I can't do this. I keep shaking. My hands, my arms, my whole body... I can't stop shaking. I haven't even left the carriage yet. Those words keep spawning in my mind. The little urge inside to obey the orders from the one who called herself my Godmother.
"Don't let the Prince fool you," she told me. "He will use you, trance you. I've seen it before."
I remember how serious she sounded, too. Like she actually had seen it happen before. The image of Prince KAITO, alone in the castle on a normal day, was usually enough to shake me, to fill me with nerves. But something was different tonight.
"Listen to me, Miku," my Godmother had said. "I can send you to the ball tonight, but you must do what I am about to tell you."
I looked up at her, like an obedient dog awaiting orders from their Master.
"At the stroke of Midnight, you must kill the Prince. And you will do so with this." In her hand lies a small pocket knife. Gently, she rests the handle in the centre of my palm, the blade close to my skin. But as I looked, I noticed my clothes were different. I was no longer wearing rags. The Godmother had given me a beautiful white dress with golden lace. Long sleeves covered my arms, with delicate frills at the end, sitting above my wrist. The skirt of the dress stopped at my knees, where I noticed that I was also wearing white tights, and my feet were now resting in glass slippers.
"Do not let me down, Miku," my Godmother spoke after long silence. "I know you will carry this task out for me."
Now, here I am, in a carriage, on my way to the ball. My knife stays sealed in the purple ribbon on my dress. Maybe it was a bad idea to place the knife here. One small movement to the side, and the blade could cut into the ribbon. I'm starting to feel regrets about this. Maybe I shouldn't have agreed to the Godmother's task?
Maybe this ball wasn't such a good idea. The castle is crowded with young women from all over the kingdom. But none of them seem to interest me. Not one. I'm supposed to marry a fair maiden before my next birthday, which is in one month. That is the reason for this ball - to select a fair maiden as my wife. But this was too much for me to handle right now. I needed some time to myself. I wove through the crowd towards the front of the castle for some air, some alone time.
As I reached the archway, I heard the sound of hooves clopping against hard ground. Another carriage at this time? It couldn't be.
And yet it was. A golden carriage pulled by beautiful white steeds stopped outside the castle. The door opened, as a shivering maiden walked out. Her turquoise hair was tied in pigtails to the side, leaving room for a crown planted perfectly on top of her hair. Her dress almost seemed to sparkle in the moonlight. She was so radiant, near impossible to not notice.
As she approached the stairs, I held out my arm for her. Curiously, she looked up at me.
"There's no need to be shy," I assured her. "I'll escort you to the ballroom."
It seemed that my words calmed her, as her hand took hold of mine. She walked up the stairs, three at a time, which I found rather strange. Was it to do with nerves? I had no idea, but it was best not to mention it. We began to walk inside, as I led her to a room full of the young women, but none could match this girl's beauty.
I have to admit, her smile was beautiful.
Call me crazy.
I had let myself loosen up at this ball. The time I spent with the Prince was well cherished, I was really enjoying myself. This night was becoming special to me. So special that I found myself falling in love with the Prince himself.
My Godmother will kill me when she finds that out.
Now I'm outside on the balcony with him, watching the stars in the night sky. I'll admit that they're beautiful, but every time I looked up, my eyes always tried to glance at the clock. Like they're reminding me of something. The time was 11:57. 3 minutes until midnight.
The Godmother's words then echoed in my mind once more. "At the stroke of Midnight," was what she said. I then remember about the knife I had hidden within the ribbon, and my heart sank once more. It was nearly time. I felt tears forming in my eyes, which the Prince noticed.
"Fair Maiden?" he asked me. "Are you okay?"
Gently, his hand sat on my cheek. As my tears fell, his thumb wiped them away. I quickly glanced at the time once more. 11:59. Two whole minutes had passed. In one minute, those bells would ring. I would have to fulfil the wish of my Godmother.
But I don't want to. I can't.
The Prince pulled my arm forward, as his lips gently pressed onto mine. I wanted to stay like this if I could. To be with him forever, in his safety, never worrying about anyone or anything again. I would love that life.
But as he pulled away, the clock began to ring. It was 12:00. Midnight.
I sank to my knees, sobbing a little as he knelt next to me. "Is something wrong? You can tell me."
I shook my head. "No..." I muttered. "Not yet..."
Robotically, my right hand reached for the handle of the knife. I looked up at him with the tears sprawling from my eyes. He pulled me up before embracing me, but it made nothing better.
As my hand pulled out the knife, I leaned in to his ear and whispered, "I'm sorry."
The knife pierced his chest.
Blood began to stain his suit as he bled. He had to kneel to preserve any remaining strength he had left, clutching on the balcony for support. It pained me to see him this way. It pained me that I did it. But what pained me the most was the way he looked at me. His eyes reminded me of a lost puppy who can't find their mother.
For one final time, my lips gently pressed to his. He wiped my tears as I pulled away.
And as I whispered, "Farewell, love," the light left his eyes. His body was now motionless, his pulse now dead. He was dead. I kneeled next to him, holding his body as I cried.
The Godmother's bidding was done, but I regretted carrying it out.