- Tragedy Short Story
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Not every love is happy ever after
Not every joke is followed by laughter
Not every smile is genuine and true
Not every tear is cried for you
Not every person is a rose with a thorn
Not every promise is always sworn
Not every word has a rhyme
Everything's just once upon a time
.............not happily ever after!
The knife met his flesh, soft and pudgy. It made a satisfying squish as the tip of the blade sank deep enough to make my victim scream. I twisted the blade in my hands, all the while sinking it deeper and deeper. His skin was tearing to shreds as the knife rotated, the sound of his muscles and nerves being gouged growing louder. Then, without warning, I jerked it all the way into his back, until the shiny metal had disappeared inside him and the black handle was pushing against his broken skin. His cry was a a brilliant sound; guttural chokes mixed with an agonized roar. I smirked, and pulled the blade out of my now deathly white victim. He sank to his knees, continuing to scream, convulsing and trembling like a rabid animal and thick blood flowing freely from the gaping hole in his back. The cascade of his life source gushed out in all directions, scarlet liquid squirting up all over me. I turned away as his plead for mercy became quieter, the sweet tang of blood tingling in my nostrils. I slumped to the floor and quietly knelt in front of his dead body with my hands all covered with his filthy blood as i still held on tightly to the dagger with which I had just pierced a whole into his heart. There was not even an iota of regret or remorse in my eyes, my action did not in anyway rankle me. He was a monster who got the punishment he deserved. No! He deserved a punishment much worse than that.
I was broken, totally shattered and robbed early of the tape and glue necessary to put my soul back together. My heart, poorly stapled shut, was beating hard but without purpose, My skin stretched across my aching muscles like a worn canvas. My mind was like a lost man at sea, desperate and starving for some reason to live. Desperate for a memory, good, warm, welcoming, one i could smile to. It was difficult to remember my smile, soft but contagious, it had stained my lips like blood, the same blood i could taste as i bit my tongue hard to keep from screaming. But no one had seen me smile, not since the first time I got noticed by the monster whose body now laid lifeless in a pool of his own blood. Woe to the day i was begotten, woe to the day i stepped into the world, woe to the day this monster had set his gaze upon me, woe to even the word of love. A child they say, is a blessing, a gift from God above, a precious little angle; to love and to cherish. A child they say, comes along with lots of joy, happiness and blessings to his parents yet in my own case, i brought nothing but sheer pain and affliction to my family. An ill-fated girl with a plagued destiny i was, right from birth and now here's my story........
"Push! Just a little bit harder, you're almost there" the midwife encouraged and after just a few minutes, the shrill wails of a baby could be heard.
"A hearty congrats to you landlord, her ladyship has been safely delivered of a beautiful princess but i am afraid she is too weak and exhausted".
"I'm sorry my lord, i failed you... i could not bore you an heir". Lady Siyam had mentioned immediately the landlord's form had come into view.
"Siyam my love it is okay, what more could i ask for? Having a beautiful daughter who looks just like you is enough for me".
"Give her here to me, would you?". With no qualms, landlord khal placed the tiny being in his wife's arms. She gazed down on the newborn and softly smiled.
"By God she is the most beautiful creature i have ever set my gaze upon. She's so beautiful isn't she? My daughter is fairest of them all". She weakly cooed.
"Khalee my love....". She lovingly called the landlord "Handle my delicate flower with great care, nurture her till she becomes a well blossomed flower. Train her to be a poised and polite lady and when the time comes, marry her off to the greatest of all men. You are under my oath".
"Why do you talk like that siyam?".
"Because time is not by my side. I may not live to see our little one metamorphose into a woman." She muttered in a tone which was laced with sheer remorse and concern.
"Raazia, my trusted maid... i leave our baby in her care. Marry her after i'm gone and train our girl together". She added.
"Don't say that love.... please we haven't even given our girl a name yet".
"I have already thought of a name. Because she is half you and half me, even her name shall be half your's and mine. May the God's be with you always my khaleesi". With that, my Maa joined her ancestors.
