The last Earl of Tharnham Towers

I climb my tower as the shadows stretch their hungry limbs across the moor. The breeze tastes sour with impending doom and I stretch across the bulwark to watch as dread of death take hold across my land.

I listen to the farmers as they call their daughters home before they lock the doors. They know of terrors that their lord will send across the moors in midnight madness. They know of howling hounds and in the taverns stories have been told.

Stories of my thirst of blood, my crave for youth. They know the prize of flesh they have to pay.

I smile and wait as the sky sinks lower — soon to crush another youthful dream beneath my lustful flesh.

She will come tonight, it was her fourteenth birthday yesterday — her father knows my price and he will bring her, like a lamb ready to be slaughtered.

It is almost dark, but as the wild moon spills silent silver and owl hoots, and a farm door opens.

I can see her, dressed in white, my bride to be is walking towards her doom. I, their lord, will keep them safe for another year.

… and night passes, and in the morning I lay wasted in a pool of blood. She had brought her blade, and I can no longer give them any protection.

Lucy is running back to her father’s house when from across the moor, while I lie fading to the screams of savage soldiers. I know that they all will die.

The first whiffs of burning houses tingle my nostrils as I draw my last breath.

I might have kept them safe, but in the end my price was too high.

Moors North Yourkshire

A piece of fiction for Sherry at toads about the moors and what can happen there.

September 3, 2019

7 responses to “The last Earl of Tharnham Towers

  1. Oh yes, the price was much too high, and I am glad she escaped her fate. You have drawn this so well, Bjorn, that it could be part of an entire novel. Terrific writing! Maybe this is a genre you might pursue?

  2. Sad times in the Moors. I’d agree, the price was too high. To high for the hero’s own good, certainly for the farmers and the farmer’s daughter. But she made the score even.

  3. Something in your tale reminds me of the myth of Hades and Persephone… The narrative voice is very dark, but the issue you touch on, of child brides, is still so prevalent today.

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