Okay ya'll...I'm trying to get this story published and I would be extremely grateful for any feedback that might help!! Here goes...btw it's about 906 words so it will be pretty long, please bear with me...
By Sonja Jackson
It is the year 1428 in the village of Glamis (pronounced Glahmz for those of you not familiar with the Gaelic language) in the country of Scotland. Alexander Lindsay has been invited to stay at the castle of his friend the 2nd Lord of Glamis. Here follows the true account of Alexander, “Earl Beardie”, the 4th Earl of Crawford.
“Listen,” said Lord Glamis, “We canna mak ony soond. Ma wife daesna like ma playing cairts or ma drink.”
“Nae soond? Are ye daft gadgie?! We canna play cairts athoot a din! And nae drink?” Alexander threw his hands up in an air of frustration.
“Thare is ah spence that is dern. Ma wife daesna ken aboot it. We coud play thare?” Was Lord Glamis whispered reply.
“Why didna ye say so! Lead the gate gadgie!” Alexander thumped him on the back, probably harder than was needed, as Lord Glamis lead him to the secret room.
On the way Lord Glamis caught the arm of his most trusted servant, Thomas. In whispered tones he ordered Thomas to bring drink and food to the secret room, specifically in that order, but admonished him to keep the errand secret from everyone, especially Lady Glamis, under pain of death. Having secured their gaming provisions, Lord Glamis continued on his way and ushered Alexander into the secret room. The two men had barely sat down to begin their game when Thomas entered the room with their first large pitcher of ale followed shortly by two large plates of pulled beef and bread. The men played many hands of cards, interrupted periodically by Thomas refreshing their pitcher or plate as needed. On one of these occasions Thomas observed the time and reminded the Lord and the Earl that it was nearing midnight.
“It’s n’er to the Sabbath, ma Laird.” Everyone knew it was a sacrilege to play cards on the Sabbath.
Neither man took any notice of Thomas, however, as they continued to take in more drink than food. At five minutes to midnight Thomas again warned his Lord about the impending Sabbath and, though he had consumed enough ale to be quite fuzzy in the brain it was not enough for him to purposely break the Sabbath. After the last hand had been won by Alexander, Lord Glamis announced that he was through and was turning in. This made Alexander furious as he was on a winning streak and cared nothing for the sanctity of the Sabbath.
“I care not whit day o the week it is!” Alexander roared. “Ye are aw couarts ye are! If yese will nae play wit me, then I woud play the verra Devil hisself!”
Trembling in fear Lord Glamis retreated to his bedchamber hoping to avoid the curse that the Earl had surly called down upon himself. At the very stroke of midnight a stranger appeared at the door to the secret room. He was tall and dressed all in black. He asked the drunken, pacing Earl if he was still interested in playing cards.
“Aye, if ye arna feart of the Sabbath.”
The stranger sat down without a word and placed a handful of rubies in the middle of the table. Alexander’s eyes became saucers and he quickly took his seat at the table.
Meanwhile, Thomas’ curiosity was overpowering his fear and he headed back toward the secret room. He had been watching from the shadows and never saw the Earl return to his room but yet his shouting for a partner had ceased. Wondering who the Earl could have possibly gotten to play cards with him on the Sabbath, Thomas crept silently up to the door to the secret room. First he laid his ear to the door. He could hear the shuffling of cards and an occasional grunt from the Earl but no other voices could be heard. After a few minutes of listening he heard a shout from Alexander that turned into a tortured scream. Thomas immediately put his eye to the keyhole to see what was happening. What he saw was the most horrible thing he had ever witnessed. The Earl of Crawford was completely engulfed in flames that were emanating from the fingertips of the stranger. Thomas must have gasped in shock or made some other form of noise for the stranger turned to look at him. Thomas had just a split second to register that the strangers’ eyes looked as though they were on fire also before a brilliant blast of bright light shot through the keyhole blinding him. Thomas’ scream alerted the household, many of whom came running to his side including Lord Glamis. Upon hearing the tale Thomas told, Lord Glamis immediately ordered the door opened but none in the house could do so. He tried every conceivable method of getting that door open so he could determine the fate of his friend. To his great anguish no method was successful and any attempts to converse with the Earl through the immovable door failed to raise a response.
Alexander Lindsay, the 4th Earl of Crawford was never seen again and over time the exact location of the secret room was lost. Thomas went to his grave convinced that ‘Earl Beardie’ lost his soul to the Devil in a card game and Lord Glamis never spoke of the incident again, nor did he ever play another game of cards for the rest of his life.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison