A Story of the Golden Age
Conceived and Written by: Lady Gato
Webmistress, Candy Candy Nation
Candy Candy Nation©, 2004-2006
Candy Candy Characters© and Story Kyoko Mizuki and Yumiko Igarishi
This Candy Candy
fanfic deals with adult themes, situations and language. If you do not like to
envision Candy Candy in this vein AND if you are under 18, this fic may not be
true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given.
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss:
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.
Sir Philip Sydney
Mary was in excruciating pain. She had labored heavily for the last two days, trying to bring into the world the only reason she had for living. She had bravely endured and soldiered on, holding on to the ebbs of life that was quickly vanishing from her, the life that was no longer hers to be. As dusk started to set, she knew she was losing the battle.
“My lady, there is no other way…I will have to cut, else both of ye shall go to our Heavenly father…” the midwife pleaded, her brow curdled with sweat…even though she was young and at the height of her womanhood, there was a mortal limit to what she could do, and she had already passed that limit hours ago. The midwife knew she had to save the child, although in her mind, she thought, just as well that the child should die with her mother…there was nothing for her to be born into.
Mary writhed again feeling another wave of pain…my poor babe, you are trying hard as well…why life has only been one of sad, empty sorrows, ‘tis not fair to bring you into it…hath better if both of us die…
She was nineteen, orphaned, and had spent all her life in dark, damp castle on the perennially clashing border with Scotland…death was always at the ready, fierce battles between Northern English noblemen on behalf of the Sovereign and the mad seccionist enraged clans of the Scots…her precontracted spouse, Sir Edmund Bushel, kind and dear but an impoverished member of the nobility, had only been with her long enough to make her quicken with child…he had died in battle and left her bereft of wordly goods…she had to return to the only home she had known, the castle in Stanwix, where a benefactor by the name of William Parr had kept her as far as she could remember. She had nothing but gratitude for William Parr, for she knew that without him she probably would have not survived childhood…she twisted in agony again, pushing, feeling as if her very life wanted to burst and implode and the same time.
The midwife, gaining confidence in what she had to do, suddenly became aware of the person who had entered the birthing chamber.
“My Lord!” she gasped, seeing the Marquess of Northampton, whom she knew to be very ill. She was surprised to see him there; it had to have been a tiring trip in his condition.
“How fare she?” he asked, keeping his voice low, feeling feeble himself.
“I fear she is already with our Lord’s angels…she tries verily for the child, bravely, but…”
The nobleman let out a sigh. “Dear Katherine, it has come to this…history repeating itself…” he muttered slightly under his breath. He went over to see the afflicted woman. Her fate had been sealed when her mother died of puerperal fever and her high ranking widowed father found a traitor, his titles stripped, the inherited fortune from his deceased wife taken under attainer to the Crown; his head severed on the executioner’s block in the Tower. No one had wanted to take in this helpless, innocent child in…she was shuffled to the dowager Duchess of Suffolk who complained endlessly about the chore. The Marquess’ own household had been in turnmoil; he could not possibly take the child in. Twain years passed, and he had been shocked to found out that Mary had been abandoned; her death would have seemed an accident…but the Lady Jane, godmother of the child, too young to take the girl in and caught up in family intrigues of her own, could not bear the injustice of the little one’s pitiable condition. She had reached out to the only person who could possibly help little Mary.
Yes, he had taken his late sister’s child in, not without complication or danger to his own person. So he took Mary as far away as he could, in a place where she could live anonymously, where the ghosts of her past would not come and haunt her. It would be better for her to be guileless of her past, for it would surely complicate any future she could have. Better to grow up as Mary Whyte, for her real surname, Seymour, would immediately arouse suspicion.
Mary grew up to be a sunny, loving child, slightly melancholy but bright eyed and lively. She knew nothing of her origins, and was eternally grateful for William Parr’s care. She did not know it was meager compared to what her life would have been had her mother lived.
She never knew who her mother was, but only had two tokens to remember her by…a gold signet ring with the crowned maiden and the motto “to be useful in all that I do” and a small prayer book, encased in rose gold to be worn at the waist, called “Prayers and Meditations, by Katherine the Queene” It was richly embroidered on the cover with the initials KP. These had been given to her on a rare visit from William Parr on her 15th birthday.
“These are yours, Mary, keep them well for they are the only things you can truly call you own…” he had said cryptically, presenting them to her.
Mary had never seen anything so rich. She pressed them to her chest and thanked him with deep appreciation. “How haps it, my Lord that I am to receive such gifts? I surely am not worthy…” she murmured, as she admired the illuminated text, a work of art in itself, not only in the words but in the richness of the book itself.
“You are very worthy, Mary…very much so…” he had replied, hoping not to have to go further into explanations.
Her eyes had looked up into his, and for a moment it was as if Mary’s own mother was looking back at him, hauntingly sweet and profound, the look that could enliven a heart with glad cheer; a look that could shine as warm as the sun. The eyes had shone brightly with gratitude and affection and for a moment, all the sad twists of fate had been forgotten.
Now this poor child is lain wretched, asunder with pain and labor he thought, shaking his head sadly.
Mary opened her eyes and saw the figure of her benefactor. She managed a thin smile, in spite of herself. “My Lord, ‘tis not necessary to worry about me, for I know of ye own afflictions…” she murmured. She knew the Marquess was very ill himself, agèd and weary of the world, and had prayed many nights for his wellbeing.
“Speak not, Mary…but we may have to save the child, that you understand?’ he gently asked.
“Aye….it troubles me to burden your Lordship so…” she replied, for a moment unafraid of the real finality facing her.
“”Tis not think of this now…” he consoled, touching her brow tenderly.
“I ache for my mother…” she added, feebily. “Please, my Lord, if my child is to survive, I beseech thee to grant it the same care you had with me and pass on those dear gifts you once bestowed unto me when I reached 15…for I know they were hers, my mother’s, were they not?”
William Parr felt his mouth dry…she knew?? Of course she would, she was her mother’s daughter…they both had the capacity to peer into the very soul of a person.
He nodded, knowing that holding on to the secret no longer served purpose. “Yes, child, they were…”
She fell deeper into her pillow, a slight warmth of bittersweet satisfaction covering her. “Let the child live…she is the only light left of her in this world…let her live!” she cried, astounding the Marquess with forecasting the sex of the baby. She closed her eyes and she felt drawn out of herself, as if she were rushing, advancing, towards a woman, richly dressed, dignified, yet the very embodiment of maternal love itself.
“Mary, my darling, sweet Mary…” the lady murmured, “I finally can hold you in my arms…look! your daughter is being born…our life shall continue in her!”
“Canditia Lux!” cried Mary with her last gasp, as she felt her very existence being taken from her….
“Canditia Lux…” William Parr acknowledged.
The child let out a brave, lusty cry, making her entrance to the world known.