qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-03-24 02:11 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / Hitori (Alone)

Hitori (Alone)
lyrics by Satomi

Where did
our shadows
on the pavement
go in this city dyed red?

Did the seasons
quietly pass by?
I'm the only one
left behind..

I could be honest
and show my weaknesses to you
something that I can't even
do to myself
It was
a clumsy love

If I could go back
to when we were together again
Without any hesitation
I would embrace you
and never let go

When the nights are pitch black
I curl my knees close
and remember the days
you were with me

I must have been too childish
to see before
the meaning of your name
and love

My heart is filled with every moment
of that time
replaying over and over again
Even the memories
silently
melt away

If I could go back
to that night right away
I would rush towards your departing back
and embrace you
to stop you from leaving

It's selfish
and I'm fully aware of that
It doesn't have to be right now
But I'll be waiting here
alone

And I'll survive by grasping
my memories of you
close to me
It's pathetic
but even now
I can't forget about you

If I could go back
to when we were together again
Without any hesitation
I would embrace you
and never let go

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-03-24 02:10 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 12

12

In a more ideal lifetime, I'm holding his hands, caressing them as delicately as I would the rose petals. We are resting under the shade of the tree, watching the river carry the fallen leaves to a destination unseen, where I can only dream about. Would the waters cross over different times, sharing those fallen leaves with the people who have once lived? Or who will eventually live?

It matters not, for the restfulness I feel by his side makes time stretch on to a rhythm that only pure contentment can encompass, dictated by our relaxed breathing. The cherry blossoms seem to dance about us, trailing down from above, five centimetres per second. I wish it would last forever.

In that ideal world, I see him smile for me, and I know I am in paradise, for I know love – the acceptance of one soul, being touched by another soul.

It will never happen for me.

My soul only finds darkness..

I've decided I would put my soul to slumber, quietly and eternally. So even now, this forest presents an unyielding rampart of briars, continuing to deny entry from the outside. And it will probably do so until the time of my death.

When the wyvern screams, the green fire encroaches the unprepared faeries caught in its wake, disintegrating them and portions of the buildings behind, causing them to collapse into ruins.

"Evasive manoeuvres!" Flora commands, and all the remaining faeries fly off, up and away from Maleficent's front. They attempt to jolt away at her armour, trying out varying elements to see what can break through – spells of fire, ice, air, and energy.

It is a lightshow of colours and particles against the night's darkness – the aftereffects raining onto the ground, those sparks and embers, the snowflakes and black petals. If it wasn't so dangerous, the sight would be a spectacle worthy of an exquisite festival.

Down below, Raki's only desire is to run away from the chaos of it all, his arms sheltering his head, running as far away from the terrible being that she's turned into.

"How could you be so despicably cruel?" It's easy, you just give in to your hate and negativity. Why would one resist embracing it, when all you are left with is the pain you've felt from others, one way or another? If you're happy, you don't resist making others happy. If you're sad, resentful, miserable – all you can ever do is hide it.. or unleash it like a scream, once you can't bear it anymore.

This insight comes to Raki, about the nature of sadness which he sees underlying Maleficent. He looks behind, seeing the wyvern fluttering upward, its wings beating, the wind whooshing over the whole square, and the flashes of energy from the faeries.

I was sad too, when all I had was Zaki to live with. I couldn't tell anyone.. they wouldn't understand how I felt trapped by him, except for Maleficent. Because back then, I just felt she would be the one who could actually listen.

She isn't like anyone else. Which is why she is at odds with this world, who values only what is like them – the trustworthy, the all-too-familiar kinds of people.

And the wyvern gusts out more flames all over, bursting the faeries and the Notre-Dame's spire.

But she's making everyone suffer for it..

"Nothing we're doing is working!" Fauna yells, clinging onto the wyvern's wings, trying to burn the bark away. "It's like we're throwing sticks at an armoured knight!"

This gives Flora an idea. "Knight.. that's it! We're too scattered if everyone's attacking her individually – if we get together, and just pierce through her thick hide, we can defeat her!"

"Agreed!"

The 13 remaining faeries break off from Maleficent, regrouping at a safe distance over the Seine river. They're going to charge their energies together, firing the Lance of Longinus (the fabled spear which pierced through Christ during his crucifixion) straight into the wyvern's centre.

"Far in the distance is cast a Shadow
Symbol of our freedom will bring us
Salvation!

On the horizon our hope for Tomorrow
Sweeping across the land to give us
Unity!"

Shimmering light emerges from the faeries' formation, verging on being blinding.

"Make sure we don't miss," Flora tells them. "We only get one shot at summoning it."

Distances away, in St Peter's Basilica (Rome) – the lance awakens within the tomb of the historical apostle, and with a magnetic swiftness, it shoots out from the stone casket, shocking the priests who are going about their nightly walks.

"Mi vida!" they exclaim.

And like a shooting star, the lance streaks over the horizons, traversing miles with an absolute urgency.

Maleficent is soaring straight for the formation – it is the ideal way to kill them all. Just one breath, and she'll wipe their existances out.. forever. And then..

"She's coming!" Few of the faeries are nervous, afraid of holding their positions.

Flora clenches. Will their combined magick be enough to fend off even one attack?

The wyvern can discern the finer details of their forms, the way their robes are fluttering in the high altitude. She breathes in the air and her acidic heart catalyses it into high-temperature fires, whose fumes melt away whichever material is in proximity.

And in one word screamed out – D E A T H – she goes to ignite the faeries-

The faeries see the fires blooming in her open mouth, and they erect a golden shield around themselves, shining bright like a beacon – the flames colliding and spilling over the barrier, like water over an egg. Even though the flames are blocked, the immense heat still pours through (like an arid sauna) and it affects some of the faeries from the Arctic regions, their wings beginning to smoke.

After what seems like a long time, the fires dissipate, the violet smoke wafting away – revealing an exhausted Maleficent who is struggling to keep flying, as her wings beat erratically, her neck swivelling down, panting.

With perfect timing, the Lance of Longinus arrives – a magnificent torqued gleam which freezes in front of the faeries, charged with holy energy.

The faeries are too disoriented themselves to be able to aim the lance correctly at Maleficent's wavering position, and when they fire, the lance goes through one of Maleficent's wings instead, tearing a hole and sending her tumbling down onto land – while the lance itself plunges into the river, violently exploding the water and collapsing the nearby Pont Neuf bridge crossing.

