BECOMING THE LADY
I sat on my normal chair looking out the window. My husband had been away for many months at war and for the last few nights I had been praying that he would return soon. From the tower my room was in I could see for many miles and would be able to see when he was returning. I held my son Lularch close to my heart and mused over how much I loved him.
“Dinner is served my lady,” one of my maids said. She tried to take my son from me but I don’t feel like giving him up at the moment. I carry him downstairs and am almost run into by the two demon spawn from my husbands first marriage. I order the children outside and wonder how upset Gille would be if he came home and his children were no longer breathing. I had barely finished the thought when the girl child screamed. My heart stopped. My thought may have been granted but it wasn’t what I really wanted.
I passed Lularch off to the maid and lifting my floor length skirt I ran out the front door. My eyes scanned the yard and there was no sign of either of them. My heart raced as I pictured a million possible reasons the child could have screamed. I heard another scream and knew that it was coming from the stables. I ran around as fast as my legs could carry me and was relieved to see Gille had her on his shoulders and when I saw the smile on her face I realized that her screams were joyful and not terrified. I welcomed him home.
I introduced him to our son for the first time. I did not seem to interested and wanted to spend more time with his other two children. Later that night he told me that he was next in line for the throne and the current king was going to visit us shortly to make sure that we would be suitable heirs. The news spread quickly and everyone in our small town offered assistance. My father came to stay with us as well.
Finally the day arrived the king and a small portion of his army greeted us in the front yard. I held Lularch on my hip and welcomed them inside. The King decided to make his announcement to the whole town since they were all gathered around outside.
“In honour of his bravery and loyalty in all our recent battles I have decided to name Gille as the heir to my throne.”
My father picked me up and spun me around.
“That is grand news,” he exclaimed. It was wonderful to see him so happy. Since my mother and brother had died from the plague five years ago his eyes had been hollow. We ushered them into the dining hall for a feast that our maids had slaved over for days.
Gilles children raced through the room and I could see all the men’s faces twist in disgust at the undisciplined children running through the place. I felt angry that the children could be so disrespectful. One of the maids ushered them out of the room but from the looks on the faces of those in the room the damage had been done. I sat next to Gille after I passes Lularch to one of the other maids. I was lost in the plans that they were making for the kingdom and sat there pushing the food around my plate. I missed Lularch already. It was such a strange sensation. Gille could be away for months at a time and even once for a year and I didn’t miss him anywhere near as much as I missed my son in the ten minutes he had been away. I excused myself from the table. I found them quickly and held him tightly in my arms. I decided to head back to the dining hall and see how everything was going. I jumped backwards as something rolled out the door past my feet. I heard the gentle thud as it hit the legs of the maid behind me.
The noise that followed will haunt me forever. The most ear-piercing scream that made my heart stop. I turned to put the maid in her place, she was there to be seen and no heard. It was then that I saw what the object was it was a severed head. Its eyes were still open in shock and my mouth opened wide. My heart started racing. I took a moment to inspect the head and was relieved to see that it didn’t belong to anyone that I knew. I exchanged a glance with the maid and knew the two of us were thinking the same thing. Who else lies dead behind the door? What of my father and my husband? Do I run or do I stay and see what I can do?
I took my chances and entered the room. It only took a few seconds before I know that I had made the wrong choice. The King still sat in his seat but had been unseamed from the nave to the chaps. His internal organs were on display for the world to see. Some of my maids were in pieces on the floor. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Blood is splattered up the walls and pools of it lie on the floor. It took longer than it should have for the images in the room to register in my brain but the shock of the events had slowed my reactions. The headless body that once belonged to the head that rolled past me is lying in the doorway. The blood is oozing out of the opening where his head used to sit. I looked down and saw that the blood had spread so far it was touching the tip of my shoes. The body is face down as though he tried to flee the scene.
I searched the room for my husband and father and my heart jumped into my throat when I couldn’t see either of them. My body started to tremble as I imagined the possible outcomes that could have befallen my loved ones. What happened in here for so much bloodshed to follow? My eyes darted around the room hoping to find my husband and father. There was little sign of life around the room except for a couple of the kings men fighting among themselves. Their swords clinked together and then one got the upper hand and ran his sword straight through the other. He reefed his sword upward and tore the others insides apart. The body fell to the floor with a thud and the little space of floor that was still clear was now also covered in blood. The sight of the already dead bodies had been one thing and my stomach had flopped but watching a living soul become a dead one twisted my stomach into knots.
I saw a soldier drag my father from the kitchen. I had to look twice to identify him because his face has been hit so much that it is swollen and covered in blood. His clothes are torn the soldier dragging him twists his arm until the sound of snapping bone echoes in my ear. My already twisted stomach threatens to empty its contents. The vile vomit burns as it reaches my throat. The soldier on the other side of the room marches over to the table. I recognize him as one I was introduced to as Duncan. He bent under the table and dragged someone out from under it. It took me a moment to see that it is Gille being dragged across the floor. Duncan looked as though he wasn’t even going to allow Gille the dignity of being on his feet before he tried to kill him. Duncan raised his sword with the tip pointed directly at Gilles heart.
