The sunlight was warm and bright and Taylor did not want to leave the window. When he was in his cell, the executioner had tied his wrists together and then walked him down the block with the guards, but had left him under a window for a few moments so he could see the sunlight one last time.
Taylor’s mind wandered back to a time where he and Kintessa were riding in the woods, down to the place that he had thought only he knew about, his thinking spot. He could almost feel the wind on his face as he imagined himself riding on the back of the brown mare. He felt the cool grass as he saw himself laying on it. He felt the swish of his sword picturing himself exercising with his favorite tree. Now it would be Zachary’s thinking spot. The grass was Zachary’s, the sword was Zachary’s, the horse was Zachary’s.
“I am ready.”
Taylor felt light as he was walked down the winding staircase. He could not tell if he felt sick from the idea that he was about to die or the idea of not having to deal with any responsibilities anymore. The thought hadn’t crossed his mind before, he loved his chores and he loved his job but at this moment he felt almost relieved. He was puzzled but did not dwell on it. The moment he saw his family standing near the place where the head executioner was to stand, he felt nothing but love. On the opposite side was the King, the Queen, and their three children. Taylor bowed his head and did not make a connection with their eyes for it would have been deemed disrespectful if he had.
Some of the villagers had made it inside the room. They had been expecting quite a show but for some reason they all looked mournful. Taylor tried not to look at them but their eyes bore into him as he descended down the last remaining stairs. Many of the women were holding on to their husbands and children tightly. One woman did the sign of the cross as he walked past her. He heard her mutter words of forgiveness for his soul.
The Knight was walked towards the stand and turned to face the King. “Sir Taylor Hanson,” the King said. “You have been accused of treason and disloyalty as well as the breaking of a law which bounded you to being a protector of Princess Ann, not her lover. How do you plead?”
“Guilty, your majesty,” Taylor said not taking his eyes off the floor. There were gasps throughout the room as the words were said, proving that this day was really taking place.
“You have been sentence to death by beheading, according to the Kingdom of Concertlot’s laws and consequences.”
“Do you have anything to say before this sentence is carried out.”
“I am sorry, your majesty,” Taylor said. “I have betrayed you, your family, my own family, and the Kingdom. I accept my punishment with the dignity that my title has brought upon me.”
“Very well,” the King said. Taylor took a quick peak at the man. He looked very old and very tired, almost as though this pained him very much. “Let the sentence be carried out.”
Taylor was forced to his knees.
He who reads these words shall be granted eternal salvation and redemption. The words rang throughout his mind as his head was forced down onto the cool stone slab and turned towards the royal family.
He who reads these words shall be granted eternal salvation and redemption. He prayed the words were true. He looked at Princess Ann. Her eyes were full of pain and sorrow, tears fell down her cheeks. Their eyes met. She was trembling slightly, her sobs coming quickly as she held a handkerchief to her mouth. The young Knight knew she was seeing something happening above his neck which he could not. His lips parted and he drew a breath.
He who says these words shall be granted eternal salvation and redemption...
“I love you.”