This is one edited by a guest editor, possibly long term, a purple Corgi named Cherry. I believe she has done a good job at it. Granted her tiny little arms keep hitting the enter key too frequently. I had to correct her editing a bit there. But both her and Adi say I don’t know how a semicolon is used. Being bred for my poofy hair and not for my brains doesn’t help me much. I can rhyme though, when needed.
Oh, this a fantasy story by the way! So if you don’t like that, go ahead and skip. I actually prefer fiction, it keeps me away from reality. This isn’t a finished story like Clinic but I am going to update it only once or twice a week. There are about eighty pages written but if it does well I can always write more. This is A.B. O my brothers, I hope you like this real horrorshow. Image source:embersOashes from Deviantart
The Cord of Fate hung out of Princess Elayne’s forehead. It was a crimson length of sinewy cable that pulsed softly with her heart. It was connected to her circulatory system, tangled up in her brain and laced through her bones. That red Cord was everywhere inside her and currently a meter of it was strewn out before her on the vanity table she was seated before. The Cord was tethered to a silver diadem that rested on the table beside Elayne’s cellphone, which had been buzzing with text messages for the last ten minutes.
Elayne sat as straight as possible in the high back chair with her thin legs crossed as her hair was combed out by enchanted brushes. The little wings in their handles fluttered softly. There were two of them, one for each side, occasionally they would clank into each other. The magic on them was old, she had had them since she was five, and they had been brushing her hair for fifteen years now.
She made sure not to look too long at the other magic item in the room, the Cord hanging loose from her head. Little was known about the Cord except that it was magic. Of the few people that had seen the Cord, a majority believed it to be a curse. Why somebody would cast a curse on a pregnant woman was unknown.
The Cord had gained and retained its name by its constant actions. It didn’t speak but it did make suggestions; nothing audible just quiet guidance making some thoughts seem boundless while excluding others. Still, Elayne knew when the thoughts were her own and when it was the Cord. The thoughts had a different presence, a peculiar way they settled into her mind. If she went against those suggestions, those pushes, she developed a migraine.
The choices were both obvious and sometimes completely random. The Cord chose days to affect every minor choice from her attire to her meals, and even to what sites she visited on the internet. Then, some days it was silent. One thing was certain; it was more painful to disobey it, than to listen. There couldn’t be a royal with such a distinct weakness, so Elayne had been kept away from public life.
The enchanted brushes finished running through Elayne’s long silver hair and rested on the vanity. Their wings tucked themselves back into the design of the brush. Elayne lined them up properly, they always landed oddly.
Her slender fingers held the diadem as the cord retracted into her skull. Without the tether of the diadem the cord would hang freely from her head. She could control how much slack it gave but it had to have something to hold onto or it would loll out like a dog’s tongue that was too big for its mouth. Carefully, as she had done every day for the last fifteen years since her mother had let her do it herself, she set the diadem on her head. The ruby at its center sparkled slightly before dimming. There, now no one could tell she had a glowing rope sprouting from her forehead.
There was a knock on the bedroom door. Unlike most denizens of the castle, Elayne’s room was rather cozy and in an otherwise unused wing. There were ten wings altogether, if the castle were a bird it would be most peculiar, so one wing going unused was not unusual. The door had not felt many knocks, thus the spell upon it activated slowly turning the door transparent so that Elayne could see out. Now the door displayed a slim woman in a business suit with a headset in one ear and a tablet in her hands. Every once in awhile she tapped the headset like she was swatting a fly. Her frizzy hair was streaked down the center with gray. She would let neither hairdresser nor enchanter touch the silvery locks; she had earned them.
The woman gave the headset a swat with finality to it. “It is time, your highness,” the woman, Ms. Lynch, said casually and stressed at the same time.
“I know, I know,” replied Elayne. “Be there in a moment.”
The transparent door brought the subtle afternoon light into the darkened room. Besides that, the only light was that of the vanity casting shadows over an untidy room. Elayne took one last look before shutting off the light.
Thin lips, colored pink. Check.
