Friday 21 September 2018

Dignity and Injustice

By Allison Symes 

black coffee

I was there when she died, you know. That is one advantage to being a time travelling alien. I can pretty much go to any era and explore it from the inside. Okay I have to disguise myself well but I can do that easily enough. Looking like a Tudor peasant is simple and, having befriended her daughter, I had to see for myself.

Elizabeth doesn't know what I am. There is no way to explain but she does know I am her friend and, like her, remained single, despite all the pressures to do otherwise. In my case, I fled my world to get away from my intended. He might have intended. I had no official say in the matter but decided the one who knew what was best for me was me. Elizabeth is very like that.

So here I am at the Tower of London on 19th May 1536. It will be a date that goes down in history. And why am I here at a prime spot near the scaffold? It's not morbid curiosity to see how Anne Boleyn died. It's a wish to know what to say to Elizabeth. She barely mentions her mother but often looks at the locket with Anne's portrait in it and is doing so more since the Scottish Queen's death. I want to tell Elizabeth I am sure her mother faced her unjust death with dignity but I can't lie. That does seem to be a human trait. I've got to know.

So here I am. I must say, as I watch Anne being led out,  she is graceful and calm. Two qualities that monster she married has never had. I am touched by her speech.

And then it is over. I find tears in my eyes and look up to see many here, who disliked, even hated, Anne in life also tearful.

But in a way I am content. I can return to Elizabeth and speak true when she is ready to talk about her mother. I can speak with conviction I am sure Anne met her end bravely. I just pray it will be enough.

About the author

Allison Symes is published by Chapeltown Books, Cafe Lit, and Bridge House Publishing amongst others.  She is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers.  Her website is and she blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today -

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