Day 25 – Dark Princess – Part 2

Dark Princess has finally arrived. Kudos to Ken, Kerry and Chrisy for writing the lyrics that were soooo much better than this story.

 

Word count: 1083

 

Six years later the princess was once more hovering by her chamber window – curtain veils blowing gently in the soft autumn wind – and staring out towards the ghostly horizon. The princess was waiting, she was always waiting. Exactly six years ago she had sent her servants away for the day and exactly six years ago they never returned. Not a single person had entered the gates of her castle, wandered the cold stone floors or knocked on the enormous oak front doors save her own solitary soul.

Every night she would stand by her window, just before sunset. Be it horrendous hair, bitter rain or intense and glorious sunshine, she would wait until the last drop of light left the world. For the first few weeks, months, she would be able to see the little fires glowing in the dark – warm and cosy cottages spattered in the darkness like a Van Gogh’s reflection of the starry sky. Always the cold would settle in and her arms would start to shiver and her toes would begin to freeze.

At the same unearthly hour she would fall asleep and become victim to her tortured dreams. Never were the dreams of happiness, of lighter days or of hope. Every night she’d relive the terror of the attack by the river six years ago. The dreams would always end differently each night. Sometimes she would die, sometimes she would fight back; never did the thing stop biting her, stop ripping at her flesh and tearing out her veins.

Six years of isolated torture had numbed her in a mellow hollow of her former self. Like the old roots of some ancient tree, she was twisted and had rotten from the core. Anger was now etched on her dark complexion, her pallor washed with a stale green and pungent blue. She’d not changed her clothes in all the time she’d been alone; and neither had she eaten a single morsel or drank a single drop… until the night of the 31st of October that was.

The last sliver of light from the sunset shrank behind another thunderous cloud as she was about turn her head away from the horizon and descend into another lonely night hell. But something by the gate caught her eye. Somewhere in the musty darkness she thought she saw a dark shape move. She squinted her eyes to focus in on the patch beside the wilted flower stalks and the wild bushes. Again, there it was – as swift as a bird it moved. A fine chill ran down her legs; she felt the urge to run, but couldn’t move a single step.

Her breath seemed to freeze. Something deep inside her told her not to hope – not to trust or believe that this could be some good villager come to rescue her – no, every cell in her body told her to do nothing but fear.

From out of the natural silence, she heard a rustling. She leant out the window and saw yet more shapes moving in on her. They were advancing clumsily – as if injured. Out from the trees, the path, from out behind stones and from over the hill they were coming. Their invasion was accompanied by dull, heavy moans.

Suddenly a crash echoed from somewhere within the empty castle. Out from the depths of the dark spiral staircases a malicious, threatening groaning rattled up and ricocheted off the damp masonry. Shuffling followed. Shuffling with ever increasing proximity. Farther off she heard glass smashing and further thudding.

A shadow emerged, creeping and crawling, out of the darkness by the top of the landing, at the foot of her chambers. The moonlit masonry shone in high contrast to the menacing blackness of who the shadow belonged to. It stuttered and stammered as it grew in statute, as the thing it was owned by grew closer and closer.

Something wet slapped on the cold stone behind her. A decaying hand was clinging on to the window ledge as a decrepit dead body hung in the air like a scarecrow swaying in the wind. But it’s neck crooked and its head snapped to vertical, revealing a pair of hollowed sockets, black and burnt where the eyes used to be. It opened its mouth and yellow oily teeth fell out like tiny pebbles.

The princess could barely scream – not a single sound had escaped her precious lips in six long and arduous years. A leg egressed from the landing now and with it brought a horrific sight of limbs and stringy flesh. The hanging corpse began to hoist itself up, grasping and grappling on to anything it could reach. They were cornering her on both sides. More animated corpses staggered in from behind the first on the stairway and in the corner of her eye yet more and more marched through the woods towards her.

She backed herself into the farthest wall, remaining weaponless and without courage. Their faces followed her every movement as they lurched towards her. A chuck of rotten flesh fell from one of them. They were inches from her now – she could taste their maggot ridden flesh in her mouth.

They stopped dead. But a rotten hand’s grab away from her, they all stopped and gazed vacantly at her. As the sound of yet more smashing and groaning from outside filtered in through the invaded castle, they started to raise their decomposing hands and point their putrid fingers at her all: all united in this one simple movement.

It was at that point that the princess – after six years – finally looked properly at herself. The clothes she had not changed, the food she had left to rot and the water she’d never been able to drink suddenly all slotted into an obvious conclusion. She touched her face with her hands but did not feel the usual smooth, spotless skin that glowed in the summer sunshine. Instead her fingernails caught themselves in the folds and winkles, the flaps of hanging skin and and open bleeding wounds.

Like a funeral drum, their moaning began to start again as they all murmured one thing in unanimous chorus.

“Queen, queen, queen.”

The princess collapsed to the floor – and absorbed the rush of realisation – the twisted power and the exhilarating manipulativeness of what was to come for from that day onwards she not just a princess, she was Queen of the Undead.

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~ by S.G. Mark on November 1, 2011.

One Response to “Day 25 – Dark Princess – Part 2”

  1. Rocking!

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