The Bloody Escape

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This goes back to Brandon's mother, Clarita and tells of how she escaped her father's clutches and why she fled from her castle, family name, wealth and power.

WARNING: Graphic content and language.

Submitted: May 18, 2016

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Submitted: May 18, 2016

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The Bloody Escape

 

Salty tears ran down her cheeks as she lay battered and bruised upon her mattress. The dark silhouette had left, taking with it the stench of alcohol and horse manure; the metallic scent of blood still remained. She rose to her feet and padded across her chambers to her wooden desk. She picked up a candle and lit it, carrying it back to her bed and setting it down on her side table. Under the glow of the single flame she began to assess the damage. Blood and tears streaked her face; her hair hanging in matted brown clumps. She was in a lot of pain but nothing compared to the first time he had entered her.

She was barely six years old when he stole something from her that she would never get back. He staggered into the room with his pants half undone. Right hand on his crotch, drink in his left hand, spilling it with every step as he stumbled toward her. He crashed onto her bed; the glass rolled out of his hand, sending the contents everywhere and shattering to pieces on the stone floor. He cursed out loud; words a little girl - and a Lady at that – ought not to hear.

“You wasted my drink, you filthy bitch!” He slurred, striking at her drunkenly with his right hand. He almost missed her cheek but the sheer force behind his hand still stung against her soft skin.

“Daddy! No!” She cried, frightened.

This was not the first time her father had put his hands on her, but that particular night things took a turn for the worst. She slipped off the bed in her nightgown and attempted to run for the door. Her father may have been drunk, but he reached out as she ran past and managed to grab her ankle, sending her crashing hard against the stone floor. She screamed as he dragged her backwards, hand over hand. He stood up and pulling her onto her feet with a fistful of her hair he dragged her unwillingly towards the bed. He let out a grunt as he tossed her onto the mattress. She fought to get back up again but he violently shoved her back down as he ripped her underclothes, pinning her against the mattress. She let out an ear-piercing howl as she felt her skin tear; tears streaming down her face as she lay defenceless, paralysed by fear. No one came to her aid. People were scared of her father – even his own guards. She continued to scream out; all the while hopelessly aware that no one would be coming to help her. He panted and puffed while she lay silently praying to the gods that she would go numb. When it was over he staggered out of the room without saying a word leaving her face down and bleeding.

Her hand maids had entered her room the following morning to find her bedsheets drenched in blood and other bodily fluids. She dared not speak to them as they stripped her mattress and remade it with fresh linens. They dare not speak to her either; the last maid that offered her any kind of support was given one hundred licks from a cat o’ nine tails for all her trouble. They had only carried out fifty three lashings before the poor woman hung limply against the ropes; motionless and no longer breathing.

She studied her bruises and scrapes in the candlelight. Some were quite old; some very recent. Running a hand up her leg she stopped at a purplish blue imprint the size of her father’s hand around her thigh. “One day I am going to kill him.” She muttered to herself, fantasizing about how and when she would finally get a chance to enact her revenge.

She picked up her candle, tip-toed over to her door and pulled it open little more than a crack. Poking her head around the corner she glanced up and down the hallway for any signs of movement. When she was satisfied there was no one out there, she ran swiftly across the hall to the washroom and locked the door behind her. Several buckets of hot water later she climbed into the bath and, grabbing a nearby wire brush began scrubbing herself clean. She clambered out of the bath, draped her robe around herself and padded back to her room silently.

Normally her hand maids would dry her, dress her and brush her hair but at this time of night she did not want to arouse suspicion and bring the wrath of her alcoholic, abusive father down on them. She dried herself quickly, slipped another nightgown over her head and flipped her long brown hair, letting it tumble over her nightgown and down her back. She stripped her bed of the dirty, blood stained sheets and replaced them with crisp, clean ones. Climbing back into bed, she pulled the covers to her chin as a long, drawn-out sigh escaped her cracked lips.

Sleep didn’t come easy for her. She was terrified that her father would return at any time, on any night and in various states of inebriation. Fighting did no good; he would simply knock her unconscious and go about his business while she lay sprawled on the bed. Often she would wake with little to no recollection of what had happened to her, but the blood, bruises and the swollen, burning sensation in her quim always gave it away.

She wished her mother was still alive. Time and again she would wonder how different things would be if she were still around. It did little good wishing though, as wishes seldom came true – at least in her experience – and she could wish with all her might but it would never bring her mother back.

She was alone. Utterly and desperately alone.

