The Queen and I

Helena is one of Queen Elizabeth I's servants . She has a completely ordinary life, a simple girl working hard and earning her keep for her endlessly long family back at home. Everything has a routine for her and is completely orderly, just how she likes it but when she is accused of a life threatening crime, here whole world turns upside down.

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11. Chapter 11

I heard the scream just before an intolerable heat licked my arm. I wanted to yell "fire!" but, when I opened my mouth, no sound came out. I wanted to run, but when I tried to move my legs, nothing happened. I was surrounded by anonymous faces, showing no emotion and completely deaf to my pleads...

There was an insufferable pounding in my head and a trilling ring in my ears. I had surfaced from my nightmare with an all to usual chill spreading through my weary body. Blearily, my eyes started roaming the dark cell I had awoken in. The ground was slightly damp and the room had a mixed scent of rotting fish and sweat. I had to curl up in a ball to keep myself from emptying my stomach contents. There were rusted chains hanging on the back wall accompanied by black marks scratched out by the window. Midnight drooped over the room like a black cloak and I was unable to see any specific objects past my tiny chamber. I heard the steady dripping of rain water outside along with a series of moans that sounded as though the man or woman had given up and were waiting for the sweeping arms of Death to come and collect them. I was scared, cold, but most importantly, utterly alone. So I did the only thing that I could do. I lay in a tight huddle on the floor and once again let my tears flow until there were no more to spare. 

                                                                      **************

I guessed it was about three in the morning when I heard a rustling outside my cell and was awoken from my restless sleep. I jerked up into a sitting position earning me a jolt of pain coursing through my back. In other words, the floor wasn't comfy. Feeling hot, I put my hand to my chest to feel a small fluttering, quick and jagged. My pulse was rushing as I tried to tell myself it was just a rat. But something felt off and the frigid feeling climbing up my arm told me that I should probably trust my instincts that were shouting 'danger!' I crawled painfully slowly over to the gate of the cell and squinted my eyes through the void of darkness. My ears prickled when I heard movement to the far left as I quickly stood up and hid behind the wall. After about ten minutes of heavy breathing, I took one last look, fully convinced there was nothing to be afraid of. But when I craned my neck towards the bars, I choked down a scream of horror when I saw Lydia peering back at me.

 

For a second, I was in shock. I couldn't breathe, couldn't move, couldn't even think. But when my senses flew back to me, the first thing that came to mind was to hurl something, anything at her. I could feel blinding white anger rise to my face as I tried to form words. I must've looked like I swallowed something bad because Lydia gave me her world-renowned smile accompanied by squinting black eyes. 

"You...you....you..." I managed.

"You.... look hideous. Like an animal." She finished off the sentence for me, grinning. I all of a sudden felt defeated. She threw out the first insult and therefore had the advantage but that didn't stop me from reaching my soot-covered hand out of the bars and grabbing a fistful of hair, yanking it with all my might. Lydia's face contorted into pain just before she slapped my hand away causing blood to flow instantly. At this point, I was broken. I was just plain tired of playing these games with Lydia when I had never harmed her. For a moment, all of my anger ebbed away into a series of miseries.

"Why.... why did you do this to me?" I didn't really know what specific event I was referring to, since she had made all of my life at Windsor sorrowful. 

"Why did I do this to you? Why did I do this to you?" She repeated. Suddenly, she threw her head back and laughed silently, the moonlight from the cracked ceiling shining on her inky hair. 

"Do you know what really happened the night your precious mother and father died?" She questioned, smiling, eyes glinting with rage. 

My whole body went rigid. How did she know my mother and father died?

"Do you remember how you ran outside, finding them suffocating in their own blood but the killer was no where in sight?"

My breathing became ragged and shaky. "Don't speak about that." I said tightly. When she saw my expression, she only smiled wider. How could anybody be this cruel?

"Well, let me ask you. Do you remember this?" From her back pocket, she yanked out a simple golden necklace encrusted with cracked blood. 

My mothers locket. A strangled sob erupted from my throat.

"You... you were the one who killed them... you..." I barely whispered. I didn't even have any energy to insult her. "Why would you do such a thing." I sobbed.

"Again, why would I? Obviously, your parents weren't very honest with you. Your mother had six children, including you, right?" Lydia stated this blandly but I could see red hot rage bubbling up inside her. I nodded, silently.

"Wrong. Your mother and father were married in 1575 and you were born in 1576 however you weren't the only child born that night. No, little Leena. I was born that night to, under the same roof and from the same womb. I am your sister. Un identical twin sister."

