Only ever notice half
Opinions are made, judgements confirmed.
The bigger picture is never reached.
Only ever see half
Laid out an obvious thought manipulator.
Think one way the same as everyone.
Only ever hear half
Emotional attachments are carved on a side.
These vs them in a combat.
Only ever speak half
Empowerment of a divine half that cries loudest.
The true enlighten goal will never be accomplished.
To only ever be half of anything never brings the whole together.
Arellia gave a sigh, she had been home a month and had seen at least one hundred men as potential guardian candidates. She was in the courtyard, watching the last group for the month when Alasdair found her.
He had been requesting an audience for a long time. Since they had arrived in Xperia actually. She had just decided to avoid him.
He stormed up to her, leaving Cara his little guide behind. She tried to run to catch up but he got to Arellia first with no announcement. Arellia looked at him unmoving while the candidates all paused in their performance.
“Why am I being avoided?”, he slammed at her. Charles looked as though he would step in. But Arellia couldn’t think of a good excuse as to why she was dodging him at every turn. Or she had until now. He stared her out it was like a game of chicken. Who was going to answer first?
It was almost like everyone had held their breath, one small exhale and the atmosphere would explode to disaster. That wasn’t true Arellia knew that as well as the fact she knew that he deserved an explanation. She sighed. Her eyes turned to the candidates who all panic started back into their trials.
“I really can’t give you an explanation”, was all she could give him. Her shoulders felt tight. She had watched the same routine over again and they all made the same error that she couldn’t allow as her guardian. “Charles this is foolish, they are all the same, and I am having to repeat myself, no more trials, there is no need for a guardian the war was clearly over”, she sighed firmly then turned away to head back into the castle walls.
“Wait are you even going to listen to me?”, Alasdair was either blind or ignoring her mood for the day. He followed close behind her. He snagged on the tail of her dress more than once. “Your majesty wait!”.
“No, I will not, I am not in the mood this morning to discuss anything that happened out there am I clear?”, she snapped. She turned on him on the last trip up on her tail. He stumbled forward holding his hands up in surrender.
“It is something I think we should discuss”, he lowered his voice so only the two of them could hear. As far as she could sense no one else had been foolish enough to follow them while she was irritated.
“I don’t need to discuss anything with you, your little girlfriend has already called me out on my collaboration with the shadows that ate her extremities! I definitely do not need to hear it from you!”, she cursed herself as her voice crumpled at the last words. People had started calling for an early ritual to rid the city of the evil. The orphans had told the city a sob story of how she had sent them out there to die… They then added that she had been caught out when she accidentally ended up out there herself. She swiftly turned on her heels to leave but Alasdair snatched at her arm and turned her.
He was still just as handsome clean as he was dirty, and she knew that he had joined the training ranks of the armed forces so his body lost none of its solidness. Actually… She thought he felt harder than before less skeletal and broad. Arellia did everything in her power to stop her own bodies betrayal.
“I know the truth, don’t doubt that I don’t stand with them when it comes to you”, he hissed. His lips twitched like he was going to move in closer to her. His eyes darting about her face.
“Oh please, you don’t know me, the briefest meetings we’ve had resulted in me running or facing a shadow, we haven’t exactly spoken”, she threw back. Arellia fought her own urge to move in to him.
“Then speak to me”, his voice softened and his face looked pained. “I want to know you”. He bit out like they were the hardest words he had ever had to speak. Arellia felt her heart jolt and her bottom lip quivered.
“Wha…”, she choked on her own emotions. Arellia cleared her throat and tried again. “What would be the point, I am due a guardian, one to provide me a daughter and then I will be killed to provide another generation of security for the city”, she slowly pulled her arm free. “They are voting to accelerate the process”.
“How can they accelerate it?”, he focused on her, his breathing picking up pace. She felt it over her face like a tease of how close he was.
“If a guardian is not selected by the end of the week the council will gather and select one for me”, she heard the sharp intake of breath. His body still like a statue as every muscle squeezed. His eyes were cast down while his thoughts processed the news.
“Select me”, he said lifting his eyes to lock her in place.
“Moyra! Moyra!”, Alasdair shook the girl in his arms. Her eyes were still rolled back and her mouth slacked open. Charles edged out of the darkness with his soldiers.
“We have to be quick”, Arellia pointed at the girl. “I want someone to collect the children and bring them into the city, and we need to take her to see the Palace surgeon”, she ordered. When they looked at her dumbfounded Arellia lost her patience and clapped her hands at them. “Now!”.
They got to work quick, in their panic they rushed through the forest gathering all the children with Alasdair as the guide. Arellia waited beside the wall with Charles and Moyra. The girl was still slumped and bleeding from her hands, feet, and scalp. All her hair was gone. Arellia couldn’t help but feel partially guilty for what happened to her.
