The Husband and Hero
This foreboding emptiness takes a hold of me.
Darkness begins to surround me until it makes its way into my lungs.
I'm drowning in this disguise and now I've twisted into this creeping darkness.
How long have my thoughts not been my own?
How long have my eyes been closed?
As I look around at the vast scenery around me, I can finally begin to realize it's dull colorless state.
Where is that warmth I've felt my whole life?
Fern: "Men, we are approaching the site, Begin to prep for entrance and routine."
Has she always been so cold? Has Fern always had that look of unfathomable disgust on her face when things don't go her way?
Looking over at her standing in front of me with eyes full of rage and anger instead of sadness for our soldiers gives me my answer.
She sees us as meat. Nothing more.
And... I'm just a ribeye she's been seasoning to grill.
When I think about everything with a clear head, I finally begin to realize it all.
She threw away Crowriff and all our other injured troops.
She tried to throw away Erebus, regardless of who he truly was because of his influence on the other troops.
And now, I know she'll throw away me when I'm no longer have used to her.
I will never be king. I know that now.
There's only one thing I can do now, and that's to make things right.
Fern: "Devilynn, report to my camper after we station the horses. I want to discuss what occurred with-what the hell is this?!"
Startled by her sudden shifting of words, I turn my head towards our station.
Appalled, I yank my horse to a stop.
Our campsite has been completely tarnished. All of tents have been ripped from their seams. Men are lying injured and unconscious on the ground. And, A
all of our supplies are broken or gone.
Quickly getting off of her horse, Fern rushes to the campgrounds.
Fern: "Troops search the grounds immediately!"
Speechless, I find my feet glued to my position. How could anyone in such a short amount of time defeat all of our leftover troops?
Analyzing over the situation, it quickly becomes clear to me as I notice one of our men is missing amongst the rest. Erebus.
Ha! It'll make sense now. The Queen's White Knight who would sail overseas and climb every mountain; he will listen to her every request and with the information Eri has it would be easy to infiltrate him into our kingdom.
Erebus must be Birch.
Fern: "That filthy freaking rat is missing! How dare he?!"
Knight A: "Lady Fern, We can call for Erebus' arrest afterwards, our people are injured and need medical attention. If we don't do something soon then-"
With a pause and a slam of her feet, Fern looks up at the crowded knights with a menacing look.
Fern: "Don't you talk to me with that tone! I choose my own orders! Our priority is to catch that damned man immediately! The information he carries is vital!"
As Fern scrambles on about Erebus' escape, I make my way into my old shared campsite.
All of Erebus' things are missing and the room feels spacious. I can hardly hear Fern's yells from deep inside here.
I find myself letting out a short whimper as a reminisce on happy days. There may never be a time that Crowriff, Erebus-or Birch-whatever his name is, and I Will be able to happily chat and drink a round together.
The nights I paid little attention to are the ones I miss the most.
Cupping my hands, I kneel down to the floor.
I really messed up.
All of my dreams-all my intuitions-all of my thoughts-I pushed all of them into optimism towards Frostala. I'm a fool. A doltish fool.
Bringing my hands to my knees, My eyes find themselves darting at a small pale note tucked underneath my desk.
Although it is hard to see, it shines out brightly in this damp room.
Reaching my hands forward, I quickly grab ahold of the piece of paper and unravel it.
"If you found the truth, and want to change your ways, meet me at Parksen's Spot tonight."
Before I can realize it, tears begin pouring down my face.
Fern: "Devilynn! Where are you?!"
Ripping up the paper into scraps, I quickly throw it on the floor and stand up.
Devilynn:"I'm inside my camper! I'll be right there!"
Even if I can't be forgiven-Even if I will never be welcomed in open arms-I will do what I can to repent for my sins.
Standing up from the ground, I harden my face in the hopes to hide my tears.
Carrying myself out of my camper, I make my way to Fern who is inhabiting the sole intact camper. As I enter inside, I find her eyes targeting me with a look I can only describe as disappointed as she sits beside her desk. Her eyes, which are usually cold and off-putting, look frozen today.
Devilynn: “Hey Fern, why did you want to see me?”
Before I can process the situation, Fern quickly jumps up out of her seat and places her hand around my collar. Pushing my body up against the wall, it’s amazing that this petite woman is exhilarating such strength and pressure with her small body.
Fern: “You’re working with that traitor, aren’t you?!”
Devilynn: “Fern, calm down! I’m not working with anyone, I-”
Fern: “I know you are! That f**!”
Her whole body is radiating off hostility. It is clear to see that regardless of my words, Fern has already made up her mind and won’t be convinced easily.
Devilynn: “Fern! I can prove it to you!”
Fern: “Proof it?! Then do it!”
Taking her hand away from my collar, Fern proceeds to push her fist into the wall. Her eyes are beaming with rage awaiting my next actions.
I know that talking to her will do nothing, so I will do my best to flaunt her ego and win her over with favor. At this point, it doesn’t matter how pitiful I get. Now that I know Eri is out there-and probably hates me- I need to do whatever I can to help her.
Kneeling down on the ground, I place my hands on the dirty floor and look up at Fern pleadingly. It’s pathetic and demeaning to go to such lengths; but it is clear by the slight perky smile across Fern’s face that she finds this humorous.
Devilynn: “Fern, I will stand beside you throughout this war and after! I would never betray you! I can’t prove my innocence in any other way than to beg. But you know that my heart belongs to you.”
The longer I plead with her, the more enjoyment she’s getting at my reactions. Despite how dirty and unpleasant I feel, it is obvious that this tactic is working.
Fern: “Then why did you let the Queen go?”
As I look up into her eyes full of deranged thoughts, she’s waiting to see how I will squirm my way out of this conversation. However! I’ve prepared myself in advance. Maybe it’s because I’ve messed up time and time again, but I’m sure Fern will believe my clumsiness.
Devilynn: “I’m sorry Lady Fern! After I stabbed Willowcrus, I was too astonished by my actions that I couldn’t process what was happening in front of me. I know that if it were you, you would’ve been able to defeat the Queen in an incident, but I didn’t have it in me, I-”
Placing her forehead directly onto mine, the stench of drench rushes over me at the thought of slipping up.
Fern: “Not everyone can be just like me. That’s what makes you a commoner and myself a Royal...for now, I will clear you of your suspicions. Afterall, I want the glory of feeling the Queen’s blood poured down onto me.”
With a swift hand, Fern tightly grips my hair; it hurts horribly.
Fern: “You did well killing one of the generals. So I have a new task for you. In our last battle against Robal, I want you to kill that bastard.”
As soon as she speaks, I’m unable to hide my expressions. Panic forms within me as she pushes her lips into her next words.
Fern: “Prove your innocence by killing Erebus for me.”