That was how long she sat on the throne she’d been forced into, how long she had held all the power and none of it. Each night she had woken in a sweat, knowing that it could all only end one way.
There had been one moment, sitting beside her husband, when it all felt real. For an instant, Jane Grey had imagined her England, an England ruled with kindness and justice. She imagined children, grandchildren, a future.
And then they came, Mary and her supporters, and Jane was thrown in the Tower, staring at grey stone. Each day she felt the shadow of the axe over her. Each day she waited for it to fall.
Wyatt’s Rebellion was the death sentence. Mary knew she could be lenient no longer. She could permit no other queen to live, not even a Nine Day Queen.
They brought Jane out into the green and she felt sunlight on her face even as she saw it glinting on the axe. She bowed her head and remembered that moment when she thought she’d have it all: family, throne, future.
She was seventeen years old.
The axe fell.
Word Count: 195
This is for Sunday Photo Fiction! Thanks to A Mixed Bag for the photo prompt!