The chase was such, the king was chasing her and she would become his whore. It was 1765 or was it later she could not say. She was only an ignorant peasant girl. The king has ten bastards and you are going to give him the 11th. Is it any wonder that the kingdom was going to the dogs?
“Look out honey I do love a chase.”
“Yes my pretty?”
“I am not a maid!”
“We’ll soon see what you are.”
“I am the daughter of humble parent’s sir!”
“Humble are we?”
“Then please me!”
“I only please myself sir.”
“You become one of those cursed bluestockings you wench?”
“Oh I don’t sir. I am moonshine sire.”
“What is moonshine to you slut?”
“It is blues sir. I have a disease?”
“You don’t have the smock?”
“You lying wench I do love a chaste wench. Come to the stable and I will give you one.”
“I’ve had a going over with the stable boy sir.”
“I don’t mind who you had with as long as the stable boy is dead.”
“Aye sir he be dead and gone sir. “
“What and you in the hay with the king that is good news isn’t it you girl?
“I don’t like that word mistress.”
“Look come here and let’s roll.”
“Why sir when it is not one but many with the VD and the non virginity!”
“I don’t like the look of that.”
“Thought so sir. Thought should warn you sir.”
“That is a good wench. I’ll do it anyway.”
“She was telling the truth the damn wench she was telling the truth. Not even a skin between those lovely thighs. I’ll roll some more and then we can all have a go between those lovely thighs.”
“Aye sir I am dead now?”
“That is correct you wench. Lovely as you are you’ll be dead and gone from this earth by night fall.”
“Your acceptance is intolerable.”
“Mightn’t you have waited? For me the king?”
“Nay sir got impatient.”
“Look why don’t you call me your grace?”
“Yes your grace.”
“Oh the devil may take care to calm these urges.”
“Your grace if you please.”
“Just do it damn you. Say those words with the comely countenance of a maid.”
“Not a maid your grace.”
“Sharing you with a stable boy you fool I could have made you into a king’s mistress.”
“What a pity sir that you can’t.”
“You take the fun of the fair too far my dear urchin.”
“Love you your grace.”
“That is what I love about these encounters they are so natural close to natural thoughts and feelings it is what we are all about.”
“You should take a walk sire it will ease the tensions of too much indigestion.”
“Look I will not be trifled with. Guards kill her.”
“Lord is my shepherd I will not wander thy kingdom will be mine.”
“She has cursed this king made him go too far. This is what happens to commoners who don’t wait who are whores.”
“Spare this sinner sir.”
“Beg my pardon first.”
“That I do sire.”
“Kill her anyway.”
“Ransacked and abused I will not die in vain.”
“Death to all sluts.”
“Ruination to your line your grace. May you and yours know nothing but fear. The madness that is beguiling may it be yours your grace.”
“I will not be spoken in such a tone.”
“Nothing more to lose your grace.”
“Where did you get all that book learning you fool?”
“I have not always been a maid your grace.” She spats the words out.
“Let me see you and your naked splendour my God I am old but these breasts are sure to arouse any man but I am king and shouldn’t trifle with such monsters.”
“Demons will beget you my lord?”
“No dear child they are after you.”
“No it is obvious who else will die.”
“You a witch? Is this some witchery with the broomstick and such? I will have you crucified.”
“Cuckold and hounded I be your grace.”
“Only men are cuckold you are not a man.”
“I have the heart of a man I am more than a man I am a woman your grace.”
“So you are my dear fool so you are. Go and enjoy the sun like the rest of those wise ladies. Go and enjoy the time left to you in peace. You have unseated me a connoisseur of women I have never met the like of you. I kiss the hand of the stable boy who was the first.”
“I curtsy my King to you.”
That is a wench who was ill born. Why a magnificent half an hour. It passes time it makes life roll more merrily.
“Kill her fools.”
All this a gossips child. I chide the hour that begot my own flesh and her flesh together. No possibility of a child is there? I must do it again and again to have a child I am too old too tired. The state must be managed somehow. These are the pastimes of fools my foolishness I have no reason to kill yet that is the fun of it to pass the time.
