Microfiction (500 words or less.)

The brightly lit, sterile room was cool, and brought shivers to Moria’s flesh. The room reminded her of a surgical suite. She hated doctors, but right now she would be happy to see one. She would far prefer that to where she was.

The execution chamber door opened to reveal two men. One was dressed severely, in all black, with a slash of white at his throat. He carried a leather bound book with gold embossing. She recognized him and her stomach plummeted. It was Father Brile, the old priest who read her mother’s last rites.

Moria tugged at the straps holding her to the table. They held fast. The second figure strode in, and Moira blanched. Her father returned her look, his blue eyes full of disapproval, his cheekbones prominent, his steel-gray hair pulled back in a luxurious ponytail. She’d always loved it when he’d let it loose.

She didn’t say anything. She didn’t know what to say. Heather’s kidnapping struck her to the core, and Moria had to do something. She’d even succeeded. Her childhood friend Jeremy swore to her that Heather would be hidden and kept safe. The last friendly words she’d heard.

“Moira McGuinan,” her father intoned, “you have been charged with the kidnapping of your sister, Heather McGuinan. Your punishment is execution, lest you speak now and reveal where you’ve hidden her.”

Moira bit her lip in refusal. It broke her heart that her father was the Councilman present to see through the execution. It meant he knew about Heather’s kidnappers, maybe even orchestrated the abduction. “Moira McGuinan, your crimes are these.” Her father continued. “Theft of clan property, including weapons, ordinance, and a cruiser. Breaking the clan trust and treaties between clan McGuinan and Clan MacLoren. Leaving the clan’s boundaries. Invading clan MacLoren territory. Murder of seven men of clan MacLoren. And finally, the abduction of your sibling.”

Not necessarily in that order. Moria thought.

“Do you not have anything to say for yourself? Nothing even to say to me?” Her father asked.

“You know that isn’t what happened,” She finally said, seeing the emotion touch his frosty eyes. “Heather was kidnapped, and I went to go save her.”

“If you saved her, why didn’t you bring her back?” Her father asked, the ice reforming quickly.

“I wasn’t sure who I could trust.” Moria met her father’s eyes without flinching.

Her father nodded to Father Brile, who began chanting in Latin. Her father pressed some buttons on the table, and an arm popped out, holding a syringe filled with deadly solution.

Forgive me, Heather. Moira closed her eyes.

Her father pressed the button, and a needle pierced her arm. Adrenaline washed through her. She tried not to panic as her senses dulled. Her limbs felt heavy.

She awoke hours later, in her room, with her father sitting at her bedside. “I’m sorry darling. It was important that you die, you see. Now I’ll be able to tell you why.”

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