The Palace of Humbert was clean. Joad turned to Father Goar and smiled. “I'm done your Holiness. May I eat now?”
Father Goar held out his hand and the boy kissed his ring. “As you pass by, check in on her Ladyship.”
“As you wish Father,” Joad quipped and rose to his feet.
It was in the bottom floor of the Palace that they kept quarters. Above them were mostly servants taking care of near empty Castle. After king Leon died of the plague, it was decided upon by all concerned, his rooms left for sometime so that the disease could leave on it's own accord. Father Goar was happy to stay at the bottom of the Palace for the Abbey and the Library were next to each other, as well as a makeshift kitchen.
Father Goar turned to face his desk. He picked up the letter from the Cardinal. It read that he was sending Father Syl to take over his post and he was to relocate to Quam. Father Goar was not happy about that. He had kept this post at the Palace for five years. He's been instrumental in keeping king Leon's death a secret. He felt the church owed him something and sending him to a plague-stricken village was not what he counted as gold in his purse.
Joad passed by Lady Seriphine's bedroom door. Her Ladyship had not been feeling well for the past four months. Ever since she joined father Goar and Joad in the Palace. Joad hadn't understood anything that was going on since her arrival. Why was she not with Lord Florentine? Where was he? The civil war between the land has been over for a year. Barely any mention of Lord Florentine or his troops.
Joad stopped at her door. “Lady Seriphine?” He whispered. He heard rustling. “Lady Seriphine?” Still no answer. But there was heavy panting and a muffled cry. Joad touched the door knob, it was ice cold. He withdrew his hand quickly. Joad took a few steps back. He turned to leave, thought better.
Joad flew open the heavy wood door. Lady Seriphine lay on her canopy bed, writhing about, her back arched up, her skirts around her waist. She was thrusting back and forth. Joad was no fool. He was seventeen and had one sexual encounter with an older servant woman and he knew the position.
Lady Seriphine was in the middle of lovemaking, but had no lover upon her.
Joad backed away from the door, watched a moment more, then ran down the hallway calling for Father Goar.
The Royal surgeon was called in by Father Goar to have a look at her Lady Seriphine. At the moment, her Ladyship was resting, and Father Goar was not allowed to question her.
“It is apparent that I speak with her soon, Doctor Hera.” Father Goar placed a hand on Hera's shoulder. The small thin man pulled away gingerly, half-smiled.
“I'm afraid something terrible is happening to Lady Seriphine, Father. It's not spiritual I assure you.” Hera walked along the long corridor, Father Goar followed.
Father Goar looked confused. “But, Doctor, my assistant saw her in a state of repose...”
Hera clucked his tongue and wagged his finger. “A boy's eyes in such a lonely, dark place as such. Often one can see things that aren't real.”
“You are not a believer, are you, Doctor?”
“Yes... I believe enough.”
“Enough as your soul will not be eternally damned. I see.”
“Let's move on to our Ladyship, eh? She has scratches and bite marks. I can see she has been with a man.....she also has been beaten.....rather savagely.” Hera stopped to ponder this. “Well, I'm not altogether sure she did not enjoy her...time of this event. However, she is very much distraught. She does not seem to respond well to conversing with others. Anyone comes near, she flinches. What is troubling, is she has more than likely experienced this more than once.”
“It is the first I have heard of this. I only spoke with her that morning. All was well....though....she longed for Lord Florentine.” Father Goar stopped Hera, showed him his room.
“Hmm....no one has heard from him...another strange event.” Hera opened the door. The musty air of the room tickled his nose. He sneezed. Father Goar blessed him.
Lady Seriphine lay in her bed looking at her own reflection in the mirror beside the dresser. She was feeling slightly better than before. She touched her long flowing strawberry blonde hair and wished she could cut it all off. She touched her full lips and wished they were slack and droopy. She wished her green eyes were crossed and the her backbone uneven. She wished her supple breasts were small like a twelve year old boys. She wished she could join the Sisterhood with all the other unlucky women in society.
Lady Seriphine closed her eyes. She'd grown tired. She hadn't even dressed for bed, nor asked for a new pot. She reopened her eyes for moment. There was movement in the mirror. It was quick. But there was something scattering back and forth through the mirror. She sat up. She looked behind her. Nothing there.
Lady Seriphine sighed. She felt a chill run through her body. Her eyes drifted back to the mirror. Her gaze was transfixed.
She saw it. It moved slower this time. It's milky skin naked to the world. A scaly face with mismatched features. It was staring at her with small red eyes and sneering, showing all of its tiny sharpened teeth grinding together.
Lady Seriphine tried to rise from the bed, but something was weighing her down. She panicked. A scream became a murmur in the back of her throat. There it was, the thing from the mirror, sitting on top of Lady Seriphine's abdomen, swishing it's prickly tale back and forth. A purr and a growl intertwined in a high pitch voice. It lowered it's arm and took hold of her by her long swan neck, it's nails scraping at the clean white skin.
Hera had been passing by, he heard the rustling in Seriphine's room. The grunting, the panting...the growling.
The door to her room flew open. Hera was shocked. The creature had hold of Seriphine, it's claws deep in her breasts. It turned quickly and looked at Hera. It bounced off Seriphine and scurried inside the mirror. Hera reached down and picked up the brass piss pot. In one sweeping motion, the brass pot shattered the mirror, several pieces of shard filtered the air, littering the floor.
Hera heard a scream.
He rushed out of Seriphine's room into the hallway to find Father Goar laying in pieces, like broken glass. Hera bent down, picked up a piece with Father Goars mouth. He felt the last of Father Goar's cold breath on his face.