Widows Peak

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Entry Piece for: 4thewords Fire Legends of Gantsu Writing Contest

Story inspired by: The Widow of the Dark Forest

Submitted: November 06, 2016

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Submitted: November 06, 2016

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It was one of those trips where we had just randomly packed our things and left. It was the fourth time this year that we had been to Dark Forest and I was one hundred percent sure that this was definitely not the last time we would be here. Every trip we took had memories that were going to last me a life time and just for that, it made me happy. Especially with the three boys I had grown up with; Cole Sanders, the one who suggested the trip as our last who-har before the final week of exams; Joey Mitchells, the one who thought he was everything and Alec Harris, the quiet one who I was closest with. We had pretty much spent all day in the lake that was a short walk away from us and without a doubt, we were sunburnt.

My eyes shifted from the roaring fire in between the four of us and looked around us. Though, I couldn’t see much, I knew that around us were large, dark pine trees and they went as high as the eye could see. They were the reason Dark Forest got its nickname and yet, still till this day, I had no idea what the real name of it was because it had been known as Dark Forest since before the four of us were even born. I looked away from the shadows of trees and back to the fire as Joey finished his story.

“As Sir Derek Reynolds ran down the path, getting to the wide openings of the bushland, he finally found Gracious with her back towards him. Sir Derek Reynolds ran towards the beast, raising his mighty sword before slamming it down into her back. Sir Derek Reynolds had finally slayed the beast, protecting his village like he had promised!” Joey exclaimed with a smile stretched from ear to ear.

I looked over at Alec as he rolled his eyes and let out a groan. “Why do they always end the same?”

“They never end the same, the last one ended with –” Joey started to defend himself.

“Ended with the hero killing whatever monster, villain or whatever fantasy creature you put in the story,” I stated.

“But who would want to hear a story where the hero doesn’t win?” Joey argued.

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at him. Joey’s cockiness was coming through and yet, I still only had the slightest urge to slap him. I knew Joey, like Cole and Alec, like the back of my hand. I knew that when he wanted to defend something he was passionate about or knew he was good at, though he wasn’t that good at storytelling, his cockiness came through like a raging fire. But even with that, I knew he could be the backbone for Alec, Cole and I when we needed it, and the same deal went for him.

“Well, I don’t know about you pair,” Cole said, breaking the silence as he looked at me and Alec. “But I would love to hear a story that doesn’t involve some sort of villain, or monster, or hero, or any of that shit. I want a legend story, true or fake, sad or happy,”

“Oh, me too,” I agreed as I turned my attention to Alec. “Why don’t you tell us a story, Alec? I know you’re good with words when you want to be,”

Alec looked at me as he almost choked on his beer. His wide, questioning eyes met mine and I smirked at him. Alec had secret which I knew of and it was only me who knew; he could write a novel and have one hanging on to every word he wrote. The only person who knew of the skill he had was me. If his mother found out that he wrote and shared those writings online, she’d lose a fuse. His mother didn’t want Alec doing anything that would remind her of Alec’s father. God forbid you even mention his name in their house.

“I can’t tell a story for the life of me, Nikki,” Alec laughed through his lie.

“Oh come on, Alec, give us a story,” Cole encouraged with a bright smile. “Whatever you whip up might as well be better than Joey’s,”

“Pull your head in, Sanders,” Joey warned. “No one out of us four people tell a story like I can,”

I laughed as I carefully leant over the arm of my chair and making sure I didn’t somehow manage to fold myself into it. I grinned as Alec shook his head, knowing exactly what I was going to say. I didn’t want to push him into it but then again I did because I wanted him to use Joey’s stories to wipe his story’s ass.

“You know, Alec,” I said in a too sweet of tone with a grin. “I think that, just maybe, you might be able to whip out a story that puts Joey’s to shame,”

“I agree with Nikki,” Cole piped in. “Tell us a story, Alec Boy, you know you want to,”

Alec sighed and I looked over at Cole who raised his hand. I raised mine and air-slapped his as we turned to Joey and smiled like we had just won a war against him. Joey rolled his eyes and shook his head as he bought the can of rum and cola to his mouth. Joey knew he was about to have a run for his money.

“Alright, give me a hot minute to think of something,” Alec said, taking a swig of his beer.

“This should be interesting,” Joey said, making the three of us look over at him. “I mean, it’s not exactly like Alec will be able to reach my level,”

“We’ll just have to see, hey?” Cole said with a smirk.

Silence fell around the four of us as Alec thought up his story. I had high hopes for Alec to bring something to the table. I knew he had only just spent the last eight months working on a fantasy novel that was full of betrayal, love, hatred and twists at every corner. When he ended it, I almost died because I didn’t expect it to end and, plus I didn’t want it to end. I don’t know how he managed to write it without his mother knowing, considering he worked on it every chance he got.

