This is in response to the challenge of waking up to bells and finding a note on your pillow. :)
Had I the chance, I would have gone back in a heartbeat. I was awake now, far from my home and my people. Loud, gong-like peals of thunder shook me out of sleep mere seconds ago; and now the tumultuous clamour was finally fading, though it left a faint buzzing in my ears. I hadn't moved, knowing that if I opened my eyes it would all be confirmed, but at long last I turned my head away from the light searing through my eyelids and faced the dark side of the room to open them. I remembered this room. Dimly-lit, with only the stripes of sunlight from the blinds to illuminate the dusty air. On my pillow was a carefully folded note... I ignored it and rose from my bed. Hanging from the closet door-- it was not mine, and would not be mine for long even if it was-- was a lovely white gown fit for a wedding.
It was for a wedding that I was trapped in the room in the church's steeple. I knew resisting would only bring me physical pain and more humiliation, so I dressed in it listlessly. My eyes burned with the pricks of bitter sorrow, but no tears fell from them. I knew what the note on my pillow would say. It was smuggled in by a nun, a rescue attempt by my sweetheart, no doubt.
I opened it at last, and found what I had expected. For his sake, I dropped it in the fireplace and lit it before making my way to the door so that a pair of guards could manhandle me down to the altar. I saw my sweetheart's face in the crowd and ignored him, and my eyes remained dry despite the pain his wounded expression caused me.
My husband-to-be smiled at me and gestured to the man at the altar, who began to perform the ceremony. As was custom, he asked both of us to confirm our wish to be wed.
"I would give anything to keep my country safe," I mused aloud, "And this is one of those things that requires little thought." Both of them seemed pleased with the answer, and I glanced above the altar to see a stained-glass rendition of a woman weeping.
Thank you, I greeted silently. Thank you for expressing the sorrow I cannot.
I often visited that church, spending time simply staring up at the glass window. I had no Faith, but... I knew, somehow, that she was my stained glass angel. She remained such until, while witnessing my son the prince's wedding, I noticed that she had been replaced.
"Why, you're crying," my husband murmured, a little taken aback. He was not a cruel man; he cared for me well over the years, and so I managed a smile for him.
"Who would not be happy to see their children wed?" I replied, soothing him, only to bow my head in sorrow as the bride looked to a man in the crowd. She, too, would have need of an angel. A pity that she only had me. [/color][/font]