Chapter 4

Written by: Jasmine Groves

King James had a smug smile on his face as Castleroy entered his chamber and walked over, sweeping a bow and then kissing the King’s hand.

Castleroy met the King’s eyes with a returning smile. There were not many in the world in the King’s confidence, but he had always been loyal.

“Well….”. A giggle came from the King “What news? I take it no-one is suspicious of our counter plot?”

“What idiots these traitors must be to think that they can blow up my House and un-throne me.” The humour of it all made King James giggle like a little school girl.

“It is as we planned,” Castleroy replied. “We were careful to identify the traitors and to get them to agree – adding Catesby and his crew is an added bonus. You will get rid of many thorns in your side at one time.”

The King rose, his heavy burgundy red robes flowing to the ground. He stepped off his podium and walked to the window. Beyond was his realm, his family’s right.

“My head is heavy with these worries Castleroy, I need it to be settled.”

He leaned his head on the glass, his sigh causing the glass to fog.

“Being the most revered and most hated person in the kingdom all the time is wearing. I was made for joy. To lead men. To build this kingdom into the greatest in the world.”

Castelroy crossed the room and stood deferentially at the King’s side. “And so it will be sire. These fools are plotting with gunpowder and trickery, thinking that you are unaware – they will never see your wrath coming until it is too late and they are hung up for their treason.”

“Very good, let it be so,” the King turned his gaze to Castleroy and reaching over with his heavily jewelled hand, he lifted Castleroy’s chin until they were looking eye-to-eye. “I don’t question your loyalty or sincerity to me, however, be reminded that if you were to doublecross me I would make you an example to the rest who think they can rise above me.”

The door clicked open and a pageboy announced “Queen Katherine”.

The Queen swept into the room amidst a flounce of skirts and petticoats in the King’s favourite colour, a soft blue. Following a mere step behind were a number of her Ladies.

She crossed to the King, dropping a dip curtsey, turned and simply acknowledged Castleroy with a tilt of her head.

Her gaze cast to the King. “James, tell me all is well and that I am not reading the serious looks and tensions in this room the wrong way.”

The King lifted her hand and tucked it under his elbow. “Of course not my dearest wife. Castleroy was just asking me advice about a lady.”

“A lady,” the queen tittered. “Just one? We must talk at once.”

With that she took Castelroy’s hand and they vacated the Kings presence amongst giggles.

Comments

This is a really enjoyable chapter that explains the historical period well. I liked the way the Queen made her entrance and the light-hearted comment she makes at the end. - a fleeting moment and cheeky casual remark but one that captures the light-hearted mood masking the sinister plot. Nice chapter, Jasmine
Lovely description/imagery - his sigh causing his glass to fog. We can sense the one up-man-ship at play here and it gives the chapter a lovely feel....almost secretive and taking the reader into the writer's confidence.