My Ranking Points
Hello! I think I figured out the italics!!! Sorry for the late update but things get a little interesting here. I hope you all like it. Ask to be tagged!
Chapter 3: The Prince and The First Tale
El could taste the taste of blood in her mouth as she got up. She had bitten the inside of her lip when she hit the ground and it was what she focused on now as she stood, however the strange metallic flavor wasn’t uncomforting at all. In fact, she liked it. Just a little.
So she swallowed it. Susan and her cronies would have been thrilled to know if El was bleeding. She could hear Yolina and Jessica laughing behind her, El knew exactly the pleased look that would have been on Susan’s face. El could even predict what Jessica would say right after that, with that perfect mimicry of the adult mocking voice.
“Be careful on the steps there,” Jessica mocked, “You might fall.”
Yep, El thought. That would be about right.
It hadn’t always been like this though.
Jessica was the Brunette Wonder Child, the teachers’ pet and the student with completely straight A’s, also the fastest ******* the soccer field- but she was just another kid in El’s class, and Jessica never even noticed El.
Until Lilian Richards happened of course.
Somewhere over the past year, Lilian Richards, daughter of Lauren whom El had befriended (or was forced to anyway because their mothers were friends), they were good friends for a while. Until Lilian learned about her grandmama’s cancer.
When she did, **** happened.
Everyone knew. It was a nightmare that El did not like to think about, yet thought about everyday, the hate growing inside her so rapidly like the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk.
El’s grandmama’s weakness was like a magnet that drew Jessica Evans to her.
On the very first day of this school year, Jessica had Susan trip El, who was coming into school grounds, sending her tumbling down the small set of stairs.
And so **** had begun.
And so **** had continued.
El lowered her head, knowing she’d be knocked down if she had tried to get up. Jessica and her cronies laughed at her. But the pit of rage in El’s stomach was controllable, it always was, with Jessica and her gang, because El didn’t care much for their taunts, they could never get to her as long as her grandmama wasn’t mentioned.
“Leave El alone!” A bright, sharp voice sounded. El flinched at the use of the intimate nickname- who else could it have been? No other than the Lilian Richards who thought it was just and mighty to stand up for El all the time.
“Awww, your girlfriend is here to save you,” the fire in El’s stomach burned a bit brighter, not only had Jessica managed to insult her, she had also called her a lesbian like it was something very very bad. El frowned.
“I’m just making a fair fight,” Lilian huffed.
“You’re bleeding, Brown,” Jessica said, calmly disregarding Lilian.
“She’ll have to have her baldy ‘grandmama’ to kiss it better for her!” Yolina snickered.
The pit of fire was no longer contained within El, her eyes flashing dangerously, but before she could do anything, Lilian threw a punch at Yolina’s face.
“Lilian Richards!” came the sharper voice of Madam Malkins.
They all froze. Even Yolina who had postponed her reaction to the sudden punch in the face.
Before Madam Malkins said anything, Lilian just had to cut in.
“They started it, Madam.”
“None of that,” Madam Malkins snapped. “Yolina, are you quite alright?”
Yolina glared at Lilian, who glared back, “I’m not sure, Madam. I might need to go home.”
“Don’t milk it,” Madam Malkins snapped again, “To my office, Lilian.”
“But Madam! They were-”
“Now. To my office.”
“They were making fun of El’s grandmother!”
Everyone, including Madam Malkins froze. The burning sunlight made El feel sick (-and in her mind, she felt a flash of the nightmare, the howling wind and the darkness that burned like fire-)
El pushed the thought away.
“Is that true, Leslei?” Madam demanded.
El looked over to Jessica and her cronies, Yolina seemed worried, Susan as well, but Jessica just started back at El, unwavered and calm, almost genuinely curious to what El would say.
“Of course not, Madam,” El lied, “I just fell and they were helping me up.”
Lilian’s face was bright red from anger, mouth open from shock.