“Wench be gone.” He pauses and then he shouts at her with all his spite.
“If you can run then the archers won’t get you.”
“I am standing still your grace.”
“Fight damn you.”
“I am not fighting your grace.”
“Then so be it archers arrest her put her in the tower with the rag bags of yesterday with the rats of tomorrow with the people that are dispensed with lives lost that have lost their virtue.”
“Live I want to live your grace.”
“Nay you won’t you fool.”
“I won your grace this is my victory is it your grace?”
“Yes to live a moment each day that is your victory to conquer the earth that is mine.”
“I want to die your grace in the honourable defeat of my life in the hands of the king let this not drag on let it come to a full stop now.”
“There is no full stop.”
“There must be a reason for all this your grace?”
“Nay there is no enmity it is no personal dislike that I hold against you it is a fact of life that is all a king must have all that is in the kingdom. It is the king’s due it is what is due to a king.”
“I will die in the fields your grace and there will be my grace just there in the hollows and the fields and when I expire your grace I will haunt the castle and the tower and all that are your footsteps will be unmarked and I mark the curse on you and yours that forever you’ll be dissatisfied. I will haunt you your highness.”
Starts to laugh as she takes from her ringed finger the poison and swallows it.
“She talked too much.” Said he the king.
“Aye.” Mumbled his man servant and they left her there for the dogs to lick. For the vultures to pick for all to see an unchaste maid.
Stable lad came from his hiding place when all the king’s men left the king was frolicking with somebody else he had already forgotten. The stable lad buries her and he is wandering to this day unhappy where did his love go and why had she not held her tongue?
Life is made up of series of running’s, run towards love and love towards the unknown run away towards the obvious and run from the obvious. I have ovaries I ovulate and I run towards the menopause only to fall in love. Why did I do all that I have done? My dears it is obvious it is so obvious but I understand you lot are not as genius as I! You lot don’t see you lot are merely intelligent with the IQ covered up in work. I am surrounded by me with the intelligence and the good fortune to see beneath the veneer I have the obvious good charms yes? I have the obvious little greyness between the teeth. I am also so charming and good mannered and I do all that without any effort? Look why are people after me? To kill me, yes, but why are they after this charming little me that I am? I know too much I know too many secrets. I am also careless as to how it might appear to other people.
I have the little unlucky luck to see to things that make others feel ok but are inappropriate, even disgusting, I witnessed a murder. I am to be murdered. What is this thing that I see? See to it that I see no more that I AM satiated. My curiosity satisfied but the more I shut my eyes the more I see. I witnessed a murder and the murderer was there oblivious to the fact; gradually dawn on each of us that we had been one a witness and the other a murderer.
It is strange you see to see a murder done. In the front room with the doors shut and you within there so good to each other that it is sickly. You don’t expect to see it in front of you like it is. To see in one’s living room the princely deed. Even Hamlet did it at a party. You don’t expect someone gloating to be there beside you looking satisfied with him because he has done something. It is such an ordeal to be over this to be seen no more to see nothing but disgust written on his face, as I said things to him. Do you love me? Yes, you fool. But he did not.
Where is Rome I wondered and if I wandered into some kind of hell. He treated me as if an idiot I treated him as if he was a man. He did not like behaving like a man. Manhood is associated with desire and the passions which he had a lot of, but I wanted temperance and humour. This only made me cry. I felt unsafe with him as if I wandered into some sort of shit. There were so many incidents of peopled lives with the people uncoupling and re-coupling as if they were so good.
I thought it is over between us he seems to have cared for the guard’s wife. I could not see what a guard had to do with the Prince. What can a guard have to do with a prince? The princely sum the wife the king and the tiresome urges he has.
The bondage of a man in the thrill game the game of chance is his weapon. He has to have everything. Something for nothing is what he is after. The times are changing as I ring the bell. The puss is in the garden and the well in this land is drying. I am crying my eyes out between laughing at selves which have taken me decades to decode. I live alone whereas people live in companies. I live decades behind whereas I should be alive to now. I am homeless sat in my situation eating fatty foods because there is no other form of protest. The bondage of mankind is the yoke in my neck. My neck is the noose things go into. I fear to get laid because it always ends in disaster and disasters come upon me like a candle drifting along the sea as it crashes onto my mind.