“Okay, I got it. I’m going to call it Widows Peak,” Alec announced and we all looked at him. Joey managed to let out a quiet snort of laughter which made me glare at him before looking over at Alec with an encouraging smile. “The title’s a work in progress. The story is based here in Dark Forest and I can promise, this is not a story like yours, Joey,”

“We’ll see what happens, Alec,” Joey said as he gave a nod.

“Well, legend has it that Queen Kenna sadly ended her life at the Peak, right up above the lake because of guilt and heartache she had caused herself. It’s said that she haunts the top of the Peak, searching for her King and people have said that they’ve seen her up there and have heard her cries,” Alec said, meeting all of our eyes and already having me on edge. “And the story has been told many, many times and it all of this happened in the year nineteen-ten…

With elegance and grace, Queen Kenna moved through the court yard with her arm hooked through King Edward’s arm. They walked in silence, enjoying the sunlight that laid warm kisses across their skin. The cool, light summer breeze blew softly passed them and played within the light strands of Queen Kenna’s hair. Though, Queen Kenna kept her brown eyes on the gravel before her, her mind was elsewhere. She was unwilling to look at the King as just looking at him pained her heart.

King Edward was not a man that people thought he was. Like other Kings who had known mistresses, King Edward kept his a secret. It made Queen Kenna not believe a promise he made to her knowing that he had broken the promises he made to her on their wedding day five years ago. But when Queen Kenna found out about the harlot, by her top maid who had seen them together, she had felt like her heart had been stomped on the ground by the King’s boot.

There was not much Queen Kenna could do but continue on as the Queen at the King’s side.

“Kenna,” King Edward said, gaining her attention. “You are awfully quiet, is something the matter?”

 “No, nothing is the matter,” Kenna replied, planting a smile on her face as she looked up at him and rested her hand on her arm. “I am just enjoying this stroll with you. You have been awful busy as of late, my lord,”

“I am sorry, my love, but business calls,” The King chuckled.

“What business has come up?” Kenna questioned but she knew what the answer would be.

“It is nothing for you to worry about, Kenna,” King Edward said.

Kenna looked away before rolling her eyes. The King had been giving her the same answer for almost three months now. Though, she knew about the other woman, she wished for him to be honest with her. That’s all she ever asked for and yet, King Edward had formed lies upon lies and broke Queen Kenna’s trust in him completely. There was no building the trust back and Kenna wished to run from the king, to be free of him but as a Queen, she did not have the honour to do so without hurting her reputation with the kingdom.

“Ugh,” Joey groaned out loud and made us all look at him. “When are you going to get to the good bit?”

I tossed my empty Coke can at him. “If you didn’t open that trap of yours, we’d get there,”

“First of all, ouch,” Joey complained as he rubbed his head and I grinned. “Secondly, I just want the good shit,”

“Continue, Alec,” I said looking at him and giving him a smile.

I knew that Alec did need the encouragement to go on with the story because I could see that he was nervous about it. This was, after all, the first time he had been sharing this sort of side of him to Cole and Joey. And I swear, if Joey opened that big mouth of his again, I was going to get up and slap him upside the head. Alec gave me a small laugh and continued on with the story.

As Queen Kenna thought about being stuck with the King for the rest of her life, anger bubbled through her and she allowed her mind to wonder. Kenna had been angry and hurt for weeks now and the thought of never getting free only made Kenna depressed. The kingdom’s people thought King Edward was loyal and honest but he was anything but. Kenna knew that if she let it slip, the town would turn on him and she’d have no other choice than to stand by him. It was an option she didn’t want to pick. Kenna knew she would somehow come up with a plan of freedom and it was two options. Shall she kill the King and be free of the marriage or shall she keep the king alive and live a lie? Both options had pros and cons that Kenna wasn’t so sure about.

Kenna let out a soft sigh. “Shall we return? It is starting to get a little overwhelming in the sun,”

“If you wish, my love,” The King said as he turned them around and started the stroll back to the castle. “It is such a lovely day, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Of course,” Kenna nodded as her pale green eyes looked up at the castle.

The castle was made of the best grey stone, the best pine wood and it was surrounded by dark pine trees. The pine trees stood as high as the eye could see, taller than the castle itself and if Kenna stood by the right window in her quarters, she could see over the trees and see the lake. It was the two things that Kenna loved about the kingdom besides the town folk and the garden that she and the King currently walked through. The scent of roses filled her lungs and slightly soothed the tension in her body. As they drew closer to the castle, Queen Kenna’s right hand maid met them halfway with a curtsey.

“My lord,” She said to the king first. “Your Grace,”

“Please, call me Kenna, Harriet,” The Queen said softly with a smile. “I have told you that before, have I not?”