Raki sees all this, his lungs huffing as his legs carry him to the scene where she's crashed. An array of homes, abandoned, in darkness from the smoke.

..

By the time he gets there, the sky is starting to brighten, and he is so light-headed. It is like vividly feeling a dream – a part of him wishes this is all merely a dream.. and that he'd wake up back with Vittoria.

His chest seems to drop, as he looks around the ruins of the homes for her. He doesn't find the massive body of a wyvern, while the faeries are floating overhead, combing through the area with the same desire as him. It smells of burnt stone, and his eyes are watering like from onions.

He has to find her first, but he can't call out her name – they'll hear him.

Doing his best to hide from the faeries, Raki eventually notices a trail of translucent ink, not readily noticable amidst the dark gravel and detruitus.

There, he follows it down a short distance, leading him down a narrow back alley behind a pub, the smoke seeping from the burnt-out lamps, and the ink turning into the redness of blood. The weeds grow from the cracks, and bits of garbage sends ripples in the water puddles. His heart is palpitating, thumping with tense anticipation – he hears the faeries talking in the distance, and finds the blood ending at a modest courtyard, surrounded by apartments.

The naked Maleficent is halfway slouched over a bench, lying on her side with still an arm. As if she's attempted to rest herself on it, to lie on her back, but gave up on her effort. Her other arm is a tatter, broken off near the shoulder. Her long, flowing white hair partially stained with her blood, covering her body.

A tear escapes Raki's eye. This is how she might have actually looked like, if she'd have lived this long as a normal person.

And she's so frail.

Trembling, he heads to her side, and finds her body as light as a child's, her skin leathery, as he lies her down on the wooden bench like she's wanted.

Her eyes look.. not really sad, so much as tired after a whole life's journey.

"Ra.. ki.." she moans out in a whisper, her hand rattling, trying to move. "Is that.. you? I can't see your face.."

He moves to hold her hand, twinging his fingers with hers. It's barely warm. "Yeah.." He's holding back sniffles, not wanting to show her his sadness. "I.. I'm so glad I ever got to know you," he says – his throat catches on itself. "I never got the chance to tell you that.."

And his tears drip down on her face, like a soothing rain that tastes salty on her lips.

Her eyes are wandering, slowly looking around – not at Raki, but searching through her own thoughts for something. What was it.. that feeling, that has so eluded her since?

Maybe it was when she danced with him in that field of dreams.. or when she kissed his lips, and found that it – in all its totality – it made her heart leap. When she saw the gleam of his eyes, under that sunset, and she just found it so perfect and resonant that she felt..

..

.. it would last forever..

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-03-12 02:34 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 11

11

There is Raki, now a father of two boys living down in Monaco (Monte Carlo). Over the years, wanderlust has carried him across Italy, wanting to find the joy and freshness of living that he's felt, being with Maleficent. He's picked up Italian, and learned how to become a travelling merchant, selling various trinkets and toys from town to town.

He's fallen in love with a pretty girl, Vittoria, whose olive skin and forthcoming candor makes an alluring beauty. She told him some of the goods he'd been selling were duds, and if anyone caught him on this, he'd be in major troubles.

Where he is shy, she is confidently outgoing.

Where she faces insecurity, he advises her in gentle confidence.

And eventually, finding the scenery of Monaco promising, despite the political instability of the region, they'd settled into a glamourous home which overlooks the port and the waters, and it's a perfect spot for Raki as a merchant, because tons of foreign goods are delivered every day, and he can trade those off for reasonable prices elsewhere – which earns him more than enough to live comfortably with his family.

He is 36-years old now, and yet.. not even the joy he feels now can eclipse his memories of her. The woman who first touched his heart. It's difficult to explain – it isn't as though he's unhappy or dissatisfied to be with Vittoria, but at the same time, there is an incompleteness.

She would ask him why he stares out the windows some nights, or wander off on walks by himself to the forested regions. He'd never have a good answer, besides that he wants moments in solitude to contemplate somethings.

Because he is afraid of mentioning Maleficent to her. Afraid of telling her all the feelings Maleficent's brought out in him, that he doesn't feel with her. Afraid of ruining their marriage with jealousy for another woman.

When he finds himself lost amidst the trees, he would half-heartedly wish to see the coloured smoke of the cauldron again, and feel the mystery of stepping into the precipice of another realm, where anything seemed possible. A childish wonder, that he can only look upon now with a regrettable nostalgia. He doesn't recall the last words he's exchanged with her – except that it felt like a goodbye, and the intoxication of her promise.. living together with him one day, happily.

He tells his children it's good to have dreams, and to imagine them as real as the skies they see, the very ground they stand on now. As you get older, life's harshness can deprive you of innocence, but the fondest memories of the past thrives on.

He watches over them, making sure that they are happy.

When they ask him if he has a Dad and a Mum, Raki tells them yes – everyone has one, even the mammalian animals. That is how life goes on, even after they eventually die, for children are a living memory that their parents, and their parents before them have existed.

"And if you don't have any children?"

Then others may remember you fondly, and the good things that you've done. Or eventually, you'll be forgotten.

/

One day, after a week of deliberation, Raki tells his family about his visit to France to see an old, treasured friend. He does not mention Maleficent's name – only the fact that without her, he would not be here with his family today. It would be a private journey to reconcile his present with his past, and find an answering resolution to the haunted moments Vittoria would see in his eyes.

"I hope you'll find what you are seeking," she tells him, tearfully smiling.

He takes off on horseback, with some cash and a few days of rations.. not knowing when exactly he'd come back from visiting his memories.

The path is misty under the morning rays, a fuchsia sun under a teal dawn. He'd pass by trees where his mere presence sets the perching birds off into the skies, and the birds would appear like shadowy butterflies heading somewhere into the distance. The days travelling become alive, pregnant in vividness as he doesn't speak a word – he still remembers his kiss, with her, like electricity in his body when everything else disappears outside of her sensation.

At nights, his body would ache noticably after hours of riding; when he's moving, he is kept going by the promise embedded in his heart, and when he's resting, he's restless for the next day to come, so he can go on looking for her.

Finally, at night, his horse gives in from the constant trotting, and his rations run out, so Raki has to make a brief detour to Paris, where he sees smoke rising from within the city walls, and a few people fleeing down the opposite direction.

"What's happening in Paris?" he asks a panicked old man.

"It's Maleficent! She's wreaking havoc inside the city, and I for one am not about to die at her hands, believing in His protection. If I were you, I'd run as far, far away from here."

