Life Without Life

Chapter 7:

"Josette, did you get me out of here?" Emily-Elizabeth asks anxiously from the cell door.

"Well, not exactly. I gave the Baron a proposition that if I was to marry Matthew I was to be granted one wish."

"That sounds reasonable. What was your wish?"

"That you should be able to see your sister and have your sentence be carried out as planned."

"So you are going to go through with the marriage after all? I cannot believe you! I thought you were a friend!" Emily-Elizabeth turns her back on Josette just as Josette had done to Matthew.

"Now, Emily-Elizabeth, be reasonable! There was no way out of this. If I had told them about Timothy, they would never have let you go and they would have probably married us tomorrow!"

"So you do love Timothy?! I was right all along! I knew you could not stand to see him but once!"

"That is not the point here!"

"Oh, and what is the point Josette? That you are about to marry a man who does not love you when you are not capable of love? Is that it, Josette?"

"I don't know!"

"What do you mean, you don't know?! You are not capable of an love and you will not even admit it!"

"All right! Is that all you want? Well, fine! Aye, I am not capable of loving Matthew, as Matthew is not capable of loving me! Matthew is in love with you! There, I have said it. Are you satisfied?"

"Did you say that Matthew loves me? Now that is a complete lie! Take it back because I will not believe it!"

"I will not take it back because I know it is a true statement from Matthew himself!" Just then a guard enters the dungeonroom corridor to see what all the commotion is all about.

"What is going on here?" he bellows as he advances towards Emily-Elizabeth's cell.

"Nothing that cannot be taken care of, Michael," Josette says, as politely as possible.

"What is this, Josette? You know every guard by name?!" Emily-Elizabeth says from her inside her cold, dank cell. "You haven't lived in this castle long enough to remember all of the knights and their ladies by name, yet you know the guards?!"

"If it were not for Michael, I would not be able to have this conversation with you tonight!"

"Oh, just leave me alone!" Emily-Elizabeth shouts as she turns her back on Josette once again.

"Fine, you want me to leave, then I will! But do not come weeping to me when he marries me. Oh, give my respects to your sister. That is, if you ever get out of here to see her!" She walks down the long dungeonroom corridor and slams the iron door behind her.

"Are you all right, milady?" asks Michael from the opposing side of Emily-Elizabeth's cell door.

"Aye. I just wish to be left alone," she sobs as she peers out her cell window into the twilight.

* * * * * *

"Good evening, Katherine," Matthew replies as he strolls across the threshold of the great hall.

"Good evening, Cousin," answers Katherine as she stands at the left hand of the Baron of Nottinghamshire. Matthew takes her hand and lightly kisses it, as it is often custom to do.

"I hear that I am to be a tour guide. Father, shall we go this evening or shall we wait until dawn's first light?"

"My son, always speaking in a minstrel's tongue. To answer your question, my boy, start your tour during this twilight hour and continue in the morning."

"Come, Katherine, let us ride into the night," he says as he takes her hand and leads her into the stables. They pass the garden with the giant willow tree. It seems to be wilting, he thinks to himself. But then again, it is winter and it is probably just an illusion of the moon. They ride together through the desolate town, sometimes side by side, sometimes one behind the other, until nightfall is upon them. Then, as before, side by side or one behind the other, they ride home.


chapter 8