Here's a moment from 'A Rebel Song in Paradise, which was formerly titled 'On the Other Side of the Mask'. I've decided to split Byron and Shelley's story into two. The first is about claiming their names and singing their song, despite belonging to the Church in Paradise. The second is about being claimed by Lord Ruthvyn and struggling to hold onto themselves despite the madness in his house.
“Why Byron?” The soft question wormed its way into his ear, through the silence of other breathing children, tucked away in their beds.
Byron turned over in his small cot. Of course Shelley was lying in the cot next to him. Of course Shelley had asked that question.
“He fought,” Byron said, not sure why he was answering. “He fought in the world Paradise left behind. He kept fighting, until he died in a foreign land for the cause of freedom.”
“What did he fight with?” Shelley asked. Faint moonlight shone through the barred windows above. It illuminated the other’s boy’s pale skin, reflected off his bright eye.
For one moment, Byron was tempted to reach out a hand to touch that pale cheek. Instead, he looked away.
“The wrong weapons,” Byron said. His whisper was entirely too loud amidst the gentle snores of the other children.