Monday, August 02, 2010
The Escape - 250 words
Manu watched the cannon bursts devastate her homeland. Every flash, every horrific boom made her young shoulders tremble. Tears filled her eyes. Pain found her heart. Behind her Raka cleared his throat.
“We must leave soon Manu.”
“My people………….they die for me. How can I………….”
“You must leave. You are our Rani, our beacon. Who will continue the fight if you do not? Now please. We must go.”
The shelling ceased at ten o’clock. Some thousand yards from the palace, a hidden door was forced open. Five figures cloaked in the coarse cloth of the lower castes emerged. Winding their way through rubble, fire and death, they soon came to a guard post.
“Manu, please wait here. I will go ahead. I have the jewels he wants. If I do not come back, flee to the north.”
Some moments passed. Raka returned. “We must hurry. We have only a few minutes.”
Manu turned for one last look at her scorched and barren kingdom. Her back stiffened. “I will make them pay.”
A British officer met them at the guard post. He bowed. “May your Highness have a safe journey.”
“I am forever in your debt kind sir.” Manu stared him down.
He stepped aside and followed them with cold eyes as they passed by.
“Is that how your Grandfather made his fortune in India?”
“No. It was my fortune he made. Months later in a Calcutta alley, Grandfather’s throat was cut. But not before he sent the jewels home.”