I have seen a murder done and things covered up. The man in the limelight is following me. He needs to see to it that he gets laid. I am not inside looking in I am outside looking in. Why do I see such a lot? Where is the today that was yesterday and when will tomorrow come? I am not a murderer nor a blackmailer my deeds are up there ready to be counted look I saw the murderer when he gloated he did not see me looking at him nor I saw him looking at me. He knew that someday I would be his nemesis what nemesis it is his judgement day is but there are more judgement days in between.
I place a rose on my selfish desires there is no more of me left to see to things. I am obviously oblivious of the fact that I am in danger. What dangers does a person in the 21 century have? My dears have you seen the news? People like me dying all the time. A woman of no fixed reputation just died that could be me. No reputation no fixed abode no one would miss me. No one to take care of me no one to see to me. Where is this woman who I am? Who gave her up? What made me tick like a machine is no longer there. I am no longer here there are more things to do. The toilet is stinky I must flush the damn thing. The kitchen is stinky must clean it. The laundry has to be done. But I have seen a murder I am the next victim as well as my dog.
My dog goes and starts to bark as if her lungs are made of stern stuff. We see eye to eye my dog and I. I place a flower on youth that is dying inside me as if my being conquered by fear is no longer the issue. I don’t want to be conquered by anybody and him not the murderer but he the cat has conquered me as if I was a good lay. It is such a dispiriting thing to be a woman when I was masquerading as a man.
I am not in an obvious rush to complete my tale I’ll tell it piecemeal as it comes. It was soon after witnessing the murderer’s face that I began to hide myself from the penultimate one and started dressing as a man. To hide myself from the gluttony and the obvious desires he had. He seemed to be shocked at first then he liked the idea. In an ideal society he would not have noticed. But he had. He started to laugh every time he looked at me. I grew a moustache which he liked as well as the beard. We played at being friends and I understood he had to have romances to liven his day.
He dated as well as trying it on with me. I loved the chase but grew out of the habit of being kissed. He liked this less and less but I could not bear him touching me with his bloody hands with his bloody mind all enthused about crime. He took to crime like duck to water as if his criminal behaviour was one thing that set him apart from all the others. I started to fantasise about finding a partner and we would have her children and live sheltered in our council flat with all the world hurling abuse at me and her. I did not know which sex I was. I had witnessed a murder and I was murdering my mother’s child. The thing that was I. I had to get away from him and the only way I could keep a distance was by being not myself. Mannish walk look no dress sense a terrible ordeal not to be pretty, not to wear nice clothes. Witnessed a murder I had witnessed a murderers face with the satisfaction of a pig on his face. He looked just like a pig. Where were we living at the time? Somewhere in the middle of London where everything good and bad happens.
In a room on top of the shop with all the cannibals’ after me. I was a cook with my IQ? Yes a cook for to be a cook was the end product of being a witness to a murder. A witness does not have much of a life you know. We sat it out he and I, in the flats upstairs from the shop while all of London was a riot of colour we saw only orange. The rest was blackmail and torture because have you seen? I am telepathic he could control me. This and that speed this and that drugged sleep. Abusive to the core tortured neglected a poet no longer. No longer with the world innocent but this torturous game he wanted to play with me.
I had no friends at all. No one would take my side. I alone without Ambassador to represent me for he a prince and full of himself as well as educated to my ignorance add youth and there is disasters in the making.
I in the thrall of youthful passion I in the thrall of lusts, desires for him and he in the thrall of murders and misspent life in the thrill of the chase that I was the animal to be captured was no doubt in his head.
He couldn’t accept the word no.
I wouldn’t be second best.
He in his palatial palace and I in my room in the middle of lack and ignorance I an intellectual in the making but that is what one does with ones wit one spends it on a man who did not care.
