queen. To start at the beginning, go here.
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I have not seen the moon in longer than I can comprehend. The red dust of the walls coats my skin. I have been injured and scarred over. The little finger on my left hand is bent in, forever. My hair had been shorn, but has now grown out again, as long as it ever was, falling to my thighs if I kneel in prayer. I have eaten well. I have refused meals. I have been denied meals. The chamber pot is emptied. I was given candles, but no way to light them. Once the first one was lit, I used it to light the next, the wax melting, running over the stone. They give me more candles. They give me pen and ink and paper. It is meant to write a confession, a letter to her.
I will not call her my Queen.
She still wants to know where he is.
Long ago, what I would have called years if I knew how many moon turns had passed since the night Elias fell, and this moment in time, I had broken. I would have told her anything she wanted to hear — but it hardly mattered — I could not remember the name of the woman to whom we had entrusted the child, and any men under my command on the battlefield had either deserted, or died.
She stopped visiting some time ago — but Kellis still came. Some visits he pled. Some visits he raged.
One visit, he nearly wept — I have not seen him since, and do not know how to explain that I would give up the woman, the baby, that I would have put an arrow through Elias’s heart myself if I could only be let out of the cell for long enough to see the sky, to stand in the moonlight.
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