“No,” I cried suddenly finding my voice. I know that I am powerless to help the men that I love but at the same time I am powerless to move. My legs were frozen in place. My father managed to get himself to his knees after he had been thrown to the floor. He saw me in the doorway and his eyes widened. I wanted to race to his side but fear had my body locked.
“Run,” my father commanded. I tried to obey but couldn’t move. My eyes were locked with his and I tried to yell out for them to leave him alone but the fear tightened around my chest stopped any sound from coming out. But I was too late. The soldier’s sword ran straight through my father’s chest and out his back. I knew the sword had pierced straight through his heart my own heart felt like it had been pierced through as well.
While I had been watching my father Gille had fought his way to his feet. Duncan had a tight grip on his shoulders and forced Gille down to his knees.
“You are not worthy of the promotion I have spent my life working towards. You tore away my dreams and now everyone that you know will suffer for your actions,” Duncan growls as he raised his sword. My heart ached to hold him one last time but I knew there was nothing that I could do for him. His final words break the spell that had me frozen in place.
“Get Lularch out of here,” he cried. I looked down at my arms and suddenly remembered the baby that I have been holding the whole time. By the time I looked back up where Gille was kneeling his head had been swiftly removed from his body.
“Get out my lady,” cried the maid as she stepped in front of me. I turned and ran from the house. I passed the children playing outside. The thought to leave them behind crossed my mind but any part of Gille that I could keep would be good.
“Come with me,” I commanded.
“You’re not our mother,” the girl snapped at me.
“See those soldiers coming out the door? They just killed your father and we are next,” I growled at them.
“Father,” she screamed as she ran towards the door. I prayed that they might let the child live but my hopes are short lived as I watched the soldier drive his sword through her abdomen. For the first time in my life I felt sorry for the child but I haven’t the time to dwell on it as they turned their attention to me.
“Live or die?” I asked Gille’s son. He took the hand I had extended and we ran together.
“Let them go,” I heard one of them say. “It’s only a woman and two kids.”
“They are who we need the most,” I heard Duncan say. “His sons are the heirs to the throne. They need to die before I can be crowned.”
I heard their footsteps gain on me and with each step my heart raced faster. I dropped his hand in the hopes to give Lularch a better chance of survival. I felt the boy struggle to keep up. His blood splattered up my back and I knew they had caught up. I held my son closer and put my head down and ran with all my might. I made it to the town and lost them by turning a few streets and then climbed through a window. The owner of the place is startled but kept quiet as the guards ran past the place. I hid crouched under the table as they ran through the town. I heard them start entering the houses and tearing them apart. I held Lularch closer and closed my eyes hoping that they would pass on by. Lularch started to stir and I held him tighter wanting to absorb him into my body and keep him safe. It only took moments for him to start screaming. The door is kicked down and the owner of the house tore him from my arms. She told the soldiers that he is her baby and they believed her. I stayed in the house until I heard the soldiers leave the town and leave with Duncan on their horses. When I could no longer see them over the horizon I left the safety of the house and headed to my home in the hopes to find someone alive.
When I got there I find a yard full of bodies and a house that is ablaze with unforgiving fire. I stared into the flames and allow the first tears to fall. My husband, my father, my home, my servants, the two children I never liked and everything I ever owned all destroyed in moments. A hand grabbed me from behind and twisted me around. I was met by a menacing grin with a few teeth missing and a long scar along his cheek. I gasped he grabbed my arm and dragged me to my knees. I held Lularch tighter than I had held anything. Then I felt the warm liquid run down my arms and I looked at my hands that are suddenly covered in blood. I didn’t feel any pain but when I looked down I saw a dagger had entered my side straight through the lifeless body of my son. The world holds nothing for me and I am grateful for the blackness that engulfed me.
I curse the day that I didn’t die. It plagues my mind while I wake and while I sleep. I vow to myself that King Duncan’s reign will be short. The woman who saved me from the soldiers is also the one that healed me. She gave me a small pack to travel with and told me of a town called Cawdor where some of Duncan’s other men resided. I travelled for many days and nights and found the place that I will seek my revenge on those who have wronged me. I am stopped at the gates of a great home.
“What might I ask is your business?” asked the porter. I can smell the stench of alcohol on his breath.
“I need a place to rest,” I pleaded. Then I saw him a man of intense beauty. He noticed me and came over.
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked the porter.
“This lady would like somewhere to rest,” explained the porter.
“Then that’s what we shall give her,” he said. My eyes locked onto his. They are intensely dark but soulful. “Good evening my lady. My name is Macbeth.”
He bowed in front of me and I giggled. I can see his eyes sparkle as he stood up to his full height again. The first stage of my plan for revenge had been successful.
Write a horror in 2500 words
actual word count 2500