Sara looked at the empty champagne bottle and glass on the table and gave a sigh of satisfaction. She was on a high, after all she had accomplished what she desired.
The sobbing and groveling face of the girl swam before her eyes pleading for mercy.
Sara started laughing, a bout of hysteria overcame her, which was difficult to control.
Did the silly girl think she could take her place, and not face the consequences.?
Well, She deserved what she got.
Sara was ' Lady Remington', the mistress of the grand castle, and would eliminate anyone who tried to usurp her position.
Her husband, a ninny, thought he could throw her away like garbage, but he was mistaken. How she would enjoy to see him cry, desperate and heartbroken.
Nothing would give her more pleasure than watching him daily, longing for something, he would never get as long as he was alive.
She was young and beautiful, and had many admirers, it didn't matter to her that her husband ignored her.
She had to be careful, for if anyone even got an inkling of her deeds, it would spell death for her. Her secret would go down the grave with her.................
It was early morning, the sun had just risen casting a golden glow on the trees, and the mountains.
The birds were flying high, chirping and enjoying their flight.
Young Tabby hurried along the pathway to the castle, it was a steep one, surrounded by bushes and shrubs with wild colorful flowers.
Though in her late seventies, her employer 'Lady Sarah'was still very active, and ruled the castle with an iron fist. She was a stickler for time and Tabby didn't want to displease her.
She loved this part of the day as she walked up to the castle, and often wished she could be as free as those birds, and fly with them .
The castle was mammoth structure made of black stone, with more than two hundred rooms and bunkers.
The maids were warned to work within the boundaries marked for them, and not to cross it, they might get lost, and it would be days before anyone could find them.
Tabby had heard many wonderful stories about the castle from her grandmother, the Christmas parties, the annual gatherings, Thanksgiving, etc.
Her grandmother also worked as a maid, at the castle for more that fifty years, when she retired at the age of seventy, Tabby was chosen as her replacement.
The guards greeted her, and let her in. She walked through the garden, which directly led to the kitchen from the rear. She entered the kitchen, the cook had already started preparing breakfast which was a grand affair everyday.
Lord Remington, the master of the castle was in his eighties, he would appear only at the breakfast table everyday, lunch and dinner would be served in his quarters.
He insisted his entire family should be there in attendance during breakfast.
The cook ordered her to start dusting the grand hall, and then set the table, where breakfast would be served. Tabby went about her chores deftly, assisted by another maid Jemma.
At eight o'clock, Lord Remington entered the living room, followed by his wife Lady Sara, son Larry with his wife Emma and their daughter Mary.
Everyone ate their breakfast in silence which consisted of fruits, porridge, eggs and toast with home - made marmalade and pots of tea.
After breakfast they all went their own ways. Mary to her riding lessons, Emma and Larry went to town and Lord Remington and Lady Sara retired to their respective quarters.
Tabby was fascinated by the castle, she had worked here for two years and not seen even half of it and always wanted to explore the rest of the castle.
She was intrigued by a particular story her grandmother told her, it seemed, Lord Remington was a Casanova in his younger days, and had a roving eye, he took fancy to a pretty young maid Lisa, working in the castle, and they had a rollicking affair which was an open secret.
Lady Sara, his wife was a formidable lady, didn't take her husband's affair lightly, and took no time to dismiss the maid, who was never heard of or seen again. She also gave an ultimatum to her husband to mend his ways, she would get the marriage annulled and he would not only lose his title but also the castle.
Lord Remington was respected in his circles, and also the people of his estate looked upon him as their savior, as he was always present to solve their problems.
If there was anything Lord Remington feared, it was losing his respect in the eyes of his people.
But this time he was truly besotted by the young maid and told his wife that he didn't care, and wanted to marry the young maid Lisa.
Sara was shocked, never in her wildest dreams did she expect this, she thought her husband was having a fling, so she ignored it but this was a serious matter, and she was not going to take it lying down.
She had her own ways to deal with the problem, after all she was the 'Lady' of the castle and didn’t want to give up all the perks that came along with the title.
She knew that without her husband, she won't have any standing in Society and would be a topic of pity and ridicule wherever she went.
Her snobbish friends would be the first, to remind her that her husband chose a maid over her. Sara preferred death than face such embarrassment.
One fine day the maid disappeared from the face of the earth, there was no sign of her anywhere, no one knew where she was including her family.
Lord Remington suspected that his wife had a hand in Lisa's disappearance, but had nothing concrete to prove it.
There were rumors that the maid was killed by the guards on lady Sara's order but no one knew for sure.
Lord Remington was never the same man again, he was devasted and heart sick he never spoke to his wife again and they both lived an estranged life.
What a sad story Tabby sighed, she felt sorry for Lord Remington.
Tabby had the afternoon free, so she thought of snooping around the castle. She quickly slipped into the basement without anyone's knowledge.
This was the first time in two years that Tabby was going to the basement. Lady Sara had forbidden her staff from going down, anyone found disobeying, would lose their job.
It was very dark and dingy. There were cobwebs everywhere, wild rats and bats were scurrying around.
There were rooms within rooms like a maze, as she went in, she counted the rooms, she had crossed more than ten rooms and it only led to more rooms, dusty and dirty.
She was tired and bored and decide to turn back.
A sudden sound stopped her in her tracks it was as though someone was sobbing, she looked around but it was very dark .the sound was coming from beyond .
she crossed a few more rooms, till she came to a dead-end.
She put her ear to the wall, now the voice was loud and clear. It was a lady who was crying loudly, Tabby was scared, wondering who it could be?
The sobbing stopped all of a sudden, and she heard more voices of someone talking softly, she couldn't comprehend what was being said but she recognized the voice.
It belonged to Lady 'Sara'!
Tabby was shocked, Lady Sara was with the woman in the bunker . Who could it be? why was no one else in the castle aware of this person, kept as a prisoner in the bunker like a criminal.
Suddenly it dawned upon her, it was Lisa ! the maid, who had disappeared fifty years ago. Lady Sara had kidnapped Lisa, and had kept her as a prisoner in this dungeon.
How could anyone be so cruel, it was an abominable act.
Tabby couldn't wait there any longer, as she felt suffocated and wanted to get away from there as fast as she could. She ran from the basement shivering with fright.
She collided into Jemma as she came out of the basement. "Tabby! Where were you? I searched everywhere for you".
Tabby could only mumble in return, she was shaking like a leaf.
"Tabby! what's wrong? Did you see a ghost? Your face is as white as snow".
"Jemma, I think I have caught the flu. I'm going home now". Please inform lady Sara.
"You look sick and grey Tabby. I think it's best you went home. I will inform Lady Sara, don't worry."
Tabby practically flew from the castle as fast as she could.
On the way she kept thinking, did she imagine the voices or were they real? She must tell everyone what she saw, but then who would believe her and lady Sara may send her marching into another dungeon and keep her as a prisoner just like Lisa.
Tabby's parents had died when she was young and she lived with her grandmother, who was in no position to help if anything happened to Tabby.
Lady Sara was a dangerous and a vengeful woman. Tabby felt dizzy as she made her way home.
Her mind was spinning with unanswered questions.
Why did Lady Sara keep the maid alive for so many years? Was she punishing her husband and his lover, for putting her through so much torment?
Was she revelling in her husband's pathetic state? Tabby would never find the answers to these questions, she was frightened and wowed, never to return to the castle again....