Tied to a Stake of Morality


Taking place in victorian England, Dollabella Appleby, a broken-hearted teenager who's true love, Alonso, was hung for thievery, is being plotted against by her psychotic mother, Agnes. Maxwell, the Appleby Noble Family slave, is forced to go along with this devious plot. The tale is told here.

Enjoy :D (I'm trying out a new writing style. Tell me what you think and what can be improved on! BE HONEST!)

Chapter 1

Agnes Appleby's Insolent Child Brat.

The candle light of the small oil lamp flickers in the abyss of the large halls. Agnes stands by Dollabella's bedroom door, knocking repeatedly and trying to uplift the darkness in her one child's life.

"Dolly, dear! Please leave that horrible room for once!"

She sobs with tears and agony coursing through the vibration in her voice. "No, mother, I shan't. I am in mourning for my dear Alonso. He died oh so tragically and oh so young…"

Fed up with Dollabella's incessant whining, Agnes begins to question her parenting strategy. As a noble and a woman rich with money and political freedom, why should she be taken for granted by her spoiled child?

"Dollabella! Leave this room at once or I shall call Maxwell to beat you to your senses!" Agnes booms with dominance bouncing around the empty halls. This is the first and only time Agnes has ever threatened her child.

Not surprised, she heard a small sigh from the other side of the mahogany doors containing this whiny and depressed teenager. "Go ahead, mother. No physical pain you threaten to inflict can even compare to the pain of my loss."

Agnes, greatly insulted and frustrated, kicks the doors with the heel of her leather boot with her teeth clenched like a cheetah and a screech like a parakeet. The heel cracks instantly, causing her to lose her balance. The oil lamp smashes to the ground, causing it to go out. Agnes, wearing an elegant royal purple gown with a large empire waist and beautiful white lacing set low over her bosom, lands directly into a puddle of oil created by the smashed lamp. Agnes is alone and dirty in the dark.

"That's it!" Agnes roars. "Maxwell! Dollabella is in need of some placement!"

At the end of the hallway, a rhythmical and firm click is heard. This clicking is the result of Maxwell's noble run, loyally coming to aid his mistress, his feet hitting the stone floors. Maxwell, being a slave sold to the Appleby Noble Family at the age of eighteen, is close to Agnes. Being in their service for over fifteen years, he has no other choice.

A small glimmer of light is soon seen from the hall's end, and it slowly grows into Maxwell's lamp.

"At your service, m'lady!" He says respectfully as he holds out his large hand to pull Agnes up from the ground.

"My greatest thanks to you, Maxwell." She says with a hint of irritation in her voice. Maxwell, knowing Agnes for some time, picks up on it.

"I am in no way trying to offend you Mrs. Appleby, but is something bothering you?" Maxwell asks as he casually tightens the lace at Agnes' breasts. Agnes, being happily married, does not see this in any way other than a form of friendship. The two are close, therefore it is normal for them to have seemingly intimate interactions that, in reality, are just friendly.

"Yes, in fact." She says as she points her dainty nose up to the sky.

"Do tell, mistress!" Maxwell says excitedly.

Agnes chuckles at Maxwell's childlike behaviour. Being in his thirties, it is rather humorous.

"Dollabella has been completely disobedient lately! She's been ignoring me and just sitting in her room all day weeping over the death of that thieving boy she fancied. It is utterly unlike her and I feel the need to do something about it!"

"Oh, my. That is rather tragic. I can help you with anything, mistress!"

"Thank you, Maxwell. In fact, that's exactly why I called you over…" She adjusts the shoulders of her gown and turns so that she is facing the bedroom doors. "I would like you to beat her."

Maxwell's eyes widen to the point where they nearly pop out and roll to the ground. "Beat her…?"

"Yes!" Agnes says, surprised that Maxwell is even remotely hesitant. "Is that a problem?"

"Well…" He scratches the back of his head. "she's but a moody teen! It'll end in a flick once she meets another fellow."

Maxwell is also close with Dollabella. He took care of her since she was a baby. He would never want to hurt her!

Agnes is intrigued and slightly offended. "Maxwell… how dare you question my demands? It is very unlike you. Perhaps I should request a beating on your behalf…"

"No!" He yells. He suddenly realizes that this was foolish behaviour. "Mistress, I am very sorry! I shall do what I am told! Where is the whip that I shall beat her with? What are my further instructions?"

Agnes grins at her own superiority. She loves her power. "Go down to the dungeons and get the sjambok from its case, then whip the little rat until she comes out."

"The sjambok? Not even the sturdiest of horse can take such a hit!"

"What did I say about questioning me?" Agnes asks, narrowing her eyes at Maxwell. Maxwell gulps and steps back.

"Off I go…" He says as he turns around, taking the oil lamp and leaving Agnes in the dark.

As he walks down the stairs of the large mansion, he thinks about what will happen once he hits her. He imagines the horrid shrieks desperately escaping from her gaping-wide mouth, her eyes stained with tears, the streaks of blood left on her snow-white skin after the rhino-skin whip hits her with morbidly powerful force.

Once he gets to the dungeon, he spots the sjambok in a thick glass case. The sjambok has a golden handle with tribal designs carved into it, and the whip itself tapers off into nothing with thick-looking rhino skin. He runs his fingers along the glass casing. He cannot hurt such a young girl with such a powerful weapon...

Suddenly, he spots a basket filled with whipping crops. These are for the horses in the stables. If he can somehow whip Dollabella with this instead, he will not have to hurt her as badly. He grabs a crop firmly in his hands. He looks at it. This will have to do.

He begins to climb back up the stairs. When he gets but a floor up, he hears Agnes banging her fists on the doors of Dollabella's bedroom door, screaming:


He begins to sprint up the many flights of stairs.

"Agnes?" He calls as he approaches her, running.

"Maxwell! The bloody rat has escaped through the window and padlocked the door shut!"

"My god! Will she be alright?" He asks frantically as he sets the lamp on the ground next to him and begins to try and open the door.

"That's all you've remarked? Will she be alright, you ask? Do you realize what this means for me? I will lose my reputation of power!" She screeches, her face turning scarlet.

"S-sorry, mistress..." He stammers.

"Do not apologize! Go and find the wench and bring her back here to have her hanged!"

"Hanged...?" Maxwell pauses. Dollabella...dead? This he cannot bare! "I'm sorry, Agnes, but the line has been drawn here." His voice grasps out for dominance, but ends up shaking like a tower made of twigs.

Agnes looks at Maxwell with a bloodcurdling look of pure fury, the kind a dragon gives to its helpless prey. "I beg your pardon?"

Maxwell knows that this is his only escape from execution, the only way to get a last chance. But he cannot take it. "You heard me, Mrs. Appleby. With all due respect, I cannot do such a thing."

Agnes suddenly stands broad-shouldered, making herself look bigger and tougher. Maxwell quivers. He knows this was a mistake, but he'd rather die than have an innocent girl killed. "Maxwell... We've been on extraordinarily good terms for the past fifteen or so years. I would hate to see such a helpful man get thrown away so easily, but I'm afraid you've had your last chance far too many times. So I'll say this." She grabs the whipping crop from Maxwell's hands and whips him across the face with it with such brute force that a single tooth flies out of his mouth and bounces onto the floor with a few clicks.

"You are going to get that wench into the Appleby household as soon as possible so that proper actions can be taken. If you refuse to do so, I can easily kill you and have another equally as strong male do the same job with much less fuss. You choose. You either bring the girl and have her hanged, or have yourself hanged and the girl hanged. Your choice."

Maxwell looks at the bedroom doors. Padlocked shut.

He feels padlocked shut, as well.

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