| Love on Ivy Thorns
, When life becomes so hard, can love make it harder?
Jan 30 2012, 12:48 PM
RM Skill: Skilled
Rev Points: 5
Love On Ivy Thorns
“Oh my god, Lysander, your son is awfully cute!”
A cute, little baby with a few hairs on his head, and quite a small body, was held up by the arms of Madam Julia, Duchess of Cephiron and wife of Duke Gustav, greatest general in the country’s army. “Unlike his mother at all, however. I guess he got everything from you.”
Lysander could only ignore the last comment; he was already used to the many of its like. “Well, mum, I am actually pleased you like him. Heather and I haven’t thought of a name for him yet, but Heather thinks we should name him-…”
“Nonsense!” Madam Julia sharply interrupted her son as she gently put the baby back to his bed. “You are no way going to let that maid name him, are you?”
Taken aback, Lysander could only hesitatingly reply, “But she is his mother…isn’t she?”
“That filthy woman doesn’t even deserve to have a child from you, you fool. Her place isn’t between the wealthy, fancy palaces of Cephiron! Her place is between the dust; on the floors sweeping and cleaning, that’s where her place is. It’s about time you went back to your mind, Lysander!”
By that time, the little soft baby had begun to cry, probably scared by his grandmother’s yells.
“Oh mother, please don’t start this again.”
Madam Julia could only let out a sigh of anguish, and before she could start shouting at her son again, a soft door knock was heard.
And a beautiful young woman entered. Dressed simply but still looking fancy. Her black curly hair wrapped up elegantly to reveal well her beautiful ocean eyes.
Approaching the baby while carefully eyeing her mother-in-law, she said, “I am sorry for intruding, but I heard the baby crying and-…”
“Hah! Look at how you look now, filthy maid. Wearing those fancy clothes doesn’t even make you any less filthy; a maid always stays a maid!”
The poor girl couldn’t but carry her baby in her arms as she gently caressed his back to make him quiet, and Lysander could do nothing but approach his wife to apologize to her after his mother had left angrily. But he heard the same comment he had always heard from her when she went through similar situations, he heard,
“I don’t care. I love you, and as long as you love me, too, I can take in all of this.”
A year and seven months since then passed, and the once little baby grew into a cute toddler. Blonde curly hair, brown hazel eyes and a good little small body; that was their child. His mother would usually play with him, and his father many times would flourish him with presents, toys and other things the boy would simply love. The little happy family had moved into a house of its own, running away from the Duke’s and Duchess’s anger, even if partially.
But unfortunately, happy moments never last longer than a moment. Lysander, despite how strong-built he was, despite being a young healthy man, wasn’t destined to live more than twenty and a few years. He was sent on one of those army minor fights against the enemies, but was sent back home on a sedan chair, seriously injured in the fight. And despite that doctors kept treating him for more than two months, with hopes rising and hopes lowering over his survival, with his wife and young son watching him die before their eyes, Lysander passed away at the age of only twenty and four years.
One could imagine how devastated Heather would be over the death of her young husband, over her young son who became an orphan too early. But one wouldn’t expect her husband’s parents to be so mean to a widow, let alone their own grandson, to be so heartless.
“Heather!” Madam Julia, dressed in a black wealthy dress, entered the small room where Heather was sitting with her child. The innocent girl looked up to her, waiting for her to speak.
“Well, you see, Heather, I have never liked you ever since you married my son against my will and against his father’s will. No, I have hated you since then. I have hated you, you little ugly filthy thing, ever since you married my only son, not fearing our great family, nor fearing the great Duke Gustav, or fearing anyone around here!”
Poor Heather couldn’t say or do anything but stand still as she was being humiliated by her mother-in law.
“But now…” Madam Julia’s tone lowered a little, changed into one that clearly hid no good for the young woman or her child,
“Lysander is gone. And so, there is no need for you anymore. Not for you, not for your filthy child, not even for anything that reminds us of your horrible face. So you are going to gather whatever was yours here, and your child’s things, and never show us your face again!”
The young lady had to speak out then, “No, please, ma’am! Please, I beg of you, please don’t this to my child. You can throw me out in the cold if you want, shave me bald or even cut my head off my body! But please, please, ma’am, don’t throw my child like that!”
She ran to the woman in front of her and kneeled before her, begging her like her slave, and holding her hand in the process, only to be harshly slapped by Madam Julia as she sharply replied,
“Don’t touch me, you filthy rat! You are leaving now, so gather your things quickly!”
And with that, she left angrily, leaving the poor little woman to cry to herself and weep over her child, who had approached her innocently as though as if he was trying to comfort his mother.
And so, Heather left her house with her child in her arms and a small bag with what she had before she became a duchess, and simply nowhere to go.
