Letter to Marianna

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

One of my earlier short stories.

Submitted: June 11, 2018

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Submitted: June 11, 2018



Dear Marianna,
Please forgive my transgression. I have thought much upon what I have done and feel it is appropriate for you to know the reasons I which moved me to this day. I did not realize my love would bring you such pain, nor did I understand my actions would cause the fall of my father’s kingdom.

The year was 1876, as you well know, and my father, Lord Marcime of Carlyn, had just been pronounced reining sovereign of Salandris. This was a great joy to he and my mother, yet the leisure time he had allotted for myself and she had been reduced enormously. The time he had once spent with us daily slowly faded to a brief luncheon once a month. 
In the fall of the same year, my mother was stricken with a plague of insanity, and began suffering visions and fighting death. Even then, my father was brief in his attendance. Many times, late at night, I could hear my dying predecessor crying out for father’s companionship to no avail. Yet, instead of putting aside his duties and comforting her, he hired you’re mother, Nurse Asheto. 
You know your mother of course, but I must say I was stunned at her kindness and empathy towards my family. When she was not aiding my mother she was often speaking with me of her homeland of Kerlu. She became a sort of replacement for father, and for that I am grateful. It was she whom first suggested I make nightly visits to see mother, in hopes that it would alleviate some of the misery she breathed in daily. Why I had not previously conceived the idea myself, I am unsure. I did realize, however, these visits would be well for bother mother and I. 
That night, I crept through the dank halls of the Donas De Marcime, etching towards the ominous howls of a plague-ridden woman. I must admit, myself being freshly fourteen, I was still quite haunted by the stirring shadows dancing from my torch-lamp, accompanied by the ghostly moans. As I finally approached my mother’s sickroom, however, those fears ebbed away; for there in the room, standing tall and proud with a look of great pain on his face, was my father. He had finally put his business away and conceded to care for my mother for at least one night. I knew his company would last all evening, and recoiled to my room, leaving them their privacy. I drifted to sleep that night to the sounds of soft weeping and comforting words, mere mumbled echoes off the cold stone walls. 
I found within the next fortnight that my father was visiting more and more with mother, and although I had yet to see him outside of his office or the sickroom, he moved betwixt the two in the early evening. It was one evening during the second fortnight of father’s visiting when you arrived. 
Ah, I shall remember that evening forever. The crickets were singing me to sleep gently as always, warm scents of lavender and baby’s breathe wafting into my windows on the warm summer breeze. It was at that moment I heard the nay of your steeds and the wheels of your carriage. It awoke me with quite a start, and I found myself rushing towards the sill to see whom would arrive at such a late moment. 
The carriage was black oak, with beautiful steeds of the same color. I watched anxiously as the coach master stepped from his perch and opened your door, one hand out in the proper mannerisms. When first I saw you lean out of the darkened ride, I swear I was seeing at that moment a heavenly being. Even from so far away I could see the soft blue gray of your eyes framed by the long black hair and pale, soft features. I could feel the nobility and strength you emanated, but noted also a sense of purpose set in your frame. I watched in awed silence as you stepped off of the carriage into the warm evening, the breeze blowing your deep blue robes oh so eloquently.  At that moment, I knew I had to know you, had to know everything about you. 
