Based on a picture prompt. my first contest. A young woman runs from her new husband.
Short shots contest entry
Word count 2000
The round hard wood wagon wheel rolled with some effort over the crispy gravel road that wound around to the lord's mansion. It was a cold and icy day as she rode inside the carriage at a slow pace. The horse's feet clopped on the road as she sat and wondered what her new husband would be like. It was said that he was a gentle man with patience and peace in his heart. A colorful leaf fell into the open carriage window. Brown and red; it landed on her leg. She reached down and went to grab it, so pretty, it crumbled at her touch, so delicate.
The carriage rolled to a stop in front of Lord Smyth's mansion. She was nervous as she climbed out of the carriage and marveled at the complexity of the grounds. 'This is so beautiful.' Thinking to herself as she takes in the stunning scene around her.
A man exited the beautifully carved wooden doors leading to the inside of the house. He immediately bowed to her.
"M-Lady I am Scarsac, your personal assistant. I'm afraid Lord Smyth had to take an emergency caller and is unavailable at this time; he sends his regrets. It is up to me to show you to your new quarters."
"Why thank you good sir." She says back to him with a smile on her eager face.
He leads her into the home. It was no less grand inside. Tall stone pillars reflected in the shine of the well-polished marble floors. Statues of many people with unusual weapons next to them in cases lined the artsy hallway he led her down. She felt that this place was a palace to be had by royalty. He walked up to a door, with key in hand, he unlocked the door.
"This is your new room." He motioned with his hand expecting her to walk in as he gestured, so she did so.
"Thank you." She said as he closed the door behind her; then she heard the click of the lock. Her face twisted in disdain as she felt like a little girl being punished for a crime of which she had no memory of. Making the best of the situation she looked around the room, still a little leery about what had just transpired. The towering walls were pink and white with a fancy crystal chandelier hanging in the center of the room just above the four post canopy bed. She marveled at the quality of the golden comforter on the lavish bed. It looked so comfortable that she threw herself onto the bed and rolled in its softness. After she had her 'roll in the hay', she looked up to see the closet door. With everything else being so lavish and comfortable her curiosity got the better of her. She got out of bed and made her way across the floor and to the door she went. She giddily twisted the door knob and upon opening the door she found some of the finest gowns she would ever see.
The colors startled her, she had never been allowed to wear anything but earth tones, white, or black, and that was only meant for funerals and the like. Barely eighteen, she had only dreamt of wearing flavorful colors such as orange, red, or royal purple, but there they were, in all their gloriousness. She couldn't help but trying one on, she thought to look good for her new husband when they first meet, and this plain white dress wouldn't cut it, after all, he likes colors otherwise they would not be in this closet. Picking out the purple and gold dress, she put it on. She sat on the trunk at the bottom of the bed to put on the elaborate high heeled shoes she also found in the closet. When she stood up to see how the open toed purple shoes fit, she noticed the top of the trunk move slightly.
In her excitement she opened the trunk and stood there in horror, her mouth hanging open in shock. There at the bottom of the trunk lay chains and shackles. Taking a quick look around, she noticed the elaborate O-rings hanging around the room. Some nearer to the top of the walls, some more towards the floor. Her heart sank, what had she gotten herself into. Her breathing became rapid, her pulse quickened and she felt her anxiety level rise as she wondered what was going to happen next and why had Scarsac locked her in the room? She was beginning to feel claustrophobic, closed in and compressed. She was genuinely fearful for her life as her stomach churned inside her making her feel nauseous.
Just then the door opened and Scarsac motioned for her to follow him, stating only that dinner was served. She followed him down the great and beautiful hall once more and this time making a left at the atrium and into a fine dining room where a solid redwood table sat in the center of the oak lined room. The table must have been over twenty feet long, there were only two chairs, one at either end; a large bowl of fruit lay at the center of it. Scarsac walked her over to one side of the table, pulled out her chair for her so she could sit. The room looked like a fantasy dream she could have had.
"Lord Smyth will be here shortly." He told her, turned, and walked out of the room. She sat in silence wondering what he was like when the vision of the chains popped back into her head, turning her mind back to horrible thoughts. Would he try to kill her? She had to try to think positively, she didn't want him to see her so afraid.