She had none.
None; she had absolutely nothing but herself and her child, the only treasure left for her.
She would have probably become one of those homeless, poor people living on the streets had she not remembered one of her old friends; a maid who used to work with her. She had not cut her relationship with her when she married Lysander, and although she wasn’t such a decent person, she proved to be a good friend to Heather times before.
So she went to her, and her friend welcomed her, and they stayed together for a few weeks before one day, her friend introduced her to her cousin. He wasn’t such a good guy, but he wasn’t the worst of all. And he wanted to marry Heather, to have her as his wife and to bring up her boy.
But did she really have a choice? She wanted nothing but to have a home for her child, her heart and only thing left for her in his world. So she married that person whom she knew absolutely nothing about. But it didn’t take her that much time to know what a cruel person he was, for he hit her often, and treated her badly most of times, using her as doll in his hands he should play with whenever he wanted.
However, she took it all in. She did it all for her child, that child who grew up seeing his mother being humiliated and hit in front of his eyes and no matter how much he screamed or yelled, it did nothing but hurt his mother even more to hear her child paining. It even got him that at one of the many times his mother was being hit by his step-father, he jumped on him, trying to stop him, only to be pushed over by his grand muscles, breaking his right arm. Poor Heather had to spend all of the money she had gotten from Lysander to treat him, and at least he was treated.
But she knew she wouldn’t take it any longer. Her health slowly suffered, she got weaker and weaker, and only more and more hurt by her husband in so many ways. She only lived for six more years, till her child became exactly eight, before she followed her Lysander, and left behind her young child, who no longer became a child after that because he had only himself to depend on, himself and only himself.
Jan 31 2012, 12:47 PM
RM Skill: Skilled
Rev Points: 5
My mother didn’t even have a funeral. Once Frank had found her dead on her deathbed, he simply buried her in the town’s filthy cemetery. We had moved into this town when my mother married him. It was a small, remote town that simply gathered all the poor together to make them more miserable than they already were. But then again as I think about it, why would she have needed a funeral? And who ever would have been at that funeral? We had nobody but ourselves; we were together alone between the hands of an ugly, cruel man who had no mercy in his heart.
I grew up in this small flat where he married my mom in Petaris, this filthy little town, and was brought up solely by her hands, at least till I became eight, and then she passed away. But despite that she had been there for me those eight years, I grew on seeing her humiliated by her husband. Many times had I seen him yell at her, hit her, humiliate her and use all kinds of violence on her.
And then, she died. And I was all alone, so young, between his hands. I had to live with the only man I knew, and the most man I hated. I still remember that day, the one after my mom had died and been buried. I had been spending the whole day on her bed, where she died when I was between her arms, weeping and crying when I suddenly heard my name being called, “William!”
I slowly and fearfully got up, for I could never dare to disobey him, and between my tears I went to where he was.
He was sitting there at his own chair, with his fat face, sly eyes and creepy looks. Looking at me seriously, he replied,
“Well, kid. ‘eather died now, so your stay ‘ere isn’t really free anymore.”
I was scared that he might kick me out, for I simply had nowhere to go. This was my home, no matter how much I hated it, but it was where I grew up and lived. Continuing, he said,
“So, from now on, you’ll ‘ave to work for your own living, kid. For your stay ‘ere, for your food, for everything.”
I looked at him with my teary eyes open in surprise. I was only eight at that time, yet he wasn’t kind enough to let me in his house without working.
“From now on, I will buy different goods,” he continued, “and you’ll ‘ave to sell them for me.”
And that’s how it began. Since then, I have been working for him, selling whatever he gave me, which ranged from handkerchiefs to matches, to even flowers, just so that I would have a place to stay and food to live on. Many times would I fail to sell his goods, considering the poor town we were living in, and I would be given my punishment. Sometimes he would prevent me from my dinner and I would go to bed starving. Sometimes he would give me my share of slaps or kicks. And I would take it all on, simply because I’ve got no other choice.
It went on like that for two more years, and I became ten. I was already used then to being hit every night, prevented from dinner and going to bed starving, sometimes he would even prevent me from lunch at the same time and I would simply have no food at all for a day. It was what he called ‘punishment for laziness’ despite that I always did my best.
It was then when one day, as I was getting ready for my work for the day, Frank entered on my room and with him, a young brunette girl whose age ranged from eight to ten. She looked scared, sad and somewhat broken. Frank then spoke up,
“Well, William, it looks like you won’t be alone at work anymore. Meet Cecile, your new work partner.”
I looked at him surprised, and he did notice my surprise because he replied, “Poor little Cecile lost ‘er parents in a fire that broke out in ‘er ‘ouse and she is now ‘omeless, poor little fella. Being the kind person I am, I ‘ad to offer ‘er an ‘ome. Not for free, of course, but she ‘as a job!”
