I DO NOT OWN REIGN. SHOUTOUT TO MY BETA AND TO EVERYONE WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT THIS STORY.
Whitehall Castle. The next Day.
To those who have never spent a night in a cold, dark, and dingy dungeon, I would not recommend it in the least. There were a considerable number of rats, and they had a nasty habit of scurrying about on the floor. God only knows what diseases they most likely carried within their putrid bodies. I did not sleep very much at all as I tried desperately to forget that I was clapped in irons. By the grace of God, I did eventually manage to nod off. However, the relief proved to be short-lived as the sound of a rooster crowing brought me to my senses. I didn't have a pocket watch on me, but by the position of the sun just barely showing on the horizon, I could tell that it was about 5 in the morning or close to it. Suddenly, the door to the dungeon was unlocked by a hefty man carrying a huge bowl of sloppy-looking rubbish. As I looked around my cell, I noticed there was a dirty bowl in the corner. I quickly grabbed the bowl as the man went about, pouring the slop into the bowls of the other prisoners. He finally got to me and slapped some slop into my bowl. It did not look appetizing in the least, and it damn near made me gag.
"What in the bloody hell is this? Gruel?" I asked in disgust.
"You are damn right that's gruel, so eat up, warlock!" The man spat as he took his pot and walked out of the dungeon.
"I am not a warlock… you bloody arsehole!" I exclaimed, even though it was definitely not in my best interest to do so. All I can say in my defense is that as far as I knew, I was going to be burned at the stake before I was a day older. I felt as though I had nothing to lose by calling the guard an arsehole; which he was.
A couple of hours passed as I bade my time in that horrid place until finally, I noticed a few guards dressed in fine armor entering the dungeon. Accompanying them was the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen, or am likely to see, in my life. She was wearing a forest green gown that fell all the way down to the disgusting stone floor and looked as though it had cost a fortune to make. Her fiery red hair was piled on top of her head, and her eyes were the deepest shade of green, matching her dress. Her skin was flawless, the parts that I could see were free of blemishes or scars. I assumed that this must be Queen Elizabeth Tudor herself, for she looked far too royal and everyone else in the dungeon looked far too intimidated by her for this woman to be anyone but the ruler of England. She saw me staring at her and made her way over to my cell.
"So… this is the terrible warlock who serves Satan and threatens my people?" The Queen asked in a taunting way as if she didn't believe me to be a threat.
"Your majesty, I beseech you. I am not a warlock!" I pleaded as the guards seemed to believe me to be a liar as well as a devil worshiper.
"Then how do you explain the eyewitness accounts of you falling from the sky?" She shot back. She seemed genuinely interested in what my response would be. I tried to think of some lie that would explain everything, but nothing came to mind. I decided that I had to tell her the truth, absurd as it may be, and take my chances.
"Your majesty… I know you shan't believe me, but I will tell you the truth: I am not from this time. By some power of which I know not, I have traveled here from the year 1940." I spoke slowly so I did not add to the confusion by stumbling over my words. The guards were silent for a moment before breaking into fits of laughter.
"He is not only a warlock, he is a mad warlock!" One guard jeered as Elizabeth kept a straight face about her and said nothing.
"Leave us." She finally spoke after minutes of laughter.
"But your majesty..." A guard started to argue.
"I said leave us." The Queen insisted as the guards reluctantly left the dungeon, leaving me face to face with the Virgin Queen as she glared at me.
"Who are you?" She asked intently.
"Archibald Chambers, your majesty," I replied as I bowed my head before her. "But my mates call me Archie."
"And why should I believe this fantastical tale of yours, Mr. Chambers?" Elizabeth asked me as I racked my brain for something that I could say to convince her. Suddenly, I thought of something I learned in my university class on the Tudor dynasty.
"When you were 14 years of age, you went to live with Thomas Seymour." I began as I knew that what I was about to say would hurt her. "While there...he took liberties with you. He tickled and struck you against your will. Your stepmother, Katherine Parr, instead of helping you, allowed him to do what he wished." Elizabeth looked as though she had seen a ghost and stared at me with pain in her eyes.
"Who told you of that? You will tell me!" She hissed as she grabbed my collar through the bars. "How do you know about it?"
"I learned all about you at the University of London," I admitted. I looked her straight in the eye. "Please your majesty, I know it seems utterly fantastic, but you must believe me. You must." The Queen eventually let me go, realizing that I was neither a liar nor a lunatic.
"Guards, release this man!" She commanded as the guards rushed back into the dungeon.
"But your majesty, he is a warlock!" One guard protested.
"Your Queen has given you a command, do it." Elizabeth barked as the frightened guard quickly opened my cell and unlocked my shackles which fell to the ground with a satisfying clang. I looked at the Queen who glared back at me. "It would appear that we have much… to discuss."
HAS ARCHIE SAVED HIMSELF FROM A WARLOCK'S FATE? REVIEWS NEEDED AND APPRECIATED.