THE LAST PETAL- PT 4

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CHAPTER FOUR

Becka led her through the stairs. Again the room was in West wing.Margaret wondered if there was anything at all in the east wing considering everything import seemed to be in the West Wing. The wing she was, for some reason, not allowed to be in except for the library.  

Margaret continued to go there anyhow ignoring the fact that every time like a typical horror story heroine she has stepped into the wing,

something has gone wrong. When it comes to seeing family, anyone would ignore.

“Here we are Miss Roland,” Becka said halting all of a sudden.  

“Where are we Becka? We aren’t even out of the Manor I think. How would I see anyone here? Do you find this funny Becka?” Margaret said trying to figure out her surrounding. The only response to her answer was a deafening silence. 

A moment passed. And then another. Keys rustled and a door creaked and all was but a haze for Meg.  

“Come in Miss Roland,” Becka urged and Meg didn’t need to be told twice. She followed the old lady into the new room hugging herself as the cold, locked up room offered her no protection against the chilly weather. 

“What are we here for Becka? ” Margaret questioned. She almost wondered if she would grow some fangs and turn into those villains she would read about. A dark house, a locked up room, an old maid and no answers. Yes, that definitely seemed like something her father told her she shouldn’t read because it gave her nightmares.

“Becka?” Becka shuffled through a drawer. Carefully she took out something Margaret couldn’t see. A part of her wondered if it was a knife but she dismissed it thinking she had been reading too much.  

Margaret went up to the old maid and shone the candle light on what she was holding. She was welcomed by a dull reflection of her candle that almost startled her.  

“A hand mirror?” Margaret felt curiosity spark through her but a little disappointment made a way through her.  

“I am site you have noticed something different about this ca-manor. Haven’t you Miss Roland? ” The old lady’s crispy voice started to get on Margaret’s nerves as she composed herself and nodded while saying a yes.

“From the fact that it’s totally dark but everyone seems to be seeing perfectly and also how everyone is so.. Distinguished from normal people, I would say it’s not the Manor but the people Becka.” Margaret said realizing that it must be true. There was something wrong. Something really really wrong with the people in the Manor.  

Meg’s mind went to how it started. The man that tall with red eyes and voice that hurt like shredded glass, that couldn’t be Normal. Was Lord Wellington like that too? Becka didn’t seem so.. 

“You are clever young one. This hand mirror here is different. Have you heard of witches?” Becka questioned making Meg wondered where she was getting at.  

“Yes I have Becka. They are supposed to be evil red headed, pale skinned, beautiful mythical women with powers mostly from North.”

Margaret heard Becka sigh. “We used to think so too,” she said quietly,”

This mirror; here, hold it it in you hands. This mirror is magical. Think of the person you want to see and it will show you. “

The handle of the mirror was hard. The carving dug in her hand as she held it like a mother would hold her new born. Her thoughts went to her own mother. She thought of her beautiful face as she would drink tea and try to give lessons on how to be a proper lady to her and her sisters.

Her thoughts were responded to. The lifeless mirror illuminated itself and from a slight smokey blur, an image was clearing up.  

“Mother!” Margaret gasped out lout and almost let go of the mirror in her surprise. Her flabbergasted state did not effect Becka and she told her to take a seat.  

Mrs. Roland stood in a garden. It was a bright and beautiful day that made her skin glow like a woman in loves’. Only, she wasn’t smiling, or frowning, or looking disappointed. She looked almost dead. Her glow was there but dull. Something had changed.  

“What going on? I need to hear what’s going on!” Margaret exclaimed wanting to know each detail. The mirror shook and the scene changed.  

The woods were the ones found behind her old house. The one they lived in before her father lost his ships in the see. Margaret wondered why the mirror took her here. She remembered her mother stood in a garden. That garden too was a part of her old house.  

“Harder. I have to work harder.” Swords clanked and she saw her eldest brother Gilbert with a sword fighting a guy around his age with metal Swords.  

They fought and fought, each time the strange guy would twist the sword such that it scratched Gilbert and drew out blood. Margaret almost looked away. Almost.  

“This is how you plan to save your sister Gil? Is this how? Like a little girl playing dress up?” The opponent taunted and Gilbert ran towards him full force. Again, his opponent swung around and hit him hard enough to draw out blood. This time, her brother buckled down his knees and held his hurt upper arm while giving a cry of pain followed by grunts.

Not wanting to see another second of it, Margaret looked away. Becka had left her to maintain her privacy and she was all alone in the room.  