"Liar." I whispered. "LIAR! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, LYDIA, WHY?" I yelled. My voice ricocheted off of the walls, but I was't in the least concerned. I probably just sounded like a mentally deranged person, but to be honest, I was really starting to feel like one. Lydia was slowly breaking me up, ruining not only my present, but my past, too. The only problem was, a tiny voice in the back of my head whispered she was being truthful but I quickly drowned it out. 

"I'm not lying, Leena." She said, deathly quiet. 

"Then how come you haven't lived in our household for the past 19 years?" I asked, voice trembling. She laughed at that point. 

"Blame your mother." She said, leaning against the wall. "Have you ever noticed my glove?" Of course I had. Lydia never took that thing off. Just thinking about that made me realize that she never took her socks off, either. Suddenly, she ripped back the worn garment revealing a deformed and mushed up shape underneath. Where her hand was supposed to be was replaced by a squished ball of skin with six little stubs on the end. It was then I realized that the thing on the end of her wrist was her hand. 

"They thought I was a witch. My hands and feet were deformed the minute I came out into the world. For it is said in most witch hunting books that a woman with deformities, such as a sixth finger, was considered a witch. It dawned on your mother that if she was found with a witch baby, she would be considered one herself, but so would you. I am sure she thought she was saving me that night when she threw me in a small box with nothing but a straw blanket. She must've thought that she was sparing me from execution, but that was just for her own comfort." 

I couldn't believe it. Lydia had tears spilling down her face. She could actually feel emotion....

"You don't know what I went through, all those years. She,"  Lydia spat,"Left me with a note, describing who I am and where I am from. A little while after, an old woman took me in but just until I could walk, talk and eat without help. Then I was on my own. I had to survive as a slave. In other words, I was a woman of ill repute, or at least that's how Miss. Tune put it when I arrived. Somebody up there was finally taking notice of me and I got the job. I hate our mother, if she even meets those expectations of one to be called 'mother.' I had gone through horrors and so when my night off came around, I finally got my revenge on our poor, witless parents. Yet it was only seven years later when you had to come. You, the girl who got everything. You, the girl who was fed. You, the girl who got into a good job immediately. You, the girl who had family. You, the girl who feels sorry for herself everyday. You, the girl who stole Cole, my one and only joy. You know, I was planning to confront him but then you jumped in the way and took that, too. Thankfully, you are fairly stupid so my little stunt worked out just fine. I have been squashed in the world, Leena and you have been loved in the world. Sadly, you are a selfish brat who needs to be taught a lesson about misery and pain. Goodbye, Leena. I hope you rot forever." She threw the locket at me and a balled up piece of paper. They landed with a hard 'thud' on the floor. I squeezed my eyes shut, as hard as I could. This couldn't be happening. My whole life turned out to be a lie. My mother and father were now completely two different people and my life long enemy was my sister. I fell to the floor, gasping for breath. Bright colors started flashing behind my eyes, informing me I was on the verge of a blackout. I waited for it to come, to wash away the pain. I cracked my eyes open once more only to see Lydia whip her hair round and yank her glove on. Running through the shadows, she was gone and this time, I would never see her again. 

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My head was spinning by the time I woke up from yet another black out. The nights events flooded back to me in an instant, capturing my breath. It took me a moment to gain composure again. Sitting up, I reached out to my mothers locket and clasped it tightly in my hand, rubbing the surface ever so gently. Inscribed inside the locket was some French nonsense about love but non the less, I had learned it. I remember sitting in my mothers lap in a meadow with the sun beating down on our shoulders and a nearby creek singing happily to itself. I would usually grab her locket and read the little poem over and over while she rubbed small circles on my back. Those were the good days, the happy days. Opening the locket, my eyes became watery as I tried to make out the small paragraph that was almost faded now. I still heard my mother's voice, who would sing it to me before bed every night. I put the locket on and it fell right over my heart. Despite all the sadness and confusion that surrounded me, this little light of happiness was all I needed. Finally I reached out for the scrunched up ball of paper. I gasped. My mothers handwriting filled the page. I traced my fingers over it. My mother had written this. She had sat down and wrote this letter. I almost thought I could smell her, feel her. However, when I started reading the note, the tiny flicker of happiness was instantly snuffed out. It was true. Lydia was my sister. My mother had thrown her out. The locket suddenly felt cold, dangling against me chest. I through the piece of paper against the wall as hard as I could and curled up once more on the cold, hard floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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