Chapter 17: Horror
“We know about Lizzy’s death.” I heard a familiar voice behind me say. When did he arrive? I do not know but I turned around to glare at the person I knew was standing right me.
“What do you mean you know about Lizzy’s death? My sister isn’t dead!” I glared at Prince Marcus. I momentarily took in his exhausted appearance with his slight stubble, wrinkled clothes and sleeves rolled up to his elbows. When I moved my gaze to look him in the eyes I could see the same look of sympathy on his face. But he made no attempts to move towards me. Instead, he puts his hands in the pocket of his suit pant and looked at me with an expression I couldn’t understand.
“Rebekah, you know it’s the truth. Isn’t that why you didn’t want to see anyone? Wasn’t it because you were mourning the loss of your sister? I mean it’s the same with your mother and Scarlet. They refused to see or talk to anyone.” Linda said as I felt her place her hand on my shoulder. In anger, I shoved her hand away from me as if she had burnt me. I knew they didn’t know about Scarlet’s threat but I couldn’t believe they would assume that my sister was dead. That was going too far. Lizzy’s alive. She was right there when I left three nights ago. She can’t suddenly be dead!
“You’re lying to me! Lizzy’s alive. What kind of sick joke is this? Why would any of you say such a thing!” I yelled as they watched me pull my hair in frustration. I refuse to believe any of their lies. I just won’t!
“Princess, we’re not lying to you. We would never lie to you about something as serious as this. But didn’t you already know about her death?” Rachel asked as I directed my anger at her. Startled by my change in demeanor, she stepped back a little, frightened by the look I was giving her.
“Would you stop acting like you don’t know what we’re talking about! Your sister is dead and you know that!” Arthur angrily shouted, slamming his hand onto the wall behind him. I could see Rachel and Linda flinch at his tone but I didn’t. Albert had surprisingly slipped away when Prince Marcus had arrived. And ever since Prince Marcus had arrived his gaze hadn’t left me.
“Stop saying that! Lizzy isn’t dead!” I yelled once again in frustration. Why were they so determined to make me believe that she was dead. I know I wasn’t aware of what might have happened during the time I had shut everyone out, but that didn’t mean my sister died. How can she just be dead?
I could see Arthur was getting frustrated with stubbornness. He was still glaring at me. The sad expression he wore minutes ago was long gone. But before he could resume his yelling, Prince Marcus spoke first. “I think it’s best if you leave Arthur. Shouting at her isn’t going to change the fact that she doesn’t believe us nor will it make her accept what we tell her the truth. It is clear Rebekah doesn’t know about Lizzy’s death. And we can’t assume she knew because of the fact that she was reluctant to see anyone. For all, we know she may have her reasons for her behavior on and after that night.”
I was surprised that Prince Marcus had seemed to know exactly why I was behaving this way. It was almost unnerving, to say the least. He had stayed calm and collected as he spoke what I couldn’t. Despite his rough appearance, he looked like a man who knew he had the will and the means to make others submit to him. He looked like a man with pure authority. Whereas Arthur, who had tried to imitate his brother, didn’t look one bit as intimidating as Prince Marcus did at this moment.
“I’m not leaving brother. Rebekah needs me. It is clear that she’s still in denial and isn’t stable enough to be on her own.” Arthur said as he stepped closer to me. But I backed away from him just as he was about to grab my wrist.
“Don’t touch me,” I said through clenched teeth. I didn’t care if I was being rude. I was beyond angry at everything that was happening. “Didn’t you hear what Prince Marcus said?”
Arthur scoffed at me. “You’re taking his side, Rebekah? I thought you hated him. I guess everyone was right, You’re just a power hungry slu-”
He abruptly stopped as if realizing what he was about to say. I knew he was going to say I’m a slut. After all, I heard it from far too many people before today. But knowing that he was going to repeat exactly what everyone in Awa was saying. I couldn’t hide my shock and hurt from his words. I could see my eyes starting to blur with unshed tears from both anger and sadness. Anger because my life was spiraling out of control and I couldn’t stop it from happening. And Sadness from the realization that even Arthur was just like the others.
“Rebekah, I didn’t mean it like that. It was a mistake.” Arthur tried to reason but the damage was already done. No matter what he says, it wouldn’t matter to me.
“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say right now. Just leave Arthur and take Linda and Rachel along with you.” I turned my back to them as I looked at the wall, trying my best not to cry. I’ve cried many times when I was too angry. And right now I was beyond furious with them and myself.
“You should leave before you say something you’ll regret later.” Prince Marcus said to Arthur as he took my hand, intertwining our fingers. I was too tired to stop him. I would rather be around him right now than a temperamental Arthur.
I heard them simultaneously sigh before there retreating footsteps were heard. “Are you alright?” Prince Marcus asked as he used his free hand to tilt my head upwards. I could see the concern clearly as he looked at me. It was the first time we’ve ever been this close.
“I’m alright. I just can’t seem to figure out why any of you would say that Lizzy is dead.” I whispered as I frowned at the thought. I watched as a pained look took over his face before it was gone just as fast. He quickly turned away from me before squeezing my hand.
“Follow me.” Prince Marcus instructed as he tugged my hand, making me stumble forward. Furrowing my brows in confusion once again, I let him pull me along the hallway. Some of the maids we passed looked happy to see us walking hand in hand while others looked at me with pity.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked after I saw him take a turn down a hallway I was unfamiliar with. The hallway was dark and only a few lit candles provided any form of light. It was scary yet it made me curious as to where he was taking me.
“I’m taking you to a place that will give you the answers you seek.” He replied cryptically as he stopped in front of a white door. He let go of my hand and began to pull the closed door until it was open.
I slowly walked into the white room. The first thing I noticed was the different type of bloody medical tools spread on a small table in the corner. Three steel tables that looked like beds were situated in the center. Two of which were empty. Except for one that had a white sheet draped over something that looked like large bags hidden away beneath it.
“Why did you bring me here? Is the other medical room in the palace?” I questioned as I picked up a bloody tool that looked like a small knife. “And why are these tools covered in blood?”
My stomach churned in protest as the stench of the drying blood burned my nostrils. I could make out the distant scent of something rotting, making the urge to puke even more intense. I waited for Prince Marcus to explain why he had brought me and how any of this would clear my confusion.
For a few minutes, he remained silent. I thought he hadn’t heard a word I said. But when I turned around I saw him standing next to the steel type of bed, looking at it intently. I watched in anticipation as he slowly pulled the white sheet towards him. I impatiently watched as I felt my hands and feet starting to feel as cold as ice. I walked towards him as the scent of rotting flesh increased. I watched in confusion as he finally revealed a tangled mess of blonde hair from under the covers. My heart hammering against my ribs as I saw the raw, bloody flesh. At that moment I realized that under those sheets there was a body. A corpse.
I felt my legs buckle under me as I screamed in horror at the battered face of the young girl in front of me. I could feel the bile rise in my throat as I stared at the decaying flesh. I felt Prince Marcus rubbing circles on my back as I threw up what little I had in my stomach until I began to dry heave. I could see small dots in my vision as I swayed to the side. I gave one final scream at the body laid in front of me before the world around me turned black.