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Once upon a time there was a king in the land of Scotland named Duncan. All who knew King Duncan saw him as an intelligent and powerful man. However, Duncan had a fatal flaw; he was overconfident, and this eventually led to his downfall. While staying at the home of his most loyal general, Macbeth, someone plotted against him. Macbeth wanted to take over the crown as three mysterious strangers had promised him. One fateful night, Macbeth sneaked out of his bedchamber and murdered the king while the king slept. Macbeth took the right as king for himself; however, others challenged his claims as king.
Duncan had two sons; Malcolm and Donaldbain. After learning of his father’s murder, they feared for their lives. Although they were not sure that Macbeth had killed his father, they suspected him. Malcolm decided to run away with his friend Macduff to England, while Donaldbain fled to Ireland. Neither brother planned to see each other again. When Donaldbain saw his brother’s ship depart, he felt remorse for all he had lost: he had lost his brother and his father and was now hiding from the land he had grown up in and loved so much
A high-pitched cackling followed the cries of pain; then only silence filled the air. Donaldbain stirred and awoke from his dream. He looked up at the dark night sky and said nothing, as did the sky, which stared back at him. Rising from his resting place, he discovered that nothing had changed since the last time he slept: he was still surrounded by water. His journey to a new life in Ireland had only begun three days ago, but it felt like years.
had passed. Duncan’s son asked how long he had been asleep and was surprised to hear the answer.
“Five hours,” replied the ship’s captain.
Donaldbain would meet King William of Ireland and make a living there. However, he now felt that it would never happen. A slow sigh of relief escaped him when he saw the land as Ireland. She was one step closer to his new home. The boat approached the dock where the humble workers, smelling of body odor and mead, tied it up. As the captain pressed a shilling into his hands, Donaldbain slowly disembarked. A man, covered in fur, who seemed not to have seen or slept in days, met Donaldbain when he first set foot on land.
“My name is Bruno, sir,” he said, “I will be your guide to King William’s castle.”
On horseback, the ride to the castle was just under an hour. When Donaldbain entered the great hall, he felt dwarfed by his presence. The entrance opened into a tall, magnificent corridor with enormous spiers. At the far end of the hall, in a mountain chair, sat King William, Donaldbain’s new lord and master. An imposing figure, William loomed over Donalbain, appearing almost the size of a mountain. His arms were thick as tree trunks and he was so tall that his nose could smell the clouds. Donaldbain greeted the high king with a bow, but was immediately told to rise.
“The Prince of Scots need not bow to me,” replied the King. Donalbain stood up and snapped to attention. “You will join me for a feast; we will celebrate the safe arrival of our new guest!”
Before the feast began, Donalbain was shown to his chambers, a monstrous room, better than any he had ever seen. Donaldbain unpacked his belongings and settled into his new adobe. He had just begun to relax when he saw a woman pass through her peripheral vision in the corner of the room. He quickly turned around, but the vision of her disappeared. Slowly he crept around the corner to investigate this phenomenon. As he got closer, the room seemed to darken. Looking around the corner, his eyes fixed on the area where he had seen the ghostly figure. He got closer and closer, until he almost touched the wall. He nearly jumped out of his boots when he heard a knock on the door. Glancing one last time at the vision wall, he went to open the door. There stood a short, stocky man with puffy white hair that looked a bit like snow.
“The king awaits your presence in his great hall, sir,” the burly man said in a slightly nasal voice. Donaldbain followed the man, but not before taking one last look around the corner. Not a thing. He sighed and dismissed it as a trick played by the light from the window.
The party was lavish with meat and drink as far as the eye could see. Donaldbain introduced himself to many of the castle’s nobles; however, he did not eat much after his long day sailing the sea. As the food and drink vanished in the mouths of the hungry people, the king rose to his feet. The grand and majestic hall immediately fell silent.
“I would like to welcome our new guest to my great castle, Donaldbain of Scotland.” When the king finished the last syllable of his, the room erupted in cheers and applause, something completely unexpected for the young Scotsman. Donaldbain rose from his seat beside the king. As he looked out over the crowd, he looked near one of the large tables and saw the same woman who had appeared in his room earlier. He looked at the king and then quickly at the table; she had disappeared again. Donaldbain began to stagger and stagger and had to sit down.
