Lord Macduff, Thane of Fife, marched down the corridor of Lord Macbeth's manor like a hurricane. He stormed around corners and through archways forcefully, heedless of his surroundings. Opulent paintings and tapestries lining the walls remained unnoticed. He had ignored all the previous decorations in all the previous halls the same way, considering it all sickeningly ostentatious and equally unimportant.
King Duncan had been found dead just that morning, and Macduff was in no mood to be distracted. Why had his king been slain so brutally in his sleep? King Duncan, noble and soft-spoken, killed alone in the night like a dog. A dishonorable death, to be sure, and one his king did not deserve. A pity Lord Macbeth had killed those servants- those petty and insular servants- who hadn't even bothered to wash the king's blood from their hands. Macduff would have gladly dispatched them himself, had he been given the chance. Lord Macbeth's loyalty was truly admirable; he had acted before anyone else had even registered the fact that King Duncan was dead.
Unthinkingly, Macduff slowed his pace. Surely, his frustration came from his own lack of action? Having missed the opportunity to take on the king's killers? He felt outraged at King Duncan's death, and had no outlet for that anger. There was no one left alive for him to exact his revenge upon; Lord Macbeth's swift actions had made sure of that. Instead, his indignation roiled within him and fruitlessly fed his bitter hatred towards Lord Macbeth's servants.
Suddenly, MacDuff was struck with a question. For what reason would servants of Lord Macbeth hold a grudge against the king? They could not have met before last night, and King Duncan was not the sort who would have provoked others to regicide in the span of a single evening. Yet, if not out of a personal grudge, then what? What motive led those wretched servants to murder?
As Macduff's thoughts turned in circles, so did he. Through the endless hallways he paced, passing tightly locked doors and alcoves that sank into foreboding shadows. This deep in the manor, there was no chance of seeing the light of day. Torches, as well, were few and far between. It was only when Macduff came to a small chamber where, confusingly, three corridors met at once, that he paused in his deliberation. A fork in the road, much like the one in his mind; believe Lord Macbeth's words, or question his inconsistencies?
"Lord Macduff," a maid stepped out of the darkened corridor to his right, startling him out of his thoughts. "A pleasure to meet you at last."
"We've heard so much about you," another maid stepped out of the left corridor.
Macduff swallowed a retort, knowing better than to take his frustration out on strangers, even if they were associates of the king's murderers. "Thank you. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well."
"Hardly a pleasure," a third maid scoffed as she stepped into the chamber from the corridor Macduff himself had just passed through. Strange; he hadn't noticed her presence before. Then again, he hadn't noticed anything through his raging temper.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I would beg yours as well, Lord Macduff," the first maid interrupted, looking entirely unapologetic. She stared steadily into his eyes, looking as though she saw more in them than Macduff wanted her to know. "My sister is merely unsettled by the… unfortunate events of late."
"Ah. Yes," Macduff coughed and looked away. He himself was 'unsettled,' and yet this maid was bold enough to act so discourteously? He could understand that everyone in the manor was troubled by the murder, but he was hardly in the mood to put up with such company. He glanced back at the maids, who now stood shoulder to shoulder and were all three gazing at him eerily.
"Are you well, Lord Macduff?" The sister in the middle asked solemnly. He couldn't recall which corridor she had stepped out of, even though he had watched each of them approach. The dim lighting must have confused him.
"Of course," he bit out, taking a step back. The longer he spent with these maids, the more unnerving they became. Something was off about these women; something in the way they stood or the way they spoke. When one sister shifted, so did the other two, and otherwise they kept perfectly still.
"Lord Macduff," two of the sisters spoke in unison without any apparent cue. "May the truth of this tragedy soon come to light." The way they said it sounded ominous, like a prophecy, and Macduff couldn't help but shudder.
"Enough," he cleared his throat. "I must bid you farewell, as I'm sure you have other places to be."
"Indeed," one sister spoke.
"Many places," said another.
The three turned to leave, creeping into the shadows, and as the last one disappeared from his sight, she murmured, "O, yet I do repent me of my fury…"
"It was nothing," Macduff replied, feeling assured that this sister must have been the rude one, but she was already gone. Silence rang heavily in his ears, and the light of the nearby torches seemed colder now. Nothing, he said, and yet he still felt on edge. He hadn't let on that he was offended, had he? No, he was sure he hadn't; and yet, he felt just as sure that a woman so rude would not have apologized of her own accord. He considered her words again, turning them over in his mind, before finally realizing that he had heard them before. Just after Lord Macbeth had avenged King Duncan.
"O, yet I do repent me of my fury, that I did kill them," he repeated the phrase to himself. They were not the words of a man filled with righteous fury. Certainly, they were not what Macduff would have said, had he been in his position. In fact, it sounded almost as though Lord Macbeth regretted his actions immensely. His thoughts turned back to his suspicions; a servant would have no reason to kill the king, and a lord should feel no guilt when acting in the name of his king.
Unless Lord Macbeth had not been acting in the name of King Duncan.
Macduff furrowed his brows, unwilling to think such treacherous thoughts, but if his suspicions were correct Lord Macbeth had been thinking far more treacherous thoughts long before Macduff dared now. A servant would have no reason to kill a king, yes, but a lord might. A lord killing his servants to keep them quiet may feel some amount of guilt, or at least act as though he did. Macduff turned and ran down the hall, desperately racing to escape the suffocating atmosphere of the thieves den he now knew Lord Macbeth's manor to be.
He had to get out of here. He had to get away from here, away from plotting Thanes and disturbing maids and death. King Duncan's sons, as well, needed to get out- they probably already had, not having been blind to the possibility of treason as he had been. As for Macduff, he would find them, and help them if he could.
Then, he would seek vengeance.
I wrote this for English class. The prompt was something along the lines of, "What if Macduff had met the Weird Sisters after King Duncan was murdered?"