The white boar and the devil black.

A tale of Richard III after Bosworth.

Summary

Based on Shakespeare's play and BBC The hollow crown adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch's performance of Richard III.

Richard III of England dies at the hand of Henry Tudor on the battlefield of Bosworth, only to find himself resurrected and kept prisoner by Margaret, the defeated Lancastrian queen turned mad witch. She taunts him that she had struck a bargain with the devil for his soul. Richard escapes and finds himself entangled in a series of horrific misadventures. As the thin thread of fate that connects his life with the events that took place in heaven before his birth begins to unravel, Richard finally realizes that not only his own soul is at stake: The course of his actions after Bosworth will also have dire consequences for the rest of humankind.

Notes

Based on Shakespeare's play and BBC The hollow crown adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch's performance of Richard III. It could be considered a sequel to Shakespear's Richard III.

Epilogue

Bosworth, 1485

I am Richard Plantagenet, the youngest surviving son of the Duke of York, who was once made Duke of Gloucester, and was later hailed Lord Protector of England after the early demise of my brother king Edward. I was also known to my countless enemies as "Richard the evil, deformed, uprooting hog" or "that bottled spider" or "evil detestable tyrant", or simply "vile murderer" or more hysterically "that bended dick" and many, many more of these highly imaginative and not so very pleasant titles.

However, history as you would know it, mostly knows me as king Richard of England, the third of his name. By the time you read these lines, I must be dead already for over hundreds of years.

This is the story of my untimely death. More importantly, it is also the story of all the incredible, highly implausible, and to be honest, utterly mad things that came after my demise.

I died at Bosworth.

No one had prepared this tyrant king for his death.

Not my proud father, the duke of York, who had taught me to ride my barbed steed and hold my lance up high to strike down fiercely at the enemy soldiers who were scattering like frightened little mice before the hooves of my galloping beast.

Yet, much to my anger and frustration, right in the heat of battle, my fearsome beast became stuck in marshy grounds. I was unhorsed by a lowly foot soldier, who held on to my leg and dragged me down into the mud with him.

Neither had my demise been prepared for by my kingly brother Edward, who had taught me to fight and survive. He had trained me to slash and hack through the advancing army of hostile men with such mad ferocious efficiency, that they all dropped like sacks of bloody fruit around me.

Yet this could not protect me from the axe that was wielded outside my view. The blade came crushing down in the back of my head, making a sickening sound as it splintered my skull.

It was certainly not my dear, dear brother George, who had taught me to drop on my knees, shaking in horror and pain.

My vision was blackening fast as blood gushed out of the hideous head wound and flooded down my neck into my armor. I was still holding on to my sword, trembling like a leaf and drawing in ragged, painful breaths, when Richmond appeared, the dark vision of my final fate. He knocked me back with his boot, felling me to the ground. The sudden blow hit the last breath of air out of my lungs. Grimacing, I screwed my eyes up to the wide open skies, and saw that the radiant sun of York had been swallowed up by clouds that were grey, dull, and cold.

Oh, how I had muddled up my life.

On hindsight, this would have been the perfect time for reflection. A short moment of calm revelation, of genuine repent, spurred on by my anxiety for the reaper's swift approach that would impel me to pray for my soul. But then again, I probably would need to recite the entire repertoire of prayers known to Christianity to get something so rotten and weighted down by sin to rise anywhere even halfway to heaven. Not an easy task. Certainly not a very brief task. Somehow, I didn't think I had that much time left.

Indeed, Richmond's shadow soon loomed. He removed his helmet to reveal the noble features of a most eager man. He was younger than me, much better in fighting shape, and was my replacement on the throne in the eyes of a God who had abandoned me a long, long time ago.

How I envied that little prick.

Look at him, gloating in all the time and potential he still had for his turn on this earth. How utterly unfair that Richmond could still become a kinder, wiser, and more beloved king than I ever had the chance to be! How could it even be that the same flames of ambition that had burnt my heart to a cinder and had brought me nothing but ruin, was now showering this clueless idiot with excellent fortune, boundless loyalty and garlanded glory?

But then I caught the gleam in his eyes, a mad covetous gaze that I recognized far too well from my own reflection. The golden round I still wore on my head must shine at this ridiculous glorious youth like a jewel at a magpie. The English crown, that most fatal of trophies, was luring him in to come wreck himself on the sharp rocky coast that was the treacherous royal throne.

Perhaps…he would not make for a better king after all. Ruthless ambition seldom had the time nor the patience to be just or kind. I should not envy, but pity the young fool really.

With that final thought providing me very little comfort, the usurper raised his sword, and drove it deep into the base of my throat.

The last thing I remembered was that I wanted to scream, but the only sound I produced was a frightened gargle as I tasted my own warm blood, welling up in the back of my throat. The rest of it was seeping out fast, turning the muddy pool in which I lay into a bloody mess.

That was how I learned to die, on the cold fields of Bosworth, all by myself.

And that really, should have been the end of me.

But alas, heaven did not know such pity, but rather a cosmic sort of humor that bordered on the sadistic.

TBC