“They’re here”, Charles sighed the tension from his shoulders and turned to open the wall. On the other side were soldiers waiting to receive them they all saluted their queen. Laura burst into the small box room, her face drenched in tears, her old body slammed into Arellia as they hugged.
“Those men will pay for this”, she gritted out. Even in her age Laura was anything but soft. Arellia shivered at the thought.
“Don’t worry now, I’m fine”, Arellia turned to Charles. “See to it that they’re comfortable”.
“Yes your majesty”, Charles bowed.
She was returned to the Palace. Arellia was washed, and dressed in another fine gown that hugged her body to her hips then hung loosely around her legs. It draped to floor. And there were slices up the skirt revealing her legs. Her normal had returned though the dread from that machine made her consider her chances in the forest. Cara asked if she needed anything but Arellia declined. Instead she returned to her window, gazing out over the city. Although this time her eyes swept over the forest beyond the wall. There was no more fighting. Just that thing. It had no attacked her. Instead it brushed against her cheek. She touched a couple of fingers to the spot she remembered feeling the sharp chill. It was almost protective.
Carved stone in slabs and bricks.
Everything attached in blocks
No space between sign board shops
Buy this buy that this is nothing like next door.
Metal frames roar and beep at speeds beyond a limit
Weaving in pulling out slam the breaks
Busy walks never stops ignore the makeshift bed on the side
Spray painted walls broken windows
Residency below budget.
View the hotel taxi stop five star stands glorious and clean
Out of place the service tends to every need
Comfort stretched beyond yearly wage
Never afford the luxury of rudeness and no consequence
Over thank you obligatory gratefulness
Design label suits dresses shoes
Creative entrepreneur flash awards
Pretend for a moment that lady likeness
Swallow back the sharp dizzy in a glass
On return take note of comfort in normalcy
All is fine all is fine all is fine
That small niggle in the back of the mind
Whisper whisper whispers not there
Look over every shoulder
Eyes eyes eyes invisibly everywhere
Bind together into a ball
Arms wrap tight over chest and waist
Legs clench never to walk and part
All freedom grinds to a halt
Crippled by a feeling
All dreads clamp down on the surroundings
And watch as the cruelty of your own evil manipulates your life into a nightmare.
Arellia and Alasdair ran towards the screams. She wasn’t sure what her heart sped up for, the nightmare of what she might find? Or the run…?
When they reached the spot the girl was in the air, thrashing at the shadow. Her screams ripping from her throat were pure terror. The beautiful girls features widened, and her eyes rolled back so only the whites can be seen.
“Wait! Stop!”, Arellia cried to the shadow. It had protected her, maybe it would listen as well. She heard Alasdair curse and jump for a tree. As he ascended Arellia continued to speak to it. The shadow began to slowly eat away at the girls flesh around her toes, fingers, and hair. “Please! Release her!”, Arellia tried again but the shadow wasn’t changing. “She’s not dangerous!”, Arellia screeched. Alasdair at that moment dived from one of the trees close by and snatched the girl from the shadows binds. It gave a high-pitched scream in protest. Sparks prickled the air around it where the girl had been.
Alasdair landed hard against the floor, the girl cradled and bleeding above him. Before he could recover from the jump the shadow swirled and darted towards him. Arellia did the only thing she could think of next. She blocked the shadow from its target. It paused an inch away from her. “Stop, they mean you no harm”, Arellia murmured. She prayed that she sounded calmer than her heart was feeling. Sweat ran cold down her back. It took a large portion of concentration not to shiver. The shadow hissed, brushed against Arellia’s cheek. The cold sliced through her flesh before the shadow backed away. Fading into the darkness.
“You refused a guard from the group that I had hand selected for you, and then you end up out here…”, Charles had never sounded so cold. Then again, Arellia had never stepped out of line before. She was the Queen however.
“Release him now”, before giving him a chance to reply she drew her stone and held it to his throat. “Or I will find a new Chamberlain”. Charles gritted his teeth, he needed her more than she needed him. He nodded to his guards. “Now, take me back, I wish to call a meeting”, she relaxed her stone hand. Charles took one glance at it and groaned.
“Damn it your majesty, I’m just trying to help you”, he complained. Arellia rolled her eyes at him. She took a second to glance at Alasdair, who was now free, she had expected him to run. But he remained. “We apprehended the criminals who attacked you, and the man they had bribed, they are set to be punished upon your return”.
It was a relief but she had a creeping feeling that they should be moving. That shadow may come for them… It had disappeared after it had guided her back to the wall.
“How did you track me?”, she asked as the started their trek back.
“You left the trail”, Charles pointed at the trees she had marked. Just as she was about to say more. A scream ripped their attention in the direction that the girl had gone.