On her sixteenth name day she spied a procession heading towards the Castle through her bedroom window. She was in the highest tower and could look out over most of Wealdstone. She had spent most of her life in her bedroom. She could not lock the door from the inside – her father saw to that. He could, however lock her in and often did when he wasn’t too drunk to forget to latch the bolt. As she stood staring out of the window, there was a knock at the door. She heard the bolt slide across and one of her hand maids - the youngest one in her father’s service – entered the room hurriedly. She was a short, slender woman no older than about twenty; full lips, blue eyes, blonde hair and a face lightly dotted with freckles. She answered to the name Ylva.

“Begging your pardon, Miss Clarita.” She said, curtsying. “But your father requests your presence in the great hall.”

“Did he say what he wanted?” Clarita asked.

“No, miss.” She said, a tear forming in her right eye. “But if you don’t come, I fear…”

“Fear what, Ylva?”

“H – He said if you didn’t arrive in the next ten minutes his cat would give me fifty licks.” She stammered, swallowing the lump rising in her throat as she fought the urge to cry.

“Don’t be afraid, sweet Ylva.” Clarita murmured as she gave her a gentle hug. “I will be down there in five minutes. You need not worry yourself.”

As much as she hated her father, she hated his abuse even more. She would not allow anyone she cared about to get hurt especially at the hands of that belligerent old bastard. The fact that she was of his seed was enough to make her feel violently ill.

She ran through the Castle, down several flights of spiral stairs and reached the great hall in about two minutes. She slowed to a walk as she threw open the doors to the hall and marched inside. Her father was sitting on his throne looking rather sober. She felt a knot appear in the pit of her stomach. She didn’t like him when he was sober; he was still an abusive lout but without the alcohol he was all the more dangerous. Brutally accurate in his beatings.

“Ah! Daughter!” He said, with a smile. Without changing her facial expression, Clarita cringed. He never smiled. Not even when he was handing out his hidings. She stood quietly with her hands clasped loosely in front of her.

“Come, my daughter.” He said, beckoning Clarita to come closer. “I have someone I would like for you to meet.”

She reluctantly walked forward, still in her nightgown but suddenly feeling completely naked. Her hands trembled the closer she got to him. His eyes bored into her as she moved toward him. She could almost see him follow every contour, every shapely part of her womanly form with his vile eyes. He shifted in his seat and said, “Come, come Clarita. We haven’t got all day. These people have travelled a very long way to meet you.”

Clarita stopped just in front of her father and stared at a spot on the wall just past his head, in an effort to make him believe she was in fact, looking at him. She suspected that he was saving face in front of his guests but she still did not want to make him angry; not that he needed a reason.

“This is King Jorunn from Queensport and his son, Prince Erland.”

Clarita curtsied low so as not to make her father rise to anger. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance King Jorunn. Prince Erland.” she said, as clear and polite as she could muster.

“The pleasure is all mine,” replied King Jorunn. He walked toward her, cloak sweeping the stone floor behind him. Grabbing her hand, he kissed it softly and smiled. “You are very beautiful. You will make a fine bride for my son.”

“For your…” she started, her eyes shifting slowly towards her father. He grinned at her, rather unpleasantly. It suddenly dawned on Clarita why her father had called her into his hall and why these strangers had journeyed so far to meet her.

“I am glad you approve.” Said her father. “We shall begin making the arrangements at once. Come, let us feast.” He ordered his servants to prepare a meal fit for a King, and sent Ylva to help her get dressed into clothes suitable for dining with royalty.

She could not remember the last time her father had bought her a new dress, but there it was, laying spread out on her bed. It was absolutely exquisite; a white embroidered corset with delicate lace embellishments, thousands of precious gems sewn into the fabric, a long-backed flowing satin skirt with layers of tulle underneath, lengthy angel sleeves that started on the arm just below the shoulders and some fine, glass slippers with jewels on the side just below the ankle.

“Maybe it is a good thing, Miss Clarita.” Ylva suddenly said. “I mean, you – your father will no longer be able to hurt you. You will be free of him.”

“Perhaps,” she replied. Without bad luck she would not have any at all. She didn’t like getting her hopes up.

Ylva helped Clarita climb into the dress and laced the corset, pulling it tight and cinching it in at the waist. She slid the glass slippers on her feet as Clarita admired the needlework and precious gems on the bodice.

“Come, Miss Clarita. Let me fix your hair.” She sat down in front of her dressing table as Ylva braided her hair, humming a tune all the while. She let some wisps hang loosely around her face and adorned her brown hair with tiny, white jasmine flowers.

