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In a Faraway Land
It's a work in progress.
Monica had grown to be motivated by death. The death of the king who was her husband and her daughter. They were the insufferable brats that had her locked up. Monica stared out of the tiny window of her prison cell and felt rage bubble up inside her. The tiny brick houses, rolling green hills, and glittering blue ocean that all encompassed the kingdom of Mellion reminded her of the things she should have. The kingdom was rightfully hers and yet she was stuck in this prison. And all because her wretched daughter Lana couldn't keep her mouth shut. Monica growled and got up from her stone slab they called a bed. She couldn't stand being trapped and being treated like an animal. She desperately pulled at the black leather cuff around her arm. If only she could rip it off then she could use her magic and break out. She almost screamed in rage at her predicament.
She was only in her cage because of Lana who captured the king's attention all of the time. Lana got gifts and parties in her honor every week. It was normal for Monica to go unnoticed in the palace. The king, as far as Monica knew, didn't even love her. And despite Monica's misery she stilled managed to keep a smile on her face and love her daughter.
In her free time though, Monica practiced magic. It was a way for her to blow off steam and forget about her troubles. She read every book, studied every method, and practiced every charm. She memorized every law of magic and researched every magical creature. All in secret though. Her husband hated magic and was known to burn anyone who was even suspected of using magic. All was well for Monica until one day Lana spotted Monica using magic. She was only seven at the time but, Monica knew at the sight of Lana's face that she was going to go blabber to her father. And she did. Monica tried to run but, the guards captured her and placed that cuff on her arm. The king wanted to kill her but, a few sly words saved her life and instead she was thrown in prison. Monica hated it though. The constant solitude and incapability to do anything except stare out of a window. It would drive anyone insane which is why Monica was motivated by death. She needed some way of keeping focus and revenge on those who did her wrong seemed to do the trick.
Monica paced in the tiny cell space and got angrier with every step. It wasn't fair she was in this cell when she should be out and ruling a kingdom. Monica's head buzzed with frustration. She shouldn't have to be subjected to this treatment. A wave of anger and defiance overcame her and she threw herself at the steel door.
"LET ME OUT!" She shouted as she banged on the door.
Monica knew the were not listening. They never did. The guards usually snickered at her foolish attempts to get ut but, today they were unusually silent. The king said she was never to be set free until the day he died. Monica breathed heavily and paced some more. Banging on doors was doing her no good. It only resulted in sore hands. After a while, Monica sat down and wondered if she would ever get out of her drafty dark cell. After hours of nothingness, the door swung open so suddenly Monica jumped.
The guard at the door looked bewildered and shocked as he addressed Monica.
"His royal highness the king has died from an illness." He hesitated. "You're free."
"Is this some kind of joke?" Monica asked not believing a single word the guard said.
"No." He whispered.
When Monica stepped forward the guard stepped back in fear. Monica laughed in disbelief. She had been waiting for this day for ten years. She stepped out of her cell cautiously still doubting the truth in the guard's story. She turned to him with her arm out.
"The cuff." She said gesturing to the guard. "Take it off."
The guard's hands shook as he peeled the cuff from her arm. "What are you going to do?" he asked shakily.
"I'm going to get everything I deserve," Monica said breathlessly. "Starting with Lana's death."
Lana cried into her soft pillow. Her father fought all night long. He didn’t want to leave Lana alone, but he couldn’t hold on any longer. Lana was shocked. She never thought that her father would die so soon She was only seventeen years old. Not even old enough to take over the kingdom and Lana knew she couldn’t do it on her own. Lana couldn’t believe she was all alone. She felt hollow and afraid.
Lana heard the door open and footsteps behind her. She lifted her raw face off her pillow and tore the pink drapes away from her canopy bed. Behind her, she saw Monica. Lana’s eyes got bigger and she gasped.
“Y-you’re here!’’ Lana’s weak voice stuttered out.
“Hello dear,” Monica said in a cheery voice.
“What are you doing here?” Lana tried again.
“I live here!” Monica said with a small laugh.
“Your father was a nimrod. I wouldn’t listen to anything he said.” Monica said flatly with a tint of anger. She stalked over to Lana. She was still wearing her drab dungeon robes, but she looked murderous.
She sat down and tried to touch Lana’s face, but Lana jumped up and backed away. Monica’s hand fell to her lap.
“Dear, I don’t think you understand,” Monica said in a sharp tone.
“Understand what?” Lana said.
Monica smiled. “You aren’t welcome here. If you’ve forgotten, that rat was my husband making me queen.”
“I-I will be queen,” Lana said trying to be brave.
“You’re only seventeen. If my memory serves right you must be nineteen to be queen. And as long as I’m living you won’t be queen!”