The next morning, I went to the nurse and asked cautiously about you, weary of your purpose here. She seemed reluctant to divulge anymore than your name. It was one word that would mean both life and death for me: Marianna. 
Though I never saw you in the corridors or dining hall, I knew when you had been about. I still remember that faint scent of Evergreen you wore as perfume. To this day, I have yet to meet another whom wore it so exquisitely. Late at night, as I lay awake, wondering about you, I could smell that heavenly odor flow into my room, mixed with the stench of my mother’s sickroom. I knew then that you were there with her, and began wondering why. 
My father, of course, would no sooner divulge any real information as would your mother. So instead I was forced to lay awake at night, daydreaming of your touch, your words, and your voice. I thought on these things most of the first fortnight of your stay. That is, until I first heard your voice.
The corridors of our home are stone and echo very well on quiet nights, and it was on one of these silent evenings when I heard you speak from down the hall. I closed my eyes and strained my ears to hear your words, and could tell you were just outside of mother’s sickroom. I knew this only because your voice was clear, as it all voices are mumbled within the sheltered room. Though I could not hear what you spoke, I knew it could only have been your voice. 
As sweet as a mornings dew, it tickled my ears and heart. Just the faint love I could hear in those words brought tears to my eyes. You had a very caring, soft voice.
I listened intently as you spoke, hoping against hope you would turn your head towards my room so I may hear your voice crystalline clearly. Alas, however, that heavenly harp you own in your vessel turned away from my room and back into the impenetrable walls of the sickroom. With a heavy heart I decided it was time to sleep, to dream of your voice closer, clearer.
I believe it was the footsteps which awoke me, or possibly the echoes of your mothers voice against the walls. But nonetheless, I awoke before you stood outside my door and heard Nurse Asheto direct you towards my room. My heart sank and my whole body quivered slightly as I heard your voice steps away thanking your mother. My mind went into a berserker as the door crept open, and I began to fear I, too, may lose my mind as my mother had. 
I did not, however, and in the moment I saw you, I knew I never could. Your hair was pulled back tightly into thick braid which cascaded down the front of your dark robes, a soft and sweet smile on your face brought me a peace within I never knew possible, and I smile nervously as you stepped gracefully across the dingy floor towards my bed.
I had never imagined one being could be so beautiful, I never expected to see you in person, but merely had hoped. Now, you were in my room, beside me, sharing with me luminescent glow of your persona . I remember you telling me that mother was going to be leaving soon, that you were a healer, yet found no cure for her illness. 
I can still feel the warm you gave off, can still see the dancing tears in your eyes, threatening to run down your pale, gentile face. It was then you touched my cheek, your hands softer than a thousand silk sheets, your gentle caress more wise than a thousand satyrs. 
And in a moment it was gone. The sounds of a loud commotion brought me out of my dreamlike state and you out of your misery-torn one. As you may recall, we both rushed towards the hall to be greeted only by four large men in battered leather and scarred faces. 
The fear in my heart at that moment has yet to be surpassed, as they grabbed you and tossed me aside like a child’s doll, I felt helpless and worthless. Here you were, a heavenly goddess upon the ground being man handled by these oafish brutes. And I, powerless to help. I do not mind telling you I cried for many nights after that, screaming into the night my pain, howling to the gods of my misery and regret. 

