This is a flash fiction lamely related to the phrase "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder."
It was an amusing sight for Madame Cassana, her dear little sister playing beneath the willow tree, singing the old song their mother used to sing to them before bed. She enjoyed watching her sister do just that everyday, sometimes she would drink tea or eat cakes while doing so.
If Madame Cassana were a painter, this would be the perfect scenery. An innocent little girl playing by herself, singing to herself underneath a weeping willow tree.
Madame Cassana and her sister of eleven years, Lyanna, lost their parents to an arson attack seven years ago. The culprit was revealed to be their father’s sister who in high hopes believed that she would get all of their father’s riches by eliminating their family. But, unfortunately for her, the then Lady Cassana and Lyanna survived. And Cassana, as the eldest child, inherited her father’s riches and businesses which leaves her aunt penniless and behind bars. Since Madame Cassana was left with so much money, but so little to spend it with, she donated half of it to charities and homes for the aged. But, that loss did not affect Madame Cassana because she was able to gain double from the trading businesses left to her.
Now twenty-seven years old, Madame Cassana – unmarried and childless- raised her little sister singlehandedly in one of their late father’s properties. The mansion was an enormous one, but miniscule compared to their former home. But, it was more than enough for the two sisters. The mansion could house at least twenty-five people, but all those space have gone to waste since there was only Madame Cassana, Lyanna, the butler, the maid, the cook and the gardener.
Madame Cassana closed her eyes and allowed herself to indulge in this quiet and peaceful day. She listened to how birds communicated with each other, she listened to the soft whisper of wind, and she listened to Lyanna sing a very unfamiliar and eerie song.
“We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow.
But now alone I lie and weep beside the tree.
Singing "Oh willow waly" by the tree that weeps with me.
Singing "Oh willow waly" till my lover return to me.
We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow.
A broken heart have I. Oh willow I die, oh willow I die.”
Madame Cassana has been a music enthusiast, but she has never heard of this song. It was a very unpleasant song and she didn’t want to hear any more of it. It disturbed her. It haunted her for no apparent reason. It made her mind restless. So she stood from her chair and made her way inside the mansion. It was almost seven in the evening and supper was to be served soon, but she didn’t feel like eating anything. Instead, she prepared herself for an early slumber.
After taking a bath, Madame Cassana changed into her nightclothes and sat on her bed. Just before she could lie on the bed, she heard a knock on her door. “Come in.,” she said. She heard her door open, but she did not know who entered since her back was the one facing the door. She heard slow and light footsteps approaching her, but before she could look back to see who it was, a hand grabbed her shoulder tightly. She felt a knife at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.
And this day was supposed to be perfect for her.
The gods are unjust.
From this point, I want to know if you are still with me. If you want to know who the murderer was and what was his or her motives were, then focus on me. Believe me, you still do not know Madame Cassana really well. If she were a kind and gentle person, then why would someone murder her? If you are still interested, then I will tell you.
Things that possessed exceptional beauty attracted Madame Cassana. Her young sister for an instance, if little lady Lyanna weren’t charming to the eyes, Madame Cassana would’ve left her to rot in the streets when their parents died.
Madame Cassana also believed that there are unfortunate things that did not possess the external beauty her eyes craved for. She can be cruel to people who aren’t as appealing as her sister. The maid’s brother is one example. He wasn’t handsome, but not plain looking either. His name was Lovino and he wanted Madame Cassana more than anything else. But, for Madame Cassana, he lacked the beauty that she was looking for. Therefore, he was unsatisfactory.
But, Madame Cassana wasn’t the most merciful woman on Earth either. The day Lovino proclaimed his love for her, Madame Cassana poured foul water on him then made her enormous dogs chase after him. A lot of people witnessed that cruel act, but none pitied Lovino. Ever since that day, Lovino became the laughing stock of the town. He couldn’t handle the humiliation brought upon him, so he decided to end all of his sufferings by hanging himself on the weeping willow tree he always adored.
“Marina, have you seen my sister?” Lyanna asked as she saw Marina the maid descend the stairs.
“Yes, my lady. In fact, she is already resting now. I suggest that you don’t wake her up.” Marina replied, her face impassive.
Lyanna smiled. “Very well. Oh, thank you again for teaching me that song. I sang it earlier and it gave me a good feeling. Although the words bothered me a little bit.”
“Those who have done nothing wrong should not feel even a little bit bothered. Rest assured my little lady, you’ve done nothing wrong.” Said Marina, her face still refused to show any welcoming expression.
Lyanna was confused about Marina’s reply. It was understandable since Lyanna was innocent and did not know the real story behind the song. “That song, you made it, didn’t you?”
Marina only nodded.
“It’s a beautiful song.” Lyanna said.
“Thank you, my lady. It was for my brother.” Marina replied. “Now, may I escort you to your room?” she asked.
Lyanna smiled gratefully and nodded.
After tucking the little lady in her bed, Marina packed her most valuable things and changed to her civilian clothing. After making sure that no one was in sight, Marina fled the mansion and disappeared in the night.
“We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow.
And now fulfilled am I. Oh willow goodbye, oh willow goodbye”