The poor little girl looked scared, and I felt pity for her. That day she began her work with me, and I felt the need to help her around as she felt so down and new to the whole thing. But she didn’t sell much, as I didn’t either. And when we returned home that night, we received our own punishment. Cecile looked horrified as Frank yelled at her with his big fat face, not even giving her the excuse of being new to the whole thing. He did spare her the hitting though, but got all of his anger at me instead. But I was used to it already; I only felt pity for the new girl as she looked at Frank hitting me.
The same night, Frank told us that we’d have to sleep together in my room, as he had no spare rooms. He had sold my bed, as he said, and replaced it with two blankets on the ground for us to sleep on. So from that time, we had to sleep on the cold floor with a thin blanket to cover our shivering bodies.
The same night, after Frank had left, and both of us got his own blanket and tried to get some sleep, I could hear the little girl’s sniffs and sobs. She was trying to hide them but they were so clear. I thought about approaching her to calm her down, try to soothe her pain, but then I put my thoughts aside. There was no way that there was anything I could say that would help her. And was I even in a better situation, to try to give her any hope? I had lost hope myself, I had lost feelings, I had lost any desire in life. Yet, I was still living and I didn’t know why.
I had simply no one beside me. My parents had died, my family had abandoned me and there I was, controlled by a heartless freak who didn’t care except for gathering money. Why the hell did I ever need to live? And what was life worth if the most valuable thing was lost from it; freedom? No, I couldn’t simply run away because even if I could, where would I go? To be homeless on the streets, begging people for money? I had much more pride than that.
Three years more passed, and I became thirteen. Nothing much changed since then, except that Frank ever since he has gotten Cecile didn’t stop getting more kids to join me on my work. Every two months or so, he would introduce a young kid, whose age would never be older than ten, and he or she would join us and learn the trade pretty quickly, whether he liked it or not. We were all equal in our punishments, and we were all hit equally, sharing the same pain and same humiliation. Even little girls didn’t escape those hits, for they were hit as well.
It brought us to be one family between us. I was the oldest of them all, and I felt like a guardian to them. I felt like they were my family, they were everyone I had. They all had different stories, different ways of how did Frank find them, how did he get them to agree to this meaningless life. There were all races, from devils, to gods to humans. Even though we were in the gods’ world, of which I belonged, there lived devils and humans as well.
There was especially one little girl whom I felt was the closest to me. Her name was Tina, and despite that she was only eight, she had a very good mind and a very kind heart. She did like me a lot, too, and told me many times that she considered me her older brother. For that reason, for protecting those children or at least being a support for them, I had the will to live.
Things weren’t planning to get on any better. More children came in, and we became a group of ten enslaved children. I was the oldest of all, but there was one new kid, whose age was close to mine. I could give him about some twelve years. What was different about him was that he didn’t look scared or fearful like all of us. No, he looked more like calm, sly and as though as if he knew his way around.
After a month of his stay, we all noticed how well Frank treats him, that he made him his second hand. His name was Jason, and he was an identical copy of Frank’s cruelness and mercilessness. He was sly, smart and very sneaky. Worse, he looked to be a pervert. I noticed it in his moves, his looks and his eyes whenever he was around girls. He created much hate for himself in my heart, and we both became worst enemies.
Things became much worse for everyone as Frank gave him the power to do everything as he wished. If Frank was absent one day, he would take care of beating the little children and insulting them, all to Frank’s satisfaction.
That was how life went on for me. I became sixteen, old and mature but I was still just a slave to my step-father. I worked for him day and night, in summer and in winter, and I was hit and humiliated day by day. If the punishment wasn’t for me, I would take it for one of the young children for if I was old to take it, they weren’t. My body was weak and thin, my looks were cold and calm most of times, and my health like all of ours, was bad and I got sick often and no matter, I still had to work. And my heart, despite that it was a good one, was full of pain and misery. Many times would I lay down on my part of the ground, with that thin blanket over me, and simply cry. Yes, I was a man and I knew men shouldn’t cry but I never let anyone see me. I needed a way to let out my thoughts, my overwhelming feelings. I would cry for my dead parents, for my miserable life, for the cruelness I was treated with.
I never knew, that one day, all this would change. I never thought that one day; I might really find a hope, a real one to live on; something, or maybe someone, whose eyes would just make up everything and soothe all the pain. But it happened, and I met her. I met the person who changed my whole life. And despite that I was already a slave; I became a new slave of her heart. A captive and a servant for whatever she desires.
