The mighty chapel bell tolled, announcing the official end of daylight.
“Uh! Thank God….” Sighed Mary scooting towards the hidden quarters. The worn-out skirts rustling, her bosom finally declaring enough of this corset for today. The silken golden locks cascaded down the shoulders once she threw the cap aside. The chilly evening tinted her cheekbones a fine cherry red.
“Why am I assigned an unusually long day” she hissed at Margie. The latter collected her muscles and bones, cautiously steadying herself.
The creeping cold from the dilapidated floor forces Mary’s headgear back on. Margie inched towards the kitchen stove sighing, “I’m a mere caretaker. Stowed away in this dingy cubbyhole.”
“While look at You! You my dear have a job. Something to do. To prove your worth.”
“Now, Now! Don’t you please make it sound like I’m the general of the King’s army!” Mary scoffed.
“You caught it right. The general’s army is no good without you.” Margie refused to give up as she thrust a steaming broth into Mary’s bowl.
Walking up to Mary, she stroked her translucent cheeks that glowed in the faint light of the room.
“Who could pass you as a maid?” Margie mumbled. “A reflection of your mother!”
“Really Margie! Are we getting into this conversation now?” The wooden spoon in Mary’s hand dived into the dull ceramic bowl, profusely searching for solids.
“Bread? Chicken? Anything in there Margie” Mary ‘s scathing glance with eyes rolling upwards was definitive of her exasperation.
“NO. You aren’t turning your back on me today……..You hear me you old HAG. This spying business is like walking on eggshells. My head is stuck amidst the gallows as I snoop around the enemy. Then I return home to this.” Mary is visibly irate as the spoon dangled midway. Splashes of the dewy hot slush scathe her hands as she jerked away the bowl with sudden alarm.
“Your Mum was empathetic. But believe me, I will never turn my back on you!” Margie stomped her foot in response. And dare you call me a Hag! I’m old but no way a Hag.” She smiled as she caressed the rubbery bulges around the mid-riff.
“Could it get worse!!” Mary mumbled remembering how the day had gone. She had to steal the battle maps from the lieutenant’s room. The cover of a maid was helpful but it restricted her to the maids’ chambers. It was eternal torture to witness trays laden with goodies floating around the palace while she salivated at the thought of them landing on her palate.
The job was hers only because Mother had remained loyal to the crown. Spying became the reason for her end. Mary stuck to it to escape prying male gazes knowing well what the end often was. This brought food and respect. It was the only path that would lead to her mother’s murderer.
Much before Dawn
“Ho! Margie….Margie…..oldy…..open your eyes.” The buzzing merely caused a stir. Mary readied herself to use her knees and hands for greater effect.
“C’mon old bones…I have to leave…..the grocer signaled.” “Boil me a tea. Will ya! Make it quick.” Mary commanded.
“Learn something gal……..” what’s complex about tea?
Margie rose from the warmth of the bedcovers grudging the incompetent roommate. The distance from the bed to the stove seemed like a trek. Fortunately, she made it, saving herself from being doused by the flaming stove.
Mary gulped the brew and slithered into the darkness. The grocer was never wrong. The murderer had returned from a conquest. The perfect time when caution is carelessly strewn away. Mary had worked towards this moment. The maid in attendance had been befriended well enough to allow replacement for the time that was needed to inflict the poisonous treats.
As the concoction of revenge and anger flushed through Mary’s veins, the translucent skin lit up with a seductive smile. She nudged the guard into a corner and neatly sliced the jugular behind his neck.
Having no time to waste she rushed to the waiting food trays. Doubling the poison dose, she was confident of the result. Straightening her ragged attire beneath the apron, she glided into the room with a scintillating smile.
“Sir” she smiled biting the lower lip seductively. The general was already intoxicated so it wasn’t long before his flashing teeth bit into the roasted duck meat slathered with the deadliest venom. The seductress transformed into fury.
She would leave him exactly like he left his mother……..A neat gash across the throat and stripped……The Befitting Finale!
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