"It will be rain to-night," said Banquo.
It was overcast, and there was not a single star in the sky. The sun had sunk low beyond the moors, and the last few rays of sunlight were fading away behind the clouds. The air was damp and cold. Fleance shivered. The torch he held in his hand didn't do a thing to warm his skin. He was glad that soon he would be back in the warmth of the palace.
"Let it come down," said a menacing voice, thundering out of the shadows.
Fleance dropped the torch in shock. Banquo drew his sword from his belt and suddenly three men were upon him. Fleance's horse shied away from his father's. Banquo swung his sword at one of the attackers, who blocked the blow with his shield. Another attacker stabbed the horse, and as the horse bucked, Banquo fell to the floor, crying, "Oh treachery!" He rolled away from the startled horse, still gripping his sword tightly. As he fended of the attackers, he yelled, "Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou may'st revenge."
Then as a dagger slipped between his father's ribs, Fleance kicked the sides of his horse and rode off into the night.
It hadn't been too long ago that King Duncan had been murdered. That had been another cold, dark night, and Fleance had been carrying another torch. He had been having another conversation with his father, when they had been approached by another group of men. The only difference was that on that night, the men came in peace. It had been Macbeth and his servant, not a handful of murderers. Macbeth and Banquo had briefly talked about the weird sisters' prophecy, which Fleance decided to ask his father about later. That was the night that Duncan died, and his guards were killed, and his sons fled to England. Soon after, Macbeth was crowned king.
And now Fleance fled into the dark, away from the palace and the warmth and Macbeth. It started to rain, and as drops of water fell onto his face, a tear rolled down cheek. He could barely comprehend what he had just witnessed. "A pox upon those men," he muttered. The rain was pouring down now, and Fleance wanted more than anything to ride back to the palace. However, something in his heart stopped him, or maybe he was just too tired and cold to turn around.
In a short while, Fleance was at a little cave a fair way south of the palace. The slipped off his horse, and his body crashed against the hard rock ground. He dragged himself to the back of the cave, and curled up in a ball, shivering. He could see that outside the cave entrance, a thunderstorm was tearing through the sky. Fleance remembered that the last time he had seen a thunderstorm was when King Duncan had been murdered. It was said that his guards and his sons had been involved in the plot. Even from the beginning, Fleance hadn't believed it. He couldn't comprehend the idea of a child killing their father. He had always loved his own father very much.
Once again, Fleance started to cry. Maybe the king's sons had run away from their dead father for the same reason that he had run away from his. He wasn't quite sure what that reason was yet, but he knew he had to figure it out. With these things on his mind, he fell asleep, exhausted by the evening's events.
When Fleance awoke, it was early morning. He was lying in a pool of his own vomit. He could hear the rain falling outside, and his horse was still standing in under the shelter of the cave entrance. Fleance walked to his horse, knowing that it was probably sore and hungry. "Good boy," he said soothingly as he stroked its muzzle. After he had unsaddled the horse, he went outside and washed the vomit off his face in the downpour.
Why had anyone wanted to murder his father anyway? Had they also wanted to kill him? Fleance realised that as soon as it stopped raining, he should ride as far away from the palace as he could.
It came to him in a sudden rush. He realised why his father had been murdered, and he realised why his instincts told him to run for his life. He remembered what his father had said while that had been out riding yesterday. Fleance had asked about the weird sister's prophecy, and in reply, his father had said that they'd prophesied that Macbeth would become the Thane of Cordor, and then later the king. "It was as you said, there was some truth in the weird sisters' prophecy," said Fleance. Banquo had replied, "Yes, but perhaps what was would not have been unless the sisters had planted the idea in Macbeth's mind." Fleance had scrunched up his face. He hadn't been too sure what his father meant, but now he knew. The sisters had given Macbeth the idea that he would succeed Duncan, and had thus encouraged the king's death. Macbeth had been responsible for the murder of King Duncan, and it had been a night similar to the one on which his father had died. Did that mean- wait, that couldn't be true. Macbeth and Banquo had been the closest of friends. Fleance searched his memory for something that would prove Macbeth's innocence. Then he remembered that the sisters had made another prophecy. Banquo had said, "The sisters told me that my descendants would be kings, even though I will not be one."
Fleance sat down in the rain and cursed. If the weird sisters had given Macbeth the idea to murder Duncan, then surely they had given him the idea to murder Banquo. Now that Macbeth was king, he would feel threatened by Banquo's descendants. Fleance wondered if it was his fault that his father was dead, but then realised that Macbeth must have wanted both of them to die. The young boy was blessed to have gotten away.
Why would Macbeth have suspected his friend? Banquo had been a pure, righteous, just man. From the conversation that Fleance had had with his father the day before, it appeared that Banquo didn't entirely trust Macbeth, but Fleance was sure that his father would not have betrayed a friend.
Slumped down in the rain, Fleance remembered back to the days when Macbeth had also been a good man. How could someone once so noble fall into the trap of irrevocable evil? Was Macbeth's lust for power enough to turn him into a madman? Fleance decided that he had never witnessed anything as awful as this fall into wickedness.
The boy started to shiver uncontrollably. He made his way out of the rain and returned to the shelter of the cave. He wasn't sure where he would go, but he couldn't stay here to be ruthlessly slaughtered by a man who had once been a hero. He prayed that one day he would get his revenge, and that Macbeth would be toppled from the tower of sin that he perched upon.