author C.C.Cole's blog

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Richard’s Offer

The lead character of the Gastar Series has a final conversation with Richard III.

As Richard pulled the imps away from him in the blazes in the bottom of the fire pit in Hell, he felt his strength waning moment by moment slowly, as if he were dying over a thousand years.  Some of the demonic creatures had faces familiar to him, like his beloved wife Anne, and his brothers Edward and George.  Sometimes he felt a whip lash across his back, but never had any erosion of his clothing or skin.  The pain from the wound ended almost instantly, replaced with more pain, emotional or physical. 

At the tip of this nose, an arrow whizzed by, piercing one of the larger demons through the head.  Other arrows pinned the small imps into the rocky bottom of the pit.  Through the fire, Richard saw Shevata walk toward him, her bow slung around her shoulder, and carrying a ball of blue fire in the palm of her hand.  The imps began to scatter as she threw the fire towards them, making a clearing.

“Zermon sent me down to check on you.”  Said Shevata.  She motioned to an opening.  “Follow me.” 
Richard followed with hesitation.  “What do you want?”
“I want nothing.  Zermon at this moment is angry with one of your descendants named Henry the eighth.  Right now he is resurrecting and burning him for the fifth time.”

“I don’t know that Henry and my line ended with me.”  Said Richard.
Shevata shrugged.  “Well, whatever, he is, Zermon thinks he’s worse than you and ordered me to give you an offer.”  They reached the outside of the pit to the vastness of hell, a red sky with miles of nothing but a black pebble surface.  Shevata smiled.  “This is the scary part of the underworld.  Think about being trapped out here for eternity.  It almost makes the fire pits appealing.”

“What are you offering me?”  Asked Richard.
“Tell me what happened to you.”
“I wanted the best for England.  All of my life I’d been in service and I wanted to serve, not rule.  Instead, I was blamed for the murder of two boys I intended to raise and accused of bedding my niece.”
Shevata raised her eyebrows.  “Don’t tell Zermon about your niece.  He may approve of that.  How did you die?”

“A rival attacked to take my throne.  In battle, my own men changed sides and abandoned me to die.” 
“There must be a reason.”  Said Shevata.
“Everyone was so eager to believe the worst about me.  Do you understand what that’s like?”  Said Richard.
Shevata smiled.  “The worst of me is usually true.  Rumors don’t put you down here.  What did?”
“I executed my sister-in-law’s brother and her son.  I thought they were traitors.”  He sighed, shaking his head.  “It was a mistake.”  He looked back at her.  “Why are you here?” 

Shevata said, “I murdered the last high priest of the God of the Dead.  So I’m Zermon's prisoner.”
“What can you offer me?”  Said Richard.
“There is only one way out.”  Said Shevata, loading a small black crossbow.  “Do you want it?”

Tears ran down his face.  “This would truly be my end, wouldn’t it?”
Shevata nodded.  “I’m sorry.  Your legacy may change, but it will take a very long time, many kings from now.”
He turned his back to her and closed his eyes.  “Do it.” He said.
She fired.  He disappeared with his soul in a flash of light.  

"I'm sorry Richard."  She whispered to herself.

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