But Raki heads forth anyway, dismounting his horse and tying it to a nearby tree.

"It's your funeral, boy! Have you lost your mind?"

".. I have to find her," Raki goes, running to the gates.

/

The night skies seem to bleed red, and Maleficent turns her attention to the Notre-Dame Cathedral – densely packed with over half the population of Paris. The others have went to St Germain-des-Prés, or St Chapelle in the centre of the city.

Since this is where the King and Queen are sheltered, the faeries have devoted themselves primarily to the defense of this church – they're watching over the other shelters too, but France will have no future without the royal bloodline. Even if the new ruler is successfully able to take over rulership, the country's political power will be cut short, not to mention how devestating the blow will be to the people's morale.

Maleficent isn't aware of the royal presences in the cathedral. She does notice however the charms which have been cast to protect the borders of the Notre-Dame – it's those three blasted winggirls.

"Maleficent!" Flora yells, floating over the spires. "How we pity you. You only know hate in your heart, and you seek to inflict as much suffering and destruction upon us all. Why? What have we ever done to you to deserve your wrath?"

"Everything.." Maleficent clasps her hands tightly, as if they're wrapped around the throat of everyone. "This world is ugly to me, and all its inhabitants. You want to love someone, only for them to betray you and leave you in the end. You reach out to people, only for them to find you repulsive and disgusting. The pretty roses have thorns that prick the tender fingers of the wounded – of what value such a reality is, it is absolutely worthless. God has certainly fucked up on the first day of creation, and like the flood of Noah, I will wash away the mistakes- uaghghh-!"

A great pain throbs in her head, and Maleficent is on her knees, clutching her skull. It's like something is threatening to burst out of her shell, and the faeries look on, almost with bemusement at her suffering.

Her black horns seem to glow with malevolent energy, and some of her white hair seeps out, and she feels the urge to vomit.

But when she opens her mouth, it is green fire which pours out, scattering over the square, setting ablaze the wagons, the parked caravans – rapidly consuming them into ash. It takes her a while before she regains her composure, shuddering after a primordial outburst.

"She's out of control," Merryweather says, nodding to Flora.

"Any minute soon, the other faeries will come," Flora goes. "If this keeps up, we can take Maleficent down once she loses control of her powers like this. Nobody is able to control magick well under rage."

"DIIEE-!"

Maleficent wills the cathedral crashing down. The ground shudders, and the basilica rumbles deeply as its very foundations are being attacked, crushed from within.

Everyone within it is screaming, as the tapestry windows crack and fracture, and the chandeliers, tumbling forth and back, threaten to fall – groups of people, whimpering, kneeling tightly around the knees of the priests, who are reciting verses from the Book of John as a final comfort: "But to all those who have received Him, those who believe in His name, He has given us the right to be God's children, who shall not perish, b-but have Eternal Life-"

The priests' pantings betray their fear in-between breaths.

A mother holding her infant tightly to her breast – shielding her child from the horrors gleaming from out the cathedral walls.

The three faeries are descending down towards Maleficent, whose fingers are curling up, and whose legs seem to be taking root into the ground. Their protective charms on the Notre Dame are like parchment against an iron sword.

Maleficent sees them come. She jolts them with electricity, hoping to shock them in their path – but to no effect (the faeries aren't grounded).

Flora immolates the ground where Maleficent's standing, and the witch is quick to leap away before she takes the brunt of the flash incineration, even though bits of her limbs have been set alight.

Merryweather dashes behind the witch, and sprinkles blinding pops of light all over her – resembling the cascade of firecrackers.

"Aaaghh-!" Maleficent is dazed, her arms covering her face. The effect is like flashing lights upon someone prone to seizure. She crumples onto the ground, wailing, convulsing, tears welling out her eyes.

The Notre-Dame cathedral manages to hold steady, thanks to its arched construction, even though the windows have shattered over the organs, and some candles have fallen – and the Cardinals, remembering the ancient crypt spaces below, organise to get everyone down to where it should be more safer, women and children first, should the cathedral withstand more damage from the witch.

Now the three faeries dance over the downed Maleficent, in a sort of formation, concentrating on re-erecting their impotency field upon her.

She can feel it pressing down – her body is going to sleep, just like then, and in a matter of seconds, she'll be reduced to a helpless marionette on the ground, at their total mercy.

"Let it go, witch," they chant, "let it go. Soon your vengeance and hatred shall be no more, as it has no place in our world. Let everything go."

When Maleficent tries to bring herself on her arms, the ground seems to inch ever closer upward.

"Mama.." she groans. "I don't want to die. I don't want to die.." It's difficult to recall what her mother looked like. She never felt much affection for her parents, except when she was so young, and all she could do is cry when she felt sad.

"Tell us, poor thing," Flora goes, "why should we let you live then?" Even though the look on the fairy's face suggests there isn't any real answer for that, at least, not one that will satisfy her.

And then, there is Raki, wandering from around a corner – he's heard the sounds of destruction, the distant pops, and followed the sights of smoke and fire, over to the Notre-Dame where he finds the one person he's been looking for.

From the distance, he recognises her by her horns, but she is so badly rumpled that he wouldn't be able to recognise her otherwise. He is panting, out of breath from running this way. But he summons one more breath anyway, just to yell out her name.

Because she is not a monster. She is hurting.

"Maleficent!"

..

And she, her cheeks touching the cold stone, glances in the direction of the boy who's loved her – a grown man now. Even if she doesn't see him clearly, and his voice has grown deeper, she feels a warm resonant pang in her chest,

(he's come back, he remembers me)

and she is falling through the air, her heart bursting from an overflow of memories both beautiful and bittersweet –

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.."

"Because I am Maleficent," she goes, looking up at them with a renewed dignity, the Earth trembling beneath her. "For all your haughtiness, you self-righteous pipsqueaks will never understand me."

And in an explosion of force, she blows them all away, sending each of the faeries crashing into distant buildings.

She gazes at Raki, alone now in the square, and he's jogging towards her. He's so handsome; his hair has grown long, and his bodily stature is leanly muscular. Nothing else matters – she's happy enough just to be able to see him again, after all this time.

"Raki.." Maleficent's appendages reach out to him – he is eeked out. No longer do they even remotely resemble arms; they're like overgrown branches of a tree, covered with thorns and black petals.

"What's happened to you Maleficent?" he asks, worried. "What was that going on before?"