Just as my mother willed, Anna(my father) married Raazia, my mother's maid. She became the new ladyship of the Behra clan. Anna was a just and nice landlord loved by all his subjects, he ruled the people justly and treated everyone equally. Maa as i called Raazia, did not keep her promise. She neglected me and turned me to nothing less than a lowly maid in my own father's manor. I grew up not knowing what a mother's love and warmth felt like, death had deprived me of that right and all I got from Maa was a series of curses and bashing. She called me a cursed child and a badluck, she blamed me for my mother's death. The only people who made me feel loved were Anna, Leemah my maid who was a year older than i was, then Mylo my baby brother, Maa's second child. Maa's first child and my half-sister milan was as cold and brutal as Maa if not worst.
Neither did maa allow me learn the alphabets, nor was I allowed a governess. The only times Maa would dot on me was if Anna was present. In his presence, she pretended to be the sweet and loving stepmother and it always made Anna happy to know that Maa was doing a nice job in taking care of my upbringing. With time, i blossomed into a poised and beautiful young lady much to Maa's dismay. She hated the fact that I was everyone's favourite lady, and not Milan. She also detested the fact that I was the one who always found favour in the eyes of eligible men in contrast to my stepsister who was always dressed in grandeur to capture the hearts of aristocrats. On several occassions, Maa tried to scar my face. I was a girl loved by everyone, on several occasions, people told me that not only did I inherit my mother's beauty and grace but her warm and caring nature also. They missed having her as their ladyship. They were always showering me with gifts and praises much to the dismay of Maa and Milan.
Anna always told me stories under the moonlight, stories about princes and knights in shining armours. He also told me the story of how courageously he fought the powerful lord Tewdrius for my Maa's hand in marriage. He made me believe my own knight in shining armour was going to come courageously galloping on his horse to take me far far away with him to his kingdom. I was always happy and anticipated the day my knight was going to finally come to my rescue. I patiently awaited the blissful day he would come and save me from Maa's wrath and take me far far away with him to our happily ever after.
Leemah, my maid has always been more of a friend and sister to me than just a maid. Leemah's mother was a maid my Maa came with from her kingdom after she got married to Anna. Anna used to tell me stories about my Maa and how very beautiful and graceful she was. He also told me that my Mother was a princess in a far away kingdom. Despite Maa not letting me take part in any lesson, i still secretly learnt the alphabet, how to knit and was exceptionally great at poetry. My voice held the power to melt the heart of my listeners. On many occassions, Anna invited me to entertain his guests with my melodious voice.
When i was 14, our little kingdom suffered drought and due to that became vulnerable. It faced lots of threats from enemy territories. Anna knew he had to take an action quickly or we lost our kingdom and become captives. When all hopes were dashed, he decided to seek solace from the emperor of emperors, the fearless Rajah Mahek of the Bagrah empire. Right from childhood, I've heard countless stories about the undefeatable Rajah Mahek and his mighty kingdom, the Bagrah empire. Many rulers tried in vain to conquer the Bagrah empire as his army was one of it's kind. Rajah Mahek was a ruler who effortlessly intimidated people and was feared by all, so with our kingdom under his protection no one dared attack us. Soon, Anna and a few of our soldiers set for the Bagrah empire to sign a treaty with the Rajah. After journeying for months through kingdoms, forests and desserts, Anna returned with the good news that Rajah Mahek had agreed to shield us against enemies but in exchange, demanded for a few acres of our farmlands, some slaves, treasures and also a percentage out of the annual tax collected from farmers and traders. Anna was more than glad to oblige to his conditions and to show his appreciation, Anna invited Rajah Mahek to our little kingdom and organised a feast in his name.
Upon hearing about Rajah Mahek's visit to our land, Maa got so restless and obsessed with the idea of him finding favour in Milan and making her his Rani. She was highly elated to learn that the Rajah was yet to find favour in any lady.
"Get the best tailor in town, tell him to make elaborate dresses for my Milan. Order some servants to go into the woods and fetch some shaff and talh wood, make incense out of them. We have no time to waste, the Rajah will soon arrive" maa happily ordered. The whole kingdom got so busy preparing for the feast while Maa and Milan busied themselves coming up with ways to entice the Rajah.
