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“You should never let emotion get the better of you.”

The girl sat completely still on her chair with her head bowed and her hands clasped in her lap, not looking at her teacher.

“My actions bring me sorrow,” she said quietly.

“The sorrow is not yours alone,” her teacher replied. “Your actions reflect upon the School, and upon your teachers. You have sorrowed us all with your rash behaviour.”

“I understand,” the girl said. “I accept whatever punishment you deem suitable.”

The teacher nodded. “We would expect no less. Hold out your hand.”

Without raising her eyes, the girl held her right hand out, palm up. Her hand was steady, but her muscles tensed almost imperceptibly as she braced herself for a blow. Instead she felt a single drop of liquid fall upon her fingertips.

“This poison begins to act upon contact, and kills after two hours.”

The girl looked up at last, her pale grey eyes wide.

“Teacher?”

“You will atone for the sorrows you have caused by bringing pride. Your target is Prince Bardhren, the second son of the King. By order of the School you will complete your task or die in silence.”

The girl stood. “I will not falter.”

The teacher smiled. “No, I am sure you won’t. A single touch, sweetling. Then return to us quickly, and be a pupil no more.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week the Three Word Wednesday prompts are Emotion, Falter and Touch.)

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