"I.. I tried to save Aurora," she tells him, croaking. "But I was too weak, and too late to do anything. And.. I'm supposed to be dead after my execution. I only wanted.. it to be happier. I'm sorry Raki. I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you sooner, I'm sorry I hurt everyone who comes near, and I'm sorry everything turned out this way.."

She is sobbing, her body giving in onto his shoulders, him holding her. "I'm so sorry.. please don't hate me, like everyone else. Even if.. I'm no better than a monster in the end – don't I too still have the right to live and find happiness..?"

A long beat in the chill of the night, with all the fires smoldering away into fading embers.

"Maleficent," Raki says, feeling how warm she feels, "you aren't a monster." And he leans in and holds her lips to his, and despite the lingering taste of ash from her tongue, he finds it a beautiful kiss, and his heart is fluttering, as it did when he was a boy.

They kiss, forgetting the destruction around them, and he finds a feeling of wetness – her tears, pouring down onto her lips, her eyes wide shut, her mind's eye vividly seeing the blue skies, of the young Charles as she first found him, staring out at that sunset, and the forest she took him to,

and the fields where she danced with Raki, and the jovial feeling of visiting those exotic cities together- the way the balloons sailed into the skies, when he slipped and let go of the strings – oh my God, my heart is melting, I can't take it,

She tries holding him close to her, and when she pinches his back by accident with her thorns, and she feels him wince in her mouth, she decides to lean back, onto the ground, take him with her – and before they know it, he's on top of her, the night sky perfectly silhouetting him.

"Put your hand on me, Raki," she tells him, breathing heavily, notioning at her breast. So he does (they're soft), and her appendage gently rests on his hand, and he is trembling – feeling the thumps of her heart underneath, the constant rise and falls of her chest. "Can you feel it beating? I wish.. I've always felt so much, in my heart. If I could open up my chest, and press my very heart upon yours, I'd.. you'll feel how it aches, and all the scars it's felt through the years.."

"Get away from her, Raki!" Flora's voice, like a thunderous command, as she and her brethren flutter back onto the scene, along with the whole host of other faeries gathered here, like a swarm of bees.

"She's seducing you!" Fauna pips, recalling the scene with Maleficent and Charles, back at the castle. "It's her charms, you don't really love her!"

Raki looks up, shamefully interrupted, his hand getting sliced from the thorns. He doesn't know what to say, besides that it feels like getting caught in the act by his older brother.

"You.." Maleficent gets Raki off of her, and rises up on her feet, sheer vengefulness bubbling up. "You fuckers don't know anything!"

"We know enough, Raki is your next victim of your darkness," Flora goes – it's as if she's answering for all the other faeries, like she's the goddamned voice of this hive mind.

"He's someone who I love.. and who loves me back. Are you going to twist everything to make me EVIL?!" The swelling rage is too much for Maleficent to restrain, to the point where the energy seems to crackle out her limbs. "I've lost so many things over my life – but I know, you won't fucking take my Raki away from me! Non, NEVER!"

And she finds herself bursting outward – her whole body, engorged on her emotions, swelling out uncontrollably like the urge to vomit, her screams becoming deafening shrieks. Her barky exterior breaks open from the inside, revealing her guts and muscles, black bile spewing out and all over, spraying the faeries (and a very frightened Raki) nearby.

Maleficent's body is reforming. Scales begin to appear over her revealed organs, and her appendages lengthen and sputter to form sharp wings. As her neck stretches, her face splits outward to reveal teeth, and a snout.

Her very awareness is now blinded by viking rage and hate, over everything surrounding her.

The black wyvern, towering almost as high as the Notre-Dame, who moments earlier was the person Raki loved, but now he's running away from. The beast who wishes to annihilate.

Inside the basilica, everyone is paralysed with terror at the great shadow that is out the windows. The priests clutch the pendants to their hearts, "No.. no!" and a few people faint right onto the floor – the living nightmare too much for them to take.

"Oh my goodness.." Flora mutters.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-03-03 01:12 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 10

10

The witch's rage blossoms feral.

The green flames burn the executioner's corpse at her feet, as everyone is fleeing the square, the shock of death embedded forever in their memories. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather have been knocked away from that blast, in various directions, and they are trying to regroup, to rein back hold over the monster unleashing herself,

ravaging whoever crosses her gaze, tearing their bodies asunder by force of will –

The poor soldiers who try to stand up to her, blindly lunging at her form with their spears and swords, they get swept aside with a swipe of her arm, the ground ripped upward in their wake.

"What happened to our charm?" Fauna asks – the faeries are atop the administration building, with a birdseye view of the unfolding horror. "Why didn't it hold her like it's supposed to?"

"We have greatly underestimated her powers," Flora says. "A wolf cornered will find great reservoirs of strength to fend for its life, and Maleficent-"

The waves of destruction radiate outward, Maleficent as its epicentre, and the very ground seems to cave in on itself as the roots of the Earth emerge out, those raw and gnarly tangles birthed, which wrap around and crush the people. It's like a viral infection played out on a macro scale.

"-we've been too careless with her."

"What are we doing, standing by while she's killing our home?" Merryweather goes.

"If we jump in now," Flora goes, "she'll kill us also, and there's nary a thing we can do about it ourselves.. I'm going to call for assistance – you two, you find the royal couple and their child, and you protect them. Get them as far away as you can."

"Agreed."

Fauna and Merryweather flutter off, anxiety pent up in their hearts as to whether their masters are even alive, and not caught up in the wake of destruction. They fly higher, their fairy wings carrying them over the blocks, and find the King and Queen lying sprawled by the spires atop the torchlit Notre-Dame. They're unconscious, but at least they're breathing.

"Charles! Odette! Please wake up!" Merryweather skimps over and slaps them on their bruised faces, to no avail, all while the screams of Parisian people echo from the distance. "It's no use Fauna, we have to protect them in the cathedral, where they'll be safe.. where everyone can be safe."

And by the plaza, Flora has her eyes closed, concentrating. Faeries of the World, please heed my call. A great danger has befallen my beloved country – the evil witch Maleficent is consuming the capital from within. Her powers are too great for the three of us to handle alone, and her hatred threatens to consume everything that is good and alive. If she is not stopped, the deaths of millions will lie at our hands.

Her words carry over across the countries, and the other faeries do hear – if they aren't occupied already with an important errand, they start flying over to Paris.