“You look beautiful miss,” she said, a tear appearing in her left eye. She wiped it away as she added, “Oh, one more thing!” Ylva returned with a small box. “Your father requested you wear this.”

She opened the box and pulled out the most magnificent diadem she had ever seen. It was silver filigree with thin leaves of silver scattered here and there and floral designs with diamonds at the very centre of each flower; the petals made up entirely of small amethysts.

“It was sent here straight from the Summer Islands, Miss.” Ylva announced, turning it delicately in her tiny hands before placing gently it on Clarita’s head. “There now, all ready.”

Clarita smiled at her sweetly. Suddenly there was a knock at the door; Ylva opened it to reveal one of Lord Richart’s guards standing on the other side. “Beg your pardon miss, but your father asked for me to come and fetch you.” He looked at Clarita as though he had met her for the first time. “If it isn’t too bold for me to say, M’lady...” He said, fidgeting with the pommel on his sword. “Well, what I mean to say is…the Prince is one lucky man.”

“That’s quite alright, Rowan.” She said, blushing. “Thank you.” She held her arm out to him and he escorted her toward the great hall.

“My lady!” King Jorunn called as she entered the room. “You look magnificent. Don’t you agree, Erland?” Prince Erland looked up from his jug of ale and smiled at Clarita. “Lost for words, lad?” Jorunn laughed as he playfully elbowed Erland in the ribs and took a swig from his jug. He motioned to the space next to him and added, “Come, future daughter. Sit by me.”

The feast was delicious. Truly fit for a King. He was pleasant too; a very talkative, jovial man with bushy grey eyebrows under a crop of groomed, greying, dark hair. He had kind green eyes and a short, grey beard. His son looked a lot like him, but about twenty years younger with brown hair. Unlike his father he did not speak much, but he downed several jugs of ale over supper. Hours of conversation, food, music and other merriments had gone by before she politely excused herself from the hall and headed rather sleepily toward her chambers. Ylva was waiting in her room to help her into her bedclothes. Clarita sat down at her dressing table in her nightgown and yawned wearily.

“How was it, Miss? She asked as she took out Clarita’s hair and started brushing it.

“I like King Joruun.” Clarita replied.

“And Prince Erland?” Ylva asked, intrigued.

“I am not really sure. He didn’t say much. Very quiet.” Murmured Clarita, yawning again.

“Maybe he was nervous?” She said. “Or perhaps tired from the long trip?”

“Perhaps.”

Ylva finished brushing Clarita’s hair and helped her into bed before leaving the room, closing the door behind her.

She had not long drifted off to sleep when she heard the door creak open. She saw two dark silhouettes enter the room in hushed tones. She blinked, thinking her drowsiness was making her see double. She recognised her father’s voice straight away; the other voice she could not place. They came staggering toward her, whispering and laughing amongst themselves. Her father was always careful to close the door after he entered her room. Not that it mattered. The whole castle knew what he did to her at night; the screams were not hard to miss.

The dark shadows came toward her; she pulled the covers over her head in an effort to make them disappear. They still came at her, ripping the covers off and tearing at her nightgown. As they took turns at her, the looming shadows suddenly came into clear focus. “Prince Erland…” Clarita muttered. She felt the familiar solid blow of her father’s fist as she blacked out.

Ylva came into her room early the following morning, carrying a tray with a boiled egg, slice of toast and some freshly squeezed orange juice.

“Good morning, Miss.” She said, as she placed it on Clarita’s side table. She suddenly noticed her haggard appearance and tear stained face. “Oh M’lady! Y – Your father, he did it again?”

“I have to get out of here!” She cried, her voice breaking.

“Hush, M’lady.” Ylva said, taking position beside Clarita as she pulled her close. Ylva sat silently, stroking Clarita’s hair and doing her best to comfort her; listening intently as Clarita told her story through a flood of tears and choked sobs.

“Oh, Miss Clarita.” She said. “I overheard your father talking to King Jorunn and Prince Erland this morning while I was preparing your breakfast. They plan to have you wed on the morrow.”

“No!” Clarita gasped, reeling in horror. “I can’t marry him!”

“What are you going to do, M’lady?”

“Help me, Ylva.” She begged, tears streaming down her face as she tugged at Ylva’s hands.

“Hush, Miss Clarita.” She said, soothing voice. “I will meet you in your room tonight after supper.”

“What if he comes into my room while you are here?” She asked, nervously.

