So I wrote this Gothic styled story for my English homework, and I decided to post it on here as well. I used the characters from the book I am currently writing (I actually wrote this story the day after I lost 1/3 of said book), but the story has little to do with the book itself, because a) the story is in the 3rd person, and the book is in the 1st, b) my protagonist isn’t quite that insane (though it’s not a far leap), and c) if this scene were included in my book, a large chunk of the plot would become completely redundant because the second-most important character in the novel would be dead.
However, I really enjoyed writing this story – I love writing anything dark – so here it is:
Eyes flashed in the damp darkness of the cellar, illuminated by the final, ebbing flame of the red candle. Agonised screams echoed through the cavernous cloisters below the Winter Palace, a pitiful melody of deserted sanity and forgotten hope. The Prisoner had grown numb to the screams; he had had to, after months down here. Were the screams those of the other prisoners – tortured souls trapped in the Palace’s frozen underbelly – or did they belong to Katerina, his wife, his queen, as control of her mind slipped further from her grasp?
The prisoner-king arched his back against the slippery wall, tugging against the heavy chains which confined him here, below the city, below the palace that he should rightfully own. The wall’s torpid moisture seeped through the discoloured cotton of his once-white shirt, like a clammy hand caressing his spine with slow shivers.
A sound! A creaking in the distance! Was he losing his mind, as Katerina had done? Could sanity be stolen from all who inhabited this palace, this historic slaughterhouse where so many kings had died before him? The sound slipped nearer, sliding into his ears as the slime from the wall slid down his back: not a creaking. Footsteps!
The door opened, rusting hinges squealing in a painful protest. Blonde hair glinted in the eerie light of the green candle she held, casting a sinister glow across the face the prisoner-king had once loved with all his fragile heart. The sight of her terrified him, yet he was excited too. To see Katerina was to breathe again: breathe a deep lungful of the water in which he was drowning.
‘Ansel,’ Katerina whispered, the whites of her eyes shining dangerously in the light from her candle, embedded with an element of the otherworldly. ‘Ansel, my love, it’s time for me to end this, time for me to make it right.’
Katerina glided closer into the gloom, blonde hair hanging down her back, like a cloak to cover her white nightdress.
‘I couldn’t sleep, my love,’ she murmured softly.
Ansel stared at the ethereal figure before him: innocent, childlike – world’s apart from the deranged wife who had locked him here.
‘Ansel,’ Katerina whispered again, kissing him on the lips as she reached him. Ansel was gripped by fear, yet touched by an unfathomable, burning desire for his wife, his queen, his captor. He was still shackled to the wall, still her hostage, completely at her mercy. The torment and terror merged with the ardency of a yearning, a fire, which had burnt so slow throughout his captivity, and was only now coming to life. Ansel strained against his chains, pressing himself against the unearthly Katerina, longing for her, needing her.
‘Ansel, my love,’ she said, her soft voice echoing in the tangible gloom as she drew a knife and stabbed him through the tough muscle of his beating heart. Ansel’s blood dribbled down her fingers, the heart that had loved her was finally in her possession.
Copyright Eliza Robinson 2015