In Red

Chapter 22

“THEY SAY THE TWO MOONS DRIVE MEN INSANE… BUT LONG GONE are the days when they could fool me with that kind of excuse.

Do they really mean to teach us women about the Moon’s influence?

As in any other land occupation, especially if the land is far from civilized areas, here cropped up the worst of those who carry the worst within themselves.

In truth, it cropped up even before getting here. It grew out of the very idea, out of its planning. The great conquests tend to fall into terrible hands. I wonder why. I wonder if conquering is in itself something terrible.

Ambition digs for the weakest points, and finds them. Leonard found mine – loneliness. And he found your mother’s – fear. My marriage had broken down and your mother was unemployed with a baby.

Every other person that came in those first voyages was either running away from something or had nothing to stay for. He, and some others like him, chose us wisely. They took the time and did it well. I still don’t understand, though, why it’s worth all the trouble to dominate. I mean, is it really that pleasant? Leonard, just like all the other owners, had to work hard to acquire this transfer. I will even acknowledge his dedication to building the castle, to thinking up the fantasy… In short, to orchestrating his amusement, our prison. But, what for? Just for the pleasure of imposing his authority on so many people?

I have given it a lot of thought the past years, and I believe I’ll die without knowing. Like the fly that bangs against the window it can’t see, which doesn’t seem to be there but, nonetheless, prevents it from reaching the open air… I’ve crashed into such a barrier a great many times, trying to appeal to Leonard’s heart. And your mother bumped too. Like that poor insect that’s innocently flown inside not knowing it would never be able to fly out again… She hit the glass too hard, and it was then that the other flies learnt that it was better to stay still, and that the only thing we could do was settle into a corner and wait.

The problem is us humans, when we don’t know what we’re waiting for, we begin to despair. That’s why it was so important to maintain the idea of the engagement and portray the wedding as the most beautiful thing in the world, and marriage to a stranger, as the ideal state. But it could only work with children, isolated and with no memories, just aspirations for the future, which turned waiting into a useful activity instead of a senseless conviction.

It was clear – it became clear to me once the calamity struck – that my sister and I couldn’t stand being in that cage without grazing ourselves against every crack we found.

Yes, Roxanne. Your mother didn’t die when you were born. She joined us in this adventure and ended up as the woman who tried the extent of Leonard’s haughtiness. I lied to you. It is the only lie, I swear. But a child can’t grow up knowing that her Mummy is buried in the garden because the person she has to call Father has killed her.

You can’t imagine how hard it has been for me to go on living after that. And I did just for you. For all of you.

And I would have wished with all my heart that you’d never been able to name the grave hidden under the tree. But I can see that moments slip through our fingers and I don’t want you, if destiny ever gives me the chance to make Leonard pay for his crimes, to have any reason to wonder why I did it.”

Monica Euen

#982 in Mystery
#255 in Romantic mystery
#7646 in Romance
#1046 in Romantic suspense

Story about: mystery, romance

Edited: 26.08.2019

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