Episode 14 Princess
The walk back to the house was long. I knew this would be the last time I ever looked at this house. The last day I spent on these lawns. The last time I would see my father and step siblings.
Vigilance trotted behind me. It was probably the last day I'd ever spend with him as well. My bodyguard who had come to be the person I was closest with throughout my life. He had helped me when my condition made me feel irredeemable. He taught me how to control and master it, saving myself from losing my humanity. But most importantly I thought he had cared about me, truly cared…like a family was supposed to. I forced my eyes forwards and blinked rapidly. I couldn't cry, not yet.
I could mourn what was lost later, now I needed to wrap up my affairs and then figure out where I would be sleeping tonight. I think I was technically homeless.
Wherever I ended up, I knew it was important I have a safe and secure place to give into my condition and let out all the pent up energy. Especially since Father's money won't be keeping Vigilance around any longer, my condition was only going to be worse, like the days before he had been around. But even with him, I was starting to revert back to those days anyway. My God, without him there…no I couldn't think about that right now. I was alone in this world now, I didn't have time to worry about things too far ahead.
"Shall I go and get your bags Miss Dey?" Vigilance opened the door for me.
"Yes." I nodded curtly. I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to him just yet. "If you wouldn't mind bringing them downstairs I would greatly appreciate it."
"Right away Miss Dey." He began walking up the stairs.
"Oh and…don't pack any of my ball gowns. I intend to never attend such vile farces ever again." Vigilance nodded. I quite liked the idea of burning those dresses. Showing my father how I felt about his high class extravagance. But, I'm not sure how that would make this situation any better. Father wanted me out, but he was letting me walk out under my own power. Further incident would only result in him taking even that privilege away. I thought it best to not end up locked up, or sent to an asylum.
I approached a mirror and began picking grass off of my dress, the whole while wondering what the stranger could possibly be here for. Father had said that Mother had told him about my condition, but that doesn't explain why he would be here. Typically blackmailers never met in person, could this man be a doctor…hoping to help me? Unlikely. If medicine had an answer Father would have ensured I was fixed. But medicine only seemed to offer euthanasia for my condition which thankfully Father found potentially more damaging than news of my condition. No I had very little hopes this stranger was here for my benefit. Most likely he was here to see the zoo animal for himself. To gawk, and glare, and wonder aloud how I can possibly be real. He will undoubtedly make some kind of comment related to he just can't believe that human being could ever be like me. Of course concluding that I'm not human…not really, at least I shouldn't count since I'm not a normal ordinary young woman. I'm a freak, a monster, and a threat. Then he and Father will most likely haggle on a price, either to kept the particulars of my condition a secret or more preferably to my father now it seemed to simply deny I exist.
"There's something wrong with you." I told the mirror. I straightened my dress, dabbed my watering eyes and made my way into the parlor. "Hello," I curtsied, "I'm Genevieve, I believe you spoke with my mother. May I ask why you are calling upon me now?"
"Genevieve, what a beautiful name." the man turned and smiled at me. He had stunningly white teeth, smooth olive skin, and tussled and wavy jet-black hair. He was handsome, but I could tell he was not born upper class, his hands hid deep in his pockets.
"Thank you sir." I bowed my head. "I am quite fond of it, may I ask what is yours?"
"I am called Kalan." He informed me. "I am also fond of my name, I think it quite a powerful and strong sounding name. And what man does not wish to be those things?"
"Kalan?" I repeated. "I am not familiar with that name, it seems you are the first Kalan I have met. May I ask where a name like that is from, and does it have any special meaning?"
"Meaning? I like to think I am the definition of my name." He told me. "I am Kalan, after my life is over however I lived will come to define Kalan."
"Oh," this man was definitely strange. "That is a quite interesting philosophy."
"Yes." He was eyeing me, but not the way men usually eyed women. He seemed more on guard, more wary. "I always found it strange monarchs of past days were content between anything less than the first of their name. They were supposedly the best of us, divinely mandated to rule. But by their very names they were replaceable, defeatable, mortal. How could ones calming to be god-kings expect any legitimacy when they are named simply the next in a long line of god-kings?"
"I'm sorry." I muttered. "I'm afraid I don't quite understand. Is this why you are calling upon me today?" I wish Vigilance would hurry up with the bags. I was worried I might hit this man, he had picked the wrong day to visit.
He sighed. "No, Genevieve, on to our business then. I had the pleasure of meeting your mother."
"Please tell, how is she doing? I am not blessed enough to see her often these days." I politely asked. I did not really care for how she was doing. It was her fault Father had now too abandoned me.
"I'm afraid I left her a little worse for wear." Kalan said solemnly. "Fear not however, she will live, just a slight side effect."