Feb 4 2012, 12:37 PM
RM Skill: Skilled
Rev Points: 5
My life didn’t have any meaning through the sixteen years I lived through. My days were all alike; wake up, get the goods I get, sell them or not, and go back to be humiliated and hit, then go to bed starving because I would get no dinner. If I sold well, and didn’t actually get a punishment, I would have to defend one of the children, and take it in for them. That was basically how it went on for eight years, ever since my mother had passed away.
However, one day out of all those days did actually change everything. One day did actually open up the sky’s doors for me for once, and made me feel happier at last. I didn’t leave the place, and I did stay enslaved under my step-father’s tyranny. But I met her; I met the one who made me feel comfortable at that home; who made me feel at peace whenever I was around her; I met the love of my life.
It was that night I remember so well. I came back after work, and I was actually glad because I did sell well. Only that I hoped that Frank would be in a good mood to spare me a night’s hit and let me go to bed at peace for once. But then as I entered the home, I heard some unusual noise, which I didn’t use to hear before. I was surprised as I saw Frank’s room closed. It was usually open for us, the slaves, to go to him once we are back in order to give him what we made for the day. I could only hear the noise loudening; it seemed to be Frank shouting at somebody, and I heard a female voice shouting as well. It was then when I saw Tina coming up to me as she said in a low voice,
“William! Sir Frank is getting a new slave to join us.”
I frowned at Tina. What slave could be causing that much fuss? We weren’t used to that. If Frank had ever gotten a new child or slave to serve him with us, he/she would be usually desperate for it.
“Did you see her, Tina? I mean, it sounds like a girl inside. What’s all the noise about?”
The little girl shrugged and replied, “I am not really sure…We saw her come in with Jason. I didn’t notice much about her, but she looked old, William. I mean, older than all of us. Maybe like you.”
That made me just the more confused, as Frank never got a slave of my age before. I nodded to Tina and was just going to speak more but then the noise faded down, and through the silence of that room came a storming call,
It was Frank’s voice, no doubt. I knew it not only because I have heard it so many times before, but because I saw him right in front of me as well. It made me and Tina tremble to see him suddenly, but our fear was overcome with the surprise we got as we saw Frank holding a girl in his arms. She was completely unconscious, completely out of it. That was the first time I saw her; the first time I saw the first love of my life.
I could only wonder what the hell could have happened to her; had she lost it or had Frank hurt her, and the latter seemed stronger in my mind. As Frank noticed my presence as well, he looked to me furiously and said, “Come here, William.”
I didn’t dare but to move forward to him, my eyes more focused on the body he was carrying. And then I was surprised by him giving me that body.
“Carry ‘er to the basement down, fella. And Tina, stay with ‘er till she wakes up!”
He said no more and angrily left. I still had some catching up to do then but there I stood, carrying an unconscious girl in my arms who felt incredibly light. But then I gained back my composure, and I couldn’t help but look at her. She looked dirty in the way all of us were. Her brown long hair was messed and full of dust. She wore a short pink dirty dress which looked to have been long but was torn till it reached her knees. And her ears…
“She is a devil.” I commented as I saw the long ears of hers; those ears of a devil which were longer than those of a normal human’s, or a god medium length one. Tina looked scared and held on to my leg as she said, “Devils hurt, don’t they? Maybe she tried to hurt Sir Frank but he could defeat her?”
“That guy attacks more than he defends, Tina. And she doesn’t look powerful at all to me. I mean, look at her.”
I kept gazing at her for a few more seconds. Despite her horrible shape, she looked…beautiful. Yes, her hair was messed, her clothes were torn and she was completely full of dirt, but something about her looked wonderful. It was then when Tina looked up at me and said, “William, you are looking at her too much…perhaps you should get going before Sir Frank catches us still standing around here.”
I nodded and moved towards the basement, and Tina followed me from behind. I couldn’t help myself from catching a look at the girl between my arms every once in a while; I certainly wanted to know what exactly happened. After we had reached the basement, I laid her down on one of the places where the children slept. Although some children slept in my room, some others slept here, too and that’s why there were blankets around. I covered her with one and then turning to Tina, I said, “Well, take care of her. I better go give Frank what I got for today before he catches me.”
I was about to leave when Tina held my hand then, and looking at me innocently, she said, “William, don’t leave me alone with her; I am scared. She is a devil.”
I gently smiled at her. The poor girl hated devils. She was a human who used to live with her parents in the gods’ world before some thieves attacked them, killing both of her parents but making her manage to escape. Those thieves were devils, and the girl ever since hated devils and feared them.
“Don’t be scared, Tina. She is harmless as it seems and if there were any troubles around, just call for me. You know I’d be there.”
She simply nodded and let go of my hand, then sat down beside the unconscious body, watching her. I went off on my way then.