Lana said nothing and stared at Monica. She didn’t believe what was happening to her.
“Why are you here?” Lana asked her voice wavering.
“I’m taking back my kingdom and making it perfect,” Monica said.
“What do you need me for?” Lana’s asked dreading the answer.
“You are useless,” Monica said pointedly.
Lana breathed faster. “T-then w-why are you here?”
“To get my revenge of course!”
“What revenge?” Lana asked while inching closer to the door.
“You know what you did!” Monica snarled. “And I am going to KILL. YOU. FOR. IT.!”
Monica summoned a crackling hot orange fireball in her hand and aimed at Lana. Lana shrieked in terror as the fireball got launched toward her. She raced out the door and down the steps. Lana felt nothing but sheer terror as she ran for her life. She made it to the throne room but Monica was already there. Lana nearly tripped over trying to stop in time.
“You realize that there is nowhere in this castle you can run without me finding you.” Monica laughed.
Lana felt goosebumps erupt down her skin. She couldn’t run or hide. Monica summoned another fireball and threw it at Lana who dived again.
“PLEASE! PLEASE STOP!” Lana shrieked in terror.
Monica laughed as she threw more fireballs trying to hit her but, missing every time.
Lana felt the heat of the fireballs scorching her skin as she dodged every assault. Lana tripped and hit the marble floor.
“I won’t miss this shot!” Monica squealed in delight. A fireball appeared in her hand and she launched it at Lana.
Lana screamed and prepared for the attack but, it never came. Instead, she heard Monica scream in shock and anger. Lana opened her eyes and saw someone standing in front of her.
The stranger had long silvery hair and pale skin. She turned to face Lana and grabbed her by the arms. Lana gasped in shock as she looked closer at the stranger. She had big eyes that matched her hair and… pointed ears. Lana stepped back as she realized that this stranger who had saved her was an elf.
“Get back here!” The elf said sharply.
“NO! NO! NO!” Monica screeched as she threw another fireball.
The elf pulled out her sword and blocked Monica’s magic while Lana screamed again.
“Who are you?” Lana said.
The elf pulled Lana toward her and shoved a small pebble that tasted like dirt into Lana’s mouth. Lana tried to squirm away from the elf but, her grip was like steel. Then Lana felt a strange sensation like she was being stretched in different directions. She heard a loud crack and felt as if she had been slingshot across the whole realm.
Lana dropped to the ground and scraped her knees. She had landed in some sort of forest. She was surrounded by trees and greenery and the elf was right beside her on her feet scanning the territory.
“Who are you?” Lana coughed out.
“I am Sikora.” The elf said while hauling Lana to her feet. “And you are an idiot.”
Edward Thomas had grown to go by three names. Captain, Eddie, and Captain Seals. His legend grew every time he went to a new kingdom and tore it down. Eddie sailed the high seas on his ship, the Golden Anchor, and plundered monarchies across the realm. If there was one thing Eddie hated it was royals. They were stuck up and they tended to run over anyone and everyone. Royals were spoiled entitled brats and Eddie taught them a lesson by taking everything from them.
Eddie created a plan for every kingdom he went to. He executed the plan perfectly and then the Kingdom was left penniless and Eddie left a richer man. Eddie also created a signature for every raid. Once he had enough money he created his seal, a snake running through his ship, and marked the thrones of the kingdom. And in return, he added a royal seal to his scabbard which gained him the name Captain Seals and a wanted poster in twenty kingdoms. He was infamous and most of it was due to his stellar crew.
As his crew started spilling onto the Golden Anchor’s deck a black kitten darted between their legs. Eddie had found Zoe, his kitten, a few years ago. Even he had her for a while she only seemed to grow on certain occasions. Eddie was enjoying watching Zoe scare his crew when a skinny dark-skinned boy walked up to Eddie.
“Captain! We’ve got the supplies.” Ian, Eddie’s first mate, said. “And recruits.”
“Perfect!” Eddie said as he rounded on Ian. “We are ready for our next raid!”
Ian smiled brightly as the rest of the crew hauled the supplies onto the deck. Even though Ian was two years younger than Eddie he stood just as tall. Ian was only fourteen when Eddie met him in Greenbarrow after one of his raids. He had no family or home and Eddie decided to take him in. In one year, Ian proved himself to be resourceful and dependable. Which is why he was the first mate.
Ian beckoned over the two newcomers. “This is Captain Edward Thomas known as Eddie.”
“Names,” Eddie asked plainly.
“Jordan.” One said with a scratchy voice. He had shaggy brown hair and a face that looked as if it had been punched one too many times.
“I’m Skipper!” The other said in a bubbly voice. She had short red hair, green eyes, and a clear face.
“What kind of name is that?” Eddie scoffed.
