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April 22, 2014: Loneliness, Tragedies

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Oh, how quickly things can change in about four months time apparently! Somewhere between Dear Readers in December and this series of drabbles in April, our heroine's name has changed once again. And she's not the only one! This is also likely one of the first pieces that we finally see our main cast of five in. Though Kristie, now Frankie, has managed to keep her stranglehold on her main character status at least in these little drabbles.


She's also been blinded! A very rare continuity in this story and one that didn't last long. Another very rare continuity - being that I think I've only seen it in very early versions such as this one - is this pairing of TJ and Nik, pretty much solely stuck together to hit Frankie while she's already down. It's a pairing that I find fascinating mostly because TJ eventually ends up with a man that hasn't even been created yet at this point and Nik becomes attached to Frankie's hip. You could not pry these two apart if you tried.


And we've got another encounter from the fairy, Devlin, though it seems we've already lost ND which is quite the shame. It seems almost as if I might have been planning on merging ND and Devlin together to accomplish the same roles with fewer characters. Truly an act of self restraint I wouldn't have thought my younger self had in her.


Word Count: 2845

 

Never

He held out his hand for her and I found myself grinning as I watched. They were so cute and happy, despite all the terrible things that we had gone through lately, but they leaned on each other, shared the burden. That was something that I had become envious of, the way that they could take the weight off of each other’s shoulders, I didn’t have anyone who could take my burden anymore. Not that I would let someone else take it, I couldn’t let someone I cared about feel the utter despair that came with knowing everything and being able to do nothing, to just watch as it all happened.


I looked at my own hand, staring sadly at the empty palm, I-I really didn’t have anyone. No one would want me, I was too broken to be fixed, too afraid of life, too… me.


I felt the slight tremble of my lip along with the burning of tears in my eyes, I clutched my hands together tightly trying to relieve the sensation, but it did nothing more than make me realize how alone I really was in this world. Yeah, I had my friends, I knew that I would always have them, but they had each other now too and I knew that I wasn’t the first person that they were worried about now. It wasn’t like I wanted anyone to worry about me, but I knew they definitely wouldn’t now.


I was no one’s first priority.


“Sweetie,” I jumped as arms wrapped around my shoulders, causing me to realize the trembling had travelled from just my lip to my whole body, her tone was still strict though, motherly, “Don’t cry,” she hushed me.


I shook my head, I wasn’t crying, no, I had blinked back the tears, forced them away, “I’m not-not crying,” I stuttered, reaching my hand up to wipe at the supposed moisture, only to realize another had already beat me there.


I glanced up at TJ, a shaky smile on my lips, my happy mask refusing to break even when my heart felt crushed by the weight of all the dimensions, he showed me the tears he had wiped away and I felt myself crumble. “I’m sorry, I-I didn’t mean to interrupt your guys’ moment!” I said quickly, ducking out of Nik’s arms and backing away from them both before turning my back to them. I refused to show weakness again.


I had lost so much the last time I had let myself cry, when I had hesitated, flinched back in fear and tried to run.


I learned two things from that.


You can’t run from Fate and tears always came back to drown me in the end.


A hand touched my shoulder and I jerked away from it. I had never been one to back away from a cuddle, but lately I felt sick at the very thought, thankfully, they didn’t try to touch me again. I was like a poison, no one should be near me, people who got too close to me always ended up dead or-or broken, shattered, just like me.


I curled in on myself, my arms around my shoulder and nails digging into the cloth covered skin of my back, “I-I… I just miss her… I miss her so much…” I whispered, my words not helping in my effort to keep the tears at bay. I continued to force my smile, though I sniffled and my breath came in ragged gasps, I wouldn’t allow anyone to see me with anything but a smile. I may have looked insane, but I could have really cared less.


‘Breathe,’ his voice soothed me and calmed my frazzled nerves enough for Nik to once again hug me, her chin resting on my shoulder. TJ untangled one of my hands and intertwined our fingers, kissing my knuckles and giving me a sympathetic smile. Like a brother. My grin became the smallest bit more genuine when I thought about my brothers. I missed them, we may not have gotten along, but I loved them.


I had a new family now, though, one that I had to protect with every fiber of my being. Nik, TJ, Fin, Albert, and…


I sobbed, my eyes had to have been rimmed with red at that point, but I no longer cared.

Nik ran a hand through my hair, petting me in an attempt to be comforting, “I know, I know, we’ll get her back, together.”


