They took her down the main path in shackles, chained to the saddle horn of a stallion ridden by the man who conquered her land. They’d covered her at the waist for modesty, but not her breasts.
They’d taken her councilors, her servants, her friends, her noblemen and women, and staked them out along the path, and her heart pounded against her chest.
She cried out at the sight of a woman who’d been pregnant, her baby dangling from the cord, her body still writhing on the stake, sliding down by inches, and her eyes, pleading for help that wouldn't come, found Safyra's, before they mercifully closed.
The man leading her by her chains dismounted, and in the midst of the carnage, turned her around, and forced her to kneel on the stony path.
“See, Safyra, your palace burns. Is the firelight not pleasing against the night sky?”
Tears wet the already soaking gag, and she thrashed in vain against the knotted bonds.
She lowered her head, but he pulled her up by the hair, making her gasp.
“No, my sweet. This you will see.”
A large section of her palace crumbled, and fire rushed into the gap, flaring bright, almost blinding her, and soon more black, roiling smoke unfurled, blocking the stars.
Her captor leaned down, and spoke low into her ear.
“For your resistance, I will not kill you, but I will fill your belly with children," he reached down to fondle her breast, "and you yourself will suckle them. Our sons will grow large and strong, our daughters, beautiful and firm.
“You will raise the children of your conqueror, Safyra, and you shall grow old at my side, reminded daily of your defeat at my hands.”
Tearing his banner from its pole, he bound her breasts with it, not gently.
The bannerman looked on in shock, but wisely kept silent.
She keened in helpless rage against the gag as he pulled her to her feet, and remounted his horse, pulling the chains taut as he pushed the horse to a light trot, forcing her to run in his stallion’s wake, and she heard the walls of her home crash and thunder in the darkness.
Her heart broke, but a small ember of spirit remained.
Suckle your spawn I will, o my conqueror, but my milk shall prove poison indeed.

© Alfred W. Smith Jr. 2015