Down below, Maleficent has decimated the entire square, the flames smoking over the ruins, making it look like a museum relic instead of the glory it once was, minutes ago. The visible sewage pipes leak sludge from the broken connections.

Her feet are perched atop the only untouched spot – where she is supposed to be executed. And she kicks the executioner's charred body down into the sludge.

Across the city, the bells toll.

The Notre-Dame cathedral is where most everyone is heading for sanctuary, hoping for the protection of Jesus from the all too real evil they've witnessed. Families, relatives, street ministers and the like who turn to the blessings of the priests for salvation, while the distant rumbles from outside threaten to get closer. A few people flee the city entirely.

Now, as Maleficent aimlessly strides down the lonely streets, inside, she is reeling from the results of her rage. The memories of being tormented as she grew up – being rejected by people, and feeling helpless against it. She could not push back then; it was being coralled into a corner and made a fool of. The names of who, she's forgotten, but their faces, she'll always remember.

How the tables have turned, for now the powers of Hell serve her whims-

(it hurts)

She winces. It is a stab of disorienting pain in her head, and she stumbles to a wall, trying to recover. She notices her appendages (arms) throbbing in time to her pulse, as if threatening to give birth(?) – have they always been this.. grown? The little thorns popping out the skin, and the visible veins, bulging, like that of leaves.

Down the street, more soldiers arrive, highlighted under their torches. This time, their forces are comprised primarily of ranged infantry, with some mounted cavalry; their aim is to shoot at Maleficent enough with leadshot to disorient her, so that the lancers can wipe her across the floor.

"Ready, aim.." the commander Solaire goes, the musketeers holding their weapons steady. "FIRE!"

The cascade of lead catches her off-guard, and some of it embeds in her torso, while other shots deflect off her thick skin, bruising her still.

With leaden smoke lingering in the air, the frontal flank kneels down to reload, while the rear flank stands by for another barrage of leadshot.

Solaire is a 53-year old veteran of the evil witch – he remembers to his distaste when she brought his troops low in the woods, and made himself piss his trousers at her mercy. He's seen her powers first-hand, and as such, his experience has made him so invaluable as to her defeat. Leave nothing to chance, he preaches this motto to those under his command.

"Ready, aim.. FIRE!"

The backline barrage, Maleficent is quick to react to, and as if acting on instinct, she freezes their lead pellets mid-air, and they poof into little shards which dissipate.

"Now!" Solaire shouts, and the frontline toss grenades (resembling black pots, with primer smoke erupting out the end) into Maleficent's vicinity, while her attention is distracted.

no

The resulting explosions consume her in searing flames, her skin flaking off, her body halfway splitting in two as she tumbles onto the ground.

The entire street reeks of gunpowder, with the faint stench of the sewers.

A few of the soldiers cheer – it appears they have succeeded in defeating her. But Solaire raises his hand, silencing their outcry. It's not over until he sees she's over. He orders the torch-bearers to toss their torches around her body, to light it.

And to his horror, he sees a life in agony, staring back at him.

The black bile jets out of Maleficent's wounds, as her splintered body is attempting to repair itself, her torso melding back together – albeit imperfectly, for black roses grow outward from the spot, and thorns curl up protectively over her injuries.

"Commander.." One of Solaire's soldiers try nudging him back to action. "What should we do?"

Her face, it's as if the paint has been scraped off the surface, and you can see it is like black marble beneath.

"Commander! Please advise!"

Solaire's lower lip trembles, and he is trying to snap out of his reverie- she spared him once, and.. what was it she'd said? Once, I was a normal person like you, shunned and feared by people, before betrayal has left me corrupted with hate. That was 20 years ago, and the destruction she's inflicted upon his city, the deaths, it is too great a risk to leave her alive.

Besides, he sees Maleficent's eyeballs aglow in green, the irises non-existent – those serpants in the shadow of the fires. They aren't the eyes of a human being, at least, not anymore.

The bells continue to toll in the distance.

"Execute her!" Solaire goes.

So his musketeers walk up to her and aim their guns at her head, point-blank range. Maleficent realises what is happening, and she concentrates on their muskets – overheating the barrels into deformation and detonating their gunpowder, so their muskets explode right in their faces, and their bodies collapse, leaving Solaire's cavalry and torchmen to deal with.

The cavalry ponies are nervous and unsettled by the violence, wanting to trot away, but the lancers nod to each other and kick their ponies forth – either it's killing Maleficent now while the opportunity presents itself, or run away and show how ineffectual they are at defeating her.

They are rushing down the street, in double file, their lances descending towards her centre-of-mass. Their faces impersonal behind their beaked helmets.

Maleficent glances at the ponies' hooves, trotting on the stone pavement, and she bumps up the ground beneath them in cascading fashion – she makes the ponies stumble, and inertia carries their forms forward as their riders skid and roll helplessly, still stuck to their saddles (because lancers have their legs locked to their ponies, so to prevent them from falling off after lance impact), and their legs snap by their knees, bones splintering.

They are in piles at either side of her, moaning.

Solaire only has his torchmen left – and they are already making a run for it, so he is by himself, as Maleficent steps forward, approaching him.

He stumbles on his backside, and urine escapes from his armour. There's grey stubble on his chin, but the gleam of his eyes is still familiar.

For a long time, Maleficent stares at him, studying the man quivering in utter terror. His whimpers into panicked screams, and his hands raised defensively, blocking his view of her like a sort of pleading.

She leaves him alone.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-02-20 01:47 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 9

9

Once they have packed, Aurora and her three protectors abandon the cottage – travelling by carriage through Strasbourg (where the Pied Piper recently spread dancing mania to its inhabitants) and down the Franco-German trade route, where they reach Paris by nightfall.

The raven, the faeries set free as they'd left. She soars towards the French capital before the carriage arrives, and finds her residence has been taken over by a family of five, much to her dismay. She'd been hoping to regain her vitality through her poutrices, as well as obtain her human disguise from polyjuice – it seems that is not possible anymore, and it isn't as though they'd be selling those wholesale on the market.

In frustrated anger, Maleficent pecks at the cottage window, fracturing it and surprising the family during their dinner, as she flutters away through the city.

20 years has stolen more than just time for her; if she had her full ability then, right beside Aurora, she'd appear in front of the child, and without hesitation, free her from her death – or postpone it beyond her responsibility. Alors, in this incapacitated state..

