I haven’t used my feet for centuries – I find they are no longer attached to my mortal remains – and it is amazing how my back has cleared up. Divorced from my spine, I am released from the affliction that caused me so much pain.   The agony I faced on a daily basis affected my temperament; I know it did, and so I prayed and prayed for a clear mind when it came to policy-making and affairs of both the state and the heart.

Now, I am as free as the air. I roam around this city of Leicester, marvelling at the changes and the expansion of its borders. The people here too are unrecognisable to me, and it is not just their strange attire with its symbols and names that I know not. Their complexions are of the widest range of hues imaginable and they speak tongues I have never heard in England. They are lining the streets as horses pull my remains on a bier. Some of them throw roses – white ones, of course. It is a touching tribute.

I am feted, it appears, centuries after my murder. I am the last king to die in battle. What a cossetted bunch must have followed me! Dying safely in their beds! Weaklings! I overcame my physical deficiencies and redoubled my efforts – I had more to prove and everything to lose.

And I lost it.

And then, my humble grave, defiled! My remains pored over and analysed by quacks and charlatans. And a descendent appears! With my sister’s blood in his veins but none of my courage, it would seem, and nothing of my will to succeed. He is no leader of men.

What has happened to my country, and to its people? Where is their fire? And where is their piety? Their church is diluted, fragmented and irrelevant. Are they prepared to burn for their beliefs? Do they believe in anything at all?

And a hollow show follows as my remains are sent back to the soil. I am an attraction, a curiosity to bring people to the town to spend their pennies and say they were there. Where is the honour in that? It is hardly Bosworth Field.

But for me there is no eternal rest. I am bound to this Earth just as a tree is fixed to the ground. I am doomed to roam, to hear my name blackened and my defenders derided. I am doomed to spend forever in Leicester, forever avoiding the shades of two little boys who seek me in the darkness. I cannot face their angelic countenances. I cannot bear to hear them crying, over and over into the night, Why, Uncle, why?




Filed under Short story

2 responses to “Richard

  1. Spanish Jackie

    Dear Richard.
    It’s not all bad news -check out the Curve Theatre I think you will like it. Just one small problem though – who is going to pay that overdue car park charge?

  2. iamamro

    Nice to see you about Dick old thing. On another note, I’ve heard lots of young gentlemen like Dick these days. You’ll be surprised how popular you now are.

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