Welcome! This month I’m writing a small story each day to try to brainstorm a future full-length novel, a sequel to my current WIP Memories and Magic, which is tentatively titled Rebels and Rebellions.
Today’s prompt is: Murder.
“What charges do you bring against the defendants?” asked the judge. The lawyer, Carna Laroc, stood up.
“Your Honour,” she said. “As you, and as everyone of Racharan birth here knows, magic has been outlawed in our country for over a century, and with good reason. Magic users in our country have been known have been known to take people off the streets, ripping them away from their family, torturing them beyond all recognition and then murdering them when they were of no further use.
“This has never been kept a secret from our neighbours. And yet, knowing all they did about our laws and the reasons behind them, the Queen of Thelidon, and two Mages of the Aligarian Order, knowingly spent months living under our noses. The Queen’s magic at the time was undeveloped and dangerous, and we know that it caused harm to Thelidonians when it first began manifesting.”
Clara nearly shot out of her seat. It was only Reiner’s hand on her wrist that reminded her now was not the time to protest. She desperately wanted to point out that that harm had been caused in the wake of her parents’ murders, and that it was Josef Bauer’s guards that she had thrown off her tail with an explosion. She knew she would get her say and she had to let the proceedings take their course, but she hated hearing the course of events twisted in such a way to turn people against her.
“We have learned,” Laroc continued, “that even after her Majesty’s magic developed properly and her memories were returned to her, she and her friends spent another few weeks here, ensuring she knew what to do with her magic and delaying return to Thelidon until the last possible moment. It is this flagrant disrespect for the laws of another country that brings us here today. Thank you.”
Laroc sat down and Bri Linferd stood up. She cast a reassuring look to Clara before she began speaking.
“Your Honour,” she said. “No one is denying that Her Majesty Queen Clara, along with the Mages, Jana and Max Drosselmeier, spent many months in Thelidon. But the claim that harm was done when her powers were still developing is completely unverifiable. Not only that, but both her power and that of the Mages, is different from any of the magic employed by the Racharan magicians, the use of Runes aside. The magic that we outlawed and the magic that they brought with them here are entirely different. Not only that, but the situation that they found themselves in necessitated haste and Rachara was one of few places they could go to distance themselves. Given the diplomatic crisis taking place in their own country, can they really be blamed for hiding here?
“Magic was outlawed here for several reasons, none of which can be applied to Clara, Jana or Max. Try them for entering the country illegally if you will, but trying them for illegal magic is a waste of time. Thank you.”
Bri sat down, and gave Clara’s hand a squeeze. Clara felt relief rush through her. Bri’s arguments sounded just as sound as Carna Laroc’s. Surely, they would walk out of her unscathed.
The judge was still considering Bri’s address. Finally, he said, “Madam Linferd, please do not make judgements on the pointlessness or otherwise of this trial. That is my job.”
Clara felt herself turn red on Bri’s behalf, but Bri appeared unfazed. She simply nodded and apologised and returned to shuffling some of the papers in front of her.
“Madam Laroc,” the judge continued. “Who do you call first?”
“Our first witness is the captain of the Magic Guard who discovered the illegal stay. Rikard Voidsun.”
The judge nodded to the man standing by the door. Clara felt herself go cold as Rikard was ushered onto the stand. For all their friendship had progressed over the last week, she was sure he had no misplaced loyalty towards her. He would tell the truth exactly as he saw it.
Bri seemed to sense Clara’s apprehension. “Don’t worry,” she said, and gave Clara an amicable nudge on the shoulder. “He’ll be able to help our side more than theirs,” she promised.
Clara took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I hope so,” she replied.