Content Note: Love Spells and all the Rape/Consent Issues Therein, Fantasy Violence and Necromancy
Utterly random, totally rough, intentionally a little campy in style to offset the Fridge Horror a bit.
Inspired by my utter loathing of "love spells" ranging from everywhere to Aladdin to the Captain N: The Game Master episode that I saw lampooned today. (Content Note: Not a safe space commentary; includes gender policing and homophobia in many of the annotated comments.)
Posted here purely and simply because I felt like it. Probably nothing will come of this because OH MY GOD, BRAIN, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING ON THE YA NOVEL, MMKAY? If the story did continue, it would follow the unnamed protagonist as she works to heal her sister whilst butting up against infuriating Rape Culture because Belfast isn't doing too bad a job running the kingdom alongside Lara and the kingdom is happy and at peace, so what's the problem really?
The nightmare is always the same, night after night.
We had defeated the evil wizard, brought peace back to the land, and saved the kingdom from total darkness. There were four of us. My sister, princess and heir apparent of Etheria, wielding a mean set of serrated-edged knives along with a grudge the size of the country she swore to protect and as long-lasting as the love she bore for our father who had died only a few weeks before at the hands of the Dread Lord Kalvan. Simeon, the quiet priest who had set aside his vows of pacifism the day he decided that his contribution to the cause couldn’t stop at healing, and he took up a studded mace in a moment when all our lives hung in the balance. Myself, of course, a spell-singer of very small renown, contributing to the battle what little magics I have at my command, as well as a few nasty potions brewed up in haste on the road.
And Belfast, a towering giant of a man, whose broad sword was as long as my arm and as thick as my head. Belfast, the strong. Belfast, the brave. Belfast, the surprisingly ambitious.
In my dream, I see the aftermath of the battle. Simeon is on his knees, weaving curative spells between his pleas to the gods to heal the deep burn I’d taken in my left hip during the battle. I was used to taking heavy hits and knew well how to sit very still to minimize the usual blood loss, dizziness, and imminent danger of death; being targeted for aggressive action was just one of the perks of being a spell-singer. My sister, Lara, is bending over the crumpled form of the Dread Lord Kalvan, doing something with her knives and a handful of flame-sticks that I didn’t quite want to watch, but which I knew to be a necessity — the body had to be thoroughly dismembered and ashed if we were to be truly safe. There were too many aspiring necromancers combing the countryside to take foolish chances.
That Belfast is busily digging through the loot does not overly concern me, though I know in the back of my mind that it should. But Belfast always handled the little practicalities like that after battle, while Simeon was busy healing and I was busy resting and Lara was busy burying the dead. Belfast sorted and peered and divided and by the time I was hale and hearty again, we would be ready to gather up our piles and move on. And even though we had nowhere to move on to this time, I didn’t expect it to be any different.
We knew that Dread Lord Kalvan had the wishing scroll; he’d stolen it from deep within our own royal treasury, after all. He should have used it to kill us, but he was too brave or too foolhardy or maybe he just couldn’t bear to waste it. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to use legendary magics to kill off a single group of adventurers when another group is just going to take their place afterward. Or possibly he had deeper plans that required the wishing scroll, plans that couldn’t be set in motion until we’d been dealt with. He didn’t tell us, and we didn’t bother to ask.
I’m the only one watching, through a haze of rapidly dissipating pain, when Belfast digs the ornamental box out from an ornate chest in the corner of the wizard’s workroom. I see him open the case with infinite care, I watch him gently open the scroll with his rough warrior’s hands. I should have screamed, I should have warned her, though I don’t know how it would have done any good, not with her being on the other side of the room, and the contents of the scroll were short, so short. Only a dozen small words to change the course of our lives, the fate of our nation. I watched, dumbfounded and confused, as Belfast spoke the incantation that would permanently grant the next wish he spoke.
“I wish for Princess Lara to fall completely in love with me.”
A chill wind blows through the room. The ancient parchment crumbles to dust in his hands. My sister turns from her gruesome task to lock eyes with our warrior companion. I see her eyes open wide with shock and then horrifyingly soften into a lovelorn gaze. The edges of her mouth quirk up into a shy smile that looks utterly out of place on her usually confident face. Belfast beams at her with a triumph that causes my stomach to tighten and lurch.
I awake, as I do every morning, in a thick cold sweat. The nightmare is always the same, because the nightmare is a memory that I can’t erase.