I went back to Frank to give him what I earned through the day, and he just took it and told me to ‘get off his face’. I did expect to be saved the humiliation that day, because I did earn a good amount of money and all. Afterwards, I was too tired to do anything anymore, and although I did want to go stay with Tina and help her take care of our newcomer, I went straight to my place where I sleep, and fell fast asleep.
The next day when I woke up, I wanted to go check on the new girl with Tina but couldn’t. Frank had called me early in the morning and told me that today, I had to do chimney sweeping. I was already used to that, as Frank got some of the boys to do it whenever he got clients. I took my tools and went, working the whole day but also wanting to go back and wondering about the girl; whether she had woken up or not, and what exactly happened with her.
The day went slowly, and I finished going around houses and cleaning chimneys. I was completely exhausted, and as I walked back towards where we live, I seriously wanted nothing but sleep. Despite that I did want to know what happened with the girl, I was really tired that I decided to go directly to bed; of course, after getting my share of beating.
When I arrived there, I went straight to Frank and handed him the money. Surprisingly, he was in a mood good enough for him to let me go to bed without beating. That was definitely strange but I didn’t give it any thoughts as I was really tired enough. On my way to the room, however, I saw the unpleasant person I hated to see. Jason was standing in one corner, and he looked at me slyly. I was going to get past him but he didn’t let me because he spoke up, “Well, William. Aren’t you interested in our new friend?”
I looked confusedly at him before replying, “Get off my way, Jason. I seriously don’t have the mood for your fusses.”
“Oh come on, William, but isn’t she pretty?” He replied as he stood in my way, the creepy sly smile still on his face. I could immediately understand who was he referring to. And knowing Jason pretty well, and his perverted nature, I could understand what was he throwing at.
“Why the hell are you talking to me about that, jerk? Get off my face already and stay away from the girl.”
He shrugged as though as he was talking to a crazy person, and replying, he simply said, “Go, William, go. But I am telling you; the girl is mine. Just before you even think about laying a hand on her.”
I was seriously angered by what he said then and grabbing him by the collar, I exclaimed at him, “I am not like you, jerk! And don’t you ever think, don’t you, to lay one hand on her or even touch a hair of hers! I am not going to let an innocent girl being hurt by a pervert like you!”
He calmly and slyly pushed my hands off him, and replying, he said, “We’ll see, William. We’ll see.” With that, he simply left, after he had peeved me with his words and stupid intentions. Now if that girl were going to hang around us here, I would have to watch out for her, before she could be a victim of that pervert’s lustful hunger.
I continued my way then, and I entered my room, where most of the children were sleeping. I was too tired and exhausted that I didn’t notice as I laid down on my place between the children, that there was a new person just beside me. I just closed my eyes and was drifting into sleep but was awoken by the sounds of sniffs and sobs. As I looked towards the direction where they came from, I saw the back of a girl with brown hair, a dirty pink dress and a blanket over her. The same girl I carried yesterday.
It wasn’t the first time a girl would curl up with her blanket and cry when she was new, and around then I used to do nothing about it and just let it be; because I knew then that there was nothing to say. But for some reason, I wanted to talk to that girl, to know how did she get in here, and to try to comfort her, if I could anyways.
Hesitantly, I put a hand on her shoulder gently but she was freaked out as she turned towards me. And this was the first time for me to see her awake, her red blazing eyes wide-open, and her hot tears down her cheeks. She looked beautiful, and something about her made me feel a feeling I had never felt before. A feeling that just yearns in your heart with any alarm, and makes you the slave of the new master’s heart. That feeling completely took over me, and made me the lover of the girl in front of me.
I felt awkward over what to say as she looked towards me suspiciously, but I could only said, “You are ok?”
She quickly wiped her tears away, perhaps to make herself look still in composure. She replied, whispering, “I-I am fine. Who are you?”
Who were I? And what an easy question to ask, but such a hard question for me to answer. In the end, I could find nothing more suitable than,
“One of the slaves here, “I replied, “they call me William.”
Looking at me doubtfully, she said, “When did you come here? I didn’t see you.”
I replied, “Ahh well, I only came here a few seconds ago. And I heard your puffs so I asked you what’s wrong.”
She seemed to be comfortable around me, or so I thought. At least she let go of the suspicious look and opened up to me, which wasn’t what I expected.
“You work for Frank as well?”
I had put both of my arms then behind my head as I continued to talk to her, looking at the ceiling above; perhaps because I wanted to avoid looking straight into her eyes as it felt awkward.
“Why, I do,” I replied, “cause I have to.”
“Frank is a jerk, it’s true,” he replied, “but he is kind enough to offer us a home and food. Without him, we would starve.”
Yes, I sounded hopeless. But wasn’t it the truth? Wasn’t I suffering every day, night or morning, just for that? And she was in the same situation, too.