Mother lost her battle with the plague the next morning, and I fell into a dark depression which would last me the next few months. Upon the arrival of my fifteenth birthday, my father announced that I would heir his duties upon my next year. Not even this seemed to lighten the loss of you, but consequently pulled me into the darker abyss of despair. A few days after the announcement, I decided to wait no longer, and abandoned my father and the Donas de Marcime to search for you.
I left in the middle of the night, after my father had lay to rest for the day. I took with me only food and water, and the hopes I would find you again. That night, I stood at the gates of my home, the Donas de Marcime, remembering my life, and saying goodbye to my past. Not knowing whether or not I would return.

I traveled for weeks before I even found one whom recognized your description. It was a kindly old man outside of Kerlu, he said you were once the healer for the sovereign of the land, but were cast out for accusations of murder. I, of course, felt he was mad, but was overjoyed when he directed me to Castol, the coastal land where you were set to be tried. 
I immediately set out for Castol, walking tirelessly for days without rest or food. I believe I walked without ceasing for a full ten days before I collapsed. I awoke one sunrise in a soft feather bed, the scent of freshly cooked meat flowing freely about me. I sat up to find myself in a quaint cottage, filled with flowers and jarred goods. A young woman with flawless peach skin and calm golden hair sat before a pot by the fireplace. She smiled at me when she noticed I had risen and introduced herself as Terra.
I ate heartily, enjoying the young woman’s company as she told me her story. She was a widow, her husband had passed away recently from a hunting accident. She spoke of him as if he were still alive, which seemed to baffle me slightly, but I chose not to indulge upon the urge to question it. She spoke earnestly as I ate in silence, telling the tale of their courtship and then their wedding. It wasn’t long until I realized I had stopped eating and began listening to her completely, my hunger all together ignored the more I was engrossed in her stories. 
We sat there by the fireplace for hours, each of us telling stories from the lives we had before. As our stories progressed we found ourselves sitting closer to each other with each story’s climax. Soon we were close enough to feel each other’s warm, my soup had gone cold and the sun had set long before. I couldn’t help but notice how her hazel eyes sparkled like rough diamonds in the firelight, couldn’t resist touching her delicate hand. We kissed and held each other for what seemed an eternity. 
I had stayed there, in that little seaside cottage for a month, battling within everyday the feelings I had for you, and the feelings I was developing with Terra. It took me more strength than I thought imaginable, but I finally spoke with Terra about my inner conflict. With a tear filling her loving eyes, she urged me to see my quest through, on the condition I came back to see her one day. I kissed her, reassuring her we would meet again, and began to pack my things. I was a mere two days walk from Castol, yet was determined to make it there in but one day. 

I left Terra’s home at dawn, feeling torn. Part of me loved her completely, and the other part wanted you in my arms. I feel now that I made the right choice. I set out, a weeks worth of food and water, just in case, and my clothes fresh and mended. I traveled swiftly, taking few short breaks to eat and drink, bound to see your face before nightfall. I was once again near the point of exhaustion when I stumbled into the Darkened Pot, a dingy pub on the outskirts of Castol. I sat and ate, my body relieved by the short rest, and roomed myself next door at a small inn. I knew I would not find you yet, for it was well into the night when I had arrived. So I instead slept, anxiously awaiting the next day, hoping to hold you and tell you my story. 
It was the next morning I received word that my father had laid himself to rest in a bed of scorpions, thus ending the depression I did not know he felt. I left the inn, with a heavy heart, but bearing that small bit of hope of seeing you.
From here you know the rest of the story, I’m sure: I found the court quite easily, and spoke with the judge. He informed me you were charged with murder and false healing suggestions, both great accusations. He told me you were sentenced to death, as well. I offered my life in place of your own, knowing they could refuse if they wished. After hearing of my journey and my love for you, however, the trade was allowed, and I was jailed that afternoon, pending death that evening at sunset. 

And that is why I have written you this letter. I have thought much upon what I have done and feel it only necessary you know how much I cared. I never realized my love would have brought me to this point, and never understood that your kind, heavenly smile would drive me to my death. 
I have but one request of you, please visit Terra in my stead and tell her of our story. I can only hope to see you both in heaven, and tonight, when I take your place in death; I will close my eyes and remember that last moment, with your eyes fixed on mine and a smile gracing your delicate lips.

With all My Love,
Alexandros Marcime of Carlyn

As I sit here in my cell, I think upon what you must have been through this past year. Local tongue has told that you are negotiating a trade of your life for my own. I cannot allow this to happen. Therefore, after this letter has been finished, and sent out with a trusted messenger, I shall take my own life to spare yours. Should your proposal be allowed, you will be freed upon the knowledge of my own passing. 
I do wish you to know why I came to you that evening. You see, when I was unable to heal your mother’s plague, she made her final wish. Her final wish was for me to take you under my wing, to train you in the art of being a Healer; so that you may live like I have, see what I have seen. I agreed and swore your safety always. This is why I cannot allow you to give your life for mine. I made an oath and I shall not let it be broken. I love you Alexandros, and I pray you remember me, but live on.

Love and Light Always,
Marianna Kretan of Kerlu

© Copyright 2019 Justin Daugherty. All rights reserved.

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