His peculiarity kept out doing itself. "I beg your pardon. How do you mean?"
"She told me about you." He said ignoring my questions. "Told me you were special. She told me you were unique." He was looking at me strangely still, but in a different manner. His eyes were…almost hungry.
"I…I…" I didn't know what to say. This man had thrown me off guard. After everything that had happened today, I didn't know how to handle this situation. "I would guess most mothers would say such things of their daughters."
"I would wager you are correct." He nodded. "Oh, parents do seem to love their children. But I was speaking of something different altogether entirely."
"I don't know what you mean." I took a step back. I had feared this man would simply be out for money, or at the least to sate his curiosity, but I couldn't help but feel there was something much more sinister behind his motive here today. Where was Vigilance? I was starting to think I needed him for my own protection rather than saving his man from myself.
"Oh she spoke of your disease, as she called it." Kalan whispered softly, still smiling. "She seemed quite upset you inherited those particular genes. She really hated herself for it I think, blamed herself, blamed the world, blamed the gods, but she blamed you too I think. She said you couldn't hide it like us. She said you were too powerful to keep it hidden." He licked his lips.
I was unable to speak. There were too many realizations happening from his words. My brain was crippled trying to handle them all at once.
"I like power, I think all people do deep down. We all want to rule the world, we all want to be loved, be strong, be respected. Power can give those things to us. The problem is, power must be something we are born with, at least the power you and I have that is."
"Don't play dumb girl." Kalan's voice suddenly snapped. He was no longer attempting to be charming. His voice was eager and anxious. I shrunk back from his words. "Your mother told me. I already know."
"Sir, I'd rather you leave." I managed to say.
"Are you afraid of me?" he grinned. "How disappointing."
"So your lack of control is what…lack of willpower? Lack of intelligence? How utterly disappointing. You aren't powerful at all are you? Your reputation really was just a mother being biased. Or worse, a coward trying to save herself." He sighed. "It's probably for the best." He looked around. "This is a very nice house, it would be a shame to bring it down on top of you."
"Vigilance!" I shouted. "Father!"
"Oh quit that." Kalan took his hands out of his pockets. "I don't even know why I'm taking you, probably will never even use it." His fingers ratcheted around my forearm, clenching down tight.
It felt like ice water had been poured over my head. I couldn't breathe from the shock. My mouth desperately opened, hoping against hope for one last breath. Nothing came. Black spots appeared in my vision. My eyes flitted around, looking for Vigilance, for anyone. I didn't want to die.
My eyes found Kalan's face, his expression was opposite of mine. He seemed to be in bliss. He smiled from ear to ear, leaning his head back. Then his fingers snapped open and I dropped.
Air returned to my body, my eyes fluttered back into focus, but the cold remained. The cold, icy numbness was overpowering even now.
"Huh." Kalan stretched. "Huh." He repeated. "Oh I quite like this." He looked at his hands. "I owe you an apology, it was not your gift that was inadequate, but rather it was merely your ability." He punched the wall behind him. The wood splintered, and several paintings fell off the wall. "Remarkable." He muttered. "Why doesn't my skin make contact?" he punched several more times. Shattering panel after panel. "Quite interesting." He examined his hands. "Interesting indeed." He turned back to me holding out his hands. "Does the skin expel the energy? Much akin to a shockwave?" He frowned looking at me. "Oh right, you never bothered to ask. You didn't even consider what exactly what happening. You were simply told to hide it away, to fear it?" he stood up and took a step back. "Look girl." He pointed at the wall. "Power." He explained. "You could have ruled this house. You could have owned this gift, and made yourself something great. But alas, you were raised a mouse. Take heart now though. At least now someone has benefitted from you being born. Take care Genevieve." He bowed slightly. "And very sincerely…thank you." He smiled as his made a fist. I couldn't help but whimper, I wasn't ready to die. "Oh no, I won't kill you." Kalan muttered. "I'm a collector, not a murderer." He turned and once more punched the wall. This time he blasted right through to the outside, creating a hole in the side of Father's house. "Most satisfactory." He muttered stepping through the hole. He glanced back one more time, and nodded in farewell. Even in his absence still all I felt was the cold from his touch. What had he done to me? What had he done to my mother? What was he? There were so many questions.
"Miss Dey!" Vigilance dropped my bags, causing them to bounce down the stairs. "What's wrong?" he looked around. "Where is the visitor? Did do you do this? Miss Dey…did you kill him?"
My eyes fluttered again. The cold felt stronger. My legs felt like jelly. I couldn't stand, couldn't move. I lay there in Vigilance's arms, helpless as a baby. I couldn't answer any of my guards questions, there were too many of my own I wanted answered first.