“I will wait until a good opportunity presents itself, Miss Clarita. Pack some things and be ready for me tonight. Speak of this to no one, but mark my words, M’lady, you will not be going through with the nuptials.”

Some handmaidens entered the room shortly after to strip and make her bed. They took the tray of half eaten food and left. She paced back and forth in her chamber for hours. Her nerves sprang into action throughout her whole body as someone knocked on her door and slid the bolt across. The two maids from earlier appeared and the older one said, “Begging your pardon, M’lady but your father sent us to escort you to the great hall.”

Clarita followed them to the hall and felt her apprehension intensify as she got closer to the noise from behind the doors. Her father was putting on another one of his feasts again to appease their guests. She reluctantly entered the room and was about to sit down at the table as far away from her father and Erland as she could when he said, “Come hither, daughter.” Clarita hesitantly turned and headed toward him. He grinned as he added, “Sit between your father and future husband.” Both of them grinned at her; Erland swigging a jug of ale with eager gulps and her father chewing heartily on a roast turkey leg.

She looked at them both, trying hard to disguise the disgust written all over her face but her father noticed and he shook his head, his eyes boring into hers.

“How did you sleep, Lady Clarita?” King Jorunn asked, offering her a genuine smile.

“I, um…” She hesitated as her father glanced tersely in her direction. “I slept well, thank you, your highness.”

“Good, good.” He replied, cheerfully. “We have planned the wedding for tomorrow. All the arrangements have been made. Prince Erland is looking forward to your betrothal, aren’t you boy?”

Erland looked up from his third jug of ale since Clarita had entered the hall and replied excitedly, “Yes father.” He smirked before turning to her father and added, “Thank you for allowing me into your castle, Lord Richart.”

“The pleasure is all mine, son.” Clarita’s father said, smiling back at Erland while glancing sideways at her. She felt knots appear in the pit of her stomach; it churned violently and her head started to spin.

“M’lady, are you alright?” King Jorunn said, looking at her with great concern.

“I – I just feel very light-headed all of a sudden.” She said, quietly. “May I be excused?”

“Of course you can.” King Jorunn smiled sympathetically as he helped Clarita to her feet. “You probably just need some rest. Given the circumstances I am sure you are feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Things will work out though. You will see.”

“Yes,” She mumbled, feeling like she was going to crash to the floor at any moment. “It is a lot to take in.”

King Jorunn motioned for some maids nearby to help Clarita up to her chambers and as she left the room she noticed Erland and her father eyeing her intently.

The maids helped her into bed and departed the room, closing the door behind them. Her head was still spinning, her heart hammering loudly in her chest. She waited for sleep to take her but it never did. She heard the familiar sound of the door creaking open and two dark shapes entered, staggering and feeling their way through the dark as they headed toward her. Erland and her father smelt like they had emptied every barrel in the castle. She lay there motionless; staring at a pattern on the stone ceiling as they took turns climbing on top of her again. Her skin crawled with every touch and she begged silently for the gods to let it be over soon. After about an hour or two of them spilling their seed in her, they finally left the room in their drunken stupor.

Clarita waited until she could no longer hear the sound of their footsteps echoing off the stone walls and climbed out of bed. She could feel some sticky seed dribbling down her thighs as she stood; she retched, tasting bile on her tongue and swallowed, cringing. She collected a knapsack and threw in several changes of clothes, her brush and some foodstuffs Ylva had managed to pilfer from the kitchen. She brushed her hair hurriedly, tied it up into a loose bun and tossed the brush back into the knapsack. The door creaked open again. She panicked, leaping back into bed and pulling the covers to her chin.

“It’s just me, M’lady.” Said Ylva. Rowan entered the room behind her and he closed the door. “I heard about what happened, Miss.” He said, running his hand through his dark, brown hair. “And I wanted to help you. Here are some dark leathers and a black cloak I stole from the barracks. I got the smallest size I could find. I hope they fit.”

“Thank you so much, Rowan.” Clarita said, rushing forward and kissing him gently on the cheek. His face flushed and he smiled awkwardly. “We want to come with you, M’lady but we feel that you would get further, much quicker if you were unaccompanied.”

“Here is some more food to take with you. I am sorry I could not get anymore.” Ylva said, handing her a small bag.

“I have also secured a horse to the far side of the keep, M’lady. One of our fastest mares, Gallamyst.” Rowan said.

“Thank you so much. Both of you.” Clarita said, putting the small bag into her knapsack. She hugged both of them before slipping quietly through her door and out into the hallway.