The world of fat sods snoring away with their whores uncaring leaving me the meek and innocent to be taken by that? I WOULD fight him to the death. I was not going to be meat on the table. Do I look like someone’s meat? I will make his day round and round into the dust and mire and dirt like he tries to do with mine.
Don’t say murders are committed and regrets follow there are no regrets for some people they regret not at all. They love the cleverness of it all they aspire to be above the law. There are no more secrets and this is the last one maybe there is more to come? No more murders but there come a time when one is the next victim. One senses the ordeal to be like lamb to the slaughter house. I could not stop my own murder; it had to happen sooner or later he is going to kill me.
Look it is obvious isn’t it? Society is up the creek without an umbrella to its name. Society today what is society? There is no answer to all this rigmoral it is about sex and play is not it and of course war. Wars are fought and as soon as one is fought the others start. What is imperialism what is this thing between us and the walls of society? I have nothing against human nature but I think humans have it in for me. Take today it is obvious crime pays; authors are writing about nothing else. Is taking another life such a big deal? To be praised and is it not injustice to all the other types that they don’t get a mention? Look there are people of character working in a hovel in Africa sacrificing their time and energies to see that decent things happen. And there are others like doctors don’t think twice about sacrificing themselves in the laws of duty. There are society’s winners and there are the losers why dwell on the losers? Is it not the riots are encouraged by this? Look at the television there are the perfect murderers the perfect villains and the perfectionist the little people do not get a mention except in the obituaries.
There are no morals in society; people do not think we need morals! I think society thinks that as long as we do not have morals we are ok. It is the morality of the things that society does. The way this haunts me, the thing that I have found, we are living post trauma. The way we all do since the 60’s and life has taken me round and round plaything of the gang masters. Their spite, as they roll over in hay; made delightful by people like me. As I was or used to be.
The uneducated migrant that is what I am afraid of. I am the person who they think they can control. I have observed myself reacting to these people as if their oppression is the natural part of my day. I get up and it starts for I have things which they want and they being who they are want it without any personal enmity justified by their greed. This leaves me puzzled to see their smirking faces as they leer at me.
“What do they want?”
My soul they want my soul. Anyway when is someone coming over to arrest my mum from the clutches of these people? I am worn out by too many musings over the subject my position is vulnerable and I don’t like it. No one’s invulnerable but I wish I had some sort of backing so that I can feel comfortable.
Life is made up of a series of trials and errors if one does not succeeded then it is the next try and the next but I wish it were not as simple as that. One story is the best story I wish I can write more short stories but feel as if my life is the same made up of small things.
As if it would carry me away those small jests of man’s. I feel the jester in me responding to these jokes of mankind’s the simple villain and the heroism which I think I am capable of. They meet half way. In their own justified contempt of me is their answer. I know no question and where can I find the answer when I don’t know the question? There might not be an answer to life’s problems. No endings in this maze as if my little world is made of little attempts and I am about to try something more complex. Why do rain fall? Why does the sun come up and why am I involved with nothing but my troubles? And why I’m I badly affected and will I have a breakthrough or a breakdown?
I am still in the cafe in the shop upstairs in the flat going over in my mind what have been going on before I came on the scene. So I was in love with a criminal? He a powerful criminal he a genius he a man with secrets a blue beard. What is he doing with me? He is trying to buy me, he no longer in the thrills of the chase but trying to cover me up so that no one will see me as if my being alive was to contaminate the air. He tries to cover me up with the great unwashed so that I will never harm him or his.
I pace the floor the bed is single, narrow like a coffin as if my entails are outside he is going to give me a baby so that he has total power. I am in the thrill of being with him. He I fancy is he a good liar? Yes he is. Is he good in bed? He might be but he is thinking about something else. I think he said he is planning a takeover bid and he is thinking about that. I am thinking how to clean the stove so that it does not become so greasy. We think about the mars bars he has to buy for me because I am getting hungry all this larking about is making me so hungry I can eat the pillow.
