“Dogs, filthy dogs! The lot of them! They can rot for all I care.”
The mistress of Dornell Keep had never been fond of the men that continuously tried to sweep her off her feet. Some were better than most, but she saw past their charms. She knew they only came calling because of her looks and because they thought she had money. She knew they only thought of her as a trophy.
“None of them know what they’re doing. They know not the wants of a woman’s desires. Petulant boys, every single one of them!” She spoke harshly, as if thrusting a knife deeply into someone’s heart in a bitter rage. “They merely wish to satisfy their greed and lust, the degenerate scum. It’d be easier to wipe them from the face of the earth than to bear another day of their foolish endeavors.”
“Surely there is one that could surprise you, mistress,” nudged the old maid, one of the only people the Lady Eliza Dornell trusted. “Not all men are dogs! Count yourself lucky, mistress, because many more are disgusting pigs! And then there’s the nobility!” Eliza couldn’t help but to chuckle heartily at her maid’s quip.
“Oh, Gretta, I love the way you always make me laugh.” Eliza thought on her maid’s words for a moment as she sat to brush her long, dark hair. Something she had fallen into the habit of as she thought on important matters. “I suppose you’re right. It’s just so frustrating when I can see the lust in their eyes. The lust of greed when they search over the room, and the lust for…” She took a shuddering breath, swallowing hard at the thought. “The lust for what they see when they undress me with their lecherous eyes.”
“You know we won’t let anything like that come to pass, mistress. You get yourself some sleep, we’re always around if you need us.”
Eliza woke to strange noises coming from outside. She checked from her window but couldn’t see anything. It sounded like a wounded dog, whimpering out by the distant treeline running alongside the road. She wrapped herself up and ran outside to see if she could help the poor thing.
The dog was caught in a small bear trap, after a chunk of meat lying just out of reach. Realizing this was a trap, she knew she was the next target. Three men jumped out from bushes and surrounded her. She had no way to run as they were blocking off all paths she could take that did not lead directly into the ravine behind her.
“Well, well, well! Look’it wha’ we got ‘ere, lads! Th’ Lady o’the Keep! My, my, she looks t’be a angel come t’earth!” The largest of the men reached down and adjusted himself crudely as the other two snickered and cackled like ravenous hyenas. “Miss, please don’t be ‘fraid. We don’t want a ‘arm ya. Not so long as y’do as we tell ya!” The man lurched forward and snatched the robes keeping Eliza decent.
She screamed loudly, but it wasn’t a terrified scream. Her’s was a roar of rage. The men staggered, caught off guard that such a sound could come from her. The moon glinted off her eyes, and the men could see she was not going to be easy prey tonight.
The man furthest from the group yelped in pain as he found himself hurled into the ravine. His screams echoed as he fell, abruptly ending with a sickening thud as he collided with the rocks below. The other men looked to where he had been standing seconds before, and their eyes grew wide. They looked to each other and could see the fear grow.
A chorus of howls surrounded them as clouds blotted out the moon. As the last beam of moonlight hid behind the cloud cover, the chorus of howls ended and a chaotic ballad of barking growls, gnashing teeth, ripping flesh, and stretching sinew overwhelmed the men’s screams. As the moonlight once again danced upon the land, Eliza had backed herself up into the tree where the dog was no longer held by its trap.
The pack of large, upright wolves surrounded Eliza, slowly closing the distance between them. Eliza looked on, gasping, clutching at the tree as blood and chunks of man flesh rested at her feet.
“Will someone clean up this mess? I don’t want my favorite night gown to get ruined!”
“Right away, mistress,” growled the closest beast.
“Thank you, Gretta. Samson, here boy,” she called out. The smallest of the beasts rushed to her side. “There, there boy. Those nasty men didn’t hurt you, did they?”
© T.A. Rindler “The Mistress of Dornell Keep” 2015
© T.A. Rindler Short Stack Story Time 2015