11 comments

Mar 12, 2021

Sad Fiction Historical Fiction

Hephaestion keeps getting worse, only 3 days left, and I haven’t figured out what disease he has. He won’t eat anything, the fever continues going higher, the vomiting hasn’t stopped. I can’t even remember the last day I slept or went out of the palace. I thought this would be easier, I believed they hadn’t been able to save him because they didn’t know enough. Yet, I can’t either. The damn genius who managed to travel back in time can’t save the man she swore to cure. I thought if I went back and saved the person I admire the most, everything would be alright. If only things were so easy…. If I don’t save Hephaestion, Alex is gonna die. But how am I supposed to cure someone of something I don’t know he has?

‘Only a research assignment, nothing more,’ It’s what I tried to tell myself every day. ‘Don’t get attached. They will die. You can’t do anything about it.’ I repeated them, all the time. Still, here I am. I tried to remain unattached but as time went by, I got to see their love blossom and knowing how it would end, I couldn’t step away.

(20 years ago in the palace)

My heart races as fear still courses through my veins. Not because of my situation, a 22-year-old trapped in a seven-year-old body, or because of the assassination attempt that had gone in front of me. No… What truly scares me is her look. The look Olympias gave me as I entered the palace. The sheer coldness in her eyes as she looked down at me with disgust. “I heard you saved my father.” An unknown voice says from the entrance of my room. Startled, I look up to see a kid resembling Alexander.

It must be him! I open my mouth, except the words won’t come out. What if he’s like Olympias? Will he hate me? No, I have to remember, it doesn’t matter what he thinks. It’s research.

At my lack of response, Alexander throws a wooden sword in my direction. “He also said that you have good sword skills. I was wondering if you wanted to spar.” Looking into his face, I can see how he and the queen are related. They have the same expression, yet when I gaze into his eyes there’s a certain glint to it. The look a kid gives when challenging their friend. Smiling, I catch the sword with one hand. “Bring it on!”

(10 years ago)

Reading one of my books in Alexander’s room, while he and Hephaestion read some letters, I look up to see him putting his ring to Haphaestion’s lips. Staring at each other’s eyes while Fey kisses the ring. The air stifled out of the room as soon as his lips met the precious metal. They won’t say it, but their love for each other is eternal. Just one look into their eyes and anyone can see it.

Even when they had just met.

Alex had entered my room, dragging a boy behind him. He said they had recently encountered in Aristotle’s class, but I could see how they looked at each other. The atmosphere of respect and caring. We swiftly became friends. Yet, I could never hope to mirror their relationship.

Two sides of the same coin.

“Stop staring, Agne. This isn’t one of your stories.” Alex says as he stands up from his chair and ruffles my hair. Haphaestion smiles, doing the same thing. They are my big brothers now, and, I swear, I’ll protect them even if it’s the last thing I do.

Present:

“Another murder attempt?” I say, looking up at the servant.

“Yes, the second one this week.” What am I going to do with Alex? If he loses the respect of the other nobles, they are sure to come after his head. All his attempts to kill his generals were when drunk, so ban booze? Who am I kidding? Booze or no booze, as long as Hephaestion isn’t cured, Alexander won’t come to his senses.

Well, anyway, I sigh, if Fey rejects this medicine too, he will die. There’s nothing left. Tried all the remedies, medications, and even penciling that I brought from the future. The infection won’t die down. What can I expect, though? I’m not even sure what he has.

The hallways to Hephaestion room make me dizzy as I remember all the fun times we had here. Not anymore, though. Oh, God, please just let this work. Wet droplets start falling from my face. No, not right now! I swing my fist and punch the wall. Fuck it. I just want to go back. Is that so much to ask? I knew this was coming… but why? Why…

After finishing wiping my tears away I enter Hephaestion’s room. There he is. Our orbs meet as he lays in bed. Dead. It won’t work. He has given up by now. The fire that used to live in his eyes every time he looked at Alexander has disappeared.

Wait! Alexander. That’s it. Running out of Fey’s room, medicine in hand, I go find Alexander.

“Come with me,” I tell Alex, trying to catch my breath after having run through the whole palace. Before he can do anything, I drag him into Hephaestion’s room. Alex is about to speak, still, once again, I interrupt him. Getting both their hands and joining them, I say, “Fey, I know you gave up, but just once more, can you give it your all? Not for me or you. For Alexander.” Alex’s orbs bulge out at my speech. Sometimes, I really believe he believes his relationship with Fey is a secret. Yet, looking at Hephaestion, I can see something has changed.

It has been 3 days, and I can’t believe I have beat history. Hephaestion isn’t out of the woods, still, but he’s been doing much better. Guess my time is near. I’m gonna have to go back… “Lady Agne, Hephaestion has died.” A running servant blurts out.

What. Without giving a response, I fly to Hephaestion’s room. Please let him be alive. Pls. Yet, when I get there, I know my prayer haven’t been answered. Hephaestion lies in his bed, body freezing and pupils dilated. How could this have happened? He was alright when I left him. No! Tears fall from my eyes as I try my best to bring him back. 1, 2, 3 once more, 1,2,3. You can do it. I continue pumping his heart.

