Beyond The Flowers
“What’re you reading?”, Fleur sat next to Theodore who had a book held in his hands. Lyna was sitting opposite to him.
He marked his page, closing it, “It’s a romance novel.”
“Hm? In the many years I’ve known you for, you didn’t seem like the person who would ever read a book like that.”
Theodore let out a chuckle, “The story is interesting.”
“What’s it about?”, Lyna asked.
“There are two main couples in it. In both of the couples, the females murdered their families for the men after which the men abandoned them, saying they’d never marry a murderer”, Theodore explained.
Lyna stared at him in disbelief, getting up, “I’m not feeling too well.”, she mumbled as she walked away.
Fleur and Theodore didn’t think too much about her sudden exit, “Love blinds many. I don’t blame the females”, said Theodore.
Fleur looked at him, “What’s it called?”
“Beyond the Flowers.”
The two of them didn’t seem to be a good match as friends, but ever since her return, they would spend an awful lot of time together, Arthur and Lyna. It was almost surprising how close the two had gotten in a matter of a day
“His name is Jafar?”, Arthur asked
Lyna looked away, blush covering her skin, reaching the tip of her ears as she nodded.
Arthur grinned which was unusual for him to do, “The same guy that kidnapped you? What a wonderful love story.”
“Shut up..”, Lyna muttered.
“Tell me more”, Arthur’s expression quickly changed, “About them. My kind.”
Lyna spoke, “They treated me kindly, I was the first human most of them had seen but they thought I was a Camellian disguising my eyes. The children there were wonderful, I met your sister as well.”
“How did that woman capture her?”, Arthur inquired, referring to Anne.
“Your sister was being careless. She wanted to see the human world, but she got too close to the Orphange. She had never been trained to hide her eyes.”
Arthur nodded, looking down, “And my parents…?”
Lyna looked at the boy with pity, “I did not see them.”
They didn’t say anything for a while after which Lyna broke the silence, “How were you able to suppress yourself for so long. As far as I know, you have never killed anybody before.”
Arthur looked down, “I kept murdering myself.”
Lyna’s eyes widened as she looked at him, concerned, “What do you mean by that?”
“I— I don’t know why, but ever since I was just a child, I was able to heal myself very quickly and conceal my eyes, so whenever I had any sort of bloodlust, I’d take it out on myself, as long as my head doesn’t get cut off, I’ll be alright”
Lyna nodded at his response, “I’m sorry you had to go through that for all these years.”
Arthur nodded, smiling as he looked back up at the girl, “Tell me about you and Jafar.”
Lyna blushed, starting to tell him about what he had asked her to.
Today was the day.
Fleur sat outside, feeding bread to a group of cats when Theodore walked up behind her.
Fleur looked up at the blonde haired boy, “Hey.”
Theodore sat down next to her.
Fleur looked back at the cats, “Where’s Lyna?”
Theodore looked, “With Arthur.”
“I love Lyna.”
“She doesn’t love me.”
“I know that too…”, Theodore responded.
“Feed the cats for me.”
“What?”, Theodore looked up at the girl, a dagger was pointed right at her neck. The person holding the dagger was…herself.
Fleur looked down at him, smiling. Theodore stared in horror as she pressed the dagger deeper into her neck.
Thankfully, before she could do anything fatal, Theodore grabbed her arm, pinning her to the ground as the dagger skidded away. He pulled her up, embracing her in his arms as he sobbed, “Don’t leave me.”
Fleur was stunned, her eyes opened as wide as they could as she let out tears.
“She doesn’t love you but I do. Don’t leave me. We’re friends”, Theodore sniffled.
Theodore looked up at her face, she was smiling at him as she cried her eyes out. Theodore then looked to the side where the dagger had fell.
It wasn’t there anymore.
He stared in horror as his first ever friend dug the dagger into Fleur’s back.
The life drained from Fleur’s eyes, blood trickling down her back and seeping into her clothes.
Arthur was standing there next to Lyna, who had stabbed Fleur with almost no guilt or hesitance.
Fleur collapsed to the ground, Theodore backing away as he looked at the scene, petrified, “Lyna—“, he croaked.
Lyna stared at the boy, walking towards him as she gripped the dagger. Arthur looked away, avoiding Theodore’s gaze.
Before Lyna could harm the boy, Leonardo burst open the door, “Miss Anne’s calling—“
Leonardo stopped. The cats had ran away. Theodore’s eyes remained fixated on Lyna, who stared at Leonardo in fear.
But Leonardo wasn’t looking at any of them. He was staring right at Arthur, who stared right back at him, nothing but fear in their eyes.
And then Lyna grabbed Arthur’s arm.
And she ran, pulling him along with her. Arthur didn’t stop staring at Leonardo. Leonardo didn’t stop staring at Arthur until he turned around the corner of the road, escaping within the woods.
Theodore crawled towards Fleur’s limp body, picking her up, “Wake up.”
