I place the taper with a gentle hand on the smooth surface of the wooden table, scarred with wax, testament to the hours I have prowled around these rooms, sleepless and dry-eyed.
How could I not shed a tear after the horrendous crime that I had committed? Of course, I had not held the sword in my hands, but I had instigated the crime through subtle hints, sly insinuation and finally, outright contempt.
Did God break the mould when he created me? Mothers are loving, born nurturers, fiercely protective of their progeny. Feelings that I had always scoffed at, having none of them myself! At one moment, I had boasted that had I made a vow to murder my own child, I would have plucked him off my breast and dashed his head against a wall rather than break my oath.
Was that why I was not fated to be a mother? For I would have been a travesty of motherhood, a blot on the face of the earth.
My castle looms, cold and cheerless; once again, the raven croaks, as it did when it announced the arrival of a royal guest.
I was at my wittiest best as I played hostess, even as my mind churned, unholy thoughts wrestling with one another as I plotted. How could I turn this visit to my advantage, ensure that the crowned head who had done me the privilege of being my guest slept on forever, free from the mortal coil of life?
I slipped into the chamber in a fit of bravado, but a chance resemblance to my father stopped me from committing the crime. I was a loyal daughter, if nothing else. The doomed hour was close. It was time for another session of instigation before the deed was done.
Who would have imagined that the deed would have drawn so much of blood? Not one, but three murders, in the dark of night!
Hark, the raven croaks yet again. Is it just my fancy, my overwrought mind conjuring sounds where there are none? Are those whispers I hear? Lady Macbeth walks again!
Am I in the midst of a nightmare? Do I sleep or wake?
The taper flickers as I move towards the wash basin to clean my bloodied hands. The water flows in a steady stream, cool against my fingers that are wrinkled with incessant rinsing. I wash my white hands, repeatedly. Yet, I cannot banish the reek of blood, the disgusting odour that fills my nostrils. The blood drinks up all the perfumes that I use to douse my soft palms.
I can hold on no more! It is time to sleep.
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