The room was damp and smelled of mildew. A light draft wafted in from under the door though it did naught to improve the smell. The Lady Shelly sat on her cold bench and rearranged her scratchy woolen shift. “Bugger this thing!” she exclaimed as she brushed her arms trying to end the endless itchy feeling it produced. She did not know exactly how long she had been in the cell but judging from the meals she had eaten, she guessed about 3 days. She was waiting for the Lord of Anger to speak with her about her imprisonment. Even now, she could not find it in her heart to hate him after all they had shared. He was, after all, the man that had raised her up to Hand of Anger and provided her with a manse and more.
Yet, Lady Shelly was saddened by the swiftness in which the Lord of Anger had denounced her and had her arrested after the accusations of treason had been brought forth. The accusations were, of course, unfounded and utterly ridiculous. She stood up and walked over to the door. The heavy oaken door was spotted with mold and the hinges were near rusted away but it would not budge no matter how hard she tried. The only luck Lady Shelly had seemed to have was with the portly goaler Mord. Mord was ever the simpleton and at the mere suggestion of some caresses, he would have gladly given her the key to the oaken door. But Mord was never alone. His every move was being monitored by the other goalers. Just as Lady Shelly turned to walk back to the stone bench, she heard footsteps approaching and the clink of keys. Her hands grasped the iron bars and tried to look through the small slats but she was not tall enough to see.
“MAKE WAY FOR THE LORD OF ANGER!!” a voice bellowed.
Lady Shelly backed away and sat on her bench. She sat, hands folded, trying to look as docile and calm as possible though her mind was a raging storm. The heavy door swung open and the Lord of Anger entered.
“MY LADY. I HOPE YOU ARE BEING WELL LOOKED AFTER?” The Angermaster inquired.
“I am, my Lord. Thank you. I cannot complain, though I am in want of a bath,” Lady Shelly answered.
“ALL IN DUE TIME,” he began. “I MUST ASK YOU A QUESTION AND I AM ONLY GOING TO ASK ONE TIME AND ONE TIME ONLY. AFTER ALL WE HAVE SHARED, I IMPLORE YOU TO SEE REASON. I IMPLORE YOU TO TELL THE TRUTH.”
“I shall, my Lord of Anger. I have never been dishonest in all my time as your Hand, nor would I begin now,” she answered.
“VERY WELL. LET US SIT AND TALK AS WE ONCE DID,” the Lord gestured to the small table and Lady Shelly followed him and took a seat. “TELL ME,” he began, “WHAT SHOULD I MAKE OF THESE CLAIMS AGAINST YOU? IS IT TRUE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CONSPIRING AGAINST ME? AGAINST THE REALM?!”
Lady Shelly looked at him and sighed. “Of course it is not true. I would never betray you! Or the realm. I love my people. I have sworn a sacred oath before Gods and men to uphold your word and perform my duties to the best of my ability,” she answered emphatically while looking him straight in the eyes.
“BUT THERE IS EVIDENCE. THERE ARE MANY AND MORE WITNESSES. THERE ARE REPORTS? RAVENS? HOW CAN ALL OF THIS BE FALSE?!” the Lord of Anger questioned.
“I do not know,” she answered. “But what I do know is that the Others may take me if I am being dishonest right now. I swear it upon the Mother, I am innocent.”
“I WILL ASK YOU ONE LAST TIME, WILL YOU TAKE THE BLACK? PLEASE? DO NOT FORFEIT YOUR LIFE SO EASILY! TAKE THE BLACK, IT WILL BE DONE AND YOU WILL SPEND YOUR DAYS IN THE NORTH AND IN TIME MAY EVEN BECOME THE FIRST FEMALE LC OF THE NIGHT’S WATCH! YOU WILL SEE THAT I CAN BE MERCIFUL,” said the Angermaster.
Lady Shelly stood up and looked down at the Lord of Anger.
“I will not! I will not admit to something of which I am innocent! I refuse!”. She narrowed her eyes and looked at the Lord of Anger. “I demand a trial.”
“VERY WELL,” he said as he stood up. “I SHALL SEND MAIDS TO DRAW A BATH AND FIND FRESH GARB. WE SHALL HAVE THE TRIAL ON THE MORROW AFTER THE WITNESSES HAVE BEEN GATHERED.” The Lord of Anger reached out and grabbed her shoulder. “I DID NOT EVER THINK THAT YOU WOULD BETRAY ME, LADY SHELLY. BUT HOW CAN I NOT BELIEVE WHEN I HAVE SEEN WITH MINE OWN EYES YOUR DECEPTION?”
The Lady Shelly felt as if she had been slapped in the face after seeing the pain in his eyes. “I do not know why you are so quick to believe this mummer’s farce, my Lord. But what I do know is that on the morrow you shall see the error of your ways and I shall be vindicated. And after all you have done, after you have forsaken me at the bequest of others, I shall remain your loyal and humble servant,” she said and she turned her back and walked to the bench. “Now be gone and leave me to pray.”