The Self-Proclaimed Queen

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Chapter 14

On our way back to the castle, Layla and I talked about what had happened to her during the time I was absent. It was horrendous to hear what sorts of things she had to endure in order to not reveal our secret. My secret. Turns out that they’ve tortured her constantly because they speculated that we were keeping a dark secret. Even though they were right, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more people think the same way Roger and his mother did. As we entered the castle, Minerva, Maria and the rest of my servants stopped with a terrifying gaze on their face. They were all looking at bloody Layla.

‘Hey, I’m back.’ Layla said in a very sarcastic tone. I chuckled.

‘Oh, dear god, what on Earth has happened to you?’ Minerva shrieked.

‘I’ll go and prepare the bathtub.’ Maria suggested and she ran upstairs.

The rest of the servants started touching Layla, getting my now blood-soaked coat of her and covering her up with some silky materials that I personally didn’t know we had in this castle. As Layla got taken away upstairs by servants Minerva stayed and approached me.

‘Thank you, your majesty.’

‘No, thank you. If you haven’t said anything I wouldn’t realize what was happening to her.’

‘But haven’t you noticed how bruised she was when we invited her over for a lunch couple of days ago?’

‘I did but I didn’t wanna speculate anything. I mean some like it rough.’

‘Oh, dear God.’

‘Could you please make me some hot tea, please?’

‘Right away your majesty.’ As Minerva went to the kitchen I made my way towards the living room.

I always enjoyed being surrounded by books, long windows and a fireplace made of marbles and stones. It made me feel cozy. It also puts me back in the time when my father was still amongst the living. I can’t believe how fast time flies. It feels like it was only yesterday when my father used to make me play chess with him and tell me old stories of his past adventures on the ship. William. He also made sure to present William in a worst possible way. Even though I traveled with him and William for nine months, and I was fully aware of how much did William contribute to the ship and people on it, he still made sure that I resent him even more for what he did to me.

I was beginning to doze off. But this time I am fully aware of it which is weird. As my vision becomes blurry and darker, I slowly drift off into an oblivion.

Here I am. I tell myself that I’m not dreaming despite the obvious situation that I am in fact dreaming. But this time it feels real. I can feel the wind. Touch the grass and when I put my head up I can see the windmill. Eleanor. I tell myself it must be her. She’s the reason behind my sleep paralysis.

‘How clever of you girl.’ A strange voice appears. It sounds like the person who’s saying it is right next to me. I look around and inspect the surrounding but I can’t seem to find the source form where does the voice come from.

‘Where are you?’ I shout.

‘Look up, silly girl.’ I look up and I see on the window of the windmill there’s a girl in a long ragged white dress. Her hair is messy and tangled, covering her face. Her hands are long and bony. Her skin ruptured and decayed.

‘What do you want from me?’

‘You have something of mine which I treasure the most.’

‘Leave Challan alone. He’s mine!’ I yell, but in an instant, the sky which was a beautiful shade of blue turns blood red and the clouds turn dark grey. The wind starts to blow rapidly while the girl storms towards me, levitating in the midair, her mouth open wide. Her eyes sparkle when she appears right in front of my face. I can’t move. I’m paralyzed.

‘Challan was never yours, Ella.’ Her mouth goes into exaggerated proportions as she speaks.

‘You can’t do much to me? Can’t you? Now that I know that you’re the reason behind this nonsense.’

‘Oh Ella, I know so much about you already, how your mother mistreated you, how your younger sister never really cared about you. But I didn’t judge. I observed. But. When I found out that you have someone I desired then I couldn’t help but try and kill you.’

‘Why didn’t you?’

‘Because I promised your sister that she’d be the one who’ll do it.’

‘What?’

‘I am not the reason behind your nightmares. I didn’t create them, your sister did. I, however, joined when I realized that Challan is seeing someone. The time is ticking Ella. This shall be the last time we meet. You have my word.’ I can feel myself getting up in the air. As I look down I can see Eleanor waving at me. Smiling viciously and glaring at me.

I wake up. Completely unaware of my surroundings. A strange noise brings me back to the reality.

‘I knew you might be here. Surrounded by books.’ I turn my head to see who’s talking to me. Even though his voice always seemed unrecognizable because of the easy nature to blend with other voices, after the thing we did, his voice becomes well known to me.

‘What do you want, Jack?’

‘How long can you ignore me for?’

‘You’d be surprised.’

‘Oh c’mon. I miss talking to you.’

‘Bullshit.’

‘No, it’s true!’

‘Jack, I can’t seem to get past the point of you legitimately making love to me against my will.’

‘Don’t you mean, raping you?’

‘You see Jack, that’s your problem, you do shit but then you’re too dumb to realize or too ignorant to actually stand beside it and admit that you did the wrong thing.’

‘What do you want me to do, exactly?’

‘I want you to man up!’ Jack starts to shake vigorously and I jump up from the couch.

‘Jack? JACK! JACK WHAT’S WRONG?’ I start to scream relentlessly. Jack begins to levitate in the midair. ‘Jack, what on Earth is wrong with you?’

DON’T YOU REMEMBER ME ELLA? MY SWEET ELLA?’ Jack starts to float higher and higher, his arms expanding to monstrous length and his eyes turning completely black with the dirty yellow ring in the middle, his teeth sharp, his fingernails long and pointy. This is not Jack.

‘WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT?’

YOUR SELF-PROCLAIMED TITLE!’ The saying that kept following me since the debacle with Adelaide that happened back in the city center.

‘ANA! LEAVE JACK ALONE!’ In that moment, Minerva touches my shoulder, handling me a tea.

‘Your majesty, are you alright?’ I look around, there’s no one. Only me and her.

‘Minerva where’s Jack?’

‘He left, your majesty, a couple of hours ago.’

‘Where?’

‘He made his way to The Grand Church. Why?’

‘That’s up north? In the woods, right?’

‘I believe so. But your majesty, why if I may ask?’

‘Jack is in danger and need to help him.’

‘What going on?’ I turn around and see Challan. He’s back with his suitcase and umbrella. This time he’s dressed in normal clothes.

‘You must help me.’

‘With what?’

‘I’ll explain everything on our way. Minerva let Nick know that Challan and I are going.’

‘Going where I just got here?’ Challan protest.

‘But, your majesty, don’t you think that it would be a better idea if you wait for Nick and your knights. You would be safer that way then going off alone.’

‘Tell Nick to gather his knights but I must go now. The more time we lose the worse the fate for Jack will be.’

‘Wait a minute. Is Jack in danger?’

‘I don’t know but I wouldn’t wait any longer to find out.’

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