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Prologue

            She was done. Her time for living was over. No longer would she have to hide or run or live in fear. She accepted her fate; she would not beg them for her life. She would die with dignity and honor, the same honor they had tried so hard to take from her. She lived her life the way she was supposed to. She was a good person, never lied, and while this ending wasn’t fair, she would accept it. She knew one day the truth would come out.  If not today, then soon, the world would know of the great travesty that took place here.

            Her cell door sprang open, and the guards glared down at her small frame. She was accustomed to their nightly visits, but she knew this one was different. They wanted her to know they had complete power over what happened to her. They wanted to break her, but they had failed. Her spirit could not be broken. No matter how hard they tried, she would never be broken. She would never admit defeat. They would never learn the location of her family. She would take that secret with her to the grave.

            “Your time is up,” one of the guards snarled, roughly grabbing her arms and hauling her to her feet to drag her out of the cell. She didn’t fight them, but quietly allowed them to take her to her death. They walked for a few minutes and she realized they were taking her to the courtyard. They were going to make this a public execution.

            As they reached the door, she took a deep breath and steeled her emotions. No tears would fall today. No one would get the satisfaction of seeing her break down. She needed to be strong for her family, to prove to them that this act was not stronger than they were. As the doors opened, she closed her eyes briefly, took another deep breath and walked out.

            She kept her head held high as she was bombarded with taunts and screams from those who used to love her. People who used to look up to her, people she loved and cared about, now spewed some of the most hateful words she had ever heard as she was led to the center of the courtyard where the guillotine stood.

            She took a final look at the people she was raised to love and protect. Her people. She let a small smile grace her face. Then she knelt, bowed her head, and found peace.

 
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