Chapter 1: Revelations and Redemption
"Boom" "Clash" "Bang" With these thundering noises Thomas Boleyn woke drenched in his own sweat. His dream a terrifying nightmare that tore at his soul, His children standing before him demanding there justice for his ambition, demanding there vengeance, there salvation and then nothing, a black endless void with only his screams to echo for eternity and then "Boom" "Clash" "Bang" he was awake staring into the darkness of his own bedchamber his beautiful wife sleeping peacefully at his side.
A dream nothing more, a horrifyingly realistic nightmare, he was safe and soon Anne would be Queen of England and then nothing could ever harm him. Quietly he lay himself back down to sleep in an attempt to block out the images of his children but no matter how many times he told himself he was alone in his bed chamber save his wife he could not help but feel as though he was being watched, haunted by the echoes of his nightmare, their faces swirled before his eyes and soft words whispered of endless night, of death, despair and betrayal. Suddenly he could bare it no longer and rose from his bed as one possessed determined to rid himself of this dread.
Calmly he walked the halls of Hever hoping to relieve the sudden fear that was threating to consume him, but the further he walked the more his heart began to pound and the more he was convinced he was being pursued, stalked by his own fear. Taking deep breaths he leaned against the smooth cold stone in an attempt to steady his nerves and then heard her, the soft sigh with the whisper of laughter, Anne.
In one moment he raised his head and stared into glistening black eyes hooks for the soul, startled he jumped back and attempted to regain his balance, but to no avail he lay on the cold stone floor staring up at his daughter attempting to slow the beat of his heart and then the anger consumed him, what right did she have to haunt his very step, to instil fear into her father. He rose in one swift motion and went to grab her arm, only to find stale cold air and his daughter's shimmering image. Shocked he stood motionless wondering if this to was a part of his nightmare, if the dream hung over him still.
In an attempt to regain some sense of reality he began to pinch his flesh, for he had been told that in your dreams you would feel no pain, but as soon as his nails pierced his arm he winced and his head began to clear, before him stood the vision of his daughter, her dark brown eyes looking into the very depth of his soul, as if she was searching for something, luring him into a trap never to be released. She held his gaze as if to mesmerise him before she spoke. Whispering one single word that held such malice it cut him to the core "Father".
Tears burned at the back of his eyes and shimmered in there depths but he refused to let them fall, he did not understand her hatred, he had given her everything she had ever wanted, everything he owed her as a father and parent, yet here she stood looking at him with such contempt, such clear disgust it had him wishing he could take back what every offence he had ever committed against her and in a moment of complete desperation he uttered her name as if begging for forgiveness for the sins she held against him.
Slowly he closed his eyes attempting to shut out his pain, Anne was his youngest daughter the apple of his eye, so bright and beautiful she shone like the stars of the evening sky, Her wit and charm had managed to raise him from a humble knight to a Viscount and, it had earned him the love of his King, Yet here she stood within the walls of Hever Castle condemning him without cause or reason and then hit him this was not Anne, his Anne had remained in London with the King, this figure was not his daughter but an apparition and suddenly a feeling of complete dread overcame him dropping him to his knees.
He collapsed before her, his knees slamming into the ice cold stone unable to move or speak, breathing became difficult and fear overwhelmed him, had this ghost appeared to take him to the purgatory of his dream, the endless void of darkness and eternal night for the sins he had yet to commit. He wanted to plead and beg for mercy but all he could do was hang his head in defeat knowing that there would be no escape from the punishment that this soul bequeathed.
He heard her move then a faint swish of fabric, a click of heels and then he felt the air turn so cold he could see his hot breath leave the warmth of his mouth and he waited for the moment when she would strike him down, he counted his breaths and relished in the ability to do so, but as he peered into the night hoping to capture and store the image within his mind, he heard her laughter, so quiet he had to strain to hear her at first and then it began to echo around him loud and clear, endless laughter, endless joy. The sounds could only be described as the revelation of her victory and her freedom.
She stood staring at him in the night, joyful victory over coming her hatred of the man who had abandoned her and her beloved brother, Yes she held hatred it was what bound her to this earth, allowed her to walk through time as if her heart still beat, hatred had granted her this gift, her second chance to right the wrongs of her past and to forge a new future and with her father's help she could undue all the atrocities that had befallen her family, all the mistakes of her past.
Slowly she kneeled before him and allowed herself to touch him, it had been so long since she had been able to communicate with anyone, George had long ago abandon their quest for redemption preferring to leave the world as it was, and leave the wrongs un-righted, but she could not her families happiness and very lives were dependant on the success or failure this plan and she had seen the results of her past, Henry's never ending marital conquests, the deaths of thousands of innocent people and the destruction of England itself. If she could just convince her father of the truth and the importance of her purpose she knew she could change the fate of her family and alter the course of her past.