Skipper rolled her eyes. “It’s my name. And you will have to learn to respect it.”
“Well I’m Captain and you will have to learn to respect me!” Eddie retorted. “Swab the deck mate. Ian will show you where the supplies are.”
Skipper scowled as she stomped off with Ian. Eddie was pleased with the good impression he just made. He had to show that he didn’t tolerate disrespect or bad form.
Jordan nodded curtly.
“Don’t say much do you?” Eddie asked.
Jordan shook his head.
“Interesting. I suppose you should go and meet the rest of the crew then. Most of them will be below decks.”
Jordan walked below decks silent as ever.
Eddie stood at the helm and smelled the salty air while watching his crew haul up the rest of the supplies. He trusted his crew wholeheartedly and they trusted him although he was younger than most of them. He was never challenged and he didn’t expect to be challenged any time soon.
Ian returned with a look on his face that said, “You probably shouldn’t have done that.” Eddie was familiar with this look.
“What?” Eddie asked in an exasperated voice.
“Maybe. Just maybe. You should have been nicer to Skipper.”
“Nice? What is that?”
“You know what I mean!”
Zoe made her way to Eddie and leaped on his shoulder. Ian flinched at the sight of her and Eddie rolled his eyes.
“She should have stayed in her place!” Eddie said while petting Zoe.
“You shouldn’t have made fun of her name,” Ian said warily.
“I have every right as Captain to make fun of my crew!”
“You should say sorry.”
“I don’t say sorry,” Eddie said with a deadly look.
Ian raised his hands in the air in surrender. “I’m just saying.”
“You should talk less,” Eddie said.
Ian rolled his eyes. “Well, the crew is ready to make plans if you’re ready.”
Eddie walked below decks to the kitchen where everyone was seated around a long mahogany table. There were fifteen people a part of Eddie’s crew, seventeen including the newcomers. No one was over the age of twenty-one. Eddie took on people who were young and had nowhere to go. He knew from experience that being on the streets by yourself at a young age was no way to live. So, any time he or any of his crew saw someone in need, they took them in.
Eddie’s crew was talking loudly and boisterously helping themselves to platters of cookies lined down the table. Zoe leaped off his shoulder and went to a bowl of milk laid out for her. Eddie went to take his seat at the front of the table and snatched a cookie.
“Ahoy, mates!” Eddie yelled.
His crew silenced themselves and looked up at Eddie with anticipation.
“As you all know we’re about to hatch another raid.” Eddie took a bite of his cookie. “‘o where are we going to go?”
“I say we go to Cantle!” Richard, a wiry teen, said.
“No,” Eddie said lazily.
“How about Poartle?” Another crew mate said.
“We raided there long ago,” Ian said.
“But surely we could raid it again!”
“We should raid them all before going back for seconds!”
“How about Thalyne?” Skipper said.
The room got quiet and everyone looked at Eddie. Eddie put the rest of his cookie down and walked up to Skipper.
“We will never raid that place. Ever.” He said with a quaver in his voice. Eddie knew Skipper was new but, someone should have warned her to never bring up that place.
“We’re going to raid… Mellion.” Ian said after some thought.
“That’s a good idea, Ian!” Eddie said trying to get away from Thalyne. “The king has just died and the princess, I hear, is a complete dolt!”
“We could just walk right in there!”
“Precisely!” Eddie said already hatching plans in his head. “All right everyone. You know the drill. Get the hooks, nets, and distraction packs prepared! And Skipper meet me at the helm.”
Everyone spun into action and got busy with things to do. Eddie watched and walked above decks to meet Skipper. Skipper stood there boldly looking to retaliate at any given moment. Eddie sighed and set a scowl on his face.
“Look, Skipper- “
“I don’t think it’s fair you shot my idea down. Just because I’m a girl or the newbie doesn’t give you the right to be downright rude.’ Skipper said indignantly.
Eddie’s scowl got smacked right off his face. He was aghast that Skipper could even think of these things.
“Skipper there are seven girls on my crew including you so, don’t ever think what I say to you is about your gender. And of course, I’m going to make fun of you because you’re the newbie! It’s my job!”
Skipper scowled and had a look of disbelief on her face.
“I know nobody told you the rules because you were busy swabbing the deck so, I’m going to let you off this one time.” Eddie set his voice in a serious tone. “We never talk about Thalyne. It doesn’t exist while you’re on my crew.”
“But why?” Skipper questioned.
“Because I said so! That’s why.” Eddie said getting irritated.
“Sorry, Edward.” Skipper said not looking apologetic at all.
“And don’t call me Edward,” Eddie said in disgust. “That’s not me. Edward is the name of some rich pompous prince. It makes me wanna throw up. No, not me at all.”