Non – that time, when she cursed Aurora, she had been so hateful that the bile in her veins seemed to burn right through her skin, that vengeful fire pouring out of her breath. It had been the force of her hatred that has kept the curse at bay from any intervention.

Her hatred that had unconsciously fueled her powers in the first place.

Does she love Aurora with as much love now, as her scathing hatred towards her parents?

Non.

Nothing changes the fact that Aurora is not her child.. or that this one act of love will never redeem her history of hatred – not for her, not in the eyes of the general people. And what should it matter anyway, when-

"Raki.."

His name escapes her beak. This boy, he's now a grown man who she can only imagine about – he must be very handsome, living prosperously in Italy. Will he still be there for her.. once everything is over?

She perches herself atop the Notre Dame cathedral, and strains her eyes to see past the horizons toward Venice. But limited her powers are, and all she sees is the dark fog.

Her heart aches, just longing to be happy with him again.

Waiting up here isn't going to make anything happen. She thinks of travelling back to Gaumont's forests, her old home, where she can rejuvenate herself in private.

Her wings feel so weak..

She arrives at the forest by morning, but it's infiltrated to its core by soldiers, who have set up a stronghold devoted to finding her.

/

In the castle at Paris, Aurora awakens to the sight of her mother and father, kneeling over her by her bed. They do resemble her, both of them – she has her mother's pouty lips, and her father's eyes and nose.

"Aurora.." Charles tearfully whispers, allowing his hand to caress his daughter's hair. Through the blur of his tears, he momentarily sees a resemblance to Maleficent, before he tells her, "You look so beautiful. You'd be any father's dream.. I'm so glad you're back in my arms."

"I know, papa."

They hold each other in a dreamy embrace – lasting as long as all the moments her parents never got to experience, seeing Aurora's innocence as a child, her mood swings in her adolescence, and the days up to her adulthood.

"How about we cook you up a hearty breakfast?" Charles asks. "You must be famished."

Aurora smiles, giving his royal highness a kiss on the hand. "I'd be delighted."

So Charles orders his servants to cook up the best meals they can come up with. Roast chicken, steamed corn and peppered perogies – all for the young lady to eat at the table, while she fills her family in with her hopes of becoming the next Queen. Every word she says is taken in like precious gold, and what stays in their mind is how Aurora reminds them of when they were young. Their futures, entrusted in her.

But the hint of sadness is there in Charles and Odette's eyes, growing more and more noticable as the day goes on, and the shadows pass by from the shifting daylight. Aurora doesn't seem to notice as she is absorbed with all the beautiful things royalty has to offer – trying on the exquisite dresses, being treated to a spa with her mere, and learning to gallop a pony in the royal courtyard.

She's so happy.

Then with all the time remaining, Charles brings in a birthday cake, with a caramel filling and a little wax figurine at the top, resembling Aurora (obviously made by the baker in haste).

He asks her if she has a birthday wish to make.

"It came true already," Aurora goes, willingly forgetting about the prince from the forest, for her heart is ballooning with love – before she blows out the candles in one breath, leaving just one candle lit.

As the beautiful day draws to its close, the sky is awash in vanilla colours, and Aurora is starting to find herself strangely tired and drowsy. She is carried to her room by Charles, whose strength has yet to fade with his advanced age, and it is a small comfort, seeing that she is in no pain, as she lays in bed, tucked in like a young child in her comfy blankets, the last golden sunlight lingering over her through the windows.

"It's such a wonderful day.." Aurora sighs, seeing her father start to openly weep. "I'm glad I got to see you and mama. I can't keep my eyes open.. I'm cold.."

"I love you Aurora," Charles goes, his hands starting to quiver. "I'm sorry I never got to see you for such a long time."

"I love you too.. I want you to.. keep that love in your heart, daddy. Please, so that.. even after I die, we can meet again in heaven."

He is shuddering now in grief, but desperate to maintain grasp on the feelings of today, he tells her, "I know."

And then she nods, one last time, before her eyes droop into sleep.

And Charles is left sobbing into his daughter's hands, no solace from outliving his only child.

..

When he comes out of her room, Odette looks on him wonderingly – if Aurora is still breathing, if the curse Maleficent unleashed on her is a sham, and the glum look on Charles's face tells her everything, and she bursts into tears, hysterically wailing, coming down on her knees on the marble floor.

The faeries come by the scene, and Charles grasps onto Flora's dress, his hands madly clinging onto that one chance – "Can't you faeries save her? Can't you!? All those years, you must have come up with a solution for her life, goddamn you!"

"Calm your senses, my good King," Flora goes, her fingers caressing his tightly clenched hands. "Despair is not the final end; we shall place her in suspended animation, as we've originally let you on, and if you have some hearts at our disposal, we can revive her to live another day – and all the days to come."

"Please.." Odette rises up from her crying. "Aurora's all we have. The hearts, we have several of them, preserved."

"Very good."

While Odette goes to fetch the hearts, the faeries enter Aurora's room, where the princess lies, her face unnaturally peaceful. Merryweather clasps the dead princess's hands together, over the blankets, and places an amathyst stone over Aurora's forehead.

Together, they chant a spell, Flora kneeling by the foot of the bed, and Fauna holding hands with Merryweather over Aurora.

A field expands from the amathyst, enveloping the unwoken beauty.

"That should keep her steady long enough," Flora says, as Charles enters the room, despondently wishing for another minute of his daughter alive.

It is dusk outside, and Maleficent is fluttering unnoticed outside Aurora's bedchambers – it is too late. If it hadn't taken her so long with making the potion for herself (the guards have been on the lookout for black birds), she might have been able to save Aurora.

What are the three faeries doing with her.. oh, they've frozen her body. Maleficent recognises the stasis field – it's an experimental technique devised by the Taoists, to hold something in place for when the right time comes. It's how the 1,000 year old Buddha came to be, but whenever she's tried it, it always results in the irreversible warping of the object. She never really saw the use for it, until now.

Most likely, they'll attempt an open heart surgery.

But the curse doesn't end with just one heart.. the very life force of Aurora has been condemned – her healthy heart gave in to darkness, and so will other hearts put into her body.

The only thing left to do is show up.

So Maleficent blinks into the bedroom and reveals herself – the scorned witch responsible for everything, the very room seemingly darker because of her presence.

Everyone is paralysed by shock, and then the faeries raise their hands in defensive postures, prepared to smite the witch dead upon the slightest gesture.

But the mournful look on Maleficent's face is disarming. She hasn't come here to jeer at this tragedy.

