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Fantasy Sad Suspense

I

'Come here, Prince, you'll be safe with me.' A woman squatted in front of John's hideout, his favorite corner between a nightstand and bed. 


John had never seen a woman like her before. Her skin looked like it was shining white from within, pulsation of thin red veins visible through skin's paleness. The color of her eyes transitioned from dark blue to mesmerizing black with every rise and fall of long lashes. A red-yellow dragon slightly wriggled on her left temple, and he heard the quiet hissing of a golden snake, entwining her right little finger, a nail of the finger in the snake's mouth. Her clothes seemed expensive, from a transparent white blouse to the burgundy high heels. His mother had never been so fashionable, and he could recall only a few occasions when his mother's voice had shown so much compassion. 


'My name is not Prince. That's my surname.'

'You need to deserve a name. Before that, I'll call you Prince. When you grow up and if you serve me well, you'll get your name back. '

'What do I have to do?'

'You’ll be a warrior fighting for his Queen.'

'I can't be a warrior. Bigger boys always bully me.' 

'But what did you do when they bullied you?'

'I returned later because the block which they controlled was the best place to search for food...I am very hungry,' John's tone quickened. The more he spoke, the more courage it took him not to start crying. 'Me and Amelia, we were trapped at home. Mom passed out in the bathroom. I called her, banged the door, Amelia was crying, but she didn't answer. I couldn’t find the keys. I tried to make milk for her as Mom did, but Amelia didn't eat and cried, cried, and cried non-stop. Can you give us some food? Do you know how to feed babies?' 


The woman glanced at the old, scratched children's bed in the corner of the room.


'I called the police, they'll be here soon to help your mother and sister. As for you...Do you want to go to a safe place? Do you want to always have food and shelter, and purpose in life? You are worth much more than this survival in a dirty apartment.'

'And I'll be a great warrior?'

'If you work hard, yes.'


John contemplated for a minute. He instantly felt homesick when he thought of going away from home. He worried about Amelia who hadn't been crying for a few hours and looked strange and cold to the touch. He wanted to make sure that his mother was okay. Now when he had an opportunity to go somewhere else, he remembered all the good moments he had: a fresh roll with hot tea that an owner of a nearby cafe gave him every morning; a feeling of all-engaging happiness when he found coins on the street; the smell of homemade food when his mom still cooked. An old life wasn't bad after all. 


The woman felt the boy's uncertainty. She leaned forward and looked John directly in the eyes. He saw his own reflection in her pupils. He somehow knew that if he had peered longer, he would have seen everything the woman was talking about as if the whole world was hidden in the depths of her darkness. Deep inside, his guts were twisting from a feeling of imminent danger emanating from the woman, yet he couldn't look away, compelled by her beauty. 


Despite the fear, John slightly nodded in agreement. 


'I have to take something from you. It is a price to enter my kingdom. Are you ready?'


John wanted to ask what it was. The woman stopped him, putting her finger to his lips. 


'Shhh, it will hurt a little bit, but you'll be okay.'


For a second John couldn't breathe, and he felt as if something, a bird alike, frantically flounced in his chest. Then the woman’s face was enlightened by a smile, and she clenched her right fist; the invisible something was now trapped inside. 


She took Prince's hand in hers and took him out of the apartment. 


II

Prince didn’t hear a grinding of a key in a keylock. Immersed in thoughts, he was standing in the middle of a large room that he shared with his mentor, Alexander. He became the great warrior, in fact, he was one of the three who could celebrate their 18th birthday. 


In the beginning, there had been twenty of them, boys and girls, all around the same age, all frightened and confused. 

At 12, he had been one of the ten. 

At 15, he had been one of the six.

At 17, when his life had been at stake, he had won over his best friend to become The Chosen. 


The Queen’s world was fair in its own way. Its rules were plain and understandable, and the main of them was that only the strongest could survive. 


Prince was always calm, he could calculate his own and others’ moves in advance, and he knew when the risk was worth the try. And caught red-handed, he never evaded the consequences and always said the truth. 


He had been treated by other children with caution at first. They had been under the protection of Queen, and his nickname had been Prince; children had suspected that there had been some sort of relationship between the two. It had meant that after an illusion had vanished, he had been bullied twice more than ordinary students. It hadn’t been the funny jokes, so he had taught himself to rest half-asleep and to keep a knife under his pillow. 


