“The Fall of Everdale” by Katie Murray-Smith
Ira awoke to the ear-piercing sounds of bloodcurdling screams. The room was black. She couldn’t breathe. The stench of sulphur dioxide overwhelmed her senses. Thick dark smoke ambushed her. Blinded and confused, she stumbled out of bed to the window. Looking on in horror, what she saw, felt like a nightmare.
Fire devoured everything in front of her. People were running like frightened mice in the streets below. Running, for their lives. Nowhere was safe. Soldiers filled the streets, but not ones she recognised, marching through the city with sword and torch in hand. They were set in heartless rows, upon rows, upon rows, stretching as far as the eye could see from an endless red horizon. All stamped to the same cold rhythm. All had the same destination. All converged to the same location, the palace. These weren’t humans. These were juggernauts. They had a shared purpose, destruction. And that, they were good at…it rained supreme wherever she looked, a swirling storm of bone chilling devastation ‘surely this couldn’t be real?’…
Suddenly, catching her by surprise something sharp and fast grabbed her from behind pulling her back. Ira let out a cry of alarm.
“Shhh!” hissed a voice “don’t worry its me.”
Ira recognise the voice, it belonged to her mother.
Of course, nothing about this situation was comforting, but it paid to know at the hand behind her wasn’t about to kill her.
“Now come on, before he finds you!” whispered her mum as she dragged Ira by her by the arm out of the room.
“Before, who finds me?” asked Ira with no clue what she was talking about. “I can’t explain now, we’ve got to hurry…”
And with that the pair bolted out of the door. Once in the corridor it became apparent that the horrific cries of innocent victims weren’t just coming from outside… who ever these people were, they had breached the castle walls!
Uderania must have noticed it too because for a split second she hesitated. Ira didn’t know what was more terrifying the inferno that surround them or the expression on her mother’s face. Ira had never seen her do it before, but she knew what it was it none the less. Terror. Her mother’s face had always been a as stock as a stone statue but now it was cracking like a china doll. The moment passed as quickly as it came and Uderania sprung back into life.