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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7. Chapter 7

It was about noon, I think, when I had finally finished the sitting room by myself. I was absolutely starving and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of Mrs. Smith's freshly baked bread. I honestly wasn't worried about Lydia and what she had said. Firstly she was just someone who was utterly insane but it seemed that after all these years, we had never gotten each other in trouble. Yes, we had had our various fights but for some reason, we never told Miss. Tune about how annoying the other one was. I suppose that we thought we'd be childish if we did 'tattletale.' Finally getting back to the servant's block, I saw that big, lumbering lady standing outside, looking very grim but also extremely angry at the same time. "Hello, Miss. Tune, what a lovely day it is, no?" I asked, politely. 

"Maybe for me, lass, but not for you. Don't you dare try to pretend nothin' has happened." She said, in a deathly calm tone. I had known her for long enough now that you aren't in trouble when she's yelling but when she speaks tonelessly and quietly, you are. I was probably staring at her with the most baffled expression ever. What had I done now? I thought.

Miss. Cortin, I must insist that you come inside with me this instant." She growled. "We have a lot of talkin' to do."

Walking inside the kitchen, I took a seat at one of the small, wooden benches, sitting up perfectly straight. I was still confused when it dawned on me that Lydia probably told her about me and Cole. I felt all the color stream from my face as I started to sweat. I was a terrible liar and I knew this was the end of my time at Windsor Castle.

"Miss. Cortin, if I had abided by the rules, I would have marched you straight to the police, but, since it was Lydia who told me this story, I wanted to ask you. Did you or did you not steal Her Majesty the Queen's ruby encrusted brooch?"

My breath got caught in my throat for this is certainly not what I was expecting. I felt a sudden relief, though. I didn't steal it and I certainly didn't have any evidence that I had. So I said confidently "Miss. Tune, why would you ever think that I would carry out such a crime?"

"Well then, Miss. Cortin, would you mind if I checked your pockets?" She asked, still skeptical. 

"Of course." I replied. Standing up, Miss. Tune came over to me and stuck her hand into my dress' left pocket when I heard her gasp.

"WHAT IN HEAVENS NAME IS THIS, THEIF!" She yelled. I turned towards her raised hand to see her clutching Queen Elizabeth's royal brooch. I was shocked, frozen, utterly still. A burning sensation ripped across my cheek. Miss. Tune had struck me, leaving that 5 fingered mark of shame on my cheek. Trying to get my words to formulate, she struck again, this time even harder. 

"Miss. Tune," I managed, "I... I.... I have no idea how that got in their, I was only cleaning up." I cried.

"Well, you were certainly cleaning up put obviously not returning Her Majesty's items to where they belong!"

"Miss. Tune-" She cut me off saying

"I have known you for so long for I have nearly raised you! How could you do this to me? You think that I have a choice to spare you?" 

"Miss. Tune, please-"

"Shut it, ya thief. I don't know what you've done with the old Helena but I am certainly not accepting this one, you better be quite aware of that. I am going straight to the Queen and she will decide you sorry fait."

Just before she left, she marched me up to her personal room and spit on me while bolting the door as tight as possible.

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 It was dark and cold that night. I hadn't heard any news and nobody had bothered to offer me food either so I was starved. But to me, that was the least of my worries. I knew that nowadays, servants usual either got whipped to death or hung. I didn't have the money to get a lawyer and Beth would be the only one who might stand and speak for me, but she didn't have the right. I had been reckless and I probably deserved to be punished somehow for fooling around with Cole but I knew I hadn't stolen anything, but what was I to do? Curling up into a ball, I went over the scene I had uncovered the truth about. Lydia had purposely rammed into me today and while she was wrapping her hands around me, she had probably stuck the brooch into my pocket. I was pretty sure she had managed to bribe one of the other maids who cleaned Her Majesty's room to get it for her. Warm tears started to fall down my face but I harshly wiped them away with my grubby hand. I had been crying too much lately and I was't about to pity myself anymore. The saddest thing was, was that I would never get to say goodbye to my family. I would have a quick, unimportant execution with nobody but a few by passers to witness. My family would probably only realize I was dead when money stopped arriving to them. All of a sudden, I heard a striking sound outside the window. Shakily standing up, I peered out into the night sky I had looked upon many a times only to find a very unexpected anomaly at the bottom of the wall. 

"Juliet, Juliet, where art thou, Juliet?" Cole called up.

"Be quiet, for heavens sake or you'll wake up the whole palace!"

"I am pretty sure that's not part of the script, but it'll have to do." Cole laughed. "Will you come down, or will I come up, because, either way, I will be seeing you tonight." Cole said.

"I will be doing neither, thank you very much." I didn't need any more trouble than I was already in. 

"All right then, I guess I will be coming up!" Cole called, optimistically. As he started climbing, I whispered worriedly,

"Stop, stop, I will come down, you won."

"Thank you dearly for saving me from that for I am not the best climber in the world!" He grinned.

Looking around hesitantly, I started making my way over the windowsill. This is crazy, this is absolutely crazy, I thought. Thankfully there were vines everywhere on this wall and when I was younger I always used to climb trees with James so I was fairly educated in the business. Or at least I thought I was until I lost my footing. 

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

I was falling. Down, down, down, from the third story window. Funnily enough, I felt sort of peaceful, I wasn't even screaming. So much for being a graceful Juliet, I thought. Taking my final breath, I crashed into.....

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