fantasy, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen IX

A room away I could hear her crying. The sky must have felt her heart aching and had broken open, shedding gallons of tears into the Evergreen. The droplets slid down the crystals like they were tears streaming down her cheeks.

I groan rising off the bed, I go to the hot spring farther away from Kera.

I’ve sent out my men to find a willing sacrifice for a face, a high price in return would be given. A part of me hopes they find no one while the other fears if they don’t I would see my fathers ghost haunt me in the meeting with the other leaders.

Another voice whispers with Kera’s face in my mirror’s reflection. I shudder at the thought; Flora was a friend that once haunted my reflection. Months with her face looking back at me. The whispers in the hallways of the castle echoed with judgment, fear and worst of all, pity.

The doors of the hot spring open. It’s Kera with puffy eyes lost in her head.

I rise from the hot springs to go making her notice me. She stumbles backwards tripping over her nightgown.

“I’m sorry, I’ll go I thought you were asleep.”

“It’s fine, I am done.” I climb down the Hot spring steps fully naked. She turns her back to me.

“I’m sorry.” She mumbles.

“Sorry?” A little of the fury that wiped my face away earlier in the day unfurls inside me.

“As you say I am like the king of Uvelin, I’m sure I should steal your face this moment as punishment.”

I see her wince.

“You’re not like him. I’m just…” Kera begins to sob fighting it.

“I am a monster, there is nothing to be sorry for.” I move towards her slowly.

“I never hid it from you.”

She turns and hugs me. “I’m really sorry.”

She gazes up at me, and I could feel my power hungry to wipe her face away. To make it mine.

I struggle to free myself from her, but she holds me tighter.

“Let me go, I don’t want to hurt you.” But she won’t let go.

“I know you won’t do it.” She pleads.

A blaze spreads through my body enveloping both of us.

Something in my core begins to thread with hers like a gentle pulling and intertwining. Our souls were interweaving into something I have never done before.

I try to fight it afraid I’m killing her. I struggle fighting harder, but the more I pushed, the heavier the hold.

The fire burns out of our body making the whole hot spring room even more humid. The fire reflects upon the crystals in the trees making it look like it too was on fire.

Flashes of our memories intermingle in my mind.  Kera could see my childhood memories with Flora, my mother and father and my stepmother. While I could see her own, sitting on the floor crying in a corner with wires coming out of her ears.

A final tug and we both sink to the floor crying.

“Am I dead?” she looks around blinking plenty.

Relief spreads through me, I hadn’t killed her but what had happened?

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fantasy, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen Part II

Pity and guilt swirl in my belly but I ignore it. I look at all the girls and they were all afraid of me but hid it behind a face of loyalty. They were worthy of so much more.

I look back at Kera and she looks at me with pleading eyes as if she knew I was the faceless one.

She wraps her arms around her, “They keep doing that whenever I ask them. I can’t take it.” She moans, “They’re all brainwashed I know but it hurts to know their being treated this way like cattle to the slaughter.”

I left as soon as she fell asleep cuddled under warm thick blankets. I rushed to my father’s room that night and cried beside him.

Begging that I could not take another face again. So lost in a cloud of tears, that I had not noticed that my father was as blue as his royal robes.

My king was dead.

I ran away, the monster couldn’t be found with the King.

That night was when I truly began to hate myself; creating the excuse that due to my father’s death I had to continue taking faces. I told myself that my father would want me to have a face to rule Eydollon.

I sigh, staring at the spot where the girl had fallen, dead without a face.

I had never known what to do with Kera after that night, knowing she was an unwilling sacrifice.

I had other servants doing what was needed so I had made her my personal servant for I do have a heart although a selfish one.

Perhaps I liked her. A conscious I wished I would listen to.

Using my magic to renew my face took its toll but I use my abilities at times to listen to her thoughts and feelings.

I knew she yearned to go back to her quarters. She seemed to believe she was sent on a mission to save the girls. At first I thought she was a spy.

Until I had seen images in her mind of strange places I have not seen in Eydollon.

I had seen a jungle with tribal men and women living barely clothed, but there was also of a place in her mind that had objects made of metal that played images on its surface and doors that opened into lighted storage filled with food covered in colourful paper and words. I could not ask her about it for she had never spoken about it.