Time passed by and the long awaited moment came to pass, the arrival of Rajah Mahek steered an uproar of happiness and jubilation in the whole village. He arrived in grandeur, 4 well abled men borne his palanquin on their shoulders while his entourage rode gallantly on horses. The whole clan was in a festive mood which I had to be part, much to my dismay, as my absence would've been regarded as an act of disrespect to our guests. On the day the feast was to be held, i snuck to the river bank together with leemah to bathe and while away time. I kept telling her how very happy i would be the day my knight arrived, i have looked forward to that all my life. The day i would be saved from Maa's incessant curses, to my happily ever after.
"There is knocking on the door, but he hasn't arrived yet
Since childhood, i have been patiently waiting
Now come with arms open.
My heart is already roaming here and there in joy, getting all restless.
The words of my beloved i look forward to hear......". I swayed gracefully as I melodiously sang.
"You sing well". I froze, confused and perplexed on hearing a male voice. My cheeks soon turned a light shade of crimson due to embarassment. A man had just noticed me dancing, drenched.
Salamat! I am Masha.... head of the Bagrah army and the emperors most trusted friend" He introduced himself.
I was stunned and utterly speechless as I wasn't used to speaking with people from the opposite gender. I caught a firm grip of Leemah's arm and dragged her away, off to palace to get ready for the banquet. I dressed elegantly and leemah braided my hair well. I smelled of sandalwood and fresh jasmine.
"Quickly apply kohl and proceed, you are already late". Leemah warned.
"I am nervous".
"Worry not, your Anna will be with you and remember your Maa's spirit is always watching over you" She comforted.
Immediately i entered the dining hall, my gaze fell on a terrific art of the Almighty. His hair was neatly groomed and he had an aquiline nose which complemented his prominent cheekbones. His shoulders was that of the spartans, they spoke of strength. From the look of things, he possessed a leonine power. I do remember that face very well, met him during the day at the river bank. The guy who complimented my voice, Masha as he told me his name.
Rajah Mahek was also not at all bad with his devil-may-care outlook. For Masha and i, it was love at first sight, we kept stealing glances at each other and smiling.
Anna introduced me as his first daughter to the Rajah who kept lustfully ogling at me, making me utterly uncomfortable. Maa kept eyeing me as if it were my fault the Rajah seemed to find favour in me instead of Milan.
Midway into the feast, Rajah Mahek made a shocking annoucement. He stated that instead of farmlands and treasures, he wanted to have me as his Rani. I was totally shocked and perplexed at his offer. I had already started seeing a future with Masha, his most trusted friend, i also could not help but notice the disappointment boldly printed on masha's face also. Anna told Rajah he needed time to think about the offer, so Rajah gave him till the next evening to come up with a decision.
That night, Anna came into my room and tried convincing me into accepting the alliance.
"My daughter you have to do this, the fate of our kingdom lies in your hands. Do it please, for our kingdom, for me and for siyam. It was her dying wish i marry you off to a string and abled man who would take care of you and protect you at all times. I think Rajah Mahek ticks her criteria. I am sure he would love and cherish you and also protect you at all times. Isn't that what you have always wished for anyways? A knight in shining armour".
I believed Anna's words and happily accepted the alliance, burying the little feeling i had bore for Masha. In no time, my wedding was fixed much to the dismay of Maa and milan whilst Mylo was happy for me. Rajah Mahek was nice and warm to me so i felt great and at ease with my decision, he showered me with lots of gifts and praises. I tried as much as possible to dodge any encounter with Masha. Soon, i got married to Rajah Mahek and moved together with him to his kingdom. I became a Rani and lady of his empire but then, on my first night i was awaken from my dream.
"Undress" he sternly said to me with a grim look on his face.
Was this really my Rajah? I sat perplexed not knowing what to do. I was still an innocent and naive 15 year old.
"Undress i said" he spoke for the second time.
"But why?" I innocently asked.
"You want to know why? Fine! Did your mother never explain a wife's duty to you".
"Don't insult my maa please, she's no more" i cried.
He furiously gripped me and flung on the bed not paying heed to my pleads. He ripped me off my clothes and forcefully had his way with me. He stole away my most priced possession from me, the pride and dignity of every young lady. I weakily laid on the bed, all stained in blood and quietly sobbed all night long. I could still feel his tight grip on me, my futile pleads and the way i winced in pain. My whole body felt so weak and numb.
