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She turned quickly away from the monstrosity before her. Tears welled in her eyes, she knew that such a public display of emotion would have been considered a weakness by her father, but had she held it in it would have poured out the wrong way: on her beloved Nigel.

She spent under a minute wiping her tears and controlling her herself, as Nigel mouthed sweet things to her. She gave a small smile to him, and turned back to face the wretch. She held her chin high, as she was taught and stared steadily into his eyes.

“You,” She accused shakily

“Princess…”  he began . She held her hand high to halt him.

“You will say nothing,”  she began “You do not deserve a voice!” She bellowed pausing to compose herself.

The people had always known her as a kind princess; she was loving and loyal to them. She was the newest generation of royalty but social class mattered little to her. She had friends from all walks of life and much to the dismay of her father and stepmother she was not interested in balls, parties or pretty dresses. Women would have hated her beauty had she not been so irresistibly charming. She had long raven-dark hair, and beautiful skin (which she was rumored to have because of her mother who came from the area where the darks ruled), she had eyes large, round and curious and she loved to sing. She was perfection in the eyes of the people.

“For what you have done…” she began again, slowly “You will hang by your skin, in the town center,”

The crowd gasped at such a judgment from her. The people whispered about; this was a surprise, she always had mercy. Always.

“Should you lose consciousness, we will wake you and re-hook you by the skin,” she blinked twice then continued “You will hang there until the hour of your death. Which I, and only I, will decide.”

The crowd fell silent

“For the monstrosity, for the pain you have inflicted, for the loved ones of these good people,” she waved her hand to gesture the crowd “You will suffer in front of them,”

The crowd cheered but a few were reluctant.

“But… Princess, I’m a sick man you see. I didn’t mean to do them terrible things,” he glanced over his shoulder to peek at his work. “I’m sick you see,” his eyes gleamed.

“Yes,” she agreed “And you will die in a sick way! Like they have.” she pointed to the pile of bodies.

The man chuckled “Well, even I could have thought of something sicker than that,” he flashed his rotten teeth and glanced over at the 9 bodies dead next to him; 3 young men, 3 young women, 1 little girl and 2 little boys. “I mean look how creative I can get, I even had my fill of them before I cut them up.”

The crowd was outraged, pushing the enforcers to get through to him. The mothers of the children wailed, the lovers, wives and husbands and parents of the dead young men and women cried out against him, cursing and spitting at him. He enjoyed this. He’d  raped and killed these people, men and women, then mutilated them. Why  had he the nerve to joke this way?  The princess was silent, some people thought stunned.

“You sir are correct,” she said calmly, she leaned her head to the side and examined him “I’m not very creative when it comes to these things,”

“You’re nothing young princess, you know nothing of these things! You are not your father; you’re weak” he spat. The crowd fell silent; no one speaks to royalty that way. She smiled politely and turned to the punisher.

“You will hang him by the scrotum,” she announced, and the crowd went wild.

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