“How were you caught?” I continued, curious to know how did she get in here.
“I was going to the king and the queen of gods with one of my...friends,” she replied, “but some thugs attacked us and well, I ran away to this city, ending up with that jerk Jason tricking me.”
Her reason wasn’t a lot different from many of what I heard before, but the last part about Jason did really anger me. And remembering the encounter I had with him just before I entered the room, that really did it.
“What?!” I couldn’t help but exclaim, although I did keep my voice as low as possible for the sake of the sleeping children. “That jerk! I can’t understand how he can bear the guiltiness of his actions, if he actually feels any.”
“Umm is Jason that bad?” She asked, raising an eyebrow at me.
“Humph, bad?” I replied annoyingly, “If there is any jerk after Frank, then it’s Jason. If Frank isn’t here to shout at the young children, then Jason is here. If Frank isn’t here to make us suffer of his beats and insults, then Jason is here. I never saw such a pervert before. But that’s only the least of it all.”
“Umm the least of it? Is there anything worse than that?”
The poor girl. She didn’t know what a pervert Jason was, despite that he wasn’t even of an age that made him have such manners. Replying, I said,
“Why, there is,” he replied, smirking, “He is a pervert with the girls, if you get me now. We were lucky there were no old girls here and that all of them were too young. But that you are here, I advise you to be careful, really careful.”
I ought to give her a warning, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her as she looked enraged. But deciding to change the subject as I did really get sick of hearing the mentioning of Jason’s name, I asked her,
“We talked that much but I don’t even know your name.”
“Rosaline,” she replied, “My name is Rosaline.”
Rosaline; such a beautiful name with a beautiful meaning, with a beautiful effect that took over my heart ever since then. The love I had for her since then was dug deep down inside my heart, locked in a chest which never opened afterwards, for her love stayed within me till the time of my death.
Feb 13 2012, 01:14 PM
RM Skill: Skilled
Rev Points: 5
The first few days after Rosaline had joined us were tough. She wasn’t like most of us at all. She wasn’t so given up like all of us were. Many times would she fight with Frank and yell at him-not like she won it-but it did amaze most of us, especially the frightened kids who were astonished by how strong she stood up against their master’s tyranny.
The next day after she had joined us, for example, could explain things the best. I remember that day so well, and how could I not remember every moment my Rosaline was with me? I remember how she made the happiness shine through me with her eyes, even in the darkest moments.
We awakened early in the morning to do our work. It was usual for me as I was already used to that but, to her, it was all new and flustering. After I had awakened, I saw that she was still sleeping, next to me. Shaking her gently, I said,
“Umm Rosaline…wake up.”
She seemed rather frightened when she woke up as I shook her. She awoke suddenly and as she looked at me, it took her while to remember everything slowly. But then she calmed down and looking at me rather confusedly, she said, “Yes?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle. The poor girl, she didn’t know what was waiting ahead of her. Replying, I said,
“It’s time to get to work now. Don’t worry, I know you’re new to all of this; I’ll help you through it.”
She slowly got up and looked at me, then gently massaged her forehead and rubbed her eyes. She replied, “Whatever. Tell me what do; I am sick of things here.”
I nodded and after that, we all were given our tasks. Fortunately, I had no chimney sweeping then so I was able to accompany Rosaline through the work time. We were given handkerchiefs to sell then, and we set off on our job.
At first, she looked pretty disgusted of the whole thing. She hated holding a basket full of handkerchiefs waiting to be sold, and calling after passers-by asking them to just take a look at our filthy items; failing most of times. Yes, I felt the same at the beginning but she was going to get used to it, eventually.
“I don’t like this; I don’t want to do this!” She looked pretty upset as she threw down her basket on one of those broken benches in town and sat down beside them. I sat down by her side, putting my own basket beside hers, which had only one handkerchief sold.
“Get hold of yourself now; you are going to have to do this a lot.”
She looked at me with frowned eyebrows and frustrated eyes as she said, “No way. I will find a way outta here. My place isn’t even here,” she pointed at somewhere, “The forests are this way. Why can’t we run? I can go back to Cephiron, find a way there. Who would know?!”
I simply sighed. This one was going to give us more trouble. Through the kids who joined me on this task, I’ve never had someone tell me to run. All of them would cry or scream at first, and then they would get used to it and live. But this one, no. Maybe that what made me feel attracted to her more; she was different.
“Go ahead. Didn’t you tell me that thugs attacked you on your way to the royal castle? I mean, why were you even going there? Who are you anyways to make all this fuss?”
