Chapter XXVI

The golden haired girl was crowned Queen shortly after Mallory had been buried. Her marriage to Maxwell had not been long after.

The people loved her, cheering when she came out onto the balcony. It was a joyful day for them all.

And even now, ten years later, she still remembers the feeling perfectly. It had been preserved faultlessly in her memory.

"I am Xanthe," She'd announced to the villagers, "And I have come to save you all!"

They had applauded her, chanting her name.

Some had even cried.

She did, too.

She had cried tears of delight against Maxwell's shoulder.

Immediately after, she straightened up and said crying was for ninnies.

But on their wedding day she found herself crying again.

And they had both cried when she'd brought a child into the world.

Their newborn son had cried the most, though.

Their life in the castle was a happy one.

Xanthe had been relieved.

After all those years of fighting and running and magic, she finally got to settle down.

But deep down inside, she missed it.

No matter.

She had a family and a kingdom to tend to now.

They all needed her as much as she needed them.

It was a wonderful feeling.

Speaking of which, she hadn't forgotten her pirate friends, either.

She'd welcomed them back with open arms.

"Two executions and you still haven't died," Jamie had observed, hands resting on his hips. "That's a new record."

She couldn't help smiling when the memories came rushing back.

It was amazing, how she'd started so small and came this far.

"You're a survivor, Persephone." Maxwell had told her, deep into the hours of the night. "This is what you were destined to be."

No one called her Persephone anymore.

No one other than Maxwell, who whispered it against her skin while they both lay beneath the privacy of their sheets.

"You are mine, Persephone. You are mine as I am yours."

And frankly, she couldn't think of anywhere else she'd rather be.

Because being here with Maxwell was all she ever wished for.


The small boy ran through the long halls of the castle, his sheathed sword banging against his leg. He dashed past the castle guards, grinning all the while.

Run run as fast as you can! He sang in his head, You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!

"Oomph!" He bumped into something hard, interrupting his trek across the courtyard.

"Going somewhere, Xanthus?" A voice boomed from overhead.

The eight year old boy rubbed his golden haired head and smiled sheepishly.

King Maxwell smiled and shook his head, ruffling his son's curly hair. "All right. Just don't get into any trouble."

"I won't." Xanthus chirped, slipping away from his father and sprinting down the hall.

He ran and ran and ran, running being his favourite thing to do.

Through the hall, down the stairs, across the garath, and into the garden.

Lovely scents filled his nose.

The trees swayed around him.

His brown eyes fixed on the forest ahead of him.

Almost there…..

And….

"Got you!" Arms grabbed ahold of him just moments away from his target.

He writhed and squirmed, but couldn't help giggling. "Mu-uum!"

Queen Xanthe laughed, holding her son close to her. "You're always running somewhere, aren't you, Xanthus?"

"Why not?" He answered. "Running is much too fun. You should do it sometime."

Xanthe held both his hands in hers. "I've already done my fair share of running. Possibly even more than you have."

"That's not true." He wrinkled his nose, then slipping away. "I'll show you!"

His mother laughed, watching him go. "Don't go too far!"

She always said that, when really she meant: Run as far and fast as you can, adventure awaits!

She'd said it to him once before, and had the same glint in her eyes whenever she warned him not to wander off.

Xanthus had always admired his parents.

Besides, they told the best stories.

He had his mother's golden, curly hair, and his father's intense brown eyes.

"What a handsome young boy he is! He gets his looks from his Father."

He'd heard it all from Queen Xanthe's friends.

He never liked getting ogled very much.

Xanthus shook his head free of those thoughts.

He continued to run, right into the forest, the wind trying to push him back.

Over the river and through the woods,

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the nose

And bites the toes

As over the ground we go!

He picked his way through the trees, now walking at a steady pace.

The snapping of twigs caught his attention.

He wasn't alone.

How very exciting!

He drew his sword, advancing slowly. "Who's there?"

No answer. The bushes behind the tree rustled.

"Show yourself," He commanded.

Movement. He heard it.

Whoever was there was behind the tree.

Cautiously, he approached.

Slowly walking around.

And at that moment, a small dirty blonde head poked around the trunk of the tree, taking Xanthus by surprise.

"Who are you?" Xanthus positioned the tip of the blade under her chin.

"You shouldn't have seen me." The small girl replied.

"Why are you here?"

"I'm running." She said with a smile.

Xanthus smiled back, lowering his sword. "As am I."

"Good." She started to back away. "Then resume running and try to forget me."

"But I can't just forget you!" He protested, causing her to stop in her tracks.

She raised her glowing palm. "I can make you."

"You're a magician." Xanthus observed, then flashing his eyes golden. "So am I."

The little girl sighed. "I shouldn't be talking to you." Then she bolted.

"Wait!" He called after her.

"What now?" She turned back around, clearly annoyed.

"At least tell me your name."

She paused for a moment, as if she was having an argument with herself. "Odessa," She said at last. "My name is Odessa."

"I'm Xanthus." He replied.

"Nice to meet you, Xanthus." Odessa smiled a little, green eyes twinkling. "Now forget me."

"See you sometime?" He asked, hopeful.

"If you can find me," Her laughter echoed through the forest as she dashed away.

Xanthus ran a hand through his golden locks, then started to run back to the castle.

Oh, what a story he had to tell!


Author's Note: So it ends in yet another cliffhanger (I'm such a bad person) Ah, well. I just thought it would be fun to include Xanthus in all this. And if you're hoping that I'll pick this up, well, that probably won't happen until next year or something. Sorry :/

AND NOW FOR THE FUN FACTS:

(Sorry there's only two. My stories aren't really that interesting)

This story takes place in the future. Remember in the beginning when Persephone heard the rumbling of automobiles? That's because this takes place very far in the future, way after the apocalypse. Natural disasters wiped out cities and technology alike, causing the people to relive the medieval ages. The reason why no one uses modern tech anymore is because it's so darn expensive (and initially useless). Magic and sorcery could just be the result of scientific experiments. Or even a superior race. Or maybe aliens O.o

I chose my characters' names very carefully, paying close attention to their meanings. My characters' names reflect who they are and grants insight to their storyline. I've always done this. It adds a little something to my stories. Even though majority of you might not notice it. I put a lot of effort into my work, you see.

Vale, my dear readers. And until the next time.

-Mayah