She notices just how old Charles has become – he has white whiskers from his beard, and though she could still make out the youth he once was, it seems that person is long gone now, replaced by this devoted father to that child.

"Maleficent.." He deigns to say her name. "You.. What do you want..? What do you want!? To see me brought low, is that it? You've taken away my dearest Aurora.."

"I.." There's nothing she could say to him that would ever change his mind. She looks at Aurora, whose eyes are closed, and then Charles – the crux of all her desires and hatred. "I wish it didn't turn out this way," she says. "Your daughter.. she is so beautiful. I saw her with my own eyes, at the cottage. She's just like how I want to be.."

"Aurora is nothing like you!" Charles goes, his voice betraying the fact that she's struck something in him. "She has kindness, she beams with happiness and joy. She's able to love.. and she's everything that you aren't!"

(everything I'm not)

"Aren't you so sure?"

For a brief moment which stretches on in subjective time, Charles sees the young Maleficent – as she was then under the evening sunlight. The haunted smile she had, the dark beauty she encapsulated, and the taste of her lips, the ecstasy of holding her when they were wet..

The rage seems to dissipate from his eyes, as a strange tenderness emerges from the recesses of his heart.

"I touched you," Maleficent goes. "Once upon a dream." She is smiling mournfully, one bittersweet tear escaping her eyes.

The faeries look on with bafflement, absolutely unsure what to make of the scene.

"Yes, you did."

And he begins to step forward, towards her, lulled as if hearing a beautiful melody not heard in over 30 years. He understands now why he's been haunted by the memories of her, as hard as he's tried to push them away from his mind.

She is the one who showed him how love can really be – to love, to be loved, to be felt jealous and hatred about, to hate her for how she's become, what she's done, and yet still yearn for her. Is it actually so simple? The one who he's felt the gamut of emotions about..

His hand seems to want to reach out to her, and she raises her gnarly appendage in turn – they almost do touch-

"It's another trickery of Maleficent's!" Flora exclaims, snapping the other faeries out of confusion, and she blasts Maleficent from behind with a jolt of energy, wracking her body. "Your Majesty, do not be lulled in by her sorceries. She's charmed you!"

Charles is interrupted from his fond feelings, and Flora continues, "She killed your Aurora! Your dearest daughter! Cursed her to die at 20! What are you doing falling in love with Maleficent?!"

Maleficent is recovering from the pain, but the other two faeries are quick to cast a field of impotency around her, putting her in a very weakened state before she could react.

To her dismay, she sees the feelings of pain and rage return to Charles. "You're right – I may have had feelings for Maleficent. But those times are long past now. She is going to pay for everything she's wrought. For my daughter's sake, and for everyone's too."

"No.. Non!" Maleficent cries out, trying to reach out to him. "Charles, PLEASE-"

Then the door opens, and Odette steps in – a brief second of apprehending the scene before her, Maleficent curled up beside her victimised daughter. It could not be any more poetic.

"Flora," Charles says, grimacing at the fallen witch, "how long can you hold Maleficent still?"

"Not for long – perhaps an hour or two at maximum."

"Before then, I'll have things ready for her swift execution."

Something breaks inside Maleficent at those words, and all she wants to do is cry for herself – there is truly no love in the world, not for her. Love is but an illusory feeling, fleeting and deceptive.

Queen Odette strides up to Maleficent and spits over her face. "Fuck you."

/

Many townsfolk gather in front of the Hôtel de Ville, the recently built administration building in a flat plaza. The black-hooded executioner is prepared with his halbard, sharpened especially to behead the witch.

As Maleficent is brought to the stake, carried by her arms, the crowd jeer and jest at her through pelted garbage, and dead crows. She keeps her eyes closed, crying, not wanting anyone to see her, but the pain of their rejection she can still hear, as if there is no limit to the fathomless depths she can crumble to.

"Burn this murderess into ashes!"

"Feed her carcass to the crows! She's slain my son!"

The memories swirl in her head, of all the times she has been humiliated and brought low by other people, an inner torment ceaseless in its violent storm.

"Hey, hey! Wake up!" The executioner slaps Maleficent on the cheek, thinking she's fallen asleep with her droopy head and shut eyes.

Then she feels her hands raised up, rope tied around her wrists and fingers, binding her helplessly to the stake. Her stomach gives in to sickness, and she retches bile over her legs and on the kindling set under her feet.

Part of the crowd cringe from being grossed out, while the others take this sight as a sign of complete victory over the object of their fear and loathing.

The three faeries are supervising their spell on Maleficent, making sure that the imposed impotency never wavers until her death. Charles, Odette and the other members of the Parisian nobility stand nearby – there'd usually be a ceremony to dignify the execution, a priest to grant last rites to the guilty, but it is an incredibly rare exception tonight, for they are about to put an end to the personification of evil.

Everyone has fallen silent, while Maleficent stares at the pretty backsides of those human curtains.

"What is about to commence within our kingdom," King Charles tells the public, "will be a great step forward for humanity to stand strong against the forces of evil, and those who willingly submit to malevolence towards our people. Now witness the sword of justice," he gestures towards the executioner, "fall over the head of Maleficent, whose brutal and ghastly crimes will continue no more."

So in the end.. my life has come to this. Look at it. It's morbid. Today I was, tomorrow I die. I'm born and I don't know why. I've lived and suffered and strived – I love, I hate, I move, I admire, I despise..

Why?

"We will grant the guilty no last requests," the magistrate declares. "Whenever you're ready, Henri."

And then I die, and no one will care. No one will ever know that I innocently giggled when my mere patted me on my belly. It's just the things you're found doing while the horde looks on that you shall be despised for.

And Maleficent sees underneath the black hood, those gleeful, beady black eyes of humanity, ready to take its last stomp upon her. The axe is raised, and the executioner holds his tongue out.

It'll all be over soon. It won't hurt (anymore).

And it won't mean anything.

And when he swings the halbard, she notices just how the elongated shaft wobbles, ever so slightly in the air as it descends, the bladed head overweight in slicing the air, expending all its potential energy into kilojoules, all highly concentrated onto that needle-width edge.

Delivered to her neck.

I hate you.

..

My life is meaningless, and every one of you, the inhabitants of my reality are equally meaningless. You're rabble who wander this life for 70 fucking years, and I'll show you how sweet Death will taste. Life is governed by chance and fluctuations, fortune be damned, but Death is the great equaliser of us all.

I destroy you. DESTROY!