My head shook in disagreement, I couldn’t get my hopes up anymore than I already had, life had a habit of crushing those who dared to wish for a better outcome. “No, I’m going to be alone forever, she deserves better than me anyway,” I muttered, my mood jumping from sad to depressed, once again untangling myself from them both to walk away. I knew they would try and follow me, but that was something that I couldn’t deal with, even just thinking about… her, was making me feel horrible, “Please don’t follow me, I need to be alone right now.”


I needed to plan, I had to think, there had to be some way for me to get her back.


A nap seemed to be needed right then, it was possibly the only way that I was going to be able to pull my thoughts back together and figure out what I was supposed to be doing. It seemed likely that, no matter what I did, I was going to end up losing the war but…giving up wasn’t an option anymore, not with so much of me at stake.


My heart and soul were both on the line here, I had bet them foolishly in a game that I hadn’t understood and now those decisions were coming back to bite me. And there was no way that I could fold my cards and run at this point.


I had to carry on, I had to pull myself through this, otherwise I would be disappointing my friends and family, my love, and I could not live with such regrets.


So I laid down underneath a large tree, a willow of some sort, and leaned my head back against one of the mossy roots. I could have laughed thinking about how familiar I had become with the outdoors, nature and me had grown close the last few years, to think that I had despised going outside at one point in my life was far too amusing for my situation.


“Devlin?” I mumbled, wondering where my little fairy friend had gone as of late, having disappeared after the last raid we had done against the Dictator. I never thought that I would miss him as much as I did, I missed him greatly, he was like a brother to me and…I was really tired of losing brothers.


I was tired.


A hand touched to the top of my forehead, brushing my hair from my skin, slick with sweat from the humidity of the forest, “Don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so bad, Frankie,” his voice rumbled, louder than I was used to. I tried to turn my head, to see if it was him or if the heat was getting to me again, only to have the hand increase the pressure against my head, keeping me from turning in any direction.


Despite the similarities there was no possible way that it was actually Devlin next to me, my best friend was a tiny little nightmare fairy, this person was the size of a full grown man. He was possibly even bigger than TJ was. “Who-”


He laughed, and the sound of it sounded so familiar, even if his laugh had always been something rare and special, “Just shush, Frankie, you came here for a reason, don’t let me stop you. Sleep, I’ll be here to keep watch.” I could have burst into laughter and tears at the same time, Devlin was so sweet, even if he tried to hide it from everyone, he was so thoughtful when he really didn’t have to be.


The Garden

She gripped tightly to my arms, there was fear obvious in her expression, at least the half that I could clearly see, her bare feet skimmed over the neatly tiled surface before taking a step forward. It was as if she thought there was a pit just waiting for her at the end of the dark hall. I wished that she would just trust that I would never allow her to fall.


“Wha-what does it look like?” She asked, voice quieter than I had ever heard it before, so timid, broken, I felt my own heart breaking, what had the world done to my sweet Frankie? “I’ve never b-been in the palace before.”


A smile quirked at the corner of my lips, “It’s very grand, a bit too extravagant for my tastes, too bright, but I feel like you would like it, you know? The walls are a pale yellow, with green accents, mostly of flowers and leaves, it’s like one giant garden mural. Oh, watch out,” I said before moving her out of the way of a plant that hung from the ceiling, pulling her head to rest on my shoulder, even though she was a few inches taller than I was.


“What was it?” She turned back in the direction of the obstacle.


I shrugged, careful not to disturb her place, “It was just a plant, hanging from the ceiling, they were pretty flowers too, peach colored roses I think.”


Her smile was suddenly brighter than the tension in her muscles, “I always loved peach roses, I never quite knew why, I just think they are beautiful.”


I petted her head, laughing and letting her move from where she had been leaning on me, with our height difference I figured that it would become uncomfortable eventually. It was a relief to me that she was finally relaxing, giving me free reign to lead her where I wished and even though I didn’t know the castle extremely well, I did know where I wanted to take her. Even if she… couldn’t see she would still love it, I was sure.


It was about time I did something for her, anyway.


The natural light grew more prominent the farther down the hall we went and the air felt lighter, smelled more fragrant, she didn’t notice though, not that she had the ability to. Joy filled me when I came to a set of double doors, vibrant colors shining with the sun through artfully stained glass, I opened the door. The scents and sounds hit me instantly, I wanted nothing more than to run through the large garden and flop into the soft grass, but I made sure that Frankie made it through the door without smacking her hips or shoulders on the frame. She was a klutz when she could see where she was going and I was going to make sure that her not being able to… see wouldn’t have too much of an effect on that.


