The Eve

Nightfall; sounds of the modern times, mixed with the endless sweetness of nature’s nocturnal voice.  This is the eve… the eve of a date that will live eternally on my mind.  And here I am again, wandering as I do every single night, like I have been doing since that day… four hundred and seventy seven years ago; when a sword finished me… but then turned me in to a legend.  Sometimes I am tempted to walk in to the light; but then… I look around and, I simply can not leave; my blood is here, my memories are here; we are part of a history that will not be repeated; this realm is old but is not like it used to be; even when things are done almost in the same way.  I am part of this place… I am still part of this world, and I will stay.  Here I walk now again, like I did centuries ago, towards a monument in honor of my death… and in the death of many who died in the name of the King, and in the name… of other Kings.  Here I will stay, bound to my grief… until time and earth finally fall in to an eternal dream.
King Henry the VIIII feel myself descending softly like a crisp autumn leaf upon this spot. Knowing where I am and why I am here. Called here to perform this task. Not to relive the event, but to recall it, as though it had ever left my mind…for you see though the body withers, the mind, that elusive intangible apparatus lives on…The structures surrounding this place look different. Strange. The scaffold that once stood here and served it’s task long rotted and gone. Replaced by a stone platform. Encircled by chains. But the energy, the pall of death remains… I am part of it.

It is nearly the hour of midnight. It shall usher in the nineteenth of May. With it the hour of the death of the queen…condemned to die by my decree…found guilty of the most salacious charges of high treason against me her king. Her husband…of course, there was no treason committed, nor incest, adultery…none of the charges were true. I condemned five innocent men and one innocent queen to death by axe and sword…why I am here reflecting on the past and not burning in the fires of Hades, I know not…I know only that for me my punishment-if punishment it be-is this beckoning which has brought me to this time this place, and face the past and what I have done. the single act I am remembered for most of all… I look across the green and see the dust in the moonlight, swirled by the evening breeze begin to materialize into a rising form…The same austere purple dress. the white linen head cap…’tisher.. Anne…. I am not startled nor surprised…This was not wholly unexpected…I knew the moment I arrived this place why I was called here. why WE are called here…”Anne” as I move toward her, I expect to see that defiant look I had seen on so many occasions, but instead see only calm. ”have you just arrived?…surely your spirit does not dwell in this  place?”

Queen Anne Boleyn

*I was not expecting him on this date… in four hundred and seventy seven years…I only saw him once wandering on these haunted lands, and it was not here; it was in Hampton Court and when he disappeared, he was angry and in rage… and now, after all these dead years… he comes back to me and on this date. I slowly turn… he looks dazzled, afraid…gently I raise my hand and I touch his cheek, I smile… is marvelous how death is benevolent sometimes and let us be able to touch other spirits…he is cold as I am… but he looks just like the last time I saw him…Henry… My handsome and Cruel King…*”You are here…on this date….you were the last soul I hoped to find here…. in fact; every year when I come, to mourn on the place of my death and the death of my brother…I just see shadows, enemies…. unfamiliar faces… never you; why now?”.

King Henry the VIII

Even at this hour, ages from whence the events occurred, I still cannot bear to look directly into her eyes. As deep and dark as they were in life…In material state, I can feel her cool touch upon my face…even now she queries me, pricking the last vestige of my being with talk of her brother and why I have been evoked to walk this place alongside her… ”I know not the exact reason for my calling here, save to say as tomorrow is the anniversary of your death I have been summoned here to recall my folly and perchance make some measure of atonement…though I know not how to make right that injustice committed against you and the others so long ago…tell me, Anne…does your spirit harbor still any disdain for me? I have been cast by posterity as a villain, deservedly so, though it matters not to me anymore…but you, you whom I have loved so ardently. Passionately… do you still hold against me, my sins?”