“Lilian Richards, you better stay back. The rest of you, head to your classes.”
Lilian kept looking back at El as she was guided away from them, El just shrugged as a response and turned around.
To find Jessica holding her backpack out for her, offering a mocking smile.
“Well done, Brown,” Jessica said.
El said nothing, just took her backpack and roughly made her way inside.
The clock struck 4:07 directly and El’s eyes opened, even though it was the second time, she was already accustomed. Her gaze turned to her window.
She knew it was there before anyways.
The breathing of the monster was hard to not notice.
“What,” El breathed, annoyed, “is it that you want?”
To her surprise, the monster was very direct with his answer, again breaking the stereotype of mysterious answers.
“A tale?” El repeated, raising her eyebrows in shock and confusion, frowning right after, trying to seemingly find out why. “What tale?”
Your tale. I will tell you three tales. And you, will tell me a fourth. And you will tell it truthfully.
El panicked. It couldn’t be- it could never be. It could not be referring to that secret- the one she had told no one.
“Is that why you came to me?” El asked, faking calmness.
The monster merely nodded.
“I thought,” El said, but had to cough before she spoke again. “I thought you were watching me earlier at school and I thought…”
What did you think?
“Forget it,” El mumbled.
You thought I was here to help you, the monster answered for her.
You thought I might have come to topple you enemies. To slay your dragons.
El didn’t respond, refusing to make eye contact.
You felt the truth when I said you had called me, that I had come walking for you. Did you not?
El turned around, blinking back some tears, “But all you want to do is tell me stories.” She said with much disappointment. Yes, El had thought. El had thought it was going to help her. She hoped that.
The monster stuck one of his hands through her window as gently as it could, but still broke her wall and her window. It was asking her to get on its hand- to go outside. El knew it would be no use to refuse and obediently sat on its huge, spiky palm and pretended it hadn’t hurt. It lowered El onto the soft, yet cold grass and El stood.
Only then did it answer her statement, yes. To tell you stories about how I toppled enemies, it said. Stories of how I slew dragons.
The monster looked to the old church sitting on another small hill, close to El’s house. Let me tell you a story of how I went walking, the monster said. Let me tell you the end of a poor, confused prince and how I accompanied him through his imprisonment that continues again today. Let me tell you the tale of pain, mistakes and truth.
El swallowed and looked at the monster.
“Go on, then.” El said.
Long ago, the monster said, before this was a town with trains and cars, it was a green place. Trees covered every hill and bordered every path. They shaded every stream and protected all the houses and people, for there were even houses back then, made of earth and stone.
This place was a kingdom. The very center. The garden of a castle so big yet so empty.
(“What?” El mumbled, looking at her backyard at the park, at the church. “Here?”)
(The monster cocked its head at her curiously but did not respond, continuing.)
Nevertheless, it was a kingdom, the monster continued, it was a kingdom, small and unhappy. Because a legend ran this place. People were blinded by fear here- and you should know, humans don’t function when properly blinded by fear. Here, they sacrificed princes. Here, people cherished their daughters, for the sole fact that they weren’t sons. Especially sons of royalty.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess… the monster smiled mysteriously at the remark, then continued, a phrase that everyone grew up with.
But this time we’re going to start the story differently- it was dark inside the abandoned castle.
(El mentally shivered at how the monster began such a tale, and before she could even complain, both her and the monster were dragged into a memory with a vintage filter. Everything looked old.)
The sounds of the wind flying through the open windows made it sound like the ghosts were singing. The prince’s footsteps echoed through the whole castle – all of those sounds added to a spooky song melody. Walking through dusty rooms to the locked ballroom doors, from the cobwebs that are no longer transparent to perfect instruments sitting where they weren’t meant to be. The faded paintings of fallen nobles or the perfect little dolls sitting next to the shelves.
Everything was wrong.
And yet, nothing was.