Leonardo then looked down, his eyes still wide open as he sat next to the body, not even thinking about chasing after Arthur and Lyna.
Theodore gripped Fleur’s body tighter, repeating his words as he sobbed.
Leonardo stared at Theodore. Theodore looked at Leonardo, his eyes swollen as tears strolled down his cheeks, “She’s so cold, Leonardo.”
Leonardo opened his mouth, but he didn’t say anything.
“She’s so cold.”
Theodore gripped onto the deceased girls body, sobbing as loud as he could while Leonardo watched, tears strolling down his face too.
Marceline must’ve heard Theodore sob, because she came running outside after a few seconds, looking down at her adoptive sisters body, collapsing onto her knees and shaking her body, trying to wake her up.
Marceline looked at Leonardo, signalling for him to go call somebody.
Leonardo stood up quickly, still shaken by the incident but he ran inside.
Benedict came out with Leonardo. He looked horrified, but he picked up Fleur’s body, Theodore walking along with him as he cupped her cold cheeks in his hands.
Benedict took her to Anne who looked at Fleur with a terrified look on her face.
Anne was a doctor, so she picked the girls long gone body up and escorted her to a room. Nobody was allowed to enter.
Everybody had been informed that Fleur had been stabbed. Nobody asked who did it. They all just waited together in the Lounge. Nobody spoke.
Anne came out, looking at everybody with a tired look on her face. She wasn’t sleepy, she was tired, as if she had experienced a similar moment in the past.
Everybody knew what Anne was going to say would be negative.
Anne glanced at Theodore, who stared back at her with tears streaming down his face.
Anne asked, “What were her last words?”
Theodore felt as if his heart was going to pounce out of his mouth. Nothing felt real at this point.
“Feed the cats for me”, Theodore replied.
Everybody covered their mouth, begging themselves to wake up from this horrid dream. But they couldn’t wake up. This wasn’t a dream.
“Who did this?”, Jade spoke, her eyes filled with fury as she looked Theodore dead in the eye.
“Lyna. Arthur was her accomplice.”
At those words, Leonardo buried his face into his hands. He couldn’t deal with this right now.
“You’re joking”, Mary said. Everybody looked at her. The girl was biting down on her lip as she sobbed.
Theodore wasn’t joking.
Arthur and Lyna sat together. They were somewhere deep in the forest, far away from the Orphanage.
Lyna covered her ears with her hands as she cried. Arthur didn’t cry, but he was scared.
“I killed her. I killed her. I killed her.”
“You did it for Jafar. Did you not?”, Arthur looked at the girl.
Lyna looked up at him as she gave him a reluctant smile, “Yes. I did it for him.”
Arthur was terrified of the girl, but he had to cooperate with her. For Leonardo.
The image of the last time Arthur saw Leonardos face hadn’t left his mind. Leonardo had looked horrified.
All of them were seated in the lounge, Anne looked at everybody.
“We are leaving tomorrow.”
“And we’re going to avenge Fleur.”
Theodore looked up at Anne, “I will do it.”
Everybody looked at Theodore. He wasn’t the violent type. He used words to solve every dispute, but now. Now, nobody could ignore the anger and depression in his eyes.
“Are they humans?”, Leonardo looked at Anne, nothing but tragedy in his ocean eyes.
“We do not know. All of the information that Lyna told us, forget it. She’s a traitor.”
“Don’t hesitate to kill Arthur. Or Lyna”, Anne glanced at Leonardo.
Leonardo didn’t respond.
“Why?”, Aiden spoke as he stood up. Tyler looked up at his brother.
Anne looked at Aiden, who was sobbing, which he rarely ever did but anybody would cry in a situation like this.
“Why would they betray us?”
Nobody knew. There was too much they didn’t know.
Theodore sat down next to Fleur’s grave, staring at it.
“How will I be able to live in this wretched world without you?”, he asked the girls grave. He wanted an answer from her. An answer he knew he would never get.
“Why did you leave me?”
“You know, I can’t live without you.”
Again, no response.
Theodore smiled, tears forming in his eyes again as he bent down, covering his face in his hands, wailing.
Anne watched him.
When Anne was in her early twenties, she took over her late-fathers Orphanage, which had been left abandoned. Many children arrived at first, mostly because of the recent revolutionary group which had made their appearance public, they called themselves the Camellia. Most people in the country of Fer didn’t believe in the Camellia but Anne most definitely did after hearing all the children’s stories.
Anne had taken care of the children and although she didn’t favour any over another, she was certainly closest to the oldest one, Javier Pierre.
Anne’s only relative alive was her aunt, who was quite a bother. Her aunt was always looking for a husband for Anne to rely on.
One day, she had found a suitable husband for Anne, but Anne hadn’t expected her husband to be the future king of Fer, Prince Ubel Pentra, and so Anne had been sent away to live with the royals, leaving her aunt in charge of the Orphanage.
