Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction
Earls revenge By Tim Davies
The former steward to the Earl of Russex closed the door on the sheriff with a sigh of relief. His thoughts racing.
`looks like he swallowed the story of the accident, murder didn't come up in his questions of how the Earl died, or how I managed to gain his title. Still the handsome gift of that parcel of land stopped him asking too many questions, ` he smiled.
` Everybody has their price, so I've got away with it. `
He stayed up late into the night, helping himself to the late Earls best port from the extensive wine cellar. Now all his of course. He couldn't help smiling to himself. Thoughts of all the things he could now do with his new riches tumbling though his mind, repeating themselves over and over again.
Late in the night he slumped in front of the dying fire. His head nodding to rest on his chest. A drool of port coloured saliva ran from the corner of his mouth to drip onto his bottle green velvet waistcoat, creating a small blood coloured stain.
In the small hours, something woke him, a noise perhaps? His drink sodden brain struggled to surface and take in his surroundings.
He could hear a strange whistling sound but could see nothing.
'Who's there, what's that?' He slurred. Shaken awake at last. He could feel a stirring in the air around him, it became cold. He perceived a shift in his surroundings, the light changing from grey to white to silver.
The minutes passed. The boundaries of what was and what might be merged one into the other. Time changed its shape. The past and future both seemed to coexist with the strange fragile present. He caught his breath, the frantic beating of his heart in his ears. He was no longer in the room by the dying fire, but in the old Earls chamber. Bending over the bed with his hands forcing the pillow into the frail old man's face. Closing his ears to the muffled cries and weak struggling beneath him.
In another dimension he could see himself struggling to his feet from the chair, coughing up the port he'd been drinking. Knocking the empty bottle over, glass shards flying everywhere. The old Earls face looming over him, a death -head grin. In his hands a piece of the jagged glass scooped up from the floor. Swiping it towards his face until he realised it wasn't port he was coughing up, but blood. His blood.
As he slumped to the floor, the room again shank back to its previous form. A faint ray of daylight now showing though the shutters, falling on the body laying by the fire . . .
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