Part 41: Fractured



                                        “…She said to him, listen…” (Sweetheart Roland, Grimm Brothers)







        The forest passes us by at a dangerous speed.

        Different hues of green and brown shoot by me like streaks of dark lightning. The bitter cold air nips at my sensitive skin unrelentingly. It struggles to be felt underneath the layers of golden cloth I’ve been swaddled in. I bounce up and down in the arms of a panting blonde woman wearing a dress adorned with jewels. She’s next to a bearded man dressed in equally lavish clothing. They’re both running as fast as their feet can carry them. Their faces have matching expressions of dread.

        “How much farther?” the man asks.

        I feel the woman brush some of my hair away from my forehead. She looks down at me with a torn look plaguing her blue eyes. Her pace slows until she’s standing still. Transparent tears begin dripping down her face. They hit me one after the other. I smile and reach my small hand upwards, aiming to catch some of the liquid.

        She shakes her head and looks over at the man. “Renald, are we making the right decision?” I can feel her arms shaking even as they encompass my small body. “She’s just a…a baby. Surely, a baby cannot be considered dangerous.”

        “You heard that woman.” The brown-haired man shoves his index finger towards me. “It will destroy us and everything in the kingdom if we keep it. This is the only way to protect everyone.”

        “Renald, she is not an ‘it’! And she’s only a child!”

        “A cursed child!” The man’s voice is a roar now. I recoil in fear and clutch onto the woman out of fear. A whimper escapes my mouth. The man’s furious glare softens somewhat when he focuses on me. He drops his hand to his side and sighs. “We have to do this, Sangria,” he murmurs.

        When he begins walking towards the woman, she steps away.

        “What are you doing, Renald?” the terrified woman wants to know.

        His tremulous hands stretch out for me. Closer and closer they come. “This is far enough. We leave her here. For the good of the kingdom.”

        The woman shakes her head back and forth and holds me tighter, away from the man. “No! I won’t leave her!” she yells.

        “You will!”

        In one sharp movement, I’m removed from the woman’s arms. The woman shrieks in anguish and tries to get me back, but the man keeps her at bay. Distressed by the panicked screams of the woman, I begin to cry. The man shushes me, but I refuse to stop crying. He glances about, his gray eyes searching for something. A decisive look falls over his face and he begins walking forward.

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