[Mock-Fiction] V - Fures Misericordiam

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

Aye. Tis me again.

Cover by Secrets Unfold

9Likes
34Comments
3110Views
AA

41. 39 – Secrets and Speculation

Normandy was indeed a wondrous place.

 

Mariqah sat by a tree, stroking the mane of her horse as it gazed, snorting enthusiastically about the fresh grass. Seth sat quite apart from her, tying his horse to a tree.

Why like this? he thought mournfully, Why like this? Why not in a cold, dark room, with me strapped to an electric chair, whilst she beat me and interrogated me? So, that my heart might calm its feelings for her and resent her, even if by a little? Why, Rogue? Why like this?

“Seth?” she called, “Ye a’right?”

 

He paused, his shoulders sinking a little, “Yes. Yes, I’m fine,” he turned and sat opposite her. Seth took a deep breath, “I must say, Rogue, your horse is quite the runner.”

“Aye,” said Mariqah, stroking the horse fondly, “She’s an Arab breed, the fastest kind.”

“For racing then?”

“What are horses for, eh? If not for sport and show?”

Seth looked away, humiliated, “What, indeed.”
“I poke at your brother, Seth, not you. Those weedy pomps couldn’t have been o’ your choosin’,” she laughed, “It’s been a while since I’ve spoken with you like this.”

“Yes. You… looked a lot more intimidating, the last time – with your mask and all.”
“Aye… after it was used against me, I kind of… set it aside. My tastes change.”

“You don’t worry any longer about your identity, then?”

“Oh, I do,” she said, smiling, “God, but I have to. My face is one I can show around, but the issue of my name might be a problem. Though… maybe I don’t have much to worry about,” she turned her face a little, “I’ve three or four death certificates, with my name and date of birth on them. Each in a different place, time and circumstance, signed by different people – and if you look up the people who made those for me, why: you’d find a lot of them existed in Achilles and Hector’s time.”

“You’ve made a lot of allies.”

“No, I’ve just got a lot of money to spend.”

 

Seth straightened a little, “So… about the parlay… what are your terms?”

“My terms? I’m givin’ you choices, mate, not terms.”

“Choices?”

“Aye. Seems apt. There are things that I know and I suspect that perhaps you don’t and haven’t given much mind to.”
“Like the whereabouts of the rebel leader – Gavroche?”

“I’m not goin’ to get that young lad a hangin’, Seth. You know me better than that,” she smiled at him, “I’m talkin’ about secrets and… speculations I have about your family.”

Seth scoffed, “What do you know about my family, Rogue? Besides your obvious prejudices against my father and your rather accurate opinion of my brother? My family is more complicated than what you’ve seen and what you know.”

“And you think for a second that I’d be spendin’ my minutes thinkin’ about your family if I didn’t know the depths of your… complexities?”

Seth paused.

 

“You know me better than that too, Seth. I’m a little disappointed. I’ve no prejudices against your father, and I’ll not curse him now that he’s gone. He did what he thought was right – albeit, a little harshly and perhaps a little over-dosed on power – but he had honour and a sense of dignity. He wasn’t arrogant, and he was wise to an extent. He knew when he was beaten, and he knew when he needed to make amends. He said both thank you and sorry in the public square. If ever there was a man that was both tyrannical and just – it was your father, Seth,” Mariqah paused thoughtfully, “Your mother, the Empress, isn’t all too bad from what little I know of her either. God knows where your brother got his genes.”

“Satan, presumably.”

“And where would a person such as your mother find Satan to sire her child?”

“That’s… taking it a little far, isn’t it?”

“You’re the one who said it first, mate, not me.”

 

“What… what are these speculations you have, then?”

“I think the secrets ought to come out first,” she looked at Seth, wondering how he looked on his father and whether this information would hurt him, “I… I met your father, Seth, when I was stayin’ in London – perhaps four or five weeks before his death.”

“You…” Seth choke the words, “you… you were the reason he…?”
“No.”
Thank God, Seth sighed. “So, how did you meet him?”

“He called me to have a chat and a drink in his shiny car.”
Seth furrowed his brows, “It doesn’t sound like my father.”
“I owe him, Seth,” Mariqah said bluntly, “I owe him, by quite a bit I must say. And I don’t like leavin’ my debts hangin’ about. Perhaps by tellin’ you this, your father might rest easier in his grave,” she sat up, and looked Seth in the eye, “He gave me the freedom to stay in London, unharmed and unchecked by the authorities, even though I’m one of his biggest rivals. He made his peace with me. But while we were chattin’, he said a thing or two about his… successors.”

Seth waited for her to continue.

 

“He mentioned that, although Simeon is older, he would rather you had his throne, Seth,” Mariqah looked away, a little.

“But… I don’t want his throne. I don’t want to rule an Empire.”
“And that’s exactly why you should be. Because you know the difference between taking responsibility and taking advantage. You know the implications of leadership. Because, Seth, you know the value of life and of death.”

“You don’t know that, Rogue.”