“You feel good?” asked the king in a harsh tone. The room began to blur and Donaldbain fell unconscious. The king called doctors who took Donalbain to his room and put him to bed.
Donaldbain did not wake up that night. Instead, he had a dream, a most strange dream. Donaldbain saw three dark figures hiding in the trees, waiting for something. Then he saw two men, one young and one older, possibly father and son, approaching with a torch. As they passed the dark figures, shadows rushed over them. One of the men, the youngest, somehow escaped and ran like hunted prey by a hunter. The other pierced the silence of the night with a bloodcurdling scream.
Donaldbain’s vision darkened. He then saw a room that he recognized as belonging to his family friend, Macduff. Macduff’s wife and children appeared when suddenly the same three shadows appeared and mercilessly massacred Macduff’s family. His vision then changed to a dark castle. Instantly, he recognized Dunsinane, his former home, the palace of the King of Scotland. He then saw the figure of a former friend, but a present enemy: Macbeth. His vision darkened again. Finally, the face of the woman he had seen earlier in the night appeared, but this time it did not disappear. Opening his mouth slowly, he gave a sharp laugh.
Donaldbain woke up immediately cold but sweating when there was a knock on the door. Donaldbain rose slowly to reply. The same white-haired man, dressed in his nightgown, was standing in the doorway.
“There is a messenger here for you, my lord.”
Puzzled, Donaldbain went to the door where a young man was standing in the doorway, a man not much older than Donaldbain himself. It was Fleance, Banquo’s son. Donalbain grinned at the sight of a familiar face, but Fleance didn’t seem all that excited.
“My father has been murdered, as has Macduff’s family. Macbeth and his evil queen must be responsible.”
Surprised to hear this, Donaldbain immediately agreed to return with Fleance to Scotland. He ran from his room directly to the king’s chambers and requested a ship to return home. Reluctantly, the king agreed.
Anticipation filled the next three days of travel. Fleance informed Donalbain that his brother, Malcolm, had organized an attack on Macbeth’s castle with the help of King Edward of England. Fleance suggested that they assume false identities to protect themselves.
“There will be no time for family gatherings. There should be no distractions.”
As the ship headed into port near Macbeth’s castle, Donaldbain felt his heartbeat quicken and his mouth go dry. He could see the troops surrounding Macbeth’s castle and realized that he couldn’t interfere with his brother’s decisions. Not to be seen, he departed from his ship and prepared for battle. Donaldbain would take revenge on Macbeth for the death of his father. He fell into the ranks of the troops at Birnam Wood, making sure not to stand near his brother.
“Each man must take a mistake, as if to hide our numbers from the enemy!” Malcolm yelled at his followers.
Donaldbain did as his brother instructed and cut a large branch from a tree. The order fell to attack at all costs, and Donaldbain rushed toward his former home. The castle was well sealed. To his right, Donalbain saw the large figure of Macduff leaping over the castle walls. At that moment, a loud scream, a woman’s scream, emanated from the confines of the grand palace. The soldiers beat and fought their way into the castle until the gates fell. Each soldier found his way to the central courtyard of the castle when the imposing figure of Macduff appeared, holding the head of the hideous tyrant Macbeth by his serpent hair. Cheers erupted and Macduff proclaimed Malcolm the new King of Scotland.
Donaldbain looked at his brother, knowing that he could easily contend for the crown, but decided to return to Ireland. He had liked it there; he was treated as a friend and not as a ruler. It was planned that there would be a big party to celebrate the death of Macbeth and the reign of Malcolm.
The party went on well into the night until all the men were asleep. Donaldbain crept up in the night and traveled to the dock. He was almost out of the castle when he heard a voice behind him.
“Good night my brother”. Donaldbain turned to see Malcolm standing behind him. They hugged and exchanged greetings. However, Donalbain did not want to change his mind about leaving. He explained to his brother why he had to go.
“If that’s how you feel, then bye, brother.” Malcolm was clearly unhappy with Donaldbain’s decision. Saying nothing, Donalbain boarded his ship and began to begin. He suddenly stopped and turned to his brother.
Farewell, my brother, my king. Donaldbain knelt before his brother.
“Rise, Lord Donaldbain.” Malcolm received the respect of his brother, as did Donaldbain. Donaldbain turned to the sea and set sail for Ireland, looking back only to see his brother, his king, looking back at him. Donaldbain focused on the moon and stars to guide him as he sailed into the black night.