May 19, 1546
For the first time in years, King Henry VIII found himself thinking about his second wife, Anne Boleyn. It had been ten years since he had ordered her executed and then pushed from his mind. He couldn't help the stray thoughts from making their way into his ear. What if he had spared her? What if she didn't betray him? In his minds eye he could see her dark eyes, her brown silky hair cascading down her back, her sly smile as she curtsied to him. He shook his thoughts off with a sigh. It would do him no good to think thoughts like that. She was ten years gone and not coming back.
He got up from his desk with a groan. He wasn't the young man he used to be. His girth was wider than it had been, his legs were in constant pain, and his head was balding. He knew that his time was drawing near to join his dearly departed wife Jane Seymour in the eternal heavenly palace. Though he was but nine years old, Henry was relieved that he'd be leaving his throne to his boy; the future of England was secure. His attendants dressed him in his night gown before he dismissed them. He needed to be alone with his thoughts. Groaning again, he slowly stepped towards his bed, freezing when he finally looked at it.
Lying across his bed on her belly was a beautiful woman with curly brown hair, dark blue eyes and a familiar smile. The dark crimson dress she wore was reminiscent of a dress she wore to a ceremony just for her – when she was crowned Marquess of Pembroke.
"Anne." The one word was all that he could manage through the disbelief crowding his eyesight.
"Your Majesty." The voice wrapped him in a sense of familiarity, something that was very welcome to him. His sigh of contentment was not lost on either of them.
"How are you here? You died." His voice was much gruffer than it had been while she still breathed, and he was much larger. But his face still held the ghost of the man she once fell in love with, before he became the bitter, twisted tyrant he became.
"I did not die My King. You had me murdered so you could marry a woman that was dreadfully dull and nowhere near the woman that I was." Her words were simple and soft, but they managed to infuriate him in seconds. He remembered the fire they once had.
"Do not speak of the good Queen Jane like that! She was my wife and true Queen of England!" Henry snapped. He was still not entirely sure what she was, but whatever she was, insulting she would not be.
"I see you did not deny she was dull. Even a blind man would take one look at her and know that immediately. But you did not care. She soothed the fire that I brought out in you. She showed you light where I was your darkness. But tell me Henry, are your favorite past times not done in darkness?" She was no longer lying on his bed but was leaning in close to him, trailing her finger down his chest. Despite himself, he shivered. He hadn't taken a woman, or his current wife Catherine Parr, to bed in almost a year. He had been having issues becoming aroused and as he aged, he found that he found himself disinterested in the activity as well.
"Anne, why do you haunt me so?" He groaned as his body began to react to her touch.
"Do you remember the last time we danced together? It was the Volta. There was such passion that night. I believe you still bear the scars on your back I left you with. I told you that night I wished to conceive again." She was speaking wistfully as her nails trailed down the spot she had dug her nails in deep all those years ago. She was circling him as a dog circles its prey on the hunting field.
"I remember Anne. That was the night you wished for me to kill my daughter Mary and Katherine. It was the night I realized you could not be trusted." His eyes were narrowed at the dark eyes that had once captivated him for years.
"It was not my proudest moment, I admit. I was possessed by this notion that it had to be either Mary or me in this world – neither of us could live in it together. It was crazed. It was something you drove me to Henry. Your love was so fickle and ever changing that you drove me to become a shell of my former self." She accused the King of England, her eyes ablaze. He could hurt her no more and she was no longer scared to say what was on her mind.
"I am your King; do not act so familiar with me! Do not think to blame me for your downfalls Madam. You lost my love because you lied to me! You always lied to me! You were no virgin when you came to me, you gave your body willingly to other men and you never gave me the heir you promised!" He roared, his face reddening. Anne could only laugh.
"I never gave my body to anyone but you Your Majesty. You had my maidenhead you fool. And I would have given you a son, the living image of his father had you waited a few months before killing me. You knowingly killed a woman with child. Yet proclaim to be a just and kind ruler." She spat out in disgust, finally airing out the words she wanted to since the day she lost her head. She had just found out she was with child, and Cromwell had been charged with telling the King, who made it obvious he had no care for the child in her womb. Henry recoiled as if he had been slapped.
"You were with child? Why was I not told at once?" He sat down heavily on his bed, her words spinning around in his head. She had been with child. His own flesh and blood and he had prevented that child from growing; from living. For the first time, he fully regretted his rash decision.
"You were told. By Cromwell." Her voice had grown weak at the thought that he had truly not known. She knew Cromwell had hated her and wanted her gone, but she never imagined he would kill her innocent son.
"I was never told Anne, I swear to you." He grew alarmed at her fading appearance and she smiled sadly at him.
"I believe you Henry. I must go for now. But I will be back. I've been sent here to make your transition to the afterlife easier. To answer any questions you have, soothe any fears you might need soothed." She spoke quietly, the hooks drawing him in.
"The afterlife. I'm dying?" Fear shone through clearly on his face and for just a moment, Anne felt her hatred of the man in front of her dwindle.
"Yes. You'll see the New Year Henry, but not by much. Nobody but you can see me, or feel me." She grew ever more dim and Henry panicked.
"Wait, why you? Why not Jane?" His voice was hoarse with unshed tears.
"Because you belong to me Henry. Your heart is mine." The words echoed as she completely disappeared, leaving a shocked Henry staring into nothing, tears falling down his cheeks.