“But I do,” she nodded once, “I’ve seen it in you. Your dealin’s amongst the men in your army, your manner of speech with your enemies, and your complete disrespect to a blood-tied status-quo. You, Seth, were meant to be your father’s heir – because you have led people (and what things people are to be led!) and Simeon…” she sighed, “Simeon doesn’t know what he’s doing. Your Empire will crumble in his reign.”
 

“Why are you telling me this? You are no… no friend of mine.”

“I have business to attend to,” said Mariqah, “elsewhere. My adventures in Britain have long ended. And, it would seem, you’ve your lot to deal with also.”

“I’m not de-throning my brother.”
She stared at him intently, “But you have to.”

“…” Seth raised his head, “Why?”

“My speculations lead me to believe…” Mariqah said slowly, observing the colour in Seth’s face changing, “that Simeon… Simeon killed your father.”
“Aha,” Seth laughed, “aha, ha ha. Of course, because that makes sense!” he bowed his head and laughed like a madman, “Simeon, the bleeding coward, would kill papa! Yes!” he stood up, the veins in his neck and temples bulging, “What do you take me for! A bloody idiot?” he bawled angrily, “There is no way, in Heaven and on Earth, that Simeon killed my father!”

 

Mariqah leaned back against the tree, and replied calmly, “You’ve suspected it, haven’t you?”

Of course, I–” Seth caught himself and took a breath, before saying tightly, “One is my father, the other is my brother.”

What difference does it make? One killed the other, Mariqah told herself.

“I’ve evidence that I base my worries on, Seth,” she said, “Please, sit down.”
“I don’t believe you,” he replied, refusing to sit.

“And you won’t. It’s not altogether a bad thing,” she cleared her throat, “The conditions under which your father died are unknown to the public. The only people who saw your father’s body after his death, were the people Simeon had hired to wash it and ready it for burial. Speakin’ of burial, Lodovico Smith buried in a hurry, wasn’t he? That’s unusual, among your custom. The ceremony, though tediously lengthy, proved to have no mention o’ the circumstances in which your father died. And another thing: Simeon,” Mariqah frowned, “was not at the ceremony.”

“How do you know all these things?” Seth said suspiciously.

“I don’t spread m’self thin, Seth,” she replied, “I’ve money. It’s what people live for, nowadays.”
“These things do not prove my brother guilty of your accusations!”
 

“There’s more. On the day of your father’s ceremony, Simeon was out seekin’ me.”
Seth waited for her to continue.

“And to root me out, he killed, or he had killed, my guardian – Father Dominic Samuels.”

“The man…” Seth was certain he’d heard or read the name somewhere, “Simeon… or maybe it was my mother, told me that he was a Catholic. Pretending to be one of us, pretending to be one of our pastors, misleading his flock.”

“Shut up!” Mariqah barked angrily, “All men have their secrets, Seth! He was a man no less than you, and he never did any harm to me,” she looked away, with tears in her eyes, “Alas, he wouldn’t have died if he’d turned his mercy away from me. God knows, I didn’t deserve it…” she sniffed and took a deep breath, “I met with Simeon. He was in the room of the Father’s murder, with five other soldiers. He wanted to cut me down to size, kill me – the moron.”
“Why didn’t you kill him then?” said Seth coldly, “Maybe then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“I meant to,” she replied, “But while I was dealin’ with the other soldiers, he slipped out. The Nancy. But that’s not the important part. Seth, I accused him then of killin’ your father,” she paused, “And he. Did not. Object.”
 

Mariqah watched as Seth’s jaw tightened and his eyes became watery. He looked away, and closed his eyes – two small drops streamed down his face. It was a while before, he sniffed and said, “I don’t believe you.”
“I didn’t think you would.”
“What are these choices? I’ve no desire to prolong this talk.”

“Well,” Mariqah croaked, “you can stay Normandy, under the watch o’ some of my mercenaries, until my business is done in Masyaf – and your brother can ransom you out. Or…” she looked at him, “you can go home and leave me t’my plans while you sort out your rebellion without my interference.”

Seth gazed at her for a long time. How vulnerable and innocent she looked without her military livery. As fresh and as bright as on the day he first set eyes on her face. Perhaps he couldn’t love her – not in this life, anyway – but he certainly could not hate her.

“You’d let me go, just like that?” he said, in a small voice.

“I’ve no desire to keep you here… any longer than ye’d wish to stay.”
 

He paused, before he sat down beside her and said, “I need time to think.”
“As well, you should,” she said, smiling, “I’ll give you seven days, Seth. Your men will be free to roam Normandy, so long as they avoid conflict with my lads. I’ll be puttin’ the villagers out again, they’re not to harm them either. The game in the forest is free for all, but the owned livestock is strictly off limits. Make it known that they keep that in mind,” Mariqah turned her face to look at his, and then indicated a windmill sitting lonely on a hill, “See that windmill? On the seventh day, meet me on top, at sun down,” she stood up and untied her horse before mounting it, “I hope you’d’ve made your decision by then,”

Seth looked up at her, “You’ve troubled me with what you’ve said, but…” he coughed, “I understand… it couldn’t have been easy to tell me such things.”

Mariqah scoffed, waiving the subject away, “Are you comin’? The weather’ll change on you at any time.”

“I’ll… I’ll join you later.”

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...