Sinking – Chapter 4

The day I met her.

It was long ago, the start of August, and I remember the majority of leaves had turned that crisp crunchy brown, The children running amok in the streets would frolic in them. It was a day like that, with an ambient glow that placed myself in a particular joyous mood, that I met her. The neighbourhood children had made a pile of leaves three times their size, and as I had walked out the front gate they’d propelled themselves into it, scattering those auburn blades, and momentarily blinding me. Then, as the leaves had cleared, like a figure straight from Lucius Apuleius’ The golden Asse, she emerged from her carriage. Walking in her leather bound shoes, bold artichoke patterned silk houppelandes, feathered head dress which made my embroidered shirt, satin doublet, and woollen hose appear plain. I believe it was when her melting eyes had met mine, she’d slightly bowed, and her husky voice spoke with the civility of a queen that I fell for her,

“Are you Charles III, the son of Francis I, Duke of Lorraine?”

I was stunned, she mistook me for royalty when I was barely apart of the middle class, I found myself pause.

“umm, no your mistaken, I am one of his housekeepers and a scholar, Florance Bell, I am sorry to say that the Master is no longer in England, he recently left this estate and isn’t planning on returning until the next year. He is now in Lorraine.”  

My words left a heavy register which became heavier as thick tears began to well in her eyes.

“Oh dear, what do I do?…How could I have missed him??? Arggghhh such a mistake.”

Excusez-moi madame, what is the problem?”

“The problem! I have failed… failed my household, my family name, how can I go home to bear the shame…”

She’d began hysterical nonsensical cries, so without thought I led her and her escorts into the estate and had the other servants prepare some food and drink. Which was a good choice as her cries calmed as she ate.

“Thank you, I apologise for the trouble.”

“No you weren’t any trouble at all, in fact I’d had a free day today and had been worried about how to spend it, I’m glad that it has been spent with a lady as beautiful as yourself.”

A bright smile glanced on her lips, “You are too good with words Monsieur.” She laughed and it was as if angels had perched on my shoulders and sang.

“I have been betrothed to Charles III since I was born, however we have never met, and I am over a decade younger than him. Him being the youngest son of Duke Francis no one expected him to stand on the throne, thus it wasn’t important whether our wedlock was seen through. My parents were searching for a better suitor, however now that he is the last surviving son of the Duke he has grown in importance, and it has become more urgent for me to wed him and offer more status to my family. However we recently caught wind that he was to marry Claude of Valois, the princess of France, I was sent to stop him and remind him of his pact to our family, but alas he is gone. A previous engagement is nought when he is wed. I have lost, my purpose is gone. Whilst my sisters are happily wed elsewhere I am trash thrown to the side. My parents are likely to give up on me and I shall become some spinster caring for another nobles child….”

“I see.” Was all I could muster, for with her words it was as if I’d been given the most lavish rose but its thorns were so sharp I could neither touch nor smell it, all I could do was stare at her from behind the glass. Our statuses were too different, and I was now going to suffer an unrequited love. Fate was cruel to let me set eyes on her.

“Only ‘I see’ I am facing the dilemma of my life and all you can say is ‘I see'”

“Calm yourself, I did not mean it in such a fashion, I only acknowledged your tale. From what I can see however is that you exaggerate.”

“Exaggerate, how dare you say such a thing!” As her voice raised her male escorts eyes glowered at me. Such treatment to a man whom had given them such hospitality, the elites really are good at throwing their pride around.

“It is an exaggeration! No man in their right mind would toss aside a beauty such as yourself. If the Master had met you, the moment your eyes connected would have been the moment he turned down his wedding. He will surely come to regret his marriage when word of your allure reaches his ears. If there is a Cupid then you are his Psyche, the day you are a spinster without love raising another’s child is the day when purgatory ends and all the evil souls will come to reek havoc on the mortal world. So please do not belittle yourself, for you are also belittling every man out there with eyes that can clearly see you.”

The words had come out before I could stop them, and almost everyone present had halted and stared at me, astounded by the romantic lyrics that dripped from my tongue. I think I was more surprised than them. But what surprised me more was the rouge colour that had taken over her pale skin.

That was how our romance began.

 

 

 

 

Sinking- Chapter 3

When had humanity become so evil?

My dear maybe…

Huh…

Why, why is the water still, why is there a boat at my side.

Is this you? GOD, are you finally answering the prayers I’d sent you. Is that it?

