The King’s Secret

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Eleanor Rose, a peasant woman, is determined to learn the secret of the king.

Submitted: November 27, 2016

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Submitted: November 27, 2016



The King’s Secret

By Joseph Logsdon

Eleanor entered through the gateway, weary from her long and stressful journey, which had taken many hours, days, and weeks. On the right side of the wall, several candles were displayed, all five of great importance to King Lionel, ruler of many lands and nations. His eyes, hidden within the shadows, forced Eleanor to confront the reality of her terrible situation. Just a few weeks earlier, she had been an unimportant girl, living an unimportant life, in an unimportant village. The daughter of a blacksmith, Eleanor never thought about reaching a higher station in life. Other than tending to her garden, she knew nothing of life within the kingdom, let alone actually participated in it. One dreadful night, without even the slightest warning, she was taken from her bed, placed in a carriage, and forced into the darkness. Her pain, unlike so many other pains, stemmed from a place of uncertainty, rather than a place of insecurity.

There were many paintings on the wall, most of which were of the king’s late sister, Catherine Narson. Her beauty had captured many men, even her very own father, who knew nothing of what love really was. The doors closed behind Eleanor, further isolating her from the rest of the world. The room appeared to grow darker, every moment filled with dread, as if something had come into her dreams, like a murderer in the night, with the intent of doing her harm. The more time appeared to progress, the more isolated she felt, and the more isolated she felt, the more she tried to find a way of escaping her fate.

King Lionel leaned against his chair, stricken with an intense amount of pain, some of it directly related to his many hours of sickness. He leaned forward, almost appearing within the candlelight, before finally returning to the shadows, his composure seemingly unshaken. Eleanor bowed before him, fear within her green eyes. The room was silent, empty of fury or aggression, with time slowly ticking by, each second more ominous than the last.  

“Why do you think you are here, might I ask?”

“In all honesty, I really don’t know why I’m here, or even why you would want to see me, a simple girl from the village. I keep asking that question in my mind, my efforts wasteful and unproductive. I’m a simple woman, from a simple town, living in a complex world, one which clearly doesn’t accept anything I have to offer. My pride, any that I have left, has amounted to nothing,” she cried.

“Loneliness is, unlike so many other things in life, contrary to human nature, its sole purpose to collect emotion from the people who suffer from it. Kings live, kings die, but all must have a queen. I searched everywhere for you, traveling from village to village, victory always just out of reach. Finally, one afternoon, while I was looking into a garden, I saw your face. You looked almost exactly like her, minus the red hair, which can be easily fixed. From dusk till dawn, Sunday through Saturday, seven days a week, hundreds of days out of the year, I suffer this intense loneliness. This wedding will happen today, among my guards, prior to which knew nothing of our occasion,” he said, uncertainty in his voice.

Formerly a woman without meaning, but currently a woman of great importance, Eleanor realized that she had no way of escaping her situation. He spoke in a very light voice, his every pronunciation similar to the vocal sound of a female, with very high echoes and syllables, roughly all of them a product of a very sick mind. In a desperate attempt, one that proved to be rather foolish, Eleanor ran towards the doors, intent on escaping from her grim fate. Over and over again, she pulled on the handles, overcome with an immense amount of anger and frustration, which continued to push her further into misery.

“To your credit, because of which I have been trapped, loneliness has brought my spirit down. They say that being alone makes people lonely, but more often than not, just being with other people, some even your friends, will make you feel isolated. They drain you of energy and spirit, most frequently because of a desire, an insane desire, to have complete control over you, neglectful of the actual dangers involved. Those facts, partnered with the fact that many people are just too ignorant, make for a very dangerous way of living your life,” she said, turning towards him.

“You don’t have to be afraid of me. God has, in his infinite wisdom, sent you to me, your one true husband and lover. You have been kicked around, beaten, and mistreated, most of it done in the name of kindness. Long ago, while you were sitting in your garden, my father, his morality being rather fragile, decided that it should be me, not my sister, who should gracefully take the throne, this in spite of the fact that she wanted it more than I did. That night, while everyone was fast asleep, she killed herself, leaving behind a broken family. She was a lovely girl, referred to also as a delicate flower, among which countless roses bloomed. I still miss her, even now, today of all days,” he wept, rising from the throne.

Eleanor leaned forward, never again trustful of his sinister words, some of which had drained her mind of energy. All of a sudden, the beautiful candlelight, a light that had protected her from the dangers of the night, instantly expired from sight, its light forever extinguished from the world. Her mind fell into a peaceful twilight, one which sent her into another world, where only ambiguity could be found. How much time had gone by, she didn’t exactly know. Eleanor opened her eyes, legs spread on the bed, her hands beside the pillow, both shaking with equal intensity. Her recent memories were gone, all except her brief encounter with the king, who remained in the darkness, unseen by the moonlight that came through the window. Through the night, within the vastness of time and uncertainty, she knew that her forgotten dreams had finally come true, each and every one of them being filled with images of heartache and pain. After months of planning, he had made her his wife, hopeful that all would go as planned.