She looked back at the mirror wondering where Toby went as a distraction for how hurt her brother looked. It was all just so that he could be a better fighter and save her.

The guilt was killing her and she needed a distraction.  

She wasn’t expecting the mirror to show her an empty space beside her.

*___*

Margaret couldn’t figure out what was happening. Was it a glitch? She thought again, I want to see Toby, but the result remained the same. The mirror showed the space next to her.  

Margaret wondered how that could be. She turned around but could see nothing. Hear nothing. She gave up thinking he was there even though a pang in her heart said otherwise.

“Toby?” She said out loud but was answered with nothing but the deafening silence and the darkness that she has been accustomed to with her stay in the wretched Manor.  With a small sigh she wished to see her father. He was her favorite person on the planet and she wondered how he took the news of her staying.  

This time, without any glitches, the mirror obeyed. The image of the room dissolved and an image of the day and her father’s room in the old house formed.  

Margaret wondered if the Lord had done something to get them their old house. She would have to talk to him. A coughing broke her line of thoughts and also her heart.  

Her father, an elderly man with whitening hair and wrinkles, lay on the bed with a blanket wrapped around him and looked like a man on his dead bed.  

“Father.., ” She whispered putting her hands on the mirror. Her eldest sister chose the moment to come in and say the same thing.

“Father, are you feeling better now?” Giselle asked quietly. With another round of soft coughs, her father stood up. Gisele ran up to help him sit against the head of the bed and tugged the blanket up.  

“I am getting a little better day by day,” He said in a tired voice Margaret couldn’t recognize as his. He was always so cheerful. Even when he was tensed.  

“You need to stop worrying father. Margaret.. I know she is smart. If she was here, you would have been fixed up and ready to do any work without even breaking a sweat. That girl may have had her head stuck in a book but she was also really resourceful. ” Gisele said with a sad smile as she sat next to the old man. Her eyes held an pain and it broke Margaret’s heart to see her like this. They had their sister quarreling moments but no matter what, people love their siblings best.  

“It’s all my fault. She is trapped in that stars forsaken Manor and it’s all my fault. ” Her father said painfully as he held his head up and closed his eyes. His hands grabbed Gisele’s and pressed tightly as to make sure that his other daughter didn’t vanish.  

“No father. You need to stop cursing yourself. Relax. Lay down. Gilbert is practicing with the returned army man, Gaston. With the help of the village, we will get her father. ” Gaston, that must be the man her brother was fighting with. He reeked arrogance and hurt her brother. Margaret didn’t feel confident about his so called help.

Margaret had never seen her sister so determined. Never. Not even when mother tried to get her an old Lord as a suitor. Stars, was that a heck of a determination then. Mother just wanted her to have a reputed suitor and Gisele…  

Margaret looked above sighing Slightly. She wondered if she would ever be able to hug her elder sister again. She wondered if she could get out of this Manor and marry for love. She wondered if she would live long enough to see her sister marry and have her niece or-

Oh you won’t. A slight laughter filled the air and sent chills down her bones. The temperature went down a few degrees and before she could think more about it a knock interrupted her train of thoughts.  

“Miss Roland? Would you like to head back now? ” Becka asked. Something in her voice made Margaret suspicious. Had she heard the creepy voice too? Was it just a part of her imagination? Last time she had imagined such.. Oh Toby…  

“Yes. I would like to be back now Becka.” Margaret said putting the mirror down and shaking off all the paranormal ideas her brain was coming up with. She really needed to stop reading. This darkness and all those stories about adventures and unexpected phenomenons were making her go crazy.  

“Good because Lord Wellington wanted you down for a dinner with him.”

*____*

Lord Drake paced around his dull, boring study thinking of the slight tingles he was being hit by more than often since the past few weeks.  The weeks that started with that annoying rose girl’s arrival.   

She was here.  He knew it.  He could feel it in his bones that it was her. No stars, no.  She just couldn’t let him live or die in peace. She had to torment him again and again, and then again. She *lived* to see his torture especially after a day of love. She would spark the candle of hope and then vanquish it so that he waited for his next torment weeping from the injuries of the past. He was nothing but a play toy to her. He knew it. She knew it.  

Who would love a beast she had said. It was turning true again and again. The repetition. The misery. The darkness. He was trapped in an eternal curse. To be loved, betrayed, and battle against oneself for eternity.

Who would love a beast?  He thought that often too. Looking down at his pale scratchy skinned hands, he shuddered out of disgust.

Who would love a beast?  

Who would love a beast!?  

Who could love a beast..?  