BAMM!!

No I must not question, only thank.

On land there is death but water there is hope, If I can cross they may not follow.

Yes. Thank you God.

At my side is a skiff of sorts made of some type of dark wood, maybe Oak. Where had it come from?…why do I feel like I shouldn’t touch?

BAMM! they’re getting closer…BAMMMMMMMMMM!!! So many shots, they’re blood thirsty, but I won’t let them have it. My life and hers, My Dear I’ll save her, I know I will. I can’t give in. I can’t.

I extend my hand, stroking the Oar on it’s side, made of that same dark wood, deeply engraved with obscure symbols. Is this how Charon felt, when pronounced the ferryman of the dead, am I beginning on some cyclical journey that there is no hope for.

Will time halt like the river has halted for me.

Is it really God offering his service or something more dire?

BAMM!!!! now they’re so loud, I can hear ringing like the chiming of the bells that played at our wedding, my dear. I smell the gunpowder on the air, like the overbearing fume of the perfumes you had.

Now everything reminds me of you. Don’t worry my Dear, I’ll save her, and myself. I’ll be home in England before you know it, presenting you with flowers… telling stories to your…tombstone…

I push out the skiffy onto the eerily still water, my hands trembling on the grip of the oar, sweaty. Heart, stop palpating, stop it now.

I turn to look back, I’m vulnerable here. The first one to look over the cliff range will see me drifting in the river, then it’s all over. I must paddle faster. I don’t know how far their muzzle-loaded, smooth-bore firearms can reach…

Something is wrong. I’m paddling I know I am, I certainly am. So why have I stopped in the centre. Why is the skiff not going back or forward, why is the distance between myself and land seeming further, what is happening? Are you having fun with your games GOD?

Don’t worry my dear, I won’t die here. Not here.

My dear, my dear, my dear…

Why are you in front of me?

Haha, my dear, I am now lost… For the lunacy that is said to only come with the full moon, has now taken over me in full day. I see you. I see you! I SEE YOU!!

‘Why are you here?’ Should I ask? I’m too scared of breaking this illusion. In that stationary river water I see you. Your pretty head peeking up at me, your slender hands clinging to the edge of the skiff. How can this be? I know I’m not mistaken. There is no one else in the vast world with your warm cocoa eyes, those pouting pink lips seductively begging for a kiss, no one else has your golden hair that has the texture of silk.

I mindlessly stroke…It really does feel like silk.

“My dear, you’re here.” I mutter, so quietly I wonder if she hears. Her head turns to mine.

She heard.

Her arm reaches out from the depths of the river, breaking the surface yet not making a ripple, even as the water runs down her arm, no ripple. only drip, drip, drip…

In the back of my mind, I know this isn’t her. I know this is some delusion. A demon of the heart.

Here is Chapter 3 of Sinking. I will also be posting Chapter 4 today so stay tuned!!

Sinking- Chapter two

I’d travelled to Habsburg Spain, in that time it was an archaic yet necessary land for our great Empire, making sure not to be caught in a devils web, or walk into a lunatic’s murder spree, and I most definitely avoided their police or inquisitors. I am, or was, a man with sense whom prided his life.

Somehow, someway, I bartered onto a ship. They had a vacancy for a writer to scrawl the Captain’s memoirs. Captain Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, whom was on an expedition to find the mythical seven cities of gold. Damn gold.

It was a strike of luck, or un-luck as they call it perhaps. Or maybe Satan’s little demons were having a picnic with fate. Whichever I suppose doesn’t matter.

I’d ended up on a ship. A revolutionary modern monster of mighty sails. It was a Spanish Nao, utilising a high rounded stern, an aft castle, forecastle, bows sprit at the stem. Square rigged on the foremast and the main mast, latent rigged on the mizenmast. Most impressive.Personally. I’d rather of travelled a Nave, one of the stronger Spanish ships. But you get what you get, I presume. Apparently no matter the vessel the trip was equally disgusting. Horrific. With less than a chance of never touching land again.

BAMM!!! BAMM!!! BAMM!!!

Enough, enough, enough. I apologise for the disturbance but I need to disrupt this pleasant explanation. My enemy is coming closer. Warning shots. They’re closing in from all sides. Taunting me are they, is this fun for them? Godspeed, I must run.

I won’t let you have it, I won’t let you. With this I can get her back. I must I must, you can’t stop me. I won’t let you stop me.