He must be a man of great stature to have such a lavish home, and maybe the chains weren't for her, or they weren't meant for pain. In either case she could let this go for now; she decided that she would ask him of them later, after dinner.
Finally after several long minutes of waiting and worrying a door on the opposite side of the room opened and a very large harry man backed out of it with a tray of food in his meaty hands. It wasn't until after he turned that her horror became realized. He was an orc! A full blown orc!
"Do not be alarmed m-lady." He said calmly as she stood in startlement. "I shan't hurt you of course, that I can promise to you."
Her face turned a sickly color pale white. She had never even contemplated being with an orc, let alone being married to one. He was ugly, his face had what looked like moles all over it, with tiny black hairs coming out of each one. His black hair ran straight across his greenish forehead. If he were an ugly human she could probably handle it, but she became quite sick at the sight of him, and now she was thinking she might know exactly what the chains were for. She didn't want to end up chained to the wall tonight. If she rejected him, he might actually chain her up so she would stay. She had to get away from this situation, and fast! Her mind ran through a thousand thoughts all at once.
As he walked towards her she noticed his calming smile so she, in turn, smiled back as warm as she could. She knew she would have to be convincing to sell herself correctly. The overly large man moved to his end of the table. She of course, waited until he sat before sitting herself.
"I hope you have been treated well so far, I see you found the dresses I left for you. You chose wisely, that looks most flattering on you."
"I have been treated with no disrespect." She said back to him.
"Yes, I hear you dear; the lock was only meant to keep you from getting lost as you wander the house. Scarsac was helping me." He told her as if the explanation was good enough for her. She was an adventurer; and she was a learned woman who knew how to use sword and brain.
"So how was the trip to the estate?" He asked while cutting his meat.
"It went smoothly My Lord." She began to eat her own dinner, she was hungry.
"I'm glad. I was worried that the trip would have been too cold and uncomfortable for you."
"No my Lord, it was actually pretty peaceful."
After dinner he gave her a tour of her new home, or in her mind, her new prison. He actually seemed like a nice man though, with only one exception, during the nights that followed, she heard screams coming from somewhere in the house.
She decided one night to sneak out of her room to investigate the sounds. He had accepted the fact that she was staying with him for now so he no longer locked her in her room. She crept down the hallway that she thought the screams were coming from. For her own piece of mind she brought her homemade lock pick she had made to escape. Now she thought she might have someone with her when she leaves, she couldn't in good conscious allow a woman whose being tortured, to remained locked up here. She heard the screams getting louder as she crept down the hall. She looked around and found no reasonable hiding places. She knew he was still in there with her.
Figuring out when he slept was the best idea to get her out. Breakfast was usually several hours after she woke. This girl would be in no shape to move fast, no, she had to get her just after he was through with her; she would move slower but it would give her more time to escape. She scrambled down the hall to a door that was unlocked and hid in the room as Lord Smyth walked out of the room, leaving his victim weeping loudly. He walked right past the room and she waited for several long minutes after he had passed her. Smoothly and silently running down the staircase to the room, she used the lockpick too expertly pop the door open.
The girl, not much older than herself was chained to the wall lying on a bed of straw still softly sobbing. She looked exhausted and in severe pain. When she looked up at her she put her finger to her pursed lips. They had to go now; she closed the door behind her and looked around the room. She rushed over to the girl and picked the shackles open. With a click the girl's hands dropped to the ground.
"We need to go now hun." She whispered into the girl's ear. "I know your weak and in pain, but we must leave this place at once." The girl only managed to nod her head. She put her plan into place and made it to the stables much faster than anticipated. Once to the horses she was able to lay the poor girl over the saddle and ride to the gates.
Once at the gate she picked the lock and quietly opened it, she kept thinking that this was all too easy, but she kept going anyway. She remembered the leaf crumbling in her hand. She knew it was all over and she would never be welcomed back to her own home, now that she had disgraced her family. The hooves clopped on the cold and icy ground as she looked at the quiet colors on the ground and the peaceful trees lining the road. She realized that she had responsibilities now. She had to teach this woman to survive on her own. She looked back to the home. He will come for her; they will be ready.