Blue eyes, popping. Good.
Long earth tone silk dress draped over your thin frame and spidery legs. Well, check.
Cursed silver hair rod straight and reaching down towards narrow hips. Whatever, check.
Elayne wasn’t exactly vain but she did have some pride.
She flipped off the vanity light, snatched her handbag and burst out the door.
Ms. Lynch moved aside on instinct and started walking beside Elayne without looking up from her tablet.
Elayne knew where she was headed, the main hall, and all wings led to the main hall.
Elayne’s dress fluttered as she walked. Her heels clicked against the stone floor. She would have preferred flat boots or sneakers, but today was a special day.
Twenty years she’d been forced to accompany her parents or be escorted by a castle guard to leave. Today, today she would get her own guards, her own duties as a royal, and she would, finally get to see the world. If this were a stupid musical, then this would be the part where Elayne broke out in song. But Elayne wasn’t that happy or that much of a singer. She was excited, sure, but she knew the Cord would certainly have something to say today. This decision was far too major for the Cord not to have a say.
The sun streamed through the tall clouded windows of the hall. The ceiling, like the rest of the halls, was incredibly high, a whole fifty feet. Other halls had electric lighting and other modern improvements. A couple of halls were attached to swimming pools. This hall in the unused wing had possessions unsuited for display. The ancient oil paintings that hung on the walls depicted corpulent rulers in a time where magic was superior to technology. The eyes of the old rulers were enchanted so that they did actually follow you. Beside their bitter expressions the movement of oil painted eyes was probably the main reason these paintings resided here.
“Now, you did finally review the files I sent you on the guards right?” Ms. Lynch asked.
“Not a single one,” said Elayne.
Ms. Lynch hissed a breath past her teeth. “I emailed them to you. I even printed them out.”
“I told you I didn’t need them. As stupid and clichéd as it sounds, I am to let fate decide. I suppose it doesn’t sound quite so stupid since I don’t really have a choice either way.”
“You’re really going to leave your decision up to that cursed string?” Ms. Lynch looked at Elayne over her wire frame glasses.
“Yes, because if I don’t, bad things will happen. Had I not picked out these shoes this morning as the Cord suggested,” she pointed to her strappy sandals “Not only would I have to deal with a sudden migraine, but then the shoes I did pick would break and I would fall on my face. Or some other tragedy would occur. Believe me it has happened before.”
“You could have at least looked at the options before hand.” Ms. Lynch was one of the few castle staff that spoke so casually with the royals.
“No, I have little shame but to read ten people’s files. Ten collections of ten soul’s entire history. Their achievements and failures cataloged in a few pages. It would have been too sad when it came time to deny seven of them employment. I would know their entire life story and then be forced to crush their dreams. ‘I’m sorry,’ I would say ‘but I have chosen my guards and you will have to return to your farm and raise those pigs. I’m so sorry.’” Elayne faked a sniffle.
“The files contained only their school and military background. They are hardly invasive. Had you read them, the Cord could pick its favorites and we wouldn’t be wasting people’s time. The three would be requested to the castle and this could have been settled days ago.”
“And deny seven people a trip to the castle that includes a feast? My dear Ms. Lynch you are heartless. Plus, why ruin the surprise? I want to see how weird an all-inclusive military academy’s graduating class looks like. Think there will be any Byakko or fox people? Aren’t there two races that look like snakes? Wait, isn’t one a snake and the others are lizards?”
Ms. Lynch tapped the back of her tablet in annoyance. “I know the race of every graduate. I read all their files. They are quite diverse, even for being the top ten graduates. And you’ve no need to worry your highness, these are all high ranking military officers, none of them will be returning to any pig farms.”
“Who said I was worried? And why do you only call me ‘your highness’ when you’re mad at me?”
Ms. Lynch let out a long sigh. “You’ve shaved years off my life.”
“I would like to call it ‘pruned’. Who needs to live to the age of infirmity anyway? I have saved you years of senility.”
Ms. Lynch walked in silence.
Elayne smiled triumphantly.