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Trials of Darkness

By Alastríona Donovan All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Bastard Child

Guinevere ran into the chamber of Lancelot, he was fast asleep dreaming of things that most men dream about. Guinevere shook him awake. "Lancelot," she hissed furiously, shaking his shoulder until he was aroused.

"Guinevere, what's the matter?" he asked softly.

"Lancelot…I'm pregnant…with a son," she said softly, taking his hand and resting it on the swelling belly. "Arthur doesn't know, but he plans to kill me tomorrow. I don't want to die, I want to birth my baby," Guinevere said. Lancelot nodded.

"I'm I the father?" he asked. Guinevere looked at the valiant knight.

"Yea," she said, nodding her head, she could feel his strong warm hand rub her swelling form. She stared into those soft blue eyes of his, and his wavy golden brown hair, she laced through her fingers. Oh, how she loved this man. Lancelot got out of bed, and swiftly dressed, strapping on his dual swords.

"This is what we are going to do. One of your ladies-in-waiting looks very much like you, she'll be the one Arthur will be burning at the stake tomorrow. You must have a new name, Aithne will serve, and we need to cut you hair. Do something to make you not look like who you are," Lancelot said, hastily getting ready. Guinevere looked at him as he did so.

He cut her hair and then cut up her face. "I'm sorry, my lovely Guinevere, but I have to do that," Lancelot said as he cut her face up even more. He blotted the blood. "You must get use to Aithne, now. You are Aithne the Scarred, no longer Guinevere the Fair," Lancelot said as he led to the stables. He straddled the mare and helped her on it. "Promise me my love," he took off a chain around his neck, a dragon pendant attached to it. "That whatever happens give our son this, and kill yourself after the birth. Say 'Camelot's secrets do not die with me!' understand?" Lancelot said, stroking her thigh.

"I understand my love," Guinevere said. "I will leave now, don't let Arthur know," she said as spurred the horse into mad gallop. Lancelot looked at her as she left. Smiling sadly Lancelot left.

Nine months had passed and her belly was now heavily swollen with child, and labour pains raced across her belly. Aithne moaned as she walked towards the orphanage. She banged on the door, screaming as she fell down, clutching her swollen womb. The orphanage head came out. "Dear God!" the man said, lifting the labouring woman up. He walked to a bed and set her down, sending the stable to gallop with all godly hast to the midwife. The old hag that was the local midwife came just in time to deliver the baby.

"What's your name?" the old hag asked.

"Aithne, I'm a drab," she said softly.

"Oh, and the baby is a fine young son," the crone said.

"Dante, his name is Dante the Lasting," she took of the necklace and slipped around the baby's neck. She eyed the two there. "None of you are to take it off of his neck, if you do, a curse will be upon you, now take him away," Aithne said.

The old hag did so, and the head of the orphanage looked at Aithne. "My lady?" he asked softly. She raised a dagger to her breast.

"Camelot's secrets do not die with me!" and she stabbed herself. The poor man looked at her with sadness; she would be a good mother.

Dante looked at the necklace he held in his hand, he was only a lad of thirteen. "Mother, when are you coming to get me?" he asked the darkness. "God, please aid me and find my mother and father," Dante said softly with tears rolling down his cheeks. "Am I really a bastard?" he asked the darkness. The darkness like always didn't answer. Dante sighed. He was a bastard orphan. He went to sleep.
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