I once would have begged for their attention, for any of them to listen to me just once. That's all I had ever wanted from the people who were supposed to be my team, the closest thing any of us had had to a family in so long. Too long. Instead, I received nothing in return. I wasn't the smartest, the strongest, or most powerful, but I had ideas, thoughts, and feelings. I was a person too. It seemed like they had forgotten that. When I would recommend a course of action, they expected me to be oblivious, a fool, not knowing how anything worked or what war really looked like. That's all I was to them. A problem. Someone to be looked after. Useless. I wasn't a leader, so that meant I was pushed to the side. Ignored. And when things went wrong, and the only person that saw it coming was me, I was accused of withholding information. Blamed for whatever plan of theirs failed.
I never understood why. Why I was blamed, why it was always me. They were the ones who ignored me at every given opportunity. I wasn't a part of their dynamic, just the tag along piece that came with the territory. They never saw me as really part of the team. Would they miss me now that I was gone? Would they see what they had done? Or would I still just be the girl on the sidelines to be looked down upon? Someone whose presence would be seen as unnecessary once it had vanished? As I looked out into the darkness of the cave, suspended hundreds of feet above the ground, I couldn't help but believe that they wouldn't even notice. They would be free, fighting off our sworn enemies, and I would be here. Alone. Forgotten. Waiting in an ancient place, both freezing and dark. One of their own held captive behind these cold iron bars.
It had all started during my last battle, raising my staff as I prepared to fend off my enemy. I stood, ready to fire off a blast of fire magic if I needed to as she approached wearing a black cloak and a fierce smirk. The rest of my team stood in similar stances to my left and right, ready and waiting for the fight we knew was going to take place. It was hard not to notice as her gaze settled heatedly on me. It was curious though, as if she knew something I didn't. The laugh that left her maw chilled me to the core, echoing in the vast space. With a flick of her wrist, a horde of shadow creatures leapt into existence. That was all the warning we got before the battle began.
As I fought monster after monster, it seemed the one I had taken down would be replaced with two more. It was getting more difficult to wield my staff as they closed in around me, separating me from the others. As I looked around, I realized why because while I had been taking the shadow horde on alone, they had circled up to watch each other's backs during the fight. I felt a twinge of something hot and acidic in my chest as a creature sunk its claws into my right arm, shredding the outer layer of skin and muscle. I withheld my scream as I continued fighting them off, believing that at any moment I could be swallowed into the writhing masses even as my team would protect each other until their last breaths.
I nearly fell over as the current wave of enemies backed off into a circle around me, waiting for something, or rather someone. With a small flash of darkness, before me stood Wraithe in all of her villainous glory, smirking like she had just one the biggest prize. She looked me over, eyes dancing in glee as she saw the blood running down my arm and onto the floor. She laughed again as she stepped closer. I gripped my staff tighter as a pair of the creatures surged forward to take hold of me, one grabbing each arm. In my struggle to free myself from their grasp, Wraithe had come closer, and with one sharp movement broke both my hold of my weapon and my left wrist. Somewhere off to the side I thought I might have heard my name, but it was drowned out with the sound of battle.
I watched carefully as the woman before me placed a hand on my face in a mockery of a mother's caress, nails sinking into my cheek as she spoke. "Miss Serenity, it is a surprise to see you here with these fools. Tell me, what made you think you could join their little cause? Was it… that you wanted to taste that freedom you had heard so much about while you slaved under the careful gaze of my commanders? Or perhaps you wanted the throne for yourself. Is that it, Serenity?"
I glared at her, trying to drown out my pain at both her actions and her words. Seething, I answer her verbal jabs. "Never. I don't want anything that's yours! You've corrupted everything you once cared about. I'm not with them… they don't need me to defeat you! You're empire is weak and crumbling. They have already claimed more than half of what you once held iron control over. I'll never tell you anything!"
She simply smiled, as if she was talking to a child, and her grip on my face tightened, drawing blood, before she stepped back. "You misunderstand me, child. You don't know just what power you hold over them. You are still young, young enough to fall under their protection, and yet they haven't protected you. Have they? I doubt it. They are fools to let you be singled out in battle. Now they will pay the price. And you as well, for siding with them. They don't need you, you say? Fine. Then they won't have you. No one will." Vile words meant to strike at the heart, spoken by a vile witch. Empress in a kingdom of her own dark design. "Take her."
And just like that I was gone, surrounded by darkness and the echoing of her laughter. No sun. No joy. No friends. No family. No one to even care that I'm gone. The people who swore to protect all of the innocents of this war probably couldn't care less. They already acted like I wasn't there, wasn't a part of them. Why would they want me now, touched by the darkness and devoid of the innocence I once held? If they came to save me, only if, they would come to regain an ally, not rescue a friend or victim. And it's not really like I'm a child anymore. Not in their eyes, at least. They only care about those who are really children, and themselves, anyway. I was just thrown into their midst by a spell of someone else's doing. Someone who was expendable as a price of this millenia old war. I would never bean equal or someone to save.
I look around in the pitch black darkness that contains naught but the screaming of the wind from outside and a single cage that swings lightly with every chilling gust. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I listen to the sound of the wind and the faint, almost non existent squeal of metal on metal. I feel the cold as it permeates the air around me, surrounding me entirely frosting the iron bars and making my breath come in painful puffs. The marks on my face and arm sting in the wind, but nothing can be done about that now, without my coak to chase it off. From below me, I can faintly smell something rotten, like someone had left meat out for too long on the counter. But I can taste only the putrid taste of loneliness and rejection, spurred on by my capture and the fact that I had yet to be rescued.