A much greater force than the executioner's swing pushes back, tearing the halbard to splinters, and exploding the arms which have held the weapon.

It happens in a split-second, and then in another, the executioner's upper body cannot withstand the sudden acceleration it faces – akin to landing on hard ground after a long fall, and those beady eyes are crushed along with the rest of his skull.

Maleficent's eyes are aglow in green, and she screams out the torments of her heart, and sends everyone around her pummeling away from an explosion.

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would just die?

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-02-09 01:47 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 8

8

In Merrywinter's basket, the petite raven sees the dance of shadow and sunrays, overlapping with the dandelion seeds being carried through the air.

The faeries' cottage resides peacefully beside a flowing river, where the waters run the mill for the sake of fulling textiles – removing impurities from the cloth, so they could be made into clothes which are sold on the German market as income.

Merryweather unlatches the gate, greeting the budgies who perch upon the makeshift house mounted on a pole; some bird feed is put there every morning by Fauna, and for the squirrels who'd want to climb up and steal some for themselves, the pole is swathed with grease so their paws slip.

Inside, there is Aurora (or if you'd call her publicly, Rose) by the sunlit desk – she is intricately decorating the sleeves of the beige dress with rose-like patterns. Her calloused fingers seem to weave as if without effort.

"Why do birds suddenly appear, everytime we draw near?" she sings to herself.

Flora emerges from the supply room, with another batch of coloured thread – she's taught Aurora all she'd needed to know from a young age about clothing, and ever since, the young lady has developed a talent and keen eye for designing people's outwear. Coats, dresses, gloves, using the material bartered for from the market (or hunting on the occasion).

Sweet Aurora; her fair skin, her lips as pink as St Valentine's. Her 20th birthday draws very near, and having discovered that a heart transplant is indeed possible, the three faeries anxiously await the day they take her back to Paris, where a preserved heart matching her blood type will replace her own cursed one.

Of course, none of this has been revealed to the young lady; it is a subject that's discussed in secret between the three, when Aurora is assuredly asleep or out frolicking.

What she does know is that she is royalty-in-hiding, having been taught all the royal etiquette and the political, managerial and diplomatic sciences – she would make for a very good Queen, oui, except that an evil witch named Maleficent is out to do her and her family harm.

She's wondered over the years when she'll be returning home to her castle, and see the faces of her beloved mother and father.

"When you're old enough," Flora tells her, "and we'll vanquish Maleficent's evil."

The company of the three faeries is so benevolent and enticing that Aurora does not once disobey them in leaving – on the occasion she's wandered too far in the woods, she delightfully gets lost with dreams of romantic love before finding the faeries again. The love and devotion hinted at from the stories she'd hear of princes who slay the monsters holding princesses captive.

Now Merryweather arrives with her basket of wildberries. "Toodle-hoo!" she goes, grinning as she lays down the basket. "How's the dress coming along? I've brought home a special little friend.."

She takes out the raven, it rests in her hands.

"Oh Merryweather!" Aurora's interrupted in her weaving, shocked by the sight of the raven's weakened body. "The poor thing, she's almost dead! What happened?"

"I found her lying under the brush – covered in all sorts of soot. She must have been lying there for a long while; had I not noticed her perchance, she would have likely gone unnoticed for years!"

"She must be starving..!" Aurora thinks of a way to get food into the raven; it would be too weak to even chew.. but since it is still breathing, it can still gulp. "Flora, do you have one of those nutrition poutrices?"

"Yes, we have some- I'll go fetch them right away!" The head faerie goes into the kitchen, where she scrounges the cabinets for the reserve poutrices, stored in jars. These drinks have been brewed in the rare case of a starvation epidemic, like when blight has taken crops, or whenever someone is particularly hungry or weak. But it doesn't taste like much; Fauna has described it as drinking raw batter, with all the lumps yet to be taken out.

Flora pours a little of the poutrice into a dish, and lays the dish down on a counter – Aurora comes with the raven.

"Lay her down so she could drink – gently, gently," Flora goes, her hands conducting Aurora as she angles the raven down so its beak could touch the drink. "I hope ravens don't mind if it's a poutrice."

The raven seems to contemplate the dish.

Then it tries one peck, and finding it good, it nips at the drink more excitedly, much to everyone's delight, until the raven seems to have life breathing through it again.

/

I feel like a small, hapless child, being cradled under their care. How the times have passed me by, and how I envy the radiance Aurora emits in even her smallest gestures. I always see her smiling, her eyes off in innocent daydreams. If I could admit it, Aurora would be the person I ought to be, had fortune favoured me better.

The faeries have raised her well. I will give them credit for that. They shower upon Aurora their attention – I would have prefered some modicum of privacy, but the one word that I would never use to describe the faeries' relationship wtih her is neglectful.

Neglectful like my own parents had been.

Neglectful as God's eyes turning a blind eye to the suffering I've endured.

If I grew up alongside Aurora, I would have loved her dearly as my family – someone like her, borne from the womb of my sister and the fertile seed of Charles. That fact is spectacularly incredulous.

If I'd raised her, I would never want pain to befall her pure soul.

I cursed her to die at the age of 20. Because I wanted to see the look on their eyes when they do see her die, and my hatred triumphs over them in retribution.

How pathetic of me..

At night, the raven pretends to sleep, even though she's brimming with energy and wakefulness. She is perched in a cage in the stillness of the lonely knitting room, hearing the river flow outside with the occasional breeze wisping at the windows.

She manages to overhear the hushed conversations of the faeries, discussing the risks of bringing Aurora back to Paris while Maleficent remains undefeated out there.

"She could just be biding her time," Fauna says. "What if she finds us travelling in the open, and casts us into misfortune?"

"My dears, I've got that planned for," Flora goes. "I've garnered the support of our fellow faeries around the world, and the instant I send a signal upon seeing Maleficent, they will arrive and banish her into oblivion!"

"And if she catches us off our guard?" Merryweather asks.

"Well, we'll be travelling under disguise in a carriage back home. We haven't used our magic all this time; there is no way Maleficent will know it's us."

"What about that raven?" Fauna goes. "Maleficent uses crows and ravens.. I don't think we should keep it. How do we know it's not connected with her? For all we know, it could be spying on us, listening to every word we say!"

Merryweather says, "I don't think Maleficent would be that unkind to one of her servants. I think the raven must have been travelling while it was freezing, alone without its flock, and the sheer exhaustion has led it to fