Sunday Photo Fiction: Fate Awaits

Sunday Photo Fiction: Fate Awaits

Traitor's Gate
A Mixed Bag

The marriage lasted a mere 28 days; now Mary found herself locked in the tower, awaiting her fate. Admittedly, her situation was dire, but at least they had not brought her through the Traitor’s Gate. Unlike her sister Jane, death was off the table.

Still, death would be preferable to a life without Thomas. Mary, dwarfishly proportioned, was an abomination, Courtiers made no attempt to conceal their titters as she passed. Not Thomas, however. He looked beyond her ugliness and saw purity. Now, because of her, his love had become his death sentence. She cursed that first drop of royal blood that contaminated her life, and her parents who conceived such an atrocity.

My birth sealed my fate, she thought.

Maybe if she had been less rash. Her cousin may not have granted permission to marry, but not asking; that was unforgivable. Now she would never know.

The clank of the large iron door jerked Mary away from her thoughts. The Queen’s guard stood in the portal.

“Her majesty awaits,” he said stoically.

Nothing could have changed things, she told her herself. Fate controls our destiny.

Reminding herself that she was a Grey, Mary boldly walked through the door.

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Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short 200-word story inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo is provided by A Mixed Bag.


17 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction: Fate Awaits

  1. Interesting piece. This inspired me to look up the history of Mary Grey. What a convoluted and tragic story she had! I’ve read so much (and forgotten so much) about the main characters in those dramatic times, but don’t remember hearing about this one. Even when you play a minor role in the machinations of the crown, a slight misstep, or just bad luck, can have horrible consequences.

  2. My grandmother was a Key and I heard this story though genealogy research. Many in the Key family claimed royal connections through Mary Grey’s short marriage to Thomas Keyes. However, they never had children, a minor oversight LOL. It is a tragic story and I tried to imagine her thoughts after Elizabeth imprisoned her.

  3. Thank you Suzanne. I’m not sure if you saw my first comment but i only came to know about her because i have ‘Key’ family ancestors who seem to think we are related to her because of her marriage to Thomas Keyes. Thomas had been married before, with children, but he and Mary never had any, so at best (and its a long shot) we are related to to Thomas and can claim proximity to royalty. I do believe Mary had a relationship with his children, however. Thomas wasn’t put to death because of the marriage; he ended up on a prison barge. He and Mary never saw each other again.

  4. What an amazing piece of history you’ve written about here! I was completely immersed into the brief snippet of Mary’s life you offered. Heartbreaking tale.

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