Maybe if I had been better at everything that they needed, they would have wanted me to stay, to become a part of them. Maybe if I had tried harder to help them save everyone and everything they had ever loved, they wouldn't have rejected me. Maybe if I had given them everything that I had left, they wouldn't have left me here to wait alone in the everlasting darkness. I must be doing something wrong. I must have done something wrong. To them. To myself. I don't know which. But that has to be the reason, right? It was me. Something I did, or maybe, something I said. Anything. I must have not done something right.
It must be that I'm not good enough. I couldn't protect myself, and I still can't or I wouldn't be in this mess. I couldn't protect my team either, having gotten myself separated from them during the battle proving it. What right did I ever have believing that I could protect the other children from this war, anyone who was innocent from being sucked into its reaching darkness? I really am a sorry excuse for an immortal, child or not. I've never done anything right, it seemed. I always made of mess of things wherever I went, no matter how hard I tried not to, how hard I tried to make sure everything was perfect. In the end, my best just wasn't enough, had never been enough. And that's why I know that they won't come for me, and I will be held as Wraithe's prisoner forever. Stuck in this ice cold cage, magic useless against the iron, contained within the surrounding silence and darkness.
No one had ever really seen me. I was always invisible to those I tried to save and those that I had tried so hard to work with. I had been stuck under the commands of those that I couldn't stop and forced to betray those that I couldn't save. It had once been nice to be invisible to those around me, knowing that they will never have the chance to befriend someone who could only betray them in the end. But when the base I had been working on had been infiltrated, I saw a chance to save everyone, to be seen as a hero. Now I can only hope that I will fade from the minds of everyone that had ever even known my name, that I won't cause them any worry or grief in my absence, and instead be forgotten in peace. But Wraithe would never let that happen. She'd want to use me to cause as much pain and suffering as possible, just not to those that I once thought could be my friends.
In the end, that's all I've ever really wanted. To be seen, truly seen, and cared about by someone I could call a friend. All I've ever wanted were people to call family, a place to call home, or even just some friends that would accept me as if I was one of their own. I should have known better than to hope. I should have known that it could, and would, never happen. I should have seen this moment coming from miles away, because all the signs were there. Anyone would have traded me for the protection of a real child, for the protection of someone they care about. Anyone would have taken the one immortal child, invisible to everyone she had ever known, who had never known love or care, or even a single kindness, and traded them for the protection one they loved. For one who had never seen the darkness of war or worked under the guarding eyes of their enemies.
After so long waiting in the silence and howling wind, a sound finally pierces through the darkness. I guess that means that I won't fade from the memory of at least one person. Wraithe would never forget me. Instead, she would torment me for the rest of eternity, alone in her darkness and silence. Forever her slave, something she could play with until she grew bored of watching my tears and wracking shivers. I will never know the love I had dreamed of, only the hatred of others and the misery of my own mistakes. I will only know the silence and pain of a lonely and broken heart, never to be removed from this frail body. The body of an immortal child, forced to endure the centuries on its own. I will forever be the one that had been neglected and forgotten, silently hoping for someone, anyone, to come and take away the pain that stains my heart. But I know that no one will come, not through the blinding darkness and freezing cold. I know it will never be okay, that I will never be ok. I'm never going to be able to leave this place, and who is there to care? I am no one, have never been anyone, and I'm definitely not worth saving. Not worth the effort of rescue.
Silent tears slip down my face, leaving tear tracks that do not help the persistent cold. In the wake of the silence, my sobs are loud and heart wrenching with no one to hear them and call me out for making too much noise. Why couldn't I just listen to them for once? Why couldn't I just fight beside them, not against them? Why did I let Wraithe take me when I had tried to fight so hard to get away? I wasn't good enough. I'm not good enough! I'm… worthless. Not worth saving. I'm not important, not enough to matter to anyone. To matter at all. What did I do wrong? Was… was it something I did? Something I said? Was it the way I acted, always in their way, trying to say something only to get spoken over? Perhaps it was the way I spoke? Was my only purpose to be a pawn in their games? Someone to be played with then forgotten? To be tormented forever by the people I couldn't meet, couldn't touch, couldn't save? Was this the life that was meant for me? What I was supposed to become?
Wracking sobs shake my body as my crying grows louder and more intense. Was it not enough to cast me out? Was it not enough to ignore my every word, my begging for a simple endearment? A little bit of care? Was it not enough to trample on my heart and leave it broken under the weight of your words and actions? Now you choose to leave me here, alone, as I cry broken tears, with a heart so empty and beating out a song of loneliness? Shattered into so many pieces that I am unsure that it can ever be whole again? Now you leave me to suffer under the influence of my own thought? My own feelings? Under the watch of our sworn enemy? Someone that you promised to protect people like me from, even when you never thought I was included in that protection? What did I do so wrong that no one will ever care for me? What did I do that was so wrong? Just what did I do?
And so here I am, left forevermore in the wake of your betrayal. A fitting end to my story I suppose, after all the betrayals I had been forced to commit. Left to cry and sob and beg and plead to an empty darkness that surrounds a silent and cold cage. No one to even acknowledge that I'm there, that I was ever anyone to begin with. No one to comfort me or wipe away my tears as I wait for the pain to fade and wounds to heal. Suspended hundred of feet above the ground, above anything that could have a chance to penetrate my isolation. A cage that holds a broken child, immortal with no chance at love or care. A cage that forever will hold a crying child wishing for a comfort and peace that she can never have.