The castle was eerily quiet. As she made her way down the hall and towards the spiral stairs all she could hear was the steady pounding of her own heart. She descended the tower cautiously, bare feet on stone as she felt her way through the darkness. As she reached the bottom, she heard approaching footsteps and voices. She slipped into a room nearby and waited in the shadows for them to pass. As her eyes adjusted to the dimness she glanced around the room and noticed her father’s sword hanging proudly on the wall above a large, stone fireplace. The sword was made out of the finest steel; the hilt encrusted with diamonds and rubies, pommel branded with the sigil of their house. It had belonged to her family for several generations. She knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would miss that damn sword more than he would her, so she took it off the wall, carefully concealed it in her cloak and crept out into the hallway.

Hushed voices echoed off the stone walls in the distance. Clarita turned and headed away from the voices, slipping out a nearby door and out into the courtyard. She silently tip toed beside the stone wall and slipped between the blacksmith and the stable. Torches cast eerie shadows of her as she went by; slipping into a crack behind the building she was consumed by darkness once more. The hounds in the stables barked suddenly, startling her. Her heart skipped a beat and she crept down low as voices grew louder and louder, hoping that she would stay hidden from the approaching men.

“What ‘ave we got ‘ere, lads?” One of three voices said, grabbing a fistful of Clarita’s hair and pulling her out into the open. The flames rising up from the torches cut through the dimness and threw grotesque shadows all around them.

“That’s Lord Richart’s little bitch.” The shorter of the men spoke. “Word ‘as it that ‘er father doesn’t mind sharing ‘er around. Even the prince ‘as ‘ad a go.”

“What are you doing out of your chambers, little bird?” Said the third man, the tallest of the three as he crouched down to her level, flashing a mouthful of white teeth at her.

“That is none of your business!” Clarita spat, trying to wriggle free of the other man’s grip.

“Feisty little one isn’t she lads?” The short man stepped forward and reached out towards her face. She struck out and caught his hand, drawing blood with her fingernails.

The taller man chuckled and stood up, looking around him. “No one else is awake. Drag her behind the blacksmith Tormund. We are going to have a little fun with this one.”

They dragged her behind a large building. She could not scream out for help. She didn’t want to alert people to her presence. Clarita let them drag her behind the blacksmith and didn’t fight as they took off her black cloak and tossed it loosely to the dirt nearby. Luckily they didn’t seem to notice the dull clang as the steel sword hit the ground, still concealed within the folds of the cloak. She had to pick her moment and follow through quietly and quickly. The tall man pushed her down against the dirt and fought to tear at her leathers while his rigid cock threatened to escape his unfastened pants. As he was preoccupied with trying to enter her, she seized the opportunity and slit his throat with a tiny dagger she had hidden in a sheath underneath her vest. With one quick, but deadly slash she opened his neck from ear to ear and with an almighty heave, she tossed his body off hers. Copious amounts of blood spurted out of his jugular until his heart ceased to beat.

“What the fuck?” The man to the left said, suddenly noticing the strange turn of events.

Clarita rose to her feet deftly as she grabbed her sword out of the folds of her cloak. The two men approached her, both with cocks out and swords raised high. Charging in like fools was their downfall. Clarita sidestepped the first with ease and parried the blow from the second man. Spinning agilely on her feet she dodged the second blow and with a quick swing she castrated him. The man screamed in horror as he fumbled for his falling cock. Blood pissed out of the bloody nub left behind. Clarita silenced the wailing man with a quick stab right through his chest.  The shortest man of the three – and the last left standing – hesitated for a moment, his mouth gaping wide open and eyes staring straight forward in shock. Clarita put her foot against the body of the second man and heaved her sword out of his corpse with a grunt. As the short man charged at her she ran forward and flung herself under the sword, sliding along the dirt on her knees and arching her head back narrowly missing his blade. He swore, turned and raised his sword again but she was much too quick for him. She thrust her sword, aiming it upwards as he came down on it. He froze mid step as the sword sliced clean through his throat and exited his skull with an audible crack. She retrieved her sword from the short, tubby man’s head and flung his limp body towards the ground. Picking up the cloak, she dusted it off and flung it around her shoulders and wiping the blood from her sword she returned it to the hilt. She grabbed her pack nearby and darted off in the direction of the awaiting horse, Gallamyst.

No one else tried to stop her as she fled the castle. She knew that her father would most likely be passed out somewhere in his own vomit. As she kicked her heels against the steed and galloped off into the night, she didn’t look back until the castle was but a small speck in the distance.

 



© Copyright 2017 H D Cooper. All rights reserved.

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