I thirst but am not watered, I hunger but I am not fed. I am in the land of lacquered lanes and have been a success. I dream of no one for the thing is there this is the animal I am shackled to. What rights do I have? None! Is there anybody there? NO. There might be someone but there is no space no distance nothing but facts that he is there and I owe him my life. He owns me because he had saved me from drowning. He has come between me and death for that eternal gratitude for that is how he functions an eye for an eye tooth and nails. I function other selfish thoughts. Why the eye and the tooth? What rights did I have? Nothing but obligations rammed down my throat with French kissing as my reward. I began to plot and covert other lives. I began to dream of summers passing of winters coming of me being still so that thought could begin. Why did I have to be eternally grateful for something that caused him not much labour? I thankfully grateful I am gratified to be alive and in your safe keeping. This is British rule this is being British except he a frog. Fogs began to eat my mind, this and that fog foraging into my mind bending my will causing me to have a penis. I dreamt the organ I dreamt I had grown a beard and a penis. Dreamt obscenities in this heavenly refuge there was only that and growing a penis and I lived no more. I grew stale and ugly as the day is long I harboured resentments that grew with time instead of diminishing. Diminished responsibility I had too much to lose yet nothing to gain. I grew older and none the wiser busier without any money. I had so much to wash in the sink: such a busy life without life. He a French frog without the torch for me and me with a penis preening myself. I hoped no one noticed I had a penis. Panic set in where in the world was I going to hide it?
I cried while he laughed. I cried while he mocked, he a penis grower was growing less fond of me as he and I barely exchanged nods. He satisfied that he had done what he had to destroy me. I destroyed, obsolete I destroyed, nothing how dared I cross him? He stopped he could not touch a man. I cried was he laughing? Yes he was. He tormented me and rewarded my tormentors. There it was a penis in my vagina there was a penis it grew, d this self with the bendable will. I him too. He loved that best of all. Loves being d, crossed and abused, no, d and cowed yes.
“James helps me?”
“You are damned you can’t be helped.” He laughed until his stomach stretched and the penis became even more noticeable.
“Please help me.”
“Nothing but human dignity. I am not what you think.”
“What am I? A charity a slave worker a destitute institution what am I? I am not a charity madam you help yourself.”
“I fear fear.”
“Then don’t feel then.”
“You know my great auntie murdered her husband in order to marry the second husband.”
“What’s that to do with you?”
“Everything. Blood tells in the end blood speaks out volumes people don’t understand why the primal instincts are so strong. You have to help me before it is too late before I do to you what you have done to me.”
“You rat? Can’t harm me. Rats don’t do but screech out in pain rat? No a mouse my dear the mouse that roared and the world will laugh at you not me. This is the man you rejected.”
“I’m sorry that I rejected you I was young and stupid.”
“That is correct you are old and stupid now.”
“I’m I that old?”
“You haven’t gazed in the mirror have you recently as this morning I saw you the other day avoiding that mirror that used to torment me. Now the mirror torments you instead of me. I feel for your suffering but I am fucking a woman more beautiful than a live woman should be. I will not bother with the dieting for that won’t work you look awful my dear get a grip on yourself because one of these days heaven forbid you might have a heart attack and die. Rest yourself from the washing up and be sure to clean the rest of this filthy place while you are about it.”
“What is that sound? You said oh dear why did you say oh dear in that familiar manner? Get the hell out of my life.”
“No it will be oh dear from now on. Don’t worry I will see to it that you don’t suffer as much as I!”
“You protect me? From who?”
“Then let there be fireworks tonight with us getting a women each and brother to brother laying them.”
“You said it again what does it mean?”
“You’ll see in good time no matter how long it takes you’ll see I’ll see to it that you will see.”
“Drop that word.”
“You think that is insubordination? When the mice play at the church the rats have to be evicted.”
“Stop it. Stop that I have an aversion to humour.”
“Stop beating me you stupid bisexual despot.”
“I am not bisexual. Can’t you get it into your thick skull that I am a straight guy?”
“My mistake I am sure. Now stop hurting your date is waiting the world is waiting why not just go and enjoy yourself because I am fed up with this exalted company.”
