Work Header

Pettles dipped in scarlet.

Work Text:

My poor Richard. My poor, dear, sweet Richard.

Oh how his voice and laughter used to echo through these halls. Oh how I used to love listening to every word he spoke. Oh, how I miss that laughter, that smile, those kisses and  those sweet promises. Oh, how I wish I could see  him again.

But that would be impossible. Never more in my living days will I be able to see my love’s face or hear his laughter. If there really is a  heaven, perhaps it will be when I go there that I will see him.

Four months ago, my sweet Richard was taken from me, and rage boils  up inside the very pit of my soul when I think of the usurper who stole his  life and throne from him. I hate that man with  a passion that burns  with a white hot flame. And yet, this man is to be my husband. I am due to marry the man who took from me the only person I ever loved.  The very thought of Henry tudor makes me sick. And yet, as a princess of  York and a member of a now crushed royal family, I do not feel as if I have any choice.

The candle I have lit in my bed chamber in honour of my darling Richard has burned low, wax melting and the flame sinking into nothing. The vase of white roses that I insist on keeping beside my bed and replenishing as often as I  can are wilting now, their beautiful heads, pale as alabaster,  drooping, pettles scattered across my dressing table.  Such crushed beauty  appears to me as a haunting metaphor for our crushed house, our shattered family.   The House of  York exists in much the same way as those scattered pettles. The white roses of York were crushed on the battlefield at Bosworth, slayn by traitors and monsters alike, although those white roses were  drowned in blood, staining them red. Red, like the rose of the Tudors. 

I have been summoned by my mother to where she is living with the remainder of my once great family. I know not what to expect any more. Will they welcome me back into the fold? I do not know. They, my  mother  chiefly, were not pleased with my decision to stay with Richard. Now that he is dead,  I hope we can continue on in the loving manner that we had previously.

I believe that it was my mother who started championing my cause with  Henry of the house of Lancaster. I like not the idea of marrying him, but  mother says that I shall be the peace to bring about an end to the cousin’s war, a war that she herself was hopelessly entangled in for a long time in her own life. I know not yet whether she believes that I  shall do a better job as a peace maker than she,  but I suppose that I shall  only know  my own limitations when I am forced to play the game.

I have been told that the pretender king mistrusts  everybody from the house of York. We have one boy left who could  be held up as an heir to the English  throne, an heir that I know whole heartedly that the people of England  would support. Teddy of Worrick  is and will be popular with the  people, and I believe that the pretender knows it to be true. Teddy could be crowned as king. I know that Henry Tudor will want no such thing. Not only this, he knows not yet whether my two brothers, Edward and Richard are indeed still alive. I don’t know that either. For all I know, the could be alive and trapped in the tower of London where dear Richard sent them. I know that this crime on the part of my sweet beloved cannot be forgiven, but he may not have killed the princes as I previously believed. My mother for one believes both Edward and Richard to be alive. I hope she is right. But then again, if she is right, Henry Tudor has even more to worry about with regards to the house of York, a house that the people of England still love and  deeply believe in.

The candle  flame  has died now, the light extinguished and the room plunged into darkness. I know that I will not sleep, cannot sleep. Every night, my sweet Richard returns to me in dreams filled with terror. I see him not as I knew him, but as a  bleeding body on the battlefield, his crown gone and his dignity lost. No. I shall stay awake. Henry Tudor may  be able to sneak into my very thoughts and dreams while I sleep, but I am damned if I shall let him take over my mind while I  am awake. I know that I must marry the man who left sweet Richard slayn on the battlefield at Bosworth but I shall not allow him to destroy the only members of the house of York that remain.

He shall not destroy our family. The Yorkists will never fall to the tudors. I’ll  make sure of that.