|The Tower (standard:drama, 1537 words)|
|Author: Hulsey||Added: Nov 04 2002||Views/Reads: 3081/1396||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young tailor is imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting execution.|
My blood ran cold, but it had nothing to do with the chilliness of the misty river. No, the imposing, ghastly sight of the severed heads perched upon the railings of London Bridge was the cause of my discomfort. The oars scything through the murky river of the Thames that morning disturbed the slumbering swans. The sombre-looking oarsmen were fitting for such an occasion. Westminster, the location for my so-called trial was now far behind us, and Traitor's Gate beckoned. And what was my crime you may ask? I spoke up in a moment of intoxication, protesting the innocence of Lady Jane Grey, an innocent sixteen-year old girl, who for no fault of her own is imprisoned in the tower. Edward V11's older sister Mary, a staunch Catholic was proclaimed as the rightful Queen, an event Lord Protector John Dudley the Duke of Northumberland had dared to challenge. To alter the succession by marrying one of his five sons to the Protestant granddaughter of Henry V111's younger sister, Lady Jane Grey, had drastically backfired. Her father, the Duke of Suffolk had tried in vain to proclaim to the public that Mary was indeed the rightful Queen of England, but alas, his words were futile, and he is now imprisoned in Beachamp Tower, along with Jane's husband, Guilford Dudley. I cannot disguise my fear as I glance over my shoulder at the gory sight. I too am but a child, merely a few months older than Jane, born two days after the death of Thomas More. I am but a poor man, who inherited my father's tailoring trade after both he and my mother were victims of the plague. My months of philandering with the local wenches and my love of mead ordained my woeful predicament. Sarah, a mere serving wench stole my heart, and I saw a thriving future for us, but what a fool I was. It transpires that her tongue is looser than mine, and word travelled swiftly of my drunken objections. The shout of one of the oarsmen interrupted my numbed thoughts when the portcullis was raised noisily, disturbing the nearby wildlife. Two guards seized me and I was dragged from the boat and led through the courtyard, amid the sneers and insults of the onlookers, dressed in their finery. The musty stench as I was marched up the spiral steps was unpleasant, but that was nothing to what lay ahead. The damp cell was furnished with a bed, a table, and a stool. A festering chamber pot reeking of urine, left me wondering which other poor mite had occupied this dungeon before me. . My jailors left me alone and I perched on my stool, peering through the rusty bars of my cell, eyeing Tower Hill through the mist. Surely, I would only be here a short time, and this mistake would be rectified when they realised I was but a poor tailor. I lay on my decaying bed and closed my eyes, welcoming sleep, hoping this nightmare would end. I was woken abruptly by the filthy hands of a toothless man shaking me. "Wake up you treasonous bastard. Dinner is served." I sat up and took in the nauseating body odour of the jailor, realising that the chamber pot was not as bad as I initially thought. I gazed at the brown liquid and the mouldy bread and suddenly my appetite had vanished. The jailor, with his long greasy hair and dribbling lips, sneered at me. His attire was certainly not of a nobleman, in fact I'd seen better-dressed paupers. The jailor was curious. "So pray who are you that our Queen finds worthy enough to lock you up in the tower? It is beneath the dignity of the tower to be used as a lock up for a commoner. Newgate Prison not good enough for you sire?" he mocked. "This is a mistake... My trial was a farce and all will be cleared up in time. I'll not be in here for much longer, you'll see." "Ah! You imbecile! Tonight will be your last sighting of the moon. You're to be beheaded at first light." Click here to read the rest of this story (118 more lines)
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