The Wake

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This chapter was written by SebJenkins

Two days later

The room's mood was dark and murky, completely juxtaposing the sleek oak interior, and the dazzling floor to ceiling window that engulfed it in stunning natural sunlight. The beauty of the mansion's billiard room was lost on all but a few of the Addington's. After you have grown up with something your entire life, its outwardly impressive nature diminishes into mere existence. To them it was just a room. A room with a coffin.   

Henry Addington's body lay peacefully within the confines of the varnished mahogany, a closed casket, of course. Mary's neck snapping had seen to that.

She had thought that the funeral would bring with it a sense of sadness or remorse. Not only was she bidding a final farewell to her husband, but she was the one who had sent him on his way. Once the time for mourning had eventually arrived, she found herself needing to force a solemn tear from her eye, just to keep up appearances for the rest of the family. In truth, she felt nothing.

The man she had once known had been buried years ago. Everything that Henry was or could have been vanished the day his father died.

Benjamin or 'Grandpa' Addington was the source of all this barbarism. He had implemented The Hunt into the mansion grounds, and he was responsible for building the empire that could be seen today. An empire built on the bones of the poor. And he had been proud of that fact.

'In society everyone has a job... for some it is to die.'

His words still echoed around the upper echelons of society as a king of hunter's mantra. Really, it was an excuse. A cool and elaborate way to describe such brutality, hiding the true meaning of the words beneath the fancy exterior.

The day that Benjamin died was the day that Henry had been forced to take up the precious Addington mantle, to lead them through the period of uncertainty into one of prosperity once more.

Any love, care, or compassion had been discarded to make room for power, hunger, and domination.

Mary had mourned Henry Addington many years ago and had fostered a growing hatred for the man who had replaced him. They say that love trumps hate, but once that hatred is allowed to fester, there is no cure for such cruelty.

The day that she had realised that fact had been the day she had finally decided to leave the mansion and carve out a new life for herself, a normal life. Mary knew that any abandonment of the family name would have resulted in unfortunate circumstances for her. There was no law against such a thing, but the Addington's were beyond the law. After a week or so, Mary would have fallen to an ill-fated accident and no-one would have batted an eye lid.

She had to live a double life or live no life at all.

After she had left James fleeing through the woods, and poor Marcus bleeding in the undergrowth, Mary had taken immediate steps to continue that double life. She had instantly called the one neighbour that she could trust with her life, and Mrs Kirkwood had been only too happy to watch over the children until Mary or James' return.

Once she knew her kids were safe, she played the waiting game, hiding on the outskirts of the Addington mansion for the news to drop. As soon as pictures of Henry's body beamed around the planet, she made her move, playing the inconsolable wife expertly.

Now she watched on, silent, dressed head to toe in widow's black, straining to paint a look of sadness across her face. That was expected of her.

She was powerless to stop the wheel from turning, content to have jammed a branch into the spokes for now. Before her, the eldest of her three sons completed his journey from Mary's womb, to her heart, to nothing.

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