Isabella was dangerously ill. Upon her collapse she had been taken to her parents home. Her skin was angry, as if it had been a-braised with a powerful chemical. Katrina waited in the church for the police to arrive and warrant an issue for her arrest. The finger of blame was pointed cruelly in her direction. She couldn’t tell them the truth, not with the risk of being thrown in a lunatic asylum. Katrina would rather die than be condemned to solitude.

She sat , bowed her troubled head and prayed. Never before had she felt so distant from god. Katrina jumped as she heard a male voice. It was Richard. Surely he should be at Isabella’s side?  His stature was strong, his fists clenched.

“You little witch! I hope you suffer for what you’ve done. I hope you burn in hell for eternity. There will be a reckoning. My god! I could kill you right here!”

A tear rolled down Katrina’s cheek. How did it come to this? There had been so much joy, now everything had been cruelly spoiled. He jolted past her leaving Katrina alone once more. It was not long before 2 officers of the law made their presence known.

“Katrina Rose you need to come with us, we’re arresting you on suspicion of attempted murder.”

Katrina obeyed immediately. They led her out of the church quietly. The majority of guests now stood outside in the grounds. Dozens of pairs of eyes bore into the back of her neck, mentally burning her like the dress had burned Isabella. She was guided to take a seat in a windowless horse-drawn carriage.  Where was she being taken?  It was a relief to her that she had not been handcuffed, it was a terrifying thought.

*****************************

Eventually,they arrived at a solitary looking building. It was not a large place. Katrina caught the last detail of the sign “Women’s Prison” where was her location? With no idea of her location she felt vulnerable and alone. The prison was  lonely  Katrina lived under strict instruction that there was to be no communication. Daily she carried out simple tasks such as picking Oakum, pulling the tarred rope apart to release the individual fibers to be specifically used for other purposes. The rope was sharp and coarse and make Katrina’s already damaged hands bleed.

She lived on a meager diet, not enough to suffice for her hunger. Her clothes were taken and she was clad in a stuff dress and a white cap and a white cap to conceal her hair. The following few days were lonely and Katrina cursed her existence and ever agreeing to make the wedding gown. The cell was bitterly cold with no means of warming it. The ventilation within the building was extremely poor.

Depression filled her soul and she wept each night living in fear of her fate. She wondered how Isabella was recovering. The prisoners arose early and smashed the ice upon their frozen wash basins. The air was painfully cold. Katrina was often prone to chilblains during the winter, affected by the dismal conditions. Life was solitary. Katrina sat in her petticoat one morning preparing for dressing when there came a knock upon her cell door.

“Miss Rose it seems you have a visitor”

A visitor? Katrina thought. Surely that was something that was only allowed once a year. Her jaw fell and the fury inside her frothed like a potion when she laid eyes on the woman with dark olive skin and shiny jet black hair who stood in the entrance of her cell. It was Zsofkia!

Katrina shook her head in disgust.

“How DARE you show your face! Look at what you’ve done. Why did it have to come to this?”

“The rules were broken. I thought you would like to know that the girl still lives”

“Oh thank god!”

“Yes but she is still at death’s door. She cannot live whilst her husband still breathes”

Katrina put her head into her hands. “Murdering him is out of the question” Katrina was blunt with her tone.

“He must die” Zsofkia continued. “Leave it in my hands I will not fail you”

With that the woman adjusted her shawl, nodded to the guard and left the confinement of the prison.

To be continued….

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