November 13, 2009
By Michaela MacDonald BRONZE, Smithtown, New York
Michaela MacDonald BRONZE, Smithtown, New York
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Coming of no surprise he realized, that once again this fine wine was much too bitter. After years of ingesting it daily, he thought, that maybe- just maybe, he would become accustom to it. Of course he also knew himself better than that, and despite everything, deep inside, he knew he would never-could never- be a part of this world, this culture. It all disgusted him, the heavily jaded walls, covered heavily in plush curtains and ornaments that glittered sickeningly. The thick rugs, and low tables, covered in delectable treats he himself, had no interest in. For they all were either too sweet or too bitter, and never sat quite right in his stomach.

He had never accustomed to that either...

It was not strange to find himself daydreaming of years before, when food could be as simple, yet satisfying, as a slice of toast and a side of scrambled eggs. He craved for such simplicity, a simplicity that made his own being, defined him. Oh how he desired for just a sip of the finest English wine, a moment to gaze proudly over the supple curves of his beloved homeland. Like a woman his land was gentle, and fair. With golden highlights at sunset, and high fields with wisping stalks of wheat, flowing lightly across the land, like eyelashes that flutter teasingly over the seductive iris of a woman’s eye. His favorite time, however, was just after it rained, after the clouds cried, when the sun shone heavily, though the air was crisp, and the land flushed… beautiful. Just imagining his old home made pride flow through his veins like wild fire, followed by something much darker, adulterated by malice. Hatred and scorn burned twice as hard as pride, but left such a bitter after taste it was difficult to keep his face composed.

The young man couldn't help but fist his hand on his lap under the abnormally low table; his nails biting into his skin, leaving fresh pink crescents on his palm. No one around him noticed, however, they never did; even his own brother who was still fawning over this new style of life, though it had already been years since they had been abandoned here. It was disgusting to see his brother so comfortable and loving to people besides their own; towards the very people who had separated them from their kingdom in the first place. Unable to stop this exceedingly dreadful train of thought, Caine Rockshire stood suddenly gaining much unwanted attention.

"Brother?" his sibling had called, tone questioning. The flawless way he spoke this new language only annoyed Caine further.

The incoherent chatter that filled the dining hall lowered noticeably as Thomas addressed Caine.

"I am not feeling well and plan to retire to my room for the night," The elder of the two spoke quickly in heavy English. This only seemed to perturb his younger brother, who made a face as well as the other inhabitants of the room. Said inhabitants spoke very little English and were taken off guard, many looked towards Thomas, eyes questioning.

Thomas, the ever kind teen he was, translated fluently to them. A few of them nodded before returning to what they were doing, while others gave Caine a quick glance before nodding to the elder brother and also returning to their own work. Taking this as an incentive to go, Caine shot out as quickly as he could without rising suspicion, though he could vaguely feel his brothers gaze on his back. He did not ponder over it, however, as he continued on his way, coming across some others whom he smiled lightly at, just to avoid conversation, or worse, questioning. He had learned over the years that a guise was strictly necessary in this cruel world.
Like when playing chess, a pastime he himself enjoyed immensely, it was a must to put away all personal feeling so that pure logic was all that was left. Any emotion would only get in the way, such as a sigh of disappointment at a captured rook, or a smile at a cornered queen. Every emotion ridden movement or judgment gave to the opposition. One mistake could be fatal…
Though, despite this, at the end of every game, Caine made sure to smirk lightly at the other player. Acting as if it was not a big deal, but playing on the oppositions nerves- for an agitated animal tended to strike on instinct, without a thought…
Now seated upon his bed, that was clothed in a too cool, too bright silk, he could only sigh, face buried in his palms. He gazed into the jaded mirror in front of him, dark green eyes glaring back, standing out against the pale pallid of his face, hidden lightly behind a veil of feathery black bangs.
One day he would get revenge on these people, on their children and their children’s children. Revenge would be sweet- he could imagine it now- perched upon a noble black steed, watching over his army as they slew the opposition. His pawns coming first- then his knights, right before he would play his bishops, Caine could imagine such now. Life was a cruel thing, so wonderful, so fulfilling, but as simple and worthless as a common board game. What was one chess piece on a board of many?

The author's comments:
Inspired by Vlad the Impailer

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