But if only, oh if only the poor prince knew how dark the secrets were buried in this castle, how such a dark, evil thing could spark an addiction in him – oh, he would never have set foot in this wretched castle. .
But the unfortunate thing?
He didn’t know. He never did. He never will.
The monster continued,
Because he forgot.
Because it was too late.
Because he broke that rule, they told him never to break.
Because destiny never lets people go.
The scene changed yet again at the monster’s words.
The distraught prince reached the middle of the castle, now standing in front of a long hallway where he didn’t know where the end was. They told him. They told him never to take off his blindfold – never to look back.
A soft melody began to ring out, pleasing to the ears, almost like a child’s lullaby sung in a mermaid’s voice, just the perfect amount of alluringness.
The prince hesitated, was it the voice of the princess?
The song of the voice told him to follow it, so he started walking down the hall.
He was there to save the princess. Nothing else. Because that’s what the princes were supposed to do. They were supposed to save a damsel in distress, then marry, have children and die peacefully.
(Even though this was just a memory, El shivered. The voice wasn’t supposed to be heard by them. It was supposed to be an inner voice, right?)
The voice suddenly stopped. There was only silence and the prince himself. The prince reached out to touch something, something solid. It was a wall – he was at the end of the hall. He almost smiled in victory before the voice rang out, louder, more demanding. It told him to take off his blindfold.
The prince did it, stupidly. He’s already reached the end, there was no need for a blindfold.
Slowly he took it off. And the prince found himself shocked.
(“Why?” El interrupted but silenced herself as the monster looked at her, not appreciating being interrupted.)
The monster continued yet again, before him, there was no wall, but a mirror. His point of view changed so quickly that it troubled him.
He was no longer standing in front of the mirror but hanging on the wall.
He wasn’t even a person anymore.
And then he understood.
The portraits he touched on his way here, they were the portraits of the trapped princes. Princes like him.
No, the princes weren’t just princes.
They were the princesses too.
This entire misadventure was never to save a princess.
It was to find one’s self. And then lose one’s self.
And that, of course, the monster said, almost fondly, that was when I came calling, in a different form, of course. And so I had spent my time slowly with this trapped prince, who had yet to understand, why out of all people that I had answered his call- I didn’t have any tales to tell him because he was my first caller- first child.
“Why?” El asked plainly, seemingly uninterested but the story had seriously shaken her to the core.
Simply because he was lucky. The monster replied, El couldn’t seem to read the emotion in its huge, flowered eyes. He was the last of them all, but no different, still prejudged, and blind to the world.
“What happened to him?” El demanded again, unsatisfied with the monster’s previous response. It was hard to see face to face with a monster whose wisdom and philosophy went so deep, back in time.
The monster’s eyes seemed to twinkle under the moonlight, revealing several beautiful yet scary shades of lavender, from dark to light, accompanied by the brown of its branches, or eyelashes, you could say.
What do you think? He lies there still. And with that tale told, the monster turns around, walking down the small hill El’s house stood on, El running after him.
El followed it straight to the old church next to Attwater park. She frowned in confusion before widening her eyes. As if reading her mind, the monster nods its twisted, branched head,
He lies there still, it said.
El opened her mouth to ask more questions, but a sudden gust of wind blew hair all over her face.
When El opened her eyes again, she was lying, carefully placed in her blanket- and it was morning.
Starred out words (they’re in order!)
1. g i r l o n (I have no idea why that was censored, maybe I made a typo)
2. h e l l
3. h e l l
4. h e l l
Glad you figured out the italics!
*reminder to read later because I have to sleep in exactly one minute*
Lol I clicked when it was 40s ago
Thanks *sleeps as the Chapter plays out around me*
Go to sleep already lol, you won’t miss much. My comment section usually isn’t wild.
*waves and leaves, hoping I don’t miss anything*
And I’m pretty sure your activity has been wild at some point.
One, everybody just decided to join me.
The other one was purposely hosted.