Queen Anne Boleyn

*I lay down my hand… and I look ahead…The breeze turns a little stronger than usual, but yet is gentle…I can even smell the scent of May. * ”I am trapped here by memories…. and for all that I wanted to live with you…with our daughter… for our people and families; things that never happened….because you stopped them. For years after the day of my death I planted the seed of hate in my heart, in my mind. Every second I visited our daughter’s home and I was not able to touch her, to hold her… I hated you; when I saw my mother die alone, in pain and dishonor… I hated you. When my sister also die forgotten, I hated you. I hated you for a long, long time. Always waiting for the day of your death, so I could finally be able to reach you again and tell you what I felt. *I pause for a few seconds, and then I look at him* ”But time passed… I saw Elizabeth growing so well… she was alive, happy, she was strong and wise… and she kept me in her heart, in secret, but I was there in her heart; that gave me peace. And then… I saw how time and the Divine justice was dealing with you…. slowly you became a shadow of the proud, strong, and fearless warrior King you once were….After the death of Jane you never knew happiness again; you suffered…. in body and soul; you started to look like the monster that always lived inside of you *Once again I touch his face* ”That monster that lived hidden behind that handsome and gentle presence of yours. During those days… days where I walked around you in silence, watching, waiting… I finally pardoned you. I still remember the love and passion that I shared and lived with you, it still burns in my heart, in my memory. Now is your turn… tell me… how you remember me? What you really felt when you killed me? Did you ever see me in our daughter’s eyes?”

King Henry the VIII

I compel myself to look Anne directly in the eyes. ’tis the only way after all this time she will know that my words are sincere. ”What did I feel?…that part of me that had convinced myself you were guilty felt merely relief, vindication and the liberation of knowing I may now pursue the Lady Jane Seymour in earnest and marry her properly, unlike…unlike our marriage. Darkened by Catherine’s shadow…However, the part of me that loved you as none other… loved you with body and soul…moved heaven and earth to make you my queen.. that part of me felt only shame. Guilt. The self- inflicted torment of destroying that which I loved the most…time after time I sought to banish all thoughts of you. Of our love… But never could I completely erase your memory. You were always there. Alive in our daughter’s eyes…and Elizabeth” I allow myself a laugh at my own expense. ”Elizabeth…what a blind fool I was not to see that any daughter born of a mother of such cunning, such courage, and a father imbued with the strength and pride of a lion could be anything but born of greatness and destined to rule!… What an ass to think our daughter could ever be too weak to bear the crown!…Ye, though a monster I may have been, I am now merely the essence of a man…that which sees so clearly now, what was lost to him then”. I turn away. The realization of the folly of all the . pain I have cause comes rushing through me all at once, and even as immaterial entity, I must pause in my reflection before turning and looking back at Anne… ”I am sorry, Anne…sorry for all those I have wronged and all my sins and misdeeds whilst still on this earth…but most of all, dear lady, I am sorry most of all for all of the pain and suffering you endured at my hand in this world…I know you say you have already pardoned me… however, I cannot pardon myself…I feel I shall always bear the anguish of knowing now, as spirit, that what I did in life was wicked…it is only fitting after all, is it not? …I accept my fate, Anne…I only wish that this is not the final time I shall see you…Somehow, even in life, I knew we would be together again”. I reach out my hands, offering her to take them.

Queen Anne Boleyn

*I look at him, and I take his hands…. suddenly the wind changes.. the breeze turns warmth and death plays its magic upon us…in the moment our hands hold; we see ourselves again in our era, shining in youth, as King and Queen.

the modern objects around are no longer there… we see what we want to see now….and like in the old times…in those days where my goal was to make him love me, I kiss him first, with the love and the intense passion I always felt for him; then I break the kiss and look at him directly in the eyes* ”I pardoned you….sadly, carnal and human love is far from us… we can only create memories of that we once had and shared; we can go back in time all we want… like children playing an endless game; but as soon as the sun comes up… we must hide again in the walls, in the mirrors, in the air…. we are part of these grounds, but we are not part of this world anymore Henry… that is the painful side of this… state. I have seen your other queens around…. Gentle Katherine Aragon pardoned you and me a long time ago….Poor Jane wanders around lost in her sadness; Anne of Cleves already resides in Heaven, she has no reason to be here. Katherine Howard on the other hand still believes you are after her… she runs up and down looking for you…. begin to see you, seeking your mercy. And Catherine Parr… she just, walks around, looking… I do not know why; she always carries a barrier of resentment with her… I can not approach her. *I still hold his hands* ”You made me the most happy Henry, you really did, and I really loved you…. I never knew that it was possible to love a man in the way I loved you. But I failed you… I made a promise I never fulfilled… I promised you a son and I failed… you started to hate me after that, right?”.
King Henry the VIII