For some reason, I thought I hurt her. I could tell that from the look that appeared on her face, that broken look that made me feel that that girl was a lot different than all in her personality; but not in her past. Her red eyes seemed to be burning in fire and her devilish teeth could appear as she spoke,
“Rosaline Patriaclos is my name. A devil; a proud one too. But I lived in the humans’ world, I was born in it and I grew up in it till I became thirteen. Yes, I may seem young and weak to you, but don’t you dare come near me,” her face changed to one of anger, hurt anger, “because I might tear you to pieces. Hadn’t it been for my sister’s betrayal, for my boyfriend’s death, for my parents’ abandoning, I wouldn’t have been here now, moron!”
She got up and seemed to be in some sort of an angry mania; it wasn’t the same nice girl I spoke to the day before. No, she seemed more of an angry shrew to me, an evil witch if that would even match. But slowly, that anger turned into sadness, and the burning fire in her eyes were slowly distinguished as the tears appeared in her eyes and she continued,
“I am the daughter of the greatest sorcerer in Lessire; I shouldn’t be suffering like this. They left me like this, they abandoned me like this! What kind of parents were they! What kind of sister was she!”
I was simply confused by her ravings but she soon calmed down as she let out her tears and let them soothe her mind. It looked as though as she had such pain inside and she felt better when she let it out.
It took an hour, all counted of the time when we should be selling our things but I didn’t care. At the worst case, I was going to be hit again and humiliated, which I was already used for. I was just worried about her; having her being punished wasn’t going to make her feel any better.
After things had calmed down with her, she looked at me and said, “Sorry for calling you a moron. You didn’t deserve that.”
I gave her a comforting smile and replied, “Don’t mention it. Sorry I got frustrated at you.”
She sadly smiled and then looked at the handkerchiefs lying besides, she said, “And these…?”
“We’ll get punished for it, but who cares,” I replied.
I remember that we didn’t get up soon afterwards. We just sat there on that broken bench, the handkerchiefs being the only things between us. We didn’t look at each other, but we talked together. We both watched the filthy town moving about slowly, but for the first time I felt that I was happy while being at it. She made me feel happy, at peace. I didn’t know what I had for her at that time, but I knew later that she was the queen of my heart.
She told me about herself. She talked to me about how she lived in the humans’ world, with her parents and her twin sister. Her father was a human, a great sorcerer in Lessire, one of the humans’ world’s towns. Her mother was a devil, but her sister was a human like her father.
She told me about how her mother died mysteriously afterwards, how her father felt too depressed about it that he left both of his daughters alone. She told me about how she had a boyfriend afterwards, and how she felt happy despite everything that happened to her.
She then began to tell me about how everything changed suddenly. How her boyfriend was killed in front of her eyes, due to a fight between his father and some other trader, or so the police said. She told me of her sister’s betrayal, by sacrificing her magically to our world, the gods’ world, in order to let out some powers inside her; that part I couldn’t understand so well but neither did she either.
She then began telling me about her short journey through the god’s world and how she found someone kind enough to help her go back to the humans’ world, by offering to go to the royal castle, where the king and queen could help teleport her back to her world. But then they were attacked and there she was, in front of me, telling me her story.
“Sorry, you probably didn’t want to hear all of that. I guess I needed to rant,” She said, finishing off her long talk.
“No, I understand. Not that I can help you but hey, at least I listened.”
She nodded with a small smile and then replied, “Should we go back now?”
It was about the evening then. Obviously, we did stay a lot of time talking. And the handkerchiefs were still beside us, as many as they were before we set off on our job except for one.
“We still have time,” I replied, “We usually go back before midnight by a bit. Let us try selling something.”
She didn’t look to be so pleased with the idea but reluctantly agreed. We spent the rest of our time together, trying to sell anything, but we weren’t so lucky as we only sold about two or three more.
So we just returned back to our place, I awaiting the punishment I would get. She looked a bit worried about that as well, as she asked me on our way home, “How bad could be the punishment?”
I shrugged and replied, “Depends but in this case, prepare for the worst. We really slacked off today.”
We entered and the first thing we saw was Frank, who looked to have been waiting for us. The rest of the children had returned, and were all curled up in a corner of the room, looking to have just being hit by the whip in Frank’s hand. They had tears in their eyes and were holding each other, protecting each other in a scene that I used to see often but still affected my whole body. Rosaline wasn’t much different but her reaction was. Looking at Frank angrily, she exclaimed,
“How could you! Why are you doing this to the poor children?!”
Frank’s angry eyes looked towards her as he said, “None of your business, lass! But don’t you worry, because your turn is coming up now! What have you sold, kiddo, show me!”
It looked like Rosaline was firing up once more, because not just she yelled at him, but she did what was mostly unexpected. Angrily, she threw the basket of handkerchiefs right at his face as she yelled,
“Ahh shut up! Here are your things, I didn’t sell a thing! I am not a slave of yours nor am I going to be! Let me go outta here!”
