[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

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50. 48 – Confrontation

“Go, Britney!” said Richard, hurriedly pushing her through the secret door in his study (formerly the Bureau), “The fortress is crumbling! The people have surrendered to that she-wolf! You must leave!”

“But what about you?” the Abbess cried, “And my child?”

“I will be coming with her shortly. Leave!” he pushed the door shut on her. There was a harsh pounding on the entrance to the barricaded door of the Bureau, “Leave now!”

He wondered, in haste, how he would get to the baby – Mary – who was still soundly sleeping in all the raucous, two rooms away. He thought about leaving her behind – as he knew that Mariqah would never sentence a child's demise – and escape with Britney. He could see the furniture-barricade shake again as the door was rammed and battered. With a loud crash, the door splintered and the furniture burst in all directions.

 

Richard coughed as a cloud of dust and smoke entered his lungs. Then looked up at the tall, dark figure standing in the doorway.

Dante, at last,” Richard said, his suspicions finally confirmed,

We see each other plain!

Dante stepped into the room, his footing firm and his face set. He watched as Richard tried to back up,

Il Mentore,

You’ll wear a different chain.”

Before you say another word, Dante!

Before you make a sign of me –

Listen to me, there is something I must do,” Richard spread his arms,

The Abbess leaves behind a suffering child,

There is none but me that can intercede –

In Mercy’s name, three days are all I need,”

He watched as Dante drew his sword and threw away the scabbard. He walked steadily towards Richard,

Then I’ll return, I pledge my word!

Then I’ll return…

You must think me mad!

Dante watched Richard draw his own sword, with shaking fingers,

I’ve watched you these last few days.

Men like you can never change –

A man, such as you.”

 

Believe in me what you will,” Richard blocked with his sword as Dante struck, the heavy blades ringing sharply,

There is a duty I’m sworn to do!

Dante struck again, feinting to the upper left then striking Richard’s lower flank,

Men like me can never change,

Men like you can never change.

Richard parried and blocked the strike, dancing backwards,

You know nothing of my life,

All I did was take one head.”

Enraged, Dante kicked Richard’s shin and elbowed him sharply in the throat,
My duty is to the law,

You have no rights.

Come at me, Il Mentore!

You know nothing of the world,” Richard choked, regaining his footing quickly,

You would sooner see me dead!

 

Dante held his sword threateningly at Richard,

Now the Wheel has turned around,

Il Mentore means nothing now.

I am warning you, Dante!

I’m a stronger man by far:

Dare you talk to me of crime,

And the price you’ve had to pay?

There is power in me yet,

My race is not yet run!

Every man is born in sin,

Every man must choose his way!

 

Dante stabbed at Richard’s abdomen, slicing through his doublet and tunic, arching the blade upwards, cutting his belly in half. Richard fell on his knees, groping at his spilling innards and blood, before looking piteously at his killer,

You know nothing of Dante!” Dante said, growling at Richard,

I was born inside a jail.

I was born with scum like you –

I am from the gutter too!

 

Richard watched as Dante turned on his heel, seemingly unaffected by what he’d done, and walked out of the study, before Richard fell forward and his vision faded…

 

* * * * *

 

Leaving Masyaf in the state of disrepair, Dante walked through the mercenary camp, who were bereft of their merriment of late. They bore grim faces as they tossed the dead in heaps and dugs large trenches as mass-graves. He headed straight for the tent were he’d heard that Mariqah was being kept as she tried to fight the war within. He wondered for a moment if it was possible that she might loss that final battle.

 

Dante stood next to the flap, watching at Edward caressed her hand and she… spoke. But to people who were not present, as if in a trance,

Noel, it’s turned so cold.

Noel, it’s passed your bed-time –

You’ve played the day away:

And soon it will be night.

 

Mariqah smiled, a beaming grin, at an unfocused point in the distance. She saw Noel standing next to an abstract figure by the entrance of the tent, smiling and waving,

Come to me, Noel, the light is fading.

Don’t you see, the evening star appearing?

Come to me, and rest against my shoulder:

How fast the minutes fly away, and every minute colder.

 

She saw him glide towards her, and sit near the edge of the bed. He took her hand,

Madame, I bless your name.

Madame, lay down your burden:

You raised our souls in love –

And you will be at peace!

 

Come with me, the chains we never bind you,

He tugged he hand and stood up,

All your grief, at last, at last behind you.

Lord in Heaven, look down on her in mercy:

Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to Your Glory!

 

Take my hand, I’ll lead to salvation.

Take my love, for Love is ever-lasting.

And remember the truth that once was spoken:

To love another person is,

To see the face:

Of peace!

 

“Mari!” she heard a foggy voice call her.

She groaned, as Noel began to walk away. She reached for his hand, but he walked past the flap of the tent and away until she could see him no more.

“Mari,” Edward called again.

She rose in bed, hysterical, “Noel! My lad! Where did you go?

Edward put her head to his shoulder, embracing her, “Shh, shh. Be at peace. Be at peace, evermore.”
She sighed, putting hand to her wound. Mariqah looked at Edward bleary-eyed, “Edward,” she whispered.

“Aye?”

“Can I have some water?”

“O’ course,” he set her down gently, taking a cup from the small table beside her bed, and put the brim to her lips. She sipped the water softly, before moving her head away.

 

“It’s not looking good, eh?” said Dante, addressing Edward.

“Not as good as we would have liked… she’s been talkin’ to spectres more, of late, than to my likin’. It’s not good at all,” he paused, “There is one point o’ improvement, though.”
“Oh? What’s that?”

“Water… she always refused food and drink before. Now, though, she asked for it.”

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