My brow furrows as I strain to recall. I have left those feelings of wrath, of hostility so far in the past I strain now to recall them at this moment. ”Yes I…I suppose so. But to be completely honest with you I cannot recall precisely… any hate, any anger have long since disappeared along with the other misbegotten remnants of this place. The scaffold, the axe man’s block… but if I were to guess, I should say ’twas more than just after Elizabeth’s birth… the break with Rome, the death of my dear friend, Sir Thomas More …I foolishly laid the blame at your feet rather than face the fact ’twas all my doing. You may have chided, may have hoped and wished for these things to pass… however I actually ordered them, and therefore it is I, not you who is squarely to blame…I see now the full extent of my depravity and wish constantly I could do something to reverse it’s course even now…but it has all come to pass. If I have learned one thing it is that hate, lust, greed, these are useless feelings that should never hold any true significance in a person’s life…the only genuine emotion is love… Even after life has gone, there is only one thing left and that is love. In the end, that is all there is”.

I can feel the force that brought me here, returning…lightening my mass…feeling light as a feather… I look up at Anne and caress her cheek, and kiss her sweetly, tenderly on the lips…Our kiss feels warm. The only warmth I’ve felt since departing this world. ”Goodbye Anne…we shall meet again”…the words leave my lips just a moment before they turn back to dust. Carried off on the night breeze. Back to the sky and away from Anne…for now.

Queen Anne Boleyn

*The King leaves… he leaves me behind like he did more than four hundred years ago; I still feel the same pain… just like that evening; the last time I saw him… on May the 1st 1536; when I begged for my life and cry about my love carrying my beloved child, also for the last time. Here I am… here in this place….with the rays of the moon upon me; the night is still long, longer than any other century; wondering why this happened to me is what keeps me here; even when I know the answer…I can not understand it. Suddenly I do not feel alone anymore; is a sensation of another presence, familiar, yet strange. I never felt it before…not in all these centuries. Who else that no longer share this world still remember this date with sorrow?
Jean Rombaud, Swordsman

My spirit arrives to this place, carried on the cool night breeze of spring… swirling the grass and disappearing into the rustling leaves of the nearby trees. Leaving me here. Though the spirit may go where it pleases, and to be sure I have passed the stars in the heavens and flowed through the mightiest oceans, still I am drawn back to this place this same time every year… This is not done to exact some eternal retribution or punishment, no… The spirit always returns, for a time, to the place of it’s most significant action or achievement… I do not choose this place as such, but here I am, and there she stands before me once again…her Majesty, the Queen…

Queen Anne Boleyn

*Even the spirit world is small, just like the world of the living… I have not seen this apparition in all my centuries here….and now, here he is… my dark angel of death; the one that obeyed the King’s command and took my life away in the blink of an eye… with no pain, and no regrets. He treated me with mercy and I showed him no fear; perhaps I earned his respect. But I never believed… in all this time…time that seems slower with every new year, with every coming decade…. with every century; that he… will appear before me. I look at him, with the same strength and calm of that terrible day* ”Maître épéiste, pourquoi êtes-vous ici?

Jean Rombaud, Swordsman

Votre Majesté” I say in thought, for no actual spoke words pass between the disembodied. ”Like you, I am compelled here, n’est-ce pas?…I have been to this place many times since my departure from the earthly world… though I have not always seen your form, as I do now, I have always felt your presence here…Majesté, it was only upon leaving life, that I came to know that you were innocent of the crimes with which you were so wrongfully charged …crimesthat brought us together for those brief tragic moments…though all is revealed and our deeds in life left behind us when we pass, I wish you to know what I feel you already do…that while I did my sworn duty, a mercenary’s duty to be sure, but duty nonetheless…I regret that twas my blade that shortened the life of one truly innocent…It is too late to ask for atonement…I am merely expressing to you, votre Majesté, what I now know, and shall carry with me eternally”.

Queen Anne Boleyn

*I smile to him…if only I could see his face… he wears the hood of his days of life now in spirit…* ”There is no time placed to forgiveness, there is always time… here in death as well as in life. I gladly and honestly forgave you that day… it was not your call, it was the King’s call; and you were true to your word… you caused me no pain, no agony, no humiliation; for me that meant… that inside you knew you were killing an innocent woman, even when you were able to find out in fact. I come here because… on the night of this date… the date before the dawn of 19th of May…is the last memory I have of my days as Queen of England. People come… year after year… calling my name, praying for me… leaving roses here and upon my grave; I am loved by the world… The King’s hate towards me did not touch them; I am remembered as a martyr.. even when some… still think I was evil. But it is now… when I see you, that I wonder… what you really felt that day? You did not know me… you had a task and reasons in front of you…. I also, wonder… does someone leaves flower on your grave? Parlez avec le cœur, mon ange doux de la mort. Le cœur ne meurt jamais.”.