Ubel had wanted a son, but when their first born was a daughter, he immediately ordered his wife to dispose of her.
Anne didn’t want the poor girl to have the terrible future which her husband wished for her to have, so she brought the child to the Orphanage. Fourteen years after Marceline’s birth, it was made public that the king had married another woman and they had a baby boy. The boy was sent to Festern, to live with his grandmother for a few weeks. The elderly had wanted to see her new grandson but refused to go to the main town. It was too noisy, she had said.
Then, the Camellia had attacked the small village. The same day Arthur and Leonardo arrived and the same day it was reported that King Ubel’s baby boy had passed away. That was until Adam reported that Leonardo had saved a young baby, it was the prince.
When Anne returned to the Orphanage with baby Marceline and saw the condition of it, she collapsed. After placing her child down safely, she walked forward. All the children she loved and adored were no longer alive. They all had froth dripping out of their mouths, with their skin as pale as the moon. Anne’s aunt had also been murdered.
The only one left was Javier, who had played dead to escape the Camellia.
Anne blamed it on herself. She could’ve saved her beloved children.
She named her child Marceline, and after that day, she had never returned to her husband.
And now Fleur had been killed, and she hadn’t been able to do anything to prevent it.
They were departing. Mary and Aiyla were staying at the Orphanage while the other’s left.
Theodore made a promise to himself. He was going to avenge Fleur, even if he died in the process.
Arthur and Lyna had already arrived at the cave, sitting together with warm tea in their hands and blankets around them.
“Where’s Jafar?”, Lyna asked the blonde-haired female Camellia, her red eyes prominent.
The Camellia looked down at the human girl, “He’s busy at the moment.”, and then looked away.
Lyna nodded, “I missed you Emma.”
Emma looked back at the human girl, “Ha— it’s been only two days, Lyna.”
Arthur looked at the both of them. Emma glanced at him, “Can I see your eyes?”
Arthur nodded. His hazel eyes fading into the blood red eyes Emma had.
Lyna looked at Arthur, “Pretty.”
Arthur was flustered at the compliment, smiling at her in response shyly.
When Lyna first arrived at the cave, she retaliated. She tried to murder Jafar, the Camellia who kidnapped her. Jafar was strong, he easily blocked her punches, smirking at her weakness.
They hadn’t locked her up. Instead, they introduced her to their kind, explaining their existence.
They said that they involuntarily murder.
Since the beginning of time, the Camellia existed along with humankind. The two species prospered together, but after many years, the Camellia no longer had control over themselves.
Their red eyes manipulate anybody they look at, except other Camellia.
However, along with manipulating others, they would manipulate themselves as well. It’s as if their eyes had a mind of its own. It manipulated them to murder others for their own please and this drawback to their power soon became a part of every future Camellian to be born. After, the Camellia ruled the entire globe, sending humans into hiding. This didn’t last long, after which the humans retaliated and seemingly won and so, the remaining Camellia went into hiding just as the humans had.
The Camellia hadn’t wanted this to happen. Neither did the humans. Who were the enemies?
Along with mind manipulation, their mental and physical abilities would enhance too.
It was also possible to disguise themselves as humans, by changing their eye colour.
Changing their eye colour also had a drawback. The amount of power they had to use to keep their eye colour changed was immense and changing their eye colour for a long period of time would cause extreme headaches and they would feel ill.
Their relationship with the Camellia flower was truly terrifying. They would be strongest during the Winter, when the Camellia would bloom but they’d also feel most ill during the Winter, when the Camellia would bloom.
After centuries of staying hidden, the Camellia finally came out of hiding a century ago, attacking small villages but they never dared to take their bloodlust out on children. However, some of the Camellia went completely out of control during the Winters, taking the lives of dozens of children unconsciously, as what had happened to the previous children present in Anne’s Orphanage.
Lyna had thought she was being manipulated at the hands of the Camellia but after two years of staying there with them, she knew they weren’t the enemy.
She had also fallen in love with the so-called enemy, Jafar.
Love blinds many. Although, the victims to the cruel act of love should not be blamed.
However, Lyna was to be blamed. Her wretched act of betrayal had left the whole Orphanage scarred.
Lyna was to be blamed, along with Arthur.
Theodore and Leonardo had barely gotten any sleep the night before they departed.
Theodore stayed most of the night staring at Fleur’s grave.
The cats were there with him as well.
Leonardo dreamt about the days of his childhood. The days he held hands with Arthur as the two of them ate warm meals together with their parents. Well, Leonardos parents.
After the death of Leonardos parents, he was left damaged.
Yet, he had found another family. The people at the Orphanage. But, now they were falling apart as well.
Arthur, who he had thought of as a brother, had betrayed the poor boy as well, leaving him with the same feeling of emptiness as when he saw his deceased parents’ bodies laying flat on the ground.