Cassandra's Curse

By Laura Schiller

Based on: The Faerie Path series

Copyright: Frewin Jones

...and Drake stabbed her with his blade of Isenmort, and thus ended the life of Princess Zara, fifth daughter of the House of Aurealis. Upon this moment, her love-blinded eyes finally opened by this cruel sight, Princess Rathina fell upon her former lover with a cry of anguish and slew him with one stroke, thus avenging the murder of her beloved sister.

Sancha stood on a balcony with her arms wrapped around her, looking like an ice sculpture of herself with her white cloak and pale, unmoving face. Only her hair moved, torn out of its braids by the spiteful night wind. The voice from the last page of her sister's Soul Book whispered in her ears, drowning out the sounds of the party from inside.

She could have saved her. If only she'd told someone, if only she'd stuck close to Zara during the battle, her little sister might be alive right now – tapping out a merry tune on her spinetta, dancing through the palace like a puff of thistledown, swithering delightedly between the Earl Marshall's handsome stepsons. Now she was dead, and it felt as if all the joy and light of the Palace had gone with her.

It was necessary, she reminded herself for the thousandth time, for Rathina's redemption. But Sancha, who had always been the most rational of the seven princesses, simply could not see the reason in this. Why should an innocent sister die for the sake of a corrupt one? Why was Zara gone and Rathina sitting comfortably next to their parents? Rathina did not deserve the mercy she had been shown.

All the sharp words Sancha had ever said to or about Zara came back to her now, when it was too late to take them back. All those times she should have been kinder, more patient, less self-centered and absorbed in her books.

A flibbertigibbet with the mind of a mayfly.

Get you hence, child! I have no time to waste on shallow frivolity.

Fie, Zara! Mud stains on your new frock? Have you no sense?

Mother, why must you have another child? Four are already enough!

She had never told Zara how beautiful she was, or how her sunny, lighthearted view on life brightened the days of everyone who knew her, or how brave she had been in those last horrible days. She had never told her sister how much she loved her.

Prophecy was the one area of knowledge she had never wanted to study. Now she knew why they called it a curse.