Jean Rombaud, Swordsman

”Bonne Reine Anne, in my lifetime I was the greatest swordsman in St. Omer, perhaps even in France, though Monsieur Sanson may disagree with that opinion even to this day…with one stroke of my sword, I brought justice to two guilty criminals…twas that act that made my name famous, oui?…until…well, THAT morning…Mais oui, I tell you now, ”Bonne Reine Anne, in my lifetime I was the greatest swordsman in St. Omer, perhaps even in France, though Monsieur Sanson may disagree with that opinion even to this day…with one stroke of my blade, I brought justice to two guilty criminals…twas that act that made my name famous, oui?…until…well, I tell you now that on that day. Standing upon the scaffold, I felt sympathy and pity for you. This without the knowledge of your innocence, votre Majesté…Even if you had committed such carnal transgressions in the name of love or desire, they are acts of passion. Of lust, wholly undeserving of such a punishment… I say CASSE-TOI to all monarchs!… I say if they wish to take life so lightly they should take up the sword themselves!…on that day, votre MajestéI I felt only compassion.”

Queen Anne Boleyn

*I will say something he never heard, but for sure it will make him smile, perhaps sincerely for the first time* ”I knew before I met you on the scaffold that you were a very good swordsman… and I also knew the task would be easy for you…. after all… I have only a little neck” *Once again I smile to him, then I look away, hiding my desire to laugh, like it happened that day… in the presence of good Master Kingston. I can feel the coming of the dawn… soon will be May 19th… I am not sure of the year… I do no count the numbers… only the memories… the weight of the aging of the walls, the ground and the air itself. I look at him again* ”If I could… my gentle angel of death… I would leave flowers upon your place of resting… you were kind to me….you showed respect and honor, you were a good man in life… you took no joy in killing, I know that. Men had to do what they needed to do to survive on an era where Kings and Queen decided upon the lives of others…they believed they were the hands of God on Earth….That way of thinking spilled too much blood… it haunted these lands with the tears of the innocent lives that were lost…. we are all victims… victims of an old era, that for us it never ends.

Jean Rombaud, Swordsman

At that moment I can feel the wind returning. Swaying the overgrown grass and whipping off the tower’s stone walls…I know my time here is nearly up and I shall be once again among the stars…

”Merci’ votre Majesté…thank you for your kind words of understanding… in my life, I was married to a woman as young and lovely as you, and had a son and a daughter, whom I loved dearly…I accomplished all I sought to achieve, in both my personal life and career… however, though I departed this world having lived life to the full, I was never freed from the image of the youth and beauty of the English Queen. Of how I brought an end to her short life much too soon… Merci’, votre Majesté…your words, your thoughts have at last freed me…”

At that moment, I can sense my spirit lift off the ground, ascending into the moonlit night. As the wind carrying me aloft sweeps through me. Once again I look down upon the figure of the Queen, growing ever more translucent as it disappears in the distance… After all these centuries, the love she had sought in life has found her through the ages and given her true immortality…farewell, votre Majesté.

Queen Anne Boleyn

”Farewell, my Angel of Death…May you find peace and the Lord’s comfort on your way out of this haunted lands.. towards the safe heaven. I will stay here… I can not leave… if I do… I will feel incomplete… Here in these lands I left my life behind, my dreams, my promises, parts of me that never knew life; my blood that was spilled unjustly… is still damping these ground… below this monument, in honor of me and of those who die in the name of the King…and in the name of other Kings after him. I am part of this world… in the silent side… I can not leave… I will not leave… not even for the sake of peace…. because there is no peace in my heart…. I tried…I tried to fulfill all my promises… to the King, to my daughter, to myself…and I failed…perhaps the guilt is what keeps me here…I wanted to live… to see my daughter grow… to love my King…and that never happened. It stopped… in the blink of an eye… with the death of my son… and with the last beat of my heart. Here comes the dawn… is 19th of May… people will come, calling my name… leaving me flowers, praying for me…. I will be around but never seen; This is the dawn of my death… and yet I am still here…. Life is still bound to me; even in death.*

Mercy Rivera

Mercy Rivera is a popular short deep introspection fiction and non-fiction history writer composing in both English and Spanish. Mercy is also well known for her beautifully crafted historically themed videos.

Leave a Reply