There must have been a mistake he turned out not to have done that murder. I made a mistake wore myself out for nothing. Only we he and I grew out of love. I made a mistake in thinking he was a murderer and became the victim. He was a good man turning to evil made it worse. My evil thoughts that beguiled me as I dressed in trousers in winter and dresses in summer. What rights do I have I made a mistake he was not a murderer! He had not murdered I was wrong. When people in Victoria Holt make a mistake it does not mean the man turns against them it is just a silly mistake. But for us it changed our lives made me impotent and he callous. When people in novels think their men are villains usually they turn out to be heroic. I must say I making a mistake could not believe it after this novel ends I will salute the childish fancy and condemn myself to bread and water.
“How can you be so stupid is it the unconscious that you write about why are you such a softie and an idiot when the time was ripe for mating you didn’t want to. Now it is over and done with time to forget. You but I can’t seem to do nothing but remember. I just can’t forget the sweet virgin that was and now look at you with your penis and moustache; a laughing stock. Stock character from a stock novel. I will make you pay it is my life’s work for you to pay what you denied me.”
She begins to hum as if she has not heard; she is laughing and crying at the same time. Emine’s humour is bad she is not even sad anymore she just can’t be bothered. She has felt so intensely that one more whiff of emotion and she would keel over. One more tear and she will not be responsible one more harsh word and she won’t answer the prayer of even a dying man. When life got so bad that is what she did she hummed and horrors became a thing of the past. Poems would come out writing from the heart as if her broken heart was a refuge, as if her broken tattered sex was nothing to her. She began to paint too. Art and poems and writing took over. But mostly poetry because she had not much time to get on with the rest of things that needed to be done.
Emine took wings to herself and she flew out of her prison into the poems and she felt as if that might be the answer to her life that the reason she has come to earth. She was rejected from life she can’t seem to live with anyone and now she was into this thing these poems were becoming her and she the poems as she wrote in her way she was happy. Emine’s mum was calling and Emine did not want to leave the poem but it had to be done. There might be a crisis her mum might be hurt. A difficult thing might have happened. A customer to be ejected a thing to be translated. What else could she do? She was there she was always there that was what James had been objecting to.
What did James care if they were cast out into the streets? He would welcome all that as she was a foreigner it would mean ethnics have less brains. She went downstairs and there was someone to sell something and making a joke of it. She sorted them out and went to wash up.
Then she fainted.
She just did. It was such a ladylike thing to do. Why had she fainted what right did she have to impose herself on others? Her parents were there immediately concerned as if she was after all a daughter. She was they said white as a sheet. The customers wanted their breakfasts and she was laying in state they made sure she was well, adding it was more than their living, it was their home and they had to leave her to it.
“Go I don’t mind.”
“We’ll get you a cup of something, tea?”
“Yes I’m thirsty.”
They all went their difficult ways her dad laughing in an embarrassed manner her mother pretending to be angry and everyone ok. It was not on her fainting in that fashion. It was embarrassing they would think it was something to do with them and it was not. Her mother was saying mumbling under her breath. It was inconvenient. She was after all thirty years old and still fainting with the period pains. Emine was a nuisance. Her being was a nonsensical thing.
Emine got up and tried to walk in a straight line towards the stairs up the stairs into the room and into her bed.
Emine’s visions of cradles visiting her, prams pushchairs and babies on the backs of seat where they should be. Where did these come? Then looked outside and there were mothers with dignified solitude looking at her they were saying with their stance this is life this is what matter is. This is what you should have done. Had a baby? Will life become extinct if I DON’T have a baby? There are 7 billion people on the globe and faster than anything they are reproducing. There is no more room. Why should I have had a baby? But the woman is insistent her dignity in her cradle. Emine is crying inconsolably, what is the reason for all this? Why is having a baby so important when she has nephews and a niece? Why can’t she just live as nature intended without any will or things of her own?
Cradles go and they come the cradles haunt her. What is the use of life without children the cradles seem to be saying? Ah the shame of impotence the shame of lustful princes without the ring without the wedding ring there can’t be families and she is despised she is no use without the wedding ring one can’t have happy families. Ah the shame of it all to see her cradle rocking without her.