We were all astonished by her reaction, how she had the courage to do so. I was simply amazed, and the children stopped crying in surprise. Frank himself was surprised, too, but his surprise slowly turned into anger as the whip cruelly were going towards Rosaline, himself shouting, “How dare you!”
It fell cruelly on her arm and she screamed in pain, but it didn’t make him stop. He madly threw it over her again and again, before I moved in front of it and it fell on me instead. I hugged her in my arms and shielded her with my body, taking the hits for her. I didn’t scream; I was already used to that kind of pain. But for some reason, perhaps for the love I had for her, I couldn’t allow myself to keep watching her being cruelly hit like that.
“So you’d like to take the hits instead, eh,” he said as he stopped hitting for a moment, his eyes burning with fire, “well, well, whatever! You want it, have it!”
And once more, that cruel whip fell on my body and hit, and I kept it inside. I looked at Rosaline to see how was she doing and I could see her looking at me sympathetically, as though as she was asking me by her eyes ‘why-are-you-doing-this’. I gave her a look of comfort, the best I could give while suffering through his whips.
It continued for a while, but it eventually ended. The whips slowly stopped and me, although I was used to those hits, felt pretty weak and pained. Those were the worst I’ve ever gotten in my life, perhaps because of how angry Frank was then.
“Get off my face, you two! Get off my face now before I tear you to pieces! Now!”
The children behind him quickly ran away, and myself gestured to Rosaline to get moving, which she did and I did slowly afterwards. We moved towards my room, or what used to be my room, where some of the children went to sleep. My whole body was aching and after we reached the room, I sat down on the place where I sleep, holding my body in pain. Rosaline sat beside me, looking at me apologetically.
“I am sorry…but you didn’t have to defend me. I could have taken it.”
I looked her with a painful smile, replying, “You wouldn’t have. But don’t you worry, I am fine. Or at least I will be anyways.”
She stayed silent for a moment, but then looking towards me, she said, “Take off your shirt and let me take a look at where were you hurt. I can get some water and make it soothe a bit.”
I couldn’t but blush at her request, but replying I said, “Don’t mind it really; I will be okay.”
She shook her head and frowning, she said, “Don’t make me feel like I owe you, okay? It’s the least I can do anyways.”
Her insistence made me reluctantly agree. Slowly, I took off my shirt, showing her chest and stomach. Despite the hard life I was taking in, and how weak was my body, it was still a bit muscular. I thought I took it from my grandfather; my mother had told me about how great he was.
But the surprise I saw on Rosaline’s face was greater for me. I saw her eyes widen and her mouth open a bit, and then her eyes turned to one of sympathy and pity. I could tell why. My body was full of hurtful wounds, effects of whips and leftovers of continual hitting. My body was full of red lines, brown traces of hitting and whips all over my chest and arms.
Finally, she spoke up slowly, “William…what is all of this?”
I averted my gaze away, but I did reply, “That’s what living here does.”
The next thing I felt was her gentle small hand over my body, touching those traumas, and it made me turn to her only to see her red ruby eyes looking at me full of pity and sympathy. It made me suddenly lose all the feelings of pain and hurt, as I looked into those beautiful eyes. She looked into mine, too, and I could swear that it was the most beautiful moment I’ve ever had in my life then. We looking in each others' eyes like that, with complete silence that I even forgot that I was free of my shirt. We could have stayed like that forever if it wasn’t for the devil that interrupted our moment,
“For the devil’s sake, William, you are playing that big that early!” It was Jason’s comment that snapped us out of our moment, and Rosaline quickly removed her hand away from my body, not to be misunderstood. However, with a person who has a dirty head like Jason’s, it was quick to be misunderstood.
I growled at him but not like it scared him. He continued, “And you tell me stay away from her! I am surprised she even looked happy by it. But really, William, the girl is reserved.”
His words simply angered me and just as I was about to reply, I heard Rosaline shout at him, “Butt off, pervert! In your dreams you are going to even touch me, brat.”
He raised his eyebrows and replied, “Wow, I like strong lasses. You’ll be a great fun, babe. You’ll see.”
With that, he left after he gave us one of his nasty smiles. I quickly put on my shirt back and turned to Rosaline, saying, “Sorry about that.”
Rosaline shook her head with a frown and said, “I shouldn’t have asked you to take off your shirt like that. I am the one who should say sorry.”
We spent the rest of the night talking, and I got to know more about her. She was the perfect girl; intelligent, strong, fiery in her personality. And over that, she was beautiful. If she looked beautiful when she was a slave, how would she look like when she was in a better state? Yes, I admitted it to myself. I was deeply in love with that girl before me; Rosaline Patriaclos, the mistress of my heart till the time of my death.
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