Countless of stories on a single pedestal. Endless lives scattered among the pages of a large leather-bound book in the form of fine print calligraphy.
The latest events drying beside the throne of the most revered man of that time.
A man born into a prestigious family, and whose worth only grew as his purpose in life became known.
As a boy he was respected. He would touch a person’s forehead and grant them unimaginable power. These people would sprout wings or fangs or gills. Their eyes would change color, their skin begin to glow and their mind expand.
As a man he was worshipped. A god they called him.
“Huh? Ah no, you’re blocking me now!” Hansel exclaimed.
The white-haired girl let out a small cute chuckle as she placed her domino piece.
Hansel smiled at the sound and set about to play his turn. It had not always been this easy to smile in front of the child.
At first it was pure torture. Even though she wore gloves to hide her clawed hands, and eye patches to keep away the proof the she wasn’t his, it was still unbearably painful.
She was living proof that the love of his life, the beautiful crimson-haired maiden, had betrayed her with another man. This unnamed child before him bore the eyes of a lizardman, a troublesome race that had been eliminated years ago now. And neither Hansel nor Whitelight had the lizard genes to pass on. Since Whitelight had borne the child, everyone’s conclusion had been logical – the child was not Hansel’s.
He had shown mercy however. When everyone else had demanded for Whitelight’s head to roll down the hill, Hansel had used his influence to save her. She was banished instead, and her child taken. Who knew where she had gone now? Who else had she ensnared in her honey trap?
All he had left of her was this child, this child who was growing so quickly. And although everyone told him she wasn’t his, although the eyes she used to look at him were more than proof enough…it was at times like these that he truly wished he had been her father. That deep down, he felt like her father.
She was kind and gentle, a little bit shy from having been kept locked inside the Hans’ family’s mansion for so long, but also playful when it came to playing games with Hansel. She had no name and had never bothered to ask for one. Hansel had never given her one either, though a name always trotted in the back of his mind. A name a friend from another time had suggested, “If you ever have a daughter you should call her Gretel. 😉”
But Hansel had never dared to suggest it. Not only would everyone from the village be against it, out raged that this illegitimate child be given a name, but what would it mean for their relationship? For him to give her a name, to the child of the woman he had once so deeply loved? Was he ready to accept that responsibility?
“Come creature.” A rough voice called from the doorway. Both the white-eyed and the white-haired looked up from their game to see the master of the house. Hansel’s father himself, Hansan. He motioned for the girl to come forwards.
Pain flashed across her eyes as she knew what awaited her.
For a second, she turned and locked eyes with the only person who seemed to care for her and she pleaded. A silent plea for her freedom. To be free from this daily ravage of her mind and body. To be free to roam the outdoors like a normal child would do, to be free to live and love and be.
And in that second, more than anything else, Hansel wanted to give it to her. He wanted to give it all to this child. But his father’s stare shocked him back to reality and he avoided her gaze, breaking her heart.
With a sigh following the closing of the large doors, Hansel picked himself up to sit himself down on his throne. His lonely throne.
When had he become so obedient to the rules? There was a time he defied them. A time when he was high on the energy and courage a trip to the future had given him. He had met all sorts of people. Strong people with amazing potential. Some he shook hands with, some he watched from afar. All the while accompanied by a young witch who knew of his future, but refused to tell him of it. Seeing all of that had given him strength, but losing Whitelight had taken it from him.
What had he become? To let such a sweet girl into the hands of his scientist parents who cared nothing for her feelings – only for the powers she could help them manufacture.
“Oh don’t look so solemn my king.” A female voice came from the other side of the room.
It took Hansel a few moments, as it always did, to recognize the blue-haired woman and remember her.
“I am not a king.”
“But you admit to feeling down. Cheer up!” She said with a bright smile, her bright blue eyes flashing.