He had survived. His enemies hadn’t.


He had had enough food, he had had a roof over his head, but he had never felt so happy as when he had been living with his family. The orphanage where he had lived was divided into two sections, one for the warriors, other for nerds. Often, excising with swords in the yard, Prince had stopped for a moment to glance at clean, tidy children from the second section, sitting in a circle and studying. Their path would be different; they would leave the school at 18 with new documents, go to universities, become scientists, politicians, and activists. They could have families of their own. 


When Prince grew up, he understood what had happened to his family. His mother had been a drug addict who had died of an overdose; his sister Amelia had died of hunger the day when Queen had rescued him. If it hadn’t been for her, he would have met the same fate, locked in an apartment, nobody searching for him. 


John had indeed died on that day, and Prince had been born. He hadn’t changed the nickname even when he already had been given a chance. 


Still, he longed for the taste of a morning fresh bakery with hot tea. 


When he had become the Chosen, he had been free to live as he had wished, except for the times Queen had needed his services. His mentor Alexander was the same. They went to parties, drank a lot, and had fun with girls. 


‘What a night!’ exclaimed Alexander after entering their shared apartment. 

‘Ah?’ answered Prince absent-mindedly. 

‘Are you alone? Where are the girls? I saw you leaving with two chicks last night.’

‘I sent them home.’

‘It’s only 8 am! What came over you?’ 

‘I don’t know. Just don’t feel like drinking anymore.’ 


Alexander came closer, a trace of a smile still twisting his beautiful lips. 


‘Middle age crisis?’

‘Have you ever...have you ever felt that there is something missing inside of you? Drinking, girls, a fever of a battle. These are only the cover, a distraction for a mere minute to not feel the void inside. No, that’s silly, forget about that.’ Prince put a can of soda on a table. 

‘She took something from you?’ It was a half-question, half-statement. 

‘Yes.’ Prince cast a look at Alexander.

‘Haven’t you figured out yet what she took?’ 


Alexander’s eyes went black, the same mesmerizing black as the Queen’s.   

‘ 






April 06, 2021 06:37

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13 comments

Kyra Wilson
22:31 Apr 14, 2021

Beautiful job!Love it so much:)

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Darya Silman
05:00 Apr 15, 2021

Thank you!

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Kyra Wilson
16:58 Apr 15, 2021

Your very welcome.✌️

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Zickey Marya
05:04 Apr 10, 2021

Geo!!! Damn good story!!! I realised the family of the young boy was dead and that boys soul had been taken by the Queen. The turning of the story when the group of kids started short of hunger games was very intriguing. I love every single part of the story. Stupendous work Geo! Awesome!

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Darya Silman
05:56 Apr 10, 2021

If she had taken his soul, that would have been too obvious for my taste. Please, check the name of the story. That's what she took. And thank you, huge thank you for being my constant reader. I know how busy you are and how many writing projects you have yourself.

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Sam Ackman
18:32 Apr 07, 2021

Interesting tale! This was easy to read. I was confused by the “I” at the start until I got to part two. I was also a bit confused at how one can be locked in an apartment as he seemed old enough to know how to unlock a door. Really great descriptions though of his former life and his newer life! Hope you keep writing :)

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Darya Silman
18:39 Apr 07, 2021

Thank you for your feedback! The boy couldn't find the keys, he told that to Queen ;) And I hope to keep writing myself, it's tough to be persistent. Thank you again!

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Sam Ackman
18:59 Apr 07, 2021

I suppose I didn’t understand why you need a key to get out of a house but could just be common in that culture. The story does have a bit of a “Peter pan collecting lost children” feel to it :)

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Darya Silman
19:12 Apr 07, 2021

There are doors that are locked inside too. These are common in my district. I was partly inspired, unfortunately, by a story of 5-6 years back that happened near our apartment: three kids died in fire because they were unable to find the keys to unlock the door from the inside.

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Sam Ackman
19:40 Apr 07, 2021

Wild! I haven’t come across such doors. They are likely used less for the example you have - people inside may need to get out quickly. So many different parts of the world we have right here to explore. Thanks for sharing

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Angel {Readsy}
07:32 Apr 06, 2021

Nice work

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Darya Silman
07:59 Apr 06, 2021

Thank you :)

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Angel {Readsy}
00:00 Apr 23, 2021

Kindly read my new story I need to talk to a fairy

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