Her chest moved up and down with a deep breath, her smile dazzling, I could just imagine how her eyes would be sparkling at the sight, but the glittering fabric of the silver sash over her eyes made a well enough substitute. “Wow…” she breathed, “Where are we? It smells great and I can hear… bees?” Wonder filled her voice as she felt in front of her, I grabbed her hand and directed it to a bunch of light blue flowers, all snuggled together in their leaves. “Flowers?” Her breath caught and she turned towards me.


“A garden,” I murmured in agreement, plucking a bright orange, fiery flower from a nearby bush and tucking it behind her ear.


Her pale cheeks flushing red was enough for a lifetime to me, I had never been happier, seeing her so happy made me feel like everything was complete. She sighed and fumbled her way into a hug, her arms around my neck and her head under my chin, “Thank you,” there was a hitch in her voice, “Thank you so much, I wish I could do something for-”


I pulled her from me and placed my lips over hers, stopping her from continuing, she thought much too much of others, she needed to think more of herself. And if she wouldn’t then I would do it for her, “Don’t say anything, do you want to go lay in the grass? It’s soft,” I wiggled my eyebrows despite knowing that it added nothing to my words. At least not for her.


She still laughed, though, like she could tell just from my tone I was doing something dumb, it wouldn’t surprise me, really, she always had been able to read me better than anyone. “Yeah, sure, let’s,” she waved her hand in front of her, motioning for me to go ahead. I grabbed her hand and led her forward with me instead.


She could tell the instant we moved from the stone walkway to the uncertainty of the grass, like a change of footing would be an utter disaster, she tried not to show her fear returning, but I could see the little grimace she tried to hide. There was a sadness that soaked my entire being, because I could remember the Frankie of before, the one that you couldn’t pull away from the grass, that got so excited over new adventures.


Too bad adventures aren’t as innocent as children are made to think.


“It’s okay,” I said, putting my arm over her shoulders to keep her close to me, “I won’t let anything hurt you, I’ll be your eyes.”


I helped her to sit before dropping down beside her, close as I could get without making her feel like she was being smothered, I laced my fingers between hers and we both laid back. I stared up at the deep blue sky and the fluffy white clouds, while she took deep breaths, head tilted to the side, she seemed to be adjusting well to her other senses.


She turned over and curled into my side, our intertwined hands between us and her head against my shoulder, “I wish you didn’t have to go,” she said, breath ghosting over my skin and creating goosebumps, her small voice heartwrenching.


“Yeah, me too…” I let my voice trail off, eyes dropping to where our bodies pressed together, I couldn’t look at her straight on, this was all my fault. If only I had been stronger, “Don’t worry though, someday I’ll get us both out of this mess and then we can run away, find our friends and start a life together, a real life. No more running for our lives, we could get some cute pets, dogs, cats-”


“Horses?” She asked, voice tinged with excitement.


I laughed, there was still a hint of the old Frankie, hiding behind layers of battle wounds and barely healed scars, not to mention pain, lots and lots of pain, “Yeah, we can have a farm, with as many animals as you like.”


I could feel her smile against my shoulder, squeezing my hand tighter in hers, “I love you, you know that right?”


My breath caught in my throat, it had taken a long, long time for the both of us to even recognize each other's feelings as valid, we had never ventured into the territory that came with those words, too afraid, at least, I was afraid. To hear her say it though, even after everything that had happened, made my heart skip a beat and butterflies to spin in my stomach for the first time since we had admitted we were dating officially. I felt small tears in my eyes, burying my nose into her hair, “Yeah, I know and don’t you ever forget that I love you too.”


Training

I breathed deeply through my nose, trying not to attack at random with the rage that I felt, but not being able to see my target meant that about 89% of them were very random. Which was what I was supposed to be working on, that is, if I could stop trying to kill the person training me long enough to actually learn.


Yeah, my anger was definitely something to be rivalled, as well as my stubbornness, they were just some of my attractive qualities. I just couldn’t keep the girls away.


“Come on now, if you ever want your lover back you are going to have to make me bleed!” The woman was insistently cheerful, never shutting up for long in her mocking of my terrible aim. What did she expect of me? She was the one who had taken my sight in the first place, after all.


I growled and threw another knife, grumbling when I could very clearly hear it hit a wall, or something, before the woman laughed at me again, “Well, maybe if you would STOP MOVING I might actually have a chance!”


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