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The Tower (standard:drama, 1537 words)
Author: HulseyAdded: Nov 04 2002Views/Reads: 3121/1427Story 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 

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." 

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