The words taunted him as Drake ran his hands across the rough wooden table and smashed everything to the side not caring about what fell and broke. Glass items, pens, paper and other miscellaneous things fell down making a person outside alert of their master’s distress.  

The only thing on the mind of the tormented person were one he had thought for centuries.  

Why did she have to do this?  

Why him?  

Why did she have to make three enchanted roses?  

Three Rose’s. Two chances of failure, two heartbreaks.  

***

Margaret stood in the middle of her assigned room. Becka had this amazing idea of dressing her up for the dinner.  Who dresses up for a person who can’t stand you in the same room as for more than two minutes?

“Miss Roland, stop moving. ” Becka cried out as Margaret flinched again.  Becka was putting her in in a stars forbidden dress the size of a tent and and tightening the corset so much that Margaret thought she was trying to murder her.  It was possible. She did work for this mysterious Lord after all.  

“Why does Lord Wellington  have such mood swings Becka? Somedays he acts like a kidnapper and then have acts of mercy. He keeps everything so dark and now he suddenly wants to have dinner with me? Becka! Not so hard. You are killing me with this corset.” Margaret hated these long heavy gowns with a deep passion.

“That’s not lady like Miss Roland. ” Becka said pulling another string. Margaret shrieked.

“Enough. He would kill me in ten minutes anyway.  Why are you so dead set on making this death trap tighter?”  

Becka sighed to the young girl’s complaints.  Usually it was the other way.  The girls always loved to be dressed up and she would be complaining in her head.   

“Why are you so set on ruining my work Miss Roland. It was so hard to get Dr-Lord Wellington to agree to this and now you-” Margaret cut off Becka’s babble making her come to a halt.

“Hold on a second. You made him agree what!?” Becka cursed under her breath and then turning to face Meg she replied.   

“Nothing.  I said. I said nothing.  Now now, you are ready.  Let’s take you to the Lord, Miss Roland.” Becka said brushing off her question.

“I don’t not think so.  You did say something dear Becla. Tell me.” Margaret ordered. She felt a little bad ordering the old woman to tell her something but she was already annoyed by the death trap around her chest and stomach.

“Oh my stars! Look at the time.  You would be late! I assure you Lord Wellington  will not be rude this time.  Now hurry along.” Becka dived out of the room and with a candle, she followed the old persistent woman out of the room to the main dinning hall.

The lights in the dining hall were dim but an improvement from the Daily look. Becka took her across the huge table to one of the better lit ends.   

“He would be coming any minute now Miss Roland. Hope you have a pleasant dinnin experience. “Becka said awkwardly and left the room in a hurry.  

Margaret looked around her. There were a few candles in the middle styled in some fashion, and a few around the edges of the room giving her a look of the beautiful  design. She hadn’t realized till now how pretty this often haunting place was.

Why would someone keep it like this?  

“Miss Roland, Good day. ” Lord Wellington’s voice snapped her out of her question and relaxed demeanor.  

“I wish you same Lord Wellington.” She replied not wanting to argue even though the word ‘why’  was on top of her tongue ready to be spoken.   

He was cloaked, was the first thing Meg noticed. He sat far away, with a good distance of seven seats between them and his side was, much to her dismay, not lit up.  

“So Miss Roland, tell me about yourself?” The lord asked after he had clapped twice signaling the kitchen staff she hadn’t noticed.  

“There is not much to tell. I am but an ordinary girl Lord Wellington. I mostly Spent my day helping out with family business and odd jobs, evenings with some local patients and nights with my books.” Meg said ending the topic. Nothing was more awkward than telling about herself.

A tall, lanky man he had never seen before put down a plate of soup in front of her to start off and another went up to Lord Wellington’ and did the same.

“Patients?” Lord Wellington  Questioned not wanting the conversation to cease even though Meg thought if they continued they would, like always, end up in a terrible disagreement.  

“Well yes.  The herbalist in our town said he would teach me if I helped him out.” Margaret said putting the spoon in the soup and spinning it around not wanting to really be there.   

“So you like medicines I presume miss Roland ?” The Lord kept the discussion going on again.

“Yes, I do. But why don’t you tell me about you Lord Wellington? ” Margaret questioned keen to know about the mysterious persona in front of her. She picked up the soup in her spoon and dark it at the same time he answered.

“There is nothing to tell about-” Lord Wellington  started but was no sooner cut of by a squeal.  

“What is this soup made up of?” Margaret said ad she dropped the spoon on the ground making a sound which echoed around the hall.  
She had tasted the salty metallic, which resembled oddly like blood.

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