So welcome to the void. . . after much pondering I have decided to create a place for all my jumbled bits of writing! :nods:
I'm not a serious or professional writer by any standard but I do write things occaionally. And when in future I do, you can read it here and give criticism and feedback. I'm a bit unsure of my grammar so hopefully some of you can help me with that. :)
Okay. ~:| Here is a story I wrote for school the other day. We had a word limit of 1,500 so if its a bit disjointed in parts its because I cut some things out. I based it on part of the life of Lady Jane Grey.
Heart of Glass
A resounding thud echoes through the halls of Windsor Castle. My heart threatens to break a rib with its rapid beating. I gaze startled around me taking in the undisturbed vestibule of silent portraits of those who had previously sat on the throne of England. Recovering from my shock I hesitate for a moment, listening for any hint that Queen Jane has been disturbed. She has not fared well, the betrayal of her parents. How one could abandon their child is unknown to the ways of my heart. The added pressure from the people for her to declare to her cousin Mary has even more disheartened her. Mary the Catholic princess seeks allies from France and Spain to claim the throne. Meaning Jane is in danger. Assured that she is peacefully oblivious, I relax slightly and hurry to the door where the noise surely originates from. Passing the yellowed stone of the corridor walls, my feet sinking into the thick woollen rugs, I approach the grand entrance. Taking a deep breath I open the door.
Standing regally before me is a messenger dressed in the satin and velvet style currently popular in France. My heart sinks like a ship that has suffered a blow on the rocks. Oh no. This is no common messenger; he has come from Princess Mary.
I stand mute with shock by the door until I hear a call from Queen Jane. “Dorothy, what is wrong?” Before I can warn her she has stepped into the room. Her hair falls lankly in dull golden curls and her eyes are shadowed with bruised purple.
Her red-rimmed eyes gaze inquisitively at me. “My Lady, a messenger,” I pause uncertainly, preparing myself for the terrible misery soon to be present in her face. “He has come from Princess Mary.”
She visibly tenses and turns to the messenger; surprisingly she gives a strained smile, “I should not be so shocked. Most of England has openly declared to Mary, it was only a matter of time. Time has always been against me.” Sorrowfully she stares into the distance a moment with the look of one far older than Her Majesty. She rouses herself from her thoughts and continues, “What message does my dear cousin send?”
Slightly unnerved by her response the messenger replies, “Her Royal Majesty Queen Mary announces her claim on the throne of England. Forthwith you and your husband shall be imprisoned in the Tower.”
Not the Tower. Half the people who go in there never come out. And if they ever do it is most likely that the last thing they see is a crowd of unforgiving people as the axe swings. . .Please may the good Lord prevent this. Dear Jane has already suffered too much. I gaze anxiously at Queen Jane but her face shows no emotion. It’s a cold marble mask.
“I shall alert Guildford. Give us a moment to collect some personal belongings.”
As I follow Lady Jane up the staircase to her bedroom, I glance back at the messenger. He seems almost sorry. Almost.
Lord Guildford, Lady Jane and I are escorted to the Tower amidst a group of guards. I can barely hold in my tears. Jane though, has her head held high. Before she is sent inside she turns and grasps my hands looking into my face.
“Dorothy, do not fret. Mary is merciful.” She can see I am doubtful. “Mary and I are like sisters. She knows I did not want the crown. This ought not to change such a bond. She will send a Royal Pardon and I’ll be free. Have faith.” Quickly she kisses me on the cheek and disappears into the Tower leaving me unsure of whether I will ever see her again.
Days after Lady Jane’s imprisonment I am permitted to see her. Entering the Tower I see the gentlemen jailor, Master Partridge, give me a sad smile. That smile tells me all I need to know and it does not bode well for Jane. When I enter her room she is sitting on a small bed against the pristine white wall of the bare room. Her hands are fiddling with the hem of her sleeve. They have a nervous quake that was not there before. At my entrance she raises her head and gives me a small smile. Her face is gaunt and there are dark shadows beneath her eyes. As I peer into her eyes I notice a ghost-like impression that ages her beyond the years of 16.
Patting the coarse bedding beside her she says, “Dorothy, how lovely to see you. Do sit.”
Obliging I sit down and reply cautiously, “How are you faring my Lady?”
“I am gratified by your interest in my health my dear. I am doing well enough I suppose.” She sighs and pats my hand, her gaze wandering out the window.
There is something in her voice that makes me uneasy. “But Jane, there is something you’re not telling your old friend. What worries you?”
“You know me too well Dorothy. But it is naught. Do not worry yourself about me. I am well cared for here. Mary has been good to me.” Despite her words I am not inclined to believe her.
“Oh yes, my little sisters Catherine and Mary are her ladies in waiting. Did you know?”
“Then that is a good sign that she will forgive you?” I comment, unsure. Her voice has a forced frivolity. The good news of which she speaks cannot be what contributes to Jane’s worries.
“Indeed I still hope for a reprieve.” Her voice lightens slightly at the thought. It seems that her heart still holds more hope than I expected.
Master Partridge taps on the door frame and says, “Excuse me ladies but it is approaching supper. Perhaps you could visit tomorrow Dorothy?”
“Thank you for visiting me dear. It is much appreciated,” says Jane, smiling warmly.
“Rest well, Jane my friend.” I touch her shoulder and walk out the door. But before I can leave the Tower, the jailor stops me and asks if he can have a word.
He seems unsure where to start. I can see a deep sadness in his eyes. “What is wrong?” I ask warily.
“I have received a message from Queen Mary.” My heart contracts. Solemnly he continues, “Jane has been sentenced to death for treason.”
I stare uncomprehending for a moment and then it sinks in. Sinking like a stone thrown into a deep lake. I gulp and blink hard hoping when my eyes open the troubles will be gone. But they are still there. A cold hand on my heart.
Finally I find my voice, “N-n-n-no sir. That ca-a-not be right. The Queen. . . Catherine. Mary. They are her ladies in waiting. Sure sign of, for-forgiveness a-and clem-m-ency.” My speech stutters with incredulity and denial. I desperately grasp around for any hope. But all I come up with is air.
He gives me a pitying look. “It has not happened yet; there is still hope of acquittal.” Even to me the chance seems feeble. Hardly a chance at all.
“Does she know?”
“Jane, yes she knows.”
Oh poor Jane. She has seen her own death warrant, signed by a beloved, for a crime she is not guilty of, and she still has it in her heart to care for me. Protect me from this awful reality. She does not deserve to die.
Mindlessly I trudge back to my room nearby. As I walk a heavy downpour of rain is unleashed bringing to the surface all the misery in my heart.
This is the day I’ve been dreading. Standing in the crowd my heart feels heavy. I wear white for hope. Hope is the only thing keeping me going. Jane must feel similarly. I went to see her early this morning and was allowed only a brief visit. Oh Jane. A shining spark on hope is still visible in her eyes. For everything that has befallen her, she still loves Mary. Perhaps a fainter friendship than before but a friendship nether the less.
There is a commotion and I look up to see Jane being escorted onto the platform, head held high. Scanning the balconies for Queen Mary I spot her. Sitting still as stone, eyes fixed on Jane. There is no emotion in her face. And my hope dies. Turning back to Jane I see the executioner raise the axe. By Jane’s posture I can tell she believes there is still hope. But I know better. All hope is gone. As the sharp blade of the axe descends towards her I watch horror- struck. With an unearthly crack the deed is done. Tears welling in my eyes I begin to sob. Never again will her presence grace this earth. My heart is broken. Broken beyond repair. Sometimes hearts break quietly, but mine has shattered, like a heart of glass, for all to hear.