I now understand the flawless gazelle that quails at human pursuers. Trapped, no way of turning back only forward. But what if there was no forward, what if there was only end. I see before me, my dear, only end.

Only an expanse of water, from what we had called, the Colorado River. At the summit. This body flowing down somewhere, probably into that Canyon, that abyss. The flow is too powerful, there is no way I can swim, there is no boat that would survive her wrath.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no….This can’t be happening, it can’t. Don’t tell me I’ll die here. Here. Oh god why here? In this defiling barbaric place. A new world, a new start, a new hope. Dumb. Stupid….bullshit. If you’re going to lie about such things, least make the lie closer to the truth. Maybe more believable. This is a savage land with savage people.

No. Not the tribesman or natives. I mean us, we’re savage.

I saw it. I saw them do it. Kill them…kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, and kill again. So creatively almost admirable how filthy they are. This isn’t our world. It wasn’t meant for us. We’re invaders spreading sickness of the body, mind, and soul. I wish killing was all I’d seen. I won’t. I can’t think of the other horrors.

I feel sick.

I feel hopeless.

They’ll put my head on a plateau and use it to feed the crows that follow them into the endless day.

I wish I’d had the strength to stop them, I wonder if anyone will know or even care about their actions.

Hello, it’s Alexia again. 🙂 I’ve been revising for my English exam all day, haha wish me luck! I already have most chapters for sinking written, and since I’ll likely be more swamped with exams next week it’s better that I post chapter two now in case I forget.

Enjoy!!

Sinking – Chapter one

Peeking over the hills was warm light that like the soft innocence in a new born child’s eye, was the sunrise. Endearing. A calling from the heavens or as common folk say, ‘a better place’. That was the sunrise. Breaking. My shattering darkness dissipating at her touch that was the sunrise. BAMM! The opening shot of a new hunt. My hunt. That was the sunrise.

In the wake of a new day there was the pattering, then even closer thudding of clasped, quality, leather boots on crisp autumn leaves. I heard it. Yes it was close causing the surprised rustle of startled animals, the eruption of migrating birds fleeing from their perches. I saw it. The breeze, with his elegant movements attracting the trees, they sensually move to his whims. His confidence, so great, he dare to caress the hard cheeks of a troubled man… such as myself. I felt it. The fear that is birthed from the elusive nature of a new day, perspiring sweat, rolling from my forehead into parched lips. I could taste it. The feeling that any time remaining for me, was slowly coming to an end. I sense it.

Hopefully, my senses are wrong.

I must hurry now, no rest for the unfortunate or wicked, as a saying goes. Unlike nature I don’t have the pleasure of playing around.

They’re coming….

closer -closer- and even closer…

Why is this happening? How did this begin? Is what you should be wondering, as I have no one else to tell I’ll take up a margin of your limited time to explain.

1539.A year that the existential desire to escape gained the better of me. And I went along with Desire’s whims with no question, like some do.

Well, we all make mistakes.

I was, maybe I still am, a Scholar, no cowboy, never the buccaneering type. I’d gone through my life in the pursuit of knowledge, looking in a straight line never back. I quite admired my convictions.

Look where that got me.  FOOL…

Why had I done it? I’d followed the unnerving wonder of rumours similar to the foolish children that followed the pied piper. Never returning. Will I never return?

Damnation, it was all the fault of the new world.

An extraordinary land with obscure treasures, unlike any that man could imagine. Unlike any they said. It aggravated me, I prided myself on the vastness of my imagination, my aptitude as one of the few learned individuals in a world such as today.

I had to go. Such a paragon! How could I not challenge! I had to abandon everything, leave what I barely had left. Empty rooms, empty cot, a full bank… a full cemetery.

It wasn’t anything special.

Maybe I was running from Mr Misery, it isn’t Adventures fault, we should leave the poor lad alone. I shouldn’t turn to Desire, it’s not like he can help tempting people. It’s a job like any other in the working world. Only I am to blame.

Alas as a Scholar I had to tempt what other lesser learned men would be too cautious to touch. As a coward, fleeing was my speciality…

Hello!!! It’s Alexia. This is the First Chapter of a short story I wrote. It is titled Sinking. It is about a Man that wanders a long way from home and gets himself into a lot of trouble when he takes what doesn’t belong to him. And in the process of fleeing he meets a demon.

I’ll update this story every Friday, stay tuned!!!