The Duke pt.4

Marie spent the rest of the day in bed. But she could only guess it was the rest of the day because she had no sense of the time, and no where in this house had she seen any windows. Rita was content to sit in a chair in the corner and darn stockings, chattering to Marie and not seeming to mind she never responded. Marie couldn’t find the will to do anything, couldn’t see a reason why she should do anything.

Rita eventually banked the fire and left to go to her own chambers to sleep. It was only then, in the dark and all alone, that Marie started to cry.


Tears were still running down her cheeks of their own accord when Rita gently shook her awake sometime after, Marie assumed it was morning. She sat up slowly, wiping her face dry with one hand and her bleary eyes with the other. She felt numb now, like she was but a shell without its crab, empty of what had given her life.

Marie took a shaky breath, “Rita? Why did the duke choose me?”

“I suppose because of your spirit, dearie.” Rita said without hesitation, not turning from the hearth where she stoked up the fire.

“But what makes me special? There must be hundreds of young women out there with spirit. Why not one of them?” Though Marie wouldn’t dare say it out loud, she hoped she was special, that she wasn’t just any woman they could have taken.

Rita sighed and sat back on her heels in front of the now-roaring flame, “I think only the duke knows the answer to that, dearie.” She turned her head to look at Marie with kind eyes, “But I’m sure he saw something in you that set you out from the rest. He went through an awful lot of trouble to get you here.”

Marie stiffened. “Well, that’s a shame, since I don’t plan to stay for very long.”

“You don’t think the duke will just let you go, do you?” Rita huffed as she rose stiffly and sank into her chair by the fire, “You may be special, but you’d have to know some serious magic if you want to escape him.”

“But I can’t stay here,” Marie choked through fresh tears, “my life would be miserable!”

Sobs wracked her thin frame, and despair filled her soul. Even Rita, the only nice person here, thought she would be trapped here forever.

After a few minutes, Marie still hadn’t quieted down. It seemed as if this would go on for a while, but Rita stood up and marched right over to Marie lying in her bed crying.

“That is quite enough self pity out of you, dearie!” Rita nearly shouted at her. Marie hadn’t thought Rita capable of anything louder than her quiet, breathy way of speaking, and the shock again struck her silent.

Rita lowered her tone, but continued sternly, “The only thing that makes you happy is yourself. Find joy in this new life, and stop thinking about how miserable you are. Moping about sure isn’t going to get you out of here faster than if you accepted your lot in life!” And having imparted some of her well-learned lessons, she stormed out of Marie’s temporary bedroom.

Left alone, Marie pondered Rita’s words. She could understand what Rita had been trying to tell her, but something about the way she said it planted a seed of a plan in Marie’s mind. Of course moping around was not going to get her out of here. It is most likely just going to get the duke mad, and once that happens, she didn’t know what would happen to her. But what if there was another side to the duke, a side she could appeal to to let her out. Marie knew she wasn’t much of an actress, but she had never been in a life or death situation before, as this one seemed to be.

She was going to get out of this! She would be let free to find her fiancé and have that wedding she had been saving up for since she was a young girl.

With thoughts of white gowns and roses and maybe even cake swirling around in her head, Marie leaped out of the silk bed and pulled on the first dress that touched her fingers. The feel of cherry-red velvet against her skin and supple leather slippers beneath her feet just helped lift Marie’s spirits all the more. The sun was shining, Marie was sure, and today she would take the first step towards her release from this beautifully deceiving hell.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

AjitN said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Is this an excerpt from your novel? If it is then I'll be wanting to see that novel!
 
Jolly11 replied...
May 15, 2010 at 12:08 am
No, I haven't even started writing a novel, and I can't see this story going long enough to turn into one... Maybe in the next 10 years I'll get one out... :)
 
Jolly11 said...
Dec. 13, 2009 at 3:30 am
I'm the author, by the way, and I'm not quite sure how this ended up in the realistic fiction section... it was supposed to be in the romance...
 
Hay.467 replied...
Jan. 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm
I totally LOVE this story~~ keep going!!!!!!!
 
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