Stars, hide your fires!
Let me not see my black and deep desires.
- Macbeth, Act I, scene iv
The castle walls are dark, almost black. The stone is cold beneath my bare feet, but I barely notice it as I tread. Even in the dim light, the blood on my hands gleams scarlet, reminding me of my deeds.
And all the while, in the back of my head, is a voice; my husband, Macbeth’s voice, coaxing me, telling me it’s not too late.
I feel so trapped. So guilty, so alone. No-one can know what I’ve done. Of course, they do know. Whispers in the corridor, late at night, small, insignificant, yet terrified glances as they pass us in the courtyard.
I know what the voice in my head is telling me to do. Murder.
Kill those who may speak so they hold their tongue.
No. That is what lead me here tonight. Even if a part of me agrees with the voice, I do not want to hear it. Something sharp, like glass, twists around me, as I remember that the voice wouldn’t know those words had I not put them into his head.
It’s my fault.
I did not kill directly, but it was my greed that lead to innocent people’s deaths.
Our king, who had never shown us harm, only kindness.
Banquo, my husband’s closest friend.
The Thane of Fife’s wife, Lady Macduff. I met her once, when the family were travelling and Macbeth offered his friend our hospitality for the night. She seemed so kind, so gracious and so good. Young. Beautiful. Alive.
Not anymore, the voice says.
My footsteps are hurried now, and I pick up my nightgown with both hands as I hurry up the tower stairs, leaving bloody imprints on the fabric. Closer, closer, closer until....I stumble out onto the top of the tower, fresh night air enveloping me with an iron chill.
I pause again, my breath coming in ragged gasps.
Looking around the inky blackness dotted with silver, I hear a bell chime midnight.
In one fluid movement, as the sound of midnight rings out, I fling myself off the edge of the tower.