A Collection of Short Stories

This is for the times when I think of an idea, that doesn't quite expand enough to make a full Movella.

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5. Scottish Death

In the darkest parts of Scotland, a king was slouched thoughtfully upon his marble throne. He had been thinking for days now; and had finally come up with a future ambition. He wished to travel to the valley of death to summon the evil witches. He had not asked them for much before, but this time he wished them to summon his beautiful wife back from the dead. She had tragically died several months back, along with their second child, while she was giving birth. Their elder daughter had died from a disease three years ago. He missed them dearly and wanted his family to come back to the throne with him, so they could rule Scotland together.

 

When the witches were found, he asked them “please, I have never asked much of you, but now I ask could you summon my wife and children back from the grave?”

“We are sorry” replied one of the witches “but we cannot do what you wish of us”

“You see,” said the second “she is happy where she is and the lady of the skies says she cannot come back”

“You must wait until it is your turn to join her, you children are also happily living with her up there” the third witch pointed to the sky as she spoke. “Go home and endure your life as it is now. Without them”

 

The king trailed miserably back home and pondered along the next few months in misery. He slowly became less and less like himself, and began to leave the kingdom to trundle along by itself. Doctors were called, but found nothing wrong with the man and soon gave up coming to see him. His sister sailed all the way from Ireland to tell him ‘to get a grip and find a new wife’. He could not follow his sister’s advice and lived his life in pity and misery. He eventually went completely mad and hardly ever slept as visions of his wife and baby son bloody on the bed haunted his slumber and kept him screaming until his voice was hoarse. He never went out because the last time he visited the outside world he screamed and shouted to the skies and valleys until his guards dragged him back to his chambers. The public was terrified of him and some passed his castle warily as if a monster lurked in its depths.

 

One day the doctor came to see the king; he was deeply concerned for his health as the king only ever ate when was absolutely necessary, drank only sips of water and hardly ever slept properly. He had a haggard appearance with sunken eyes and dry skin, his nails were bitten right back and he only washed when he felt too dirty to continue in misery. He had become practically skin and bones, all his fat that came with being royalty had disappeared and there was nothing left. He could be compared to one of the beggars on the street.

 

On the night of September 24th the king arose from his restless slumber. He pushed himself off the bed and limped over to the chest of drawers underneath the family painting. He bent down towards the bottom drawer and yanked it open, it was dusty and the rails were stiff with misuse. He pulled out a dagger. It was very pretty, with a gold handle set with six small rubies on one side and six small emeralds on the other. A diamond was perched on the end of the handle and the long silver blade glinted in the moonlight streaming through the crack in the heavy velvet curtains.

 

He looked around the room with a sad look in his eyes, he had let it become dull and lifeless with his misery. His wife loved this room the most and he felt that he was defying a shrine, letting it become abandoned. It was a large square room with an adjoining bathroom and mini library. The ceiling was lavishly carved with white and black marble. The room followed a red, black and blue theme with a thick red carpet, and wallpaper that was a smooth velvet red with thick black stripes travelling from floor to ceiling. The desks were a dark rosewood with ornate carved patterns on the legs; the chairs were also rosewood with a mixture of red and blue velvet material covering. Long heavy curtains dangled from the strong dark rails, tall windows stretched to almost the height of the wall; so when they were flung open, bright sunlight flooded the room with rich colours.

 

Now, the room was crammed with misery, he was no longer proud of the way it looked. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling and the library door, all the furniture had cobwebs hung round their legs and backs like dust sheets. Whenever you touched a chair a cloud of dust erupted into the air. The four-poster bed was the only thing in the room that wasn’t misused, and this was only because he thrashed about too much in his sleep for any dust to settle between the sheets.

 

He clutched his dagger, and gazed at the painting of his dead family. He ran his fingers over the smooth gold hilt, feeling the coolness of the rich metal. Tightening his grip on the dagger, he plunged it into his chest as the clock struck midnight.

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