It was odd that he kept forgetting her. She had the brightest coloring he had ever seen anyone have, and he had known her from whence he had been just a little boy wandering in the forest. As close as they were, he still continued to forget her the moment she left his presence. It was an odd thing.
“You seem rather happy. Did you find more things to write in your book?” Hansel asked, as the blue-haired woman made her way over to the large ancient book at his side. The woman was his official advisor, consultant, but that was just an excuse to give her free reign to speak and ask questions. She told him at a young age that she was writing a story. A true story.
She was the one who had insisted he pursue his love for Whitelight under the pretenses that she was important to her story. After that event he found her story telling to be mostly nonsense, but she was a good friend and he let her be.
“Yes I did.” She said. “Also, a witch appeared at the cemetery…or so the guards claim.”
“Appeared? A witch? But I haven’t created any witches recently.” Hansel said.
“Yes, which is why I want to look into it. Apparently it was a woman with dark skin and even darker hair. She was crying at the base of the Grim Reaper’s statue.” The woman said as she squinted down at her book. Her eyesight was lacking.
“How odd. Aren’t the dark skins further up north? What’s one doing here?” Hansel asked.
The woman shrugged. “I don’t know, but I have the feeling she’s important to my story. Can I take care of it?”
“Friend, don’t worry about the girl. I have a feeling she’ll get the chance to live and see even more things than you have.” The blue-haired woman said.
Hansel gave her a weak smile. Albeit how he initially felt towards her, he wanted the lizard-eyed girl to be happy. He just didn’t feel like he had the power to make it happen.
And that was proven even more so, when a few hours later, the double doors swung open and in came a deranged white-haired girl.
Her hair was messy and wild, her fangs out in the open, her claws scratching the air, and her eyes erratic and devoid of the kind soul it had once shown. Her mind was broken and her lust for blood apparent.
Guards rushed to apprehend her, but she killed them with a grip, sapping their life force and digging her claws into their flesh.
Her eyes snapped to Hansel’s, who had stood up in surprise.
Who was this creature?
What had happened to his sweet girl with the small giggle?
“What’s going on?” He demanded to know as men came in wearing long-sleeved coats to protect themselves from her touch.
His father joined in as the crazed girl was finally apprehended.
“Something went wrong.” Hansan simply replied as the girl hissed and struggled.
“Something went wrong!?”
“She’s reached her limit. We can’t work with this anymore.” Hansan replied. “I think we should put it down.”
The lizard eyes snapped and grabbed onto Hansel’s white eyes. He was paralyzed, staring back into an empty angry soul. Kill her? Wild and deranged as she was now there was clearly no other choice, but could he do it? He kept remembering the sweet shy smiles she would give him…the sad pleading eyes she would cast at him.
She raged and bit her captive’s arm. Hansan pulled out a knife.
“No!” Hansel shouted. “Don’t kill her. Banish her instead.”
“Banish her? She’s out of her mind son. She’ll simply kill anyone she finds or worse, come back here!” Hansan barked.
“Lock her in a cave. There’s an empty one south of here. We’ll put her there and seal the cave.” Hansel declared.
The others present were silent, casting each other disbelieving glances. Only her growls could be heard as it took three men to keep her down.
“WHO AM I?” Hansel suddenly bellowed under the reticent eyes of his audience. “Am I someone who you doubt? Or am I someone who has gifted you with unimaginable power? Do not doubt my decisions! She will not harm us in that cave.”
At that, they instinctively bowed and promised it would be done. And two hours later, she had been thrown into the cave and sealed inside.
Though he had saved her temporarily, being sealed inside a cave with no food or oxygen was a more terrible death.
He wondered then if there had been something he could’ve done to prevent this. And deep down, he realized there had been. If he had been willing to give up everything for her happiness…he could’ve saved her.
But a father’s love knows its boundaries.
Dun dun dun…A little more dramatic than the ones we’ve had so far and a lot more revealing. It was basically a re-enactment of part of the history lesson Serenity gave Xavier in 8.45.
So what’s next?