21. Two-faced King

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I'm done. I don't want any of this anymore. General Otis has been keeping my family company for generations and for as long as I can remember. I run through the halls of the castle. I don't even know where I'm going. Oh, poor Otis. I can barely see where I'm going through all the tears.

"Hello little princess." Is what he used to say with a big smile, when he came to visit us. Not to forget his bear hugs. Fuck.

His laughter replays in my head as I push past some knights. "Woah, Lady Alice?"

I ignore them and l wipe my tears away, still running.

"....princess," his voice echoes in my head and doesn't cease to stop.

I'm not cut out for this. I can't go on like this. He's the only person that made me feel comfortable since I've been here but he's also the reason for all my suffering. But who cares about that. Those poor people. They truly suffered and I can't shake the feeling that it is my fault. That I've failed them. Maybe General Otis might still be alive if he hadn't recognized me.

Fuck.

I find myself slamming the doors of the Kings chambers open. I turn and push them closed again. I wipe my face, and take quick breathes.

I look around and my eyes land on the writing desk. I head over to it and push it towards the door with all my strength. It is made of dense wood and it takes time and effort to barricade the door.

I don't even know what I'm doing, but if he comes for me it'll take him a while to get in here.

My chest feels tight and my eyes sting with new tears. Why did Otis have to die? Why didn't he just be quiet? Why did the evil King to this to him? Why is he my 'soulmate'? Why...
I sob uncontrollably sliding to the floor.  I just want to go home. Back to my old life before all of this happened.

I can't take this any longer. It's like there's two sides of him. One side is cheeky and can actually be understanding and the other is horrible and frightening. Curled up and crying I stay seated for a few minutes.

I've never felt so alone, even though I grew up lonely. Being the princess meant having no one to play with. Children of others don't usually spend time in the castle except for when a ball was thrown. I wasn't all alone though. I had Parcival. He was my captain and I was his first mate.

Being educated in the castle meant we didn't have much time to play, but when we did we drove the whole castle mad. He'd never left me alone except for when the war started. But I had mother and father, but now, I have no one. I'm complete alone. I deserve it. I've failed my people.

I need to catch my breath. I can feel my lungs begging for air. I pull myself up from the table and lean over it. There's letters on it and one page catches my eye or better yet one word does. It says Alice.

The door slams open a bit crashing into the writing desk with a loud bang. I jump in shock.

„What- what in gods name?" Theodore half yells.

„ALICE!" I take a few steps back from the door. 

I need air, so I rush to the big window, which turns out to be a door to a large balcony.

"Open this fucking door!" The evil King yells, and another blow hits the door. He's going to break in. I don't want to see him. I'm so done with everything right now. I rip open the door and slip out while the King keeps yelling,"It's a damn stupid idea to fuck with me right now!"

I gasp for air and run all the way to the edge of the long balcony. The view is breathtaking, underneath the balcony there's a clifflike drop of around 60 feet, but I can't take the time to marvel at the sight.

I lean over the balcony, heave for air trying to breathe as a strong wind rushes past me along the castle walls. I can see the city from here. I continue to suck air into my lungs as hard as I can but to no avail. It feels like me lungs are filled with air but not being able to process it into my bloodstream.

I grip the cold stone guardrail and shut my eyes trying to calm my rigid breathing. The wind rushes past my face through my hair. Poor Otis, oh poor, poor Otis. And his wife! I've met her, oh god poor Bianca. My lung stings from my hyperventilating and cold tears continue to rain down my face nonstop.

Two large hands emerge from either side of my body, then cling around my shoulders and my waist only to pull me back abruptly.

"What the fuck are you doing?!" I'm so dizzy but I know exactly who's speaking. I start hyperventilating more, and try to free myself.

He sits down on the stone floor of the balcony, bringing me down with him.

"Shhhh" he says. With my back to him I don't see his face which comforts me a little, as we sway back and forth very subtly.

"Breathe, Alice." He tries to calm me. I concentrate on breathing slower, reminding myself that I can breathe and it's all in my head.

"I'm sorry, Alice," his voice breaks.

Concentrate. You're okay. In and out. In. And out. You're okay. Relax. It starts to work and I can feel my body start to relax out of its stiffness.

"Good girl." Theodore whispers into my ear, letting go of my waist with one hand and stroking the top off my head. And there we sat. Leaning into him, gave me comfort.

What am I doing?! I sit up straight and turn back. Taking comfort in the mans arms who's still smeared in the blood of my friend. He looks at me in surprise, his face still having blood splatters on it. I rush into a stance. "Alice." He looks at me, with guilt in his eyes.

„Please just leave me alone." Once again a tear slips down my sticky cheek as I run back into the Kings chamber and straight into my room.

He didn't come for me.

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