Reading Sundays: LADY OF SPADES (Part 4) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

The wind carries their reaction to me. “Perhaps if we were to write verses to her beauty,” says one, “then she could choose the fellow she liked the best.”

“How would that help?” says another with a deep voice.

“The husband would go with the verse.”

“Best not to mention that part,” says de Tosny the wind carrying his irritating reedy voice, “lest that lass turn tail, and make for the hills.”

I smile as I ride quickly down to the river, and climb into a boat. My servants are there with all my presents. We set sail, catching the tide to the sea, to a remote island sanctuary, where I can live out my days in the company of the person I love most in this world, my niece and bedmate, in a convent founded by her mother.

I have left instructions with my scribe. The land that I inherited is to go to my niece’s eldest brother, in return for my freedom—shut up in his mother’s convent.

I shall never have to go through the pain of bearing a child, and dying in agonies, at an early age.

I shall never have to deal with a man I detest, who will beat me for not being good at bed-sport.

I am sixteen, I am free.


Lady of Spades first appeared in Story Shack.