“Yes, my Queen, I mean Kenna,” Harriet rushed out. “I was sent to tell you that dinner with be served within moments,”

“Thank you, Harriet,” King Edward said. “Please give us a moment, we will be in shortly.”

Harriet gave a nod and a curtesy before hurrying away as the King turned to Kenna. She withdrew her arm from the King’s and rested both hands in front of her on her dress. She had slightly listened to the King telling her about her next trip that she would not be accompanying on. Kenna had already guessed that was the case and she had already made up her mind on what she needed to do.

It was a few hours later that the Queen found herself stirring a cup of tea for the King. She had made sure she spent enough time with the King before she retired to her quarters and readied herself for bed. Glancing over her shoulder, she could see King Edward standing by the window that gave anyone a view of the dark horizon without the pine trees disturbing the view. Kenna turned away from the King as she quickly pulled the sachet of the white powder out and poured the contents into the King’s tea. She stirred it for a moment longer before grabbing it and taking it over to the table.

“Your tea, my love,” Kenna said as she placed it onto the small table gently.

The King turned from the window and walked over to her. He cupped her face gently in his large hands and place a soft kiss on her lips. Kenna knew it was the last kiss she would get from the king. Long live the King, she thought to herself as he pulled away from her.

“I am going to retire to my room. I wish you well with your trip and hope you return to me safely and in one piece,” She said with a soft smile.

“I always return to you, my Queen,” King Edward said as he sat down.

Kenna gave another smile before walking away. She didn’t dare to look back as she opened the door and walked out. Her two guards following her as she made the stroll to her bedroom. She knew the powder would not kick in for a while yet and she knew when it did, she would be awoken by either a guard or castle staff.

“Now, we’re getting to the good bit!” Joey said excitedly.

“Joey, shut up,” Cole said and I could tell he was getting annoyed now. “Just let him finish the goddamn story.”

“None of us interrupt yours, so don’t do it to Alec,” I commented as I got up and went over to Joey. I whacked Joey upside the head, making me shout out at me. “That's for inturpting him,”

“Should I go on?” Alec asked and Cole and I nodded. “Okay, well… It had been three months since the King had died…

Elizabeth found herself strolling through garden, two guards walking a short behind her. Since the king’s death, their son had demanded guards be at his mother’s side until they found the person responsible for his father’s death. Elizabeth was filled with a roaring guilt that seemed to grow bigger with every day that went by. She wanted to ever so much tell her son that it was her who poisoned his father but it broke her heart even more so to even think about telling him.

Elizabeth stopped and turned to look at her guards. “I would like to go to the Peak,”

“Your Grace,” Her guard with the short hair said. “With all due respect, I do not think that is a wise decision,”

“It may not be but I will have both of you accompanying me,” Elizabeth said with a strong voice.

“Yes, your Grace,” He said with a nod.

Without any word said between Elizabeth and her guards, they made their way to the peak. The peak was the edge cliff, a place where Elizabeth and King Edward had spent their first few days together. It was the one place where Queen Elizabeth would end her misery, her guilt and leave her hopes that her son would go on without her. She knew her son was strong enough to be a great ruler of the kingdom she once shared.

Elizabeth turned to her guards. “Would you please both wait here? I would like a moment alone,”

“Yes, your majesty,” They both said in unison.

She smiled kindly at them as she went to the edge of the peak. She was taking her final breathes as she grabbed the blade out from underneath her sleeve. She turned and looked at the guards, still hiding the blade enough as she smiled at them. Her eyes began to water as she thought of her son, thought of the king and thought of her mistakes and regrets. She would die with her secret, die with her guilt and die knowing that she did this to herself.

“Please, tell my son that I love him and to rule this kingdom with an iron fist like his father had done,” Elizabeth said loudly enough for her guards to her.

“Your Grace,” The guard said as the other one clicked.

“Be well to my son,” She said as the tears fell.

With a quick movement, she pushed the blade into her chest and right into her tattered heart. Warm blood seeped out of her chest, soaking into the material of her dress as she choked for air. She could feel her heart slowing in her chest and her eyes started to close. As her body fell to the soft, green grass, her last breath went with it.

No words were spoken before us. The ending to Queen Kenna’s life was a sad one because of the mistake she made. I didn’t even think Alec was going to tell us something like that but I was glad he did because it put Joey’s stupid stories to shame. It pretty much used Joey’s stories as toilet paper and I couldn’t help but feel proud of him for even telling it. I knew it took him a lot to do that.

“Didn’t think you had it in you, Alec,” Cole said, breaking the silence between the four of us.

“I did,” I said, giving a smug smile to Joey.

“It was an okay story. I'll give you that one, Alec,” Joey stated before kicking of yet another one of his stories.

I looked over at Cole and Alec. All we could manage to do was laugh at Joey before we settled back in our chairs and listened to him try and top Alec’s story. We all knew he couldn’t.

 

Word Count: 3,276


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