So as she lay her hand upon her father's shoulder she spoke confidently and clearly, telling him all would be well that she was not here to drag him into an endless purgatory but to save him from one and though her eyes could not reveal the warmth that she had once held for this man she allowed him to believe that if he rendered her his assistance that all would be forgiven and all though she had long ago resigned herself to hatred she found herself hoping that while she would never be able to forget the past, that she was still capable of such forgiveness.
Slowly he let out the breath he had been holding in, she needed him and although she had not said so in words he heard her desperation, the demanding need of her father. Yes he could easily see that he had hurt her in some way and that she held it against him, but still what kind of man would he be if he abandoned her for the second time, if he failed her again, maybe if he listened, if he was able to help her then the mistakes he must have made in the future would not come to pass and as his brain ticked over the opportunity that had been presented to him he relished in the challenge, the conquest and the gamble, for what other reason would Anne have shown herself to him other than for a battle she could not win alone.
He stood then tall and straight, ready for war, ready for the battle. As he rose and stood before her Anne could see the man come to life, he became the manipulative, confident courtier that life in the world of the monarchy demanded, he relinquished his fear and doubt and transformed into a Boleyn, into her father.
In one swift move he turned and summoned her to follow him and although his curiosity was eating at him Thomas did not relish in the idea that his wife would see Anne, who would as always attempt to embrace her daughter and shower her with affection, if Elizabeth attempted to touch this Anne her physical form would pass straight through Anne's ghostly body, which would either result in hysteria or shock, both incidents would cause a scene and would take a lengthy amount of time to deal with, time he did not feel like wasting, when there very futures hung in the balance.,
As he walked down the dark, deserted corridors, He felt her presence besides him, dread, fear and desperation pressed down upon him like she flooded the endless hallways with these emotions, slipping into every crevice until the walls seem to expand under the weight of her being and yet when he looked at her she seemed so calm and soothing, so regal. But still he began to wonder why, Why was this Anne was so different from his own, what horrors awaited in there glorious future, where had it all gone wrong and as he began to turn towards his study he heard her speak as if unknowingly she was answering his questions.
She looked so alone in that moment, like the entire world had turned against her and then she smiled and she began to weave her intricate tale, her story of trust, love and betrayal. "I had a daughter, a single living child. But for three years I reined as Queen and for half of that I was loved" He heard he sigh but did not interrupt, if he hoped to be of any assistance he needed to know the entire story. But from the look she graced him with he was not sure he wanted to hear how this tragedy would end however before he could speak or interrupt her musings she began her account of how his future would play out.
She told him of his granddaughter, of her miscarriages, of her marriage and as her narration continued he saw her life unfold though her eyes, the betrayal of her husband as he took mistress after mistress, the pain of witnessing his affection and love stray but most of all the horror of watching her life slip through her fingers, as the whole world turned against her. Soon he was to learn that it was not only the husband that had once worshiped her, but her kin had also fled in droves. All those that had claimed to love her, to stand by her had run at the first signs of her downfall and defeat. She told him of her greatest hurt, the father who had always loved her unconditionally turning his back and leaving her to die alone and then the heartbreak of watching her daughter grow into a woman without the guidance and love of her mother, of watching as Henry abandoned their child and moved on with his precious Mistress Seymour.
After she had finished speaking all he could do was breath, breath past the gut wrenching pain, breath past the realization that he had not only abandoned his daughter, but his only living son. George and Anne would die to for his ambition, only Mary would survive, but still he would die alone in poverty with nothing but the ghosts of his children to haunt him and with that he could not stop the heart breaking cry that tore through his chest, his greed, his lust for power and his sheer and utter cruelty would leave him alone in the world while his children's headless bodies lay cold and bloodless beneath the harsh earth of the tower, of all the fates, in all the world never would he have managed to conjure up such a such torture to inflict upon a soul.
As she stood watching her father, she realized that although he had originally understood her purpose his minds perception had changed and he no longer understood her purpose for arriving, he had managed to convince himself that she wished to show him his fate, a fate that was un-escapable, he truly believed that she had come to torment him with this knowledge so once more she raised her voice above his agonizing cries and spoke "This fate was mine to live, but it shall not be yours. I have need of your assistance, to ensure that this fate does not befall you".
At once silence descended upon the room and then for the first time he spoke, nothing more than a whisper, loud enough for her ears alone "Why would you wish to assist me, I was the one who forced you into that fate, into that hell, do I not deserve to die alone" and at once she laughed pure and clear "You have not yet caused that fate, the wheels have been set in motion but the path is undefined" and then he understood, she had come here not to save him from his own personal hell, for the man he would have become in his future was fully deserving of the price he paid in her past, but to save herself from the torment that she had endured and the pain inflicted upon those she had loved, but most of all she had come here with a plan, a plan for their salvation and her redemption.