Thank God leemah was allowed to come with me so the next day, she along with khumsa my new maid, a lady in her late 30's helped me out of his chamber and gave me a bath.
"Never argue with your husband if not he'll keep pouncing on you like a hungry lion and keep hurting you. Quietly undress and lay obediently and let him have his feel" khumsa explained to me while i was in tears. I could still feel the pain all over my body.
Happily ever after turned out to be my worst nightmare, Maa's torture was heaven compared to the Rajah's and so i had to quietly bear it for years. I winced, cried and helplessly cried for mercy every night but it didn't make any impact on him. He used me when he wanted to and send me off when he was done. I felt used and tortured but there was no one i could run to for help, no one was courageous enough to stand against the Rajah's merciless ways. For seven years, i had to bear his torture. I became a living corpse, my life lost it's meaning, nothing amused me in life. Hell was better than the bondage i was living in. I was not entiled to my own opinion at all, i had to oblige to all his orders.
Seven years, and i was still yet to bring forth an heir to the dismay of Rajah. Due to his cabinet's incessant bug, we consulted the royal physician under the agreement that he was going to take another Rani if it was found out that i could not bear an heir. The physician revealed that the problem was from the Rajah himself. Turns out he was just an empty barrel, he was not man enough to make a woman bear a child. The shocking truth frustrated Rajah the more, he threatened i and the physician to keep shut.
"The Rajah invites my lady to his chamber tonight" khumsa announced making my heart skip beats.
Immediately my bath was prepared and i got ready.
I stood looking at him perplexed. How on earth does he expect me to undress in the presence of Masha, his most trusted friend and my first love.
"Undress i said" he sternly said this time around and i hastily obliged.
"Now lay quietly" he said again.
"Get to work Masha".
I helplessly watched as Masha joined me in bed and did what my husband was supposed to do with me.
It was so agonising, he sat and watched as another man made love to his wife on our matrimonial bed and acted like he was not present amusedly watching us. I cried my life out all through the night, why was life so unfair to me? Who have i ever wronged to deserve such ill-fate.
Rajah threatened me not to disclose what happened to anybody. He stated it had to be done to beget an heir because he was ashamed to tell his subject he was not man enough. He promised me everything was going to stop as soon as i had taken in. I kept shut and the act went on for weeks and months till it was finally announced that i was with child. The rajah and the whole empire were happy on hearing this news. He thanked Masha and asked for everything to stop but we were too immensed in it to stop and as the child in my womb form and grow, so did our love for each other rekindle and blossomed.
Although Rajah had casted barriers on our encounters, we still secretly met and made immense love to each other. Soon Rajah Mahek found out about our secret meetings. He got so furious and asked for Masha to be beheaded under the offence of high treason to the empire while i was not allowed to go anywhere.
Life became a living hell for me once again and the only thing i looked up to for hope and inspiration was the little being growing in me. It felt soothing knowing that i was going to have a half me and half the one i loved and cherish.
Finally, the long awaited moment arrived and i brought my beautiful baby girl into the world much to the dismay of Rajah.
"I want an heir not a burden" he said as he looked at the baby with disdain.
"Suffocate the baby to death and announce that the rani had a stillbirth. keep your mouth shut or you also suffer the fate of the cursed child" he ordered khumsa who delivered my baby.
"No please, don't do that. She is too innocent, punish me instead" i weakily cried and begged as i knelt in front of him still covered in post partum blood.
"You think it's about you, move away you whore" he said and snatched away the baby from my arms. I watched as he suffocated her to death with a pillow.
I was devasted, furious and angry at Rajah but being an orphan with no one to turn to. Maa will never accept me now that Anna is no more. My world was totally shattered.
Weeks after the incidence, Rajah invited me to his chamber and this time, asked me to copulate with his cousin. I strongly refused and it led us to a fight as he tried to force me to going to bed with zara'ai. During the fight, i got hold of his dagger and furiousy kept strucking it to his heart so hard till i got tired and sat quietly and watched as he painfully breath his last.
This is the stoy of my cursed life.
The next day, i was hung to death at the village square for killing the Rajah. I happily accepted my fate and died with pride and dignity, feeling accomplished. Atleast i got justice for me, my lover and my baby so i leave with no regrets!.