In the end, the guards took me away and looked me in my room. I hear the jiggling of keys. Alex comes in, crestfallen. “I’m sorry… the guards…” His eyes red, and his hand bruised, probably from punching a wall. He hugs me tightly as if I would disappear if he let go. I have to tell him.

“I’m going,” I say, pushing him away. At first, he looks surprised at my sentence, but soon it turns to a laughing face. “I’m serious. Stop laughing.” “That’s why I’m laughing, Agne. I’m not letting you go.” He covers his face with one of his hands, putting the other one over his stomach.

“You can’t do that. I’ll leave no matter if you want it or not.” I say, going towards the door. What’s happened to him? This isn’t the Alexander I know. He grabs my arm and throws me deeper into the room.

“You will marry me tomorrow and never leave my side. Got it? You’re mine, Agne.” He says, locking the door one again. Yet before he leaves, I hear him whisper the thing that answers all my questions. “I can’t afford to lose someone I love, again.” Nonetheless, I must go. It is for his own good, after all.

Once more, I’ll go back. This time, though, I won’t let him die. I swear.

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11 comments

Deidra Lovegren
23:22 Mar 15, 2021

Loved this. It begs to be made into a longer work — slow everything down, include more exposition and dialogue, and write a much longer work. Great characterization ❤️

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Black Raven
23:46 Mar 15, 2021

Thank you very much. I'm happy that you liked it. And yeah you are right. Maybe I'll write a sequel or do a longer better version of it. I'm not so sure though since I'm not that good or experienced at longer pieces of work.

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Deidra Lovegren
11:40 Mar 16, 2021

No time to start writing longer works than “write” now. 😀 If you can write short (and you can!), then you can write long. Go get ‘em!!

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Philip Clayberg
17:51 Mar 15, 2021

Thank you for writing this story. I really enjoyed reading it (despite the length of my editing comments). I've read some interesting time travel stories before and this is definitely one of the more interesting ones. It has a similar flavor to the late Robert Heinlein's short story, "... All You Zombies ..." Both have what I call a hopeful ending, rather than a happy ending or a sad ending. Things might not get much better, but at least chances are good that things won't get much worse. Even if you had the power to do it, it would nev...

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Black Raven
18:46 Mar 15, 2021

Thank you very much and don't worry about the length of the editing comments, I don't mind. In fact, I appreciate it, the more things you point out that are not good about my stories the better they'll be when I edit them. I'm really thankful. Also, I'm honored you found it so interesting. This one is one of my favorites out of the ones I have written. I'll edit the story soon.

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Philip Clayberg
19:18 Mar 15, 2021

You're welcome. I'm glad I can help. Had this been ten or twenty years ago, you would've found me reluctant to do any editing of my own writing, much less offer editing suggestions to other writers. Things change, and -- in this case -- I'm happy to say for the better. My late father was right (not an exact quote): Editing is done to improve what we write. If it makes it worse, we're not doing it correctly. Sometimes, when I get lucky, I don't leave any editing comments. I can just enjoy the story and thank the writer for what they w...

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Janey Finch
14:13 Mar 15, 2021

Wow, this was such a cool story! I love your idea of going back in time and how you show the love these two have for each other. The ending is so sad and yet happy because maybe she will save him this time! A really unique take on the prompt!! This was my favourite line because idk, I could just imagine it so well and it made me feel all happy "Smiling, I catch the sword with one hand. “Bring it on!”" One question is, don't you say that Fey and Alex have a "secret" relationship? So why would he want to marry Agne? I understand that he may ju...

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Black Raven
17:42 Mar 15, 2021

I'm not sure if I'll do a sequel or not since I haven't ever done one. But for your questions, the thing is that Alex is a little bit based one the actual life of Alexander the great and an OC character of mine. Being based on that, it is easier to understand how he would value Agne to the point of wanting to marry her just for her not to be able to leave. It's kind of hard to explain, but since Alexander is the emperor he has a lot of enemies and people who would want him dead so losing the only two people in the world that he can trust and...

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Janey Finch
00:51 Mar 16, 2021

Yeah no worries, I haven't written one either- even though my first story definitely calls for one! And oooh, I kind of got that feeling. Noo, you explained it really really well, I was just wondering why he went from Rey to Agne so quickly but the way you explained it makes total sense! I've just been in the (as you see in my last story) one person being extremely stuck on one person mentality so I didn't think of that but it's a really good explanation! You had really nice pleasant descriptions throughout- I loved them!! :) And awww awesom...

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Jade Young
09:44 May 01, 2021

This story is faced paced enough that I can feel Agne's desperation off the screen of my phone. It emulates the whole "high stakes" feeling that leaves your heart racing and I'm all for it. I love how you use the effect of the days blurring together, and how it ties in with time travel so we see just why she's so desperate to go back and change it again and again: because she's seen him die again and again with the same heartbreaking outcomes for both her and Alexander. Overall, it was well written with great pacing and amazing characters an...

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Vicky S
05:15 Apr 11, 2021

I agree with Deidra, I think this should become a longer piece of work, really enjoyed reading it

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