So, a couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through Twitter and I don’t really follow a lot of writing accounts, although I have days were I want to go on a follow spree but I have to stop myself in my thoughts because I hardly saw this in the chaos of my timeline! The one account I do follow is called Magic Realism Bot. When I first started reading the various prompts, I realized there are a lot of fantasy and sci-fi but mid-2019, they started asking for other subject suggestions and I think that was my main reason why I haven’t unfollowed in the last few months or so!
After we left for my nephew’s party on the 13th, I fell asleep and when I got up I saw this writing prompt and was immediately inspired to write, but I chose to wait it out a bit to collect my mind because honestly I was fully awake when I saw it. Before I start telling you my story, I want to mention that I haven’t written anything since Christmas so I hope you can forgive me for the many, many mistakes you’ll probably see below. I also hope you enjoy it as well!
And now, here is the prompt:
“You wake up and realize you have turned into Lord Byron.”
Setting is Greece in 1824, Byron is very sick and slowly dying; he’s laying in a makeshift bed in his army’s camp alone. He is hallucinating after the bloodletting operations went unsuccessful for the second time.
“Where–where am I?”
“I should be with my mates.. on the grassy lands and making plans to attack our enemies.”
The hero, poet, soldier, womanizer is under strict orders to stay in his tent by his doctors. He thought the need to pray at first his illness appeared but he feared that God wouldn’t listen to his selfish cries. As sweat continued to pull down across his face and pain in his stomach became too much to ignore as time went on, he was without a clock or any of his exclusive pleasures to hide away from the shame inside. The longer the blood sat in his body, the more poison would spread and race to his heart. It would be its final resting place to infect and then he would be at peace, or at least he hoped he would.
Before this was to happen, he stirred in his bed covered in the now soaked blankets to keep warm, and closed his eyes reluctantly and fell into a deep sleep. He had hoped it wouldn’t be his last.
Suddenly the faint sounds of children giggling around him. A little girl playing with a long red ribbon, she’s running away from him with a smile across her face. “Wait, come back Augusta! I need you!” he shouted in his empty room. He never opened his eyes, hoping the girl would return if she knew he was asleep, instead the space became quiet again.
Bryon shifted in his bed again, this time turning on his left side, away from the slightly open flap of the tent and away from the curious eyes that would sometimes pear inside to see the non-flamboyant man withering in hell. Unbeknownst himself, he lifted his left arm to make room for the rest of his body and splitting the fresh stitches in the corner of his elbow. He was already experiencing strong pains, one more to add to the endless lists didn’t bother him.
“Oh yes, my Lord.” a seductive voice of an unknown woman appeared in the opposite corner. She was alone with him, enjoying each other’s company very much. A smirk emerged on his face in front of the vivid mirror in front of them. George saw himself in a glance and saw himself kissing a brunette maiden. He liked every hue as long as he was in control, that’s all he asked in their time together. This woman was different though. He knew she was adventurous but nothing could prepare him for the game she wanted to play.
“How about we take this off? Hmm?” He quietly spoke into her ear, and the slight nod reassured he could do anything he wanted with her.
She stood from the chair of the desk and furiously pulled his hands to her back but he continued the kissing on her neck. His fingers worked the way down the tight corset in her middle section of her body. After unlacing the last string away from the rough exterior, he tossed it to the floor. Now she was able to undress by herself now and this meant his hands could explore and wander around her body freely. Once every last garment was off, she turned attention back to him, but something was wrong.
A minute ago, the man was young and incredibly healthy. Now she stood in front of him in disgust. He looked as though they had just finished having sex as he was sweaty but the major difference was he looked miserable. He tried his best to keep standing but a sharp pain his stomach only grew worse and he couldn’t control his rage like she was the cause of it.
She wasn’t though.
The memory of having slept with Mary Shelley stayed playing over and over in his thoughts even after their little affair ended several years before. He remembered every feature, as she was quite the beauty back then as was he at the time too. He knew she was the woman in front of him. He looked down at his weakling body and thought of their ghost stories they read at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland. Could she picture him as her monster? Is this how she created him? Using the body of an worthless man like him right now?
As he tried to approach her one last time, the image of her naked body and the gold rimmed mirror on the wall behind her began fading away. The more steps he made, the quicker the reverie collapsed on itself. Colors of Mary ran through each other and created another landscape. This time the memories were harder to ignore because now he was in a field. He tried to focus on the ground and wondered if he was standing in the middle of a battlefield. The only thing that tore away from this notion was the piercing cry of a child. George squat down but this time not from the lingering pain he suffered.
The child was still screaming, but he had trouble concertating on the source behind it. And then, he yelled out, “Ada!” hoping that if it was in fact Ada in trouble, she would cry out for him again.
“Papa!” Ada returned the signal. The picture of his little girl flourished inside of him. He ran towards the direction she appeared to be in; all the while even more memories and of course overwhelming regrets sat inside his heart. He knew he had to save her. He tried to run faster but he would run out of breath and was forced to stop in his tracks. Ada never stopped shouting for him, nor did he in trying to catch up to her.
After running for a couple minutes, he saw a small child with lightly brown curls and dressed in the simplest dress. The ribbon in his first vision was attached to her hair in a beautiful bow and as he walked towards her, he soon realized this was not what it seemed at all.
He knew she was going to vanish like Mary had in the last flash of torture, this time he wouldn’t let it happen without speaking to her one last time.
“Ada!” Byron debating to walk closer to her, worrying that it would speed up the dreamscape again. “Come here sweetheart. Come over to me please.” He reached his arms out to her but she didn’t budge.
“Why didn’t you love me, Papa?” She spoke to him, never breaking eye contact with him. He was trapped in her gaze and it wasn’t like the moment he had Mary, as that was pure pleasure to him. This was a burden he longed to forget when he was alone.
“I do love you, my darling daughter.” Byron said to her as he fell to his knees. “You are mine. You always will be…” The pain in his body raptured inside and it was greater than any pain he experienced before. He just couldn’t tell if it was his heart braking or the infection finally hitting its destination, either way he knew his heart was dying.
“I love you Papa!” Ada said with a small wave and then suddenly the look on her face turned to black and Byron snapped out of his dreams. He grunted as he shot up in his bed and tried to turn away to the large bottle of bourbon and spilled out of the bed and landed hard on the dead grass underneath him.
He knew this was the end but he was angry at himself and the memories.
He never got to tell his daughter how much he loved her too. Even though he was obsessed with his booze, war and women. Nothing could take away the love he felt for his sweet daughter. Tears flew down his cheeks along with the sweat that never stopped when he fell down. He was in pain, emotionally, mentally, and physically. He hoped to live to write to Ada about how much she meant to him truly but it wasn’t to be.
George growled into the Earth, and spoke out loud for the last time. “…I love you…”
What do you think of this story?