There was a cold wind in the room, specifically one that forced her to question the very nature of where she had been, what she had done, and most importantly, more important than just about anything else, what she needed to do. The king touched her shoulder, quite content with the way she stared back at him, a unique type of bitterness within her eyes. His face remained within the shadows, hidden inside the secretiveness of the chamber, which continued to allude her senses. His skin was extremely delicate, contrary to most kings and leaders. He observed her repeatedly, as if she remained some type of unique prize, instead of an independent woman, capable of love and free thought.

On the opposite side of the bed, specifically the right side, another man closely observed her, one finger on her chest, another on her face, and a third on her throat. He was an older man, roughly fifty years older than Eleanor, his hair gray and without vibrancy. The smile on his face, a wretched and corrupt grin, one that could just barely be tolerated, made her gasp with fear and uncertainty. He stroked her hair, confident that his plan would finally be made into a reality, generally due to the immense planning, calculation, and drive, all of which contributed to his ambitions for the king.

“You have been a victim of an intricate scheme, manufactured by the king, the true leader of this nation. As his advisor, if you can even call me that, I must take responsibility for what has happened. There is truth, deceit, and malice, all three to be used in this room, within the darkness, divided under the stars that watch every moment, due to which we can finally have peace. The truth can come at any time, for any possible reason, provided things go right,” he huffed, handing a dagger to the king.

“What are you talking about?”

“Soon enough, you’ll find out,” he replied, disappearing into the darkness.

The room was suddenly filled with light, its source coming from two lamps, each filled with flames and oil, which continued to burn bright into the night, uninterrupted by the treachery around them. Eleanor cried out, far more shocked than she had been in the past. Both lamps, evil and cruel, Unpleasant and rotten, forced Eleanor to see things that she hadn’t seen before, one such example being the face of the king. In almost every way, from the lips, to the eyes, to the mouth, the face resembled Eleanor, only paler and less vibrant. The face, once thought to be the image of a man, was actually, quite shockingly, the face of a woman, virtually every detail perfectly intact.

“I don’t understand,” Eleanor panted, confusion in her voice.

“Pain is a very simple experience, brought on by feelings of doubt and insecurity, sorted with many different emotions, half good and half bad. My father, God curse his soul, didn’t want me, his only daughter, to have the throne, out of the fear that I might start some type of war. Where he could get an idea like that, I’ll never know. My brother, who I resembled, was a very delicate man, his every attribute the exact likeness of a female, with even his hands being extremely thin and soft, tailored and crafted perfectly for a beautiful woman, perhaps for one even such as myself. With no time to lose, I took a dagger, lifted it in the air, and plunged it into my brother’s heart, my actions completely justified. I curse his name, his every action! He died in October, more than three months after the death of my father, who had carelessly given him the throne, vengeful all the way to the grave,” she hissed.

Eleanor continued to gaze into Catherine’s eyes, almost hypnotized by their power, which continued to claim authority over her livelihood, from which all hopes and dreams originated, even the smallest of concerns being extremely important to her. Unfavorably mistreated by the situation, Eleanor held her breath, defeat all but certain. She screamed into the night, surrounded by two devils, the pair of whom wanted to bring an end to a deception that had gone on for far too long.

“Disguised as my brother, I proved that I could be just as ruthless as a man, possibly even more so. After a few years, I became terribly bored, every hour filled with deception after deception, lie after lie. With all my heart, I wanted to be myself again, or a version of myself, preferably someone who looked like me, sounded like me, and yes, acted like me. You have all of those qualities, absent the tan skin and crooked nose. In upcoming days, I’ll take the throne again, next time with a new identity: yours. Observant while they seem to be, the people still haven’t seen me in years, so it should be easy to reappear to them. They’ll celebrate in the street, joyous over the many miracles of this world,” Catherine said, hovering over Eleanor, her smile growing bigger and bigger.

Catherine raised the dagger in the air, briefly held her breath, and finally plunged it into Eleanor, amused while doing so. Eleanor finally cried out, blood on the floor, her death certain and inevitable. Even as she continued to breathe, as she continued to fight for survival, it was clear that nothing could be done. Their eyes met, briefly converged, and just as they were about to come together, Eleanor’s hands fell against the side of the bed, alive no longer.

The End















© Copyright 2018 JL reaper. All rights reserved.

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