The moon rose like a ghost behind the thin veil of cloud that hovered between earth and sky. She flattened herself against the factory wall where the shadows were deepest and watched, heart pounding.
Frieda lifted her eyeglass towards the dock, hoping to catch a better glimpse of the man her people dreaded. Lord Elizar. He had long tortured them and turned them into slaves but that was about to change.
He arrived, cloaked by a hooded mantle as much as the darkness that surrounded him. His men, armed with blades and bows, stood surrounding him like a cage as he made his way towards the sea vessel.
Frieda slipped from her hiding to a shadow behind a stack of wooden crates, feeling a sudden boldness in her actions. She took a small vial from her belt and whispered a prayer to the Father before peering round the corner of the crate.
Lord Elizar walked the plank up to the vessel with an unimaginable smoothness. His face was turned towards his destination, hiding him from her view.
“Come on,” Frieda breathed. “Look this way.”
With a suddenness that startled her, Lord Elizar whipped his head in her direction. She gasped and ducked behind the crate again. Had he heard her? She wondered.
She heard shouting and the stamp of boots on the damp ground. She had to see what was happening and so she edged to the corner again and looked around. Sure enough the guards who had so faithfully surrounded Elizar were now running towards her with uncanny speed.
She grinned. Their plan was working. She screamed as she ran, making sure that the guards saw where she was headed. As she passed a small recess in the factory wall she threw the small glowing vial towards it. It was too dark for the guards to notice the furtive movement and so they continued after her.
The dock became still as another shadow emerged from the wall. Elizar stood erect on the plank, watching eagerly in the direction he had sent his men willing them to return with the girl so that he could discover who she worked for. So concentrated was he on his men that he did not notice the other shadow even when the ground trembled slightly and a rumble echoed through the heavens.
Before he could do anything the shadow was face to face with him and he stood unprotected.
“I thought you were dead,” Elizar cried.
“I was,” the face said.
“What is it you intend to do?” he growled at the face.
The mouth curled in one corner. “The thing you fear the most Elizar,” it said.
Elizar hesitated. There was only one thing he feared.
“Did you think that the Father would allow you to continue on as you have?”
Elizar gritted his teeth. “He doesn’t care what I do.”
“He does when it involves his people. You’ve taken things too far this time.”
The face unveiled itself by pulling its own hood back. It was the Prince himself and in his hand he held the small glass vial that Frieda had thrown him.
“You know what this is, don’t you Elizar?” the Prince asked, shaking the vial slightly so that the light danced around it.
Elizar shivered slightly in the glow of the vial’s white light. “The Father’s light,” he whispered.
“Then you know what I am about to do with it, don’t you?”
Elizar lowered his eyes for a moment in defeat and then rushed at the Prince with all his weight, knocking him aside and running past him. The Prince was before him in an instant, holding him effortlessly by the collar of his cloak.
“My father asks that you no longer menace his people. You know what you must do.”
“I will not drink that,” Elizar cried.
“You have no choice,” said the Prince and forced the vial into Elizar’s mouth. The shining white liquid oozed its way down Elizar’s throat and soon light was radiating from his every pore. When the light finally faded, Elizar stood stooped like an old man, his face haggard and weary.
“What have you done?” he rasped in an ancient voice.
“Taken your power. There is only one King and you are not him.”
Elizar crumpled in a heap as Frieda trotted back into the dock.
“Did the white light do it? Is it finished?” she asked.
“Yes. It is finished,” the Prince said. “Go tell the others.”
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