However she had called out a name, Misty, one night, but Misty never came.

Breaking out of my thought I beckon for Kera’s attention.

“Kera, do you read?” I ask.

She nods as her face reddens. “Look at me Kera,” I demand.

She raises her head and I see fire in her eyes and look down at her balled hands.

“You are mad, why?” 

“How can you ask that when you just killed someone moments ago!” She stomps.

I wince but hide it. I turn to my bookstand beside my table, which was littered with letters from the different lords of my kingdom. I would have to get started on replying those soon enough.

I pass her a book, it’s a story illustrated by the enchantress, my stepmother. It was a book about the Shinkami.

“Read this, you might find it interesting.”

She takes the book with a shaking hand.

“Thanks.” She grumbles.

I dismiss her, ignoring her outburst.

Could monsters have friends?

(Catch Part III of the Faceless Queen tomorrow!)

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fantasy, On-going Stories, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen Part I

The girl who entered my room was smiling, but it was the kind of smile that never reaches the eyes. The kind that twitches in the corner, when all you wanted to do was cry and run from the monster you could not see.

I was the monster in that room.

The girl comes closer and stands in front of me. Her body is shaking, my servant in the corner would not see it from a distance but I could. I stood there with my glistening golden hair flowing down my back in my royal midnight blue robes with a face that was fading at the edges.

The girl’s smile hardens, she was trying so hard to be willing, like all the other girls, always lying in their minds that this was for Eydollon.

“Thank you for your sacrifice,” I say as I cup her face in my hand.

A tear slides down her cheek, and I wipe it all away with a touch.

She falls to the ground, faceless and void of life.

No one could hear it but me, my father’s voice shouting with joy inside my head, beautiful daughter, so whole and bright!

While the voice of the enchantress whispers in reply, if you genuinely do not wish to do it, you would not. Only you can end it.

I tell myself that it was for my people, for Eydollon but deep in the hole inside my heart it was also because I was selfish.

I step away and move to the back of my room, to hide in the shadows of the candlelight.

The doors open and two of my men silently take the girls body away.

I sit at my desk and begin writing a response to a letter that has come from beyond Eydollon.

Eydollon was now my duty; my father moved on to the afterlife, and his wife, my stepmother, an enchantress has disappeared without a word.

The message had come from the Evergreen, a place in Seers Island where rulers from across the world convened.

It was to address a magical dark mist that wiped out a village in a breath. Homes had been charred, but no fire had been created, bodies ripped to shreds and those who survived succumbed to madness until death took them in a sickness that spread like tar through their veins and led them to explode into a black and red cloud, unrecognisable.

Where were its origins? Who had created it? It was a mystery.

I finish writing my response.

“Kera, ask the guards to pass this letter to the Evergreen emissary, ask him to send it by bird,”  I say as I press my father’s ring on the wax to seal the letter.

Kera, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl takes the letter without glancing up at my new face. How could she?

I recall the moment I had met Kera.

I was tossed inside an elegant room with other young and beautiful women. I had been curious to meet the girls who would die for me.

 As prisoners, the women would have expected to be in the kind of dungeons other kings provided. Smelly dank cells with no food or beds but as the queen, I offered my prisoners with more than just a simple cot or grub, I gave them feasts, luxurious beds, I made them happy the best way I could repay them.

They all had been surprised and had feasted and slept well, but one did not.

It was Kera, and she was different from the other girls.

“Why do you not enjoy the pleasures provided to you?” I asked, she only frowned and played with her food.

“Don’t you want to enjoy it while you can. With your sacrifice, the Kingdom prospers!” As I said this, a girl at the table had overheard and laughed.

“She is not a willing sacrifice; she is an added surprise to please the faceless one.”

Before I could say a word and to my surprise, Kera had spoken up.

“No I am not supposed to be here, that I agree but what disgusts me the most is how you guys can be ok with what’s going to happen to you.”

All the girl’s eyes glaze over.

“I am willing, for the faceless one.” they chant tonelessly.

Pity and guilt swirl in my belly but I ignore it. I look at all the girls, and they were all afraid but hid it behind a face of loyalty. They were worthy of so much more.

I look back at Kera, and she looks at me with pleading eyes as if she knew I was the faceless one.

(Catch Part II of the Faceless Queen tomorrow!)

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