Anne of Bickling Hall in Norfolk

Her saturated garments sucked moisture from the misty gray air and clung to her skin. Damp strands of auburn hair hid her ashen face. Her hands and feet were bound in chains.

She rocked slowly from side to side in cadence with the yeoman’s oars, silent. The smell of rot and sewage wafted from the dark river, assaulting her senses as onlookers spit their disdain, “Whore!” “Witch!” “Traitor!” The gruesome severed heads of previous passengers along this bloody way dangled from the trusses of the bridge as they passed through.

Soon they would arrive at the tower. Her splendid tower where she once resided in oppulance when he still loved her deeply. This day she would enter from its bowels through the traitor’s gate.

Such was the final voyage of this wretched woman, once queen. She languished for weeks in the tower confessing her innocence to the very end.

On that horrible day in May she climbed the scaffolding in the Tower Green to meet her fate. To the one who had once declared that he had been “struck by the dart of love” appealing to her to “give herself body and heart to him”, she gave her head.

(200 Words)

A dramatization of the last weeks of Anne Boleyn, charged, found guilty and executed for numerous crimes at the behest of her husband, King Henry VIII who had arranged for annulment to gain clearance to marry his mistress Jane Seymour. They were betrothed the day after Anne’s execution and married ten days later.

For Al’s Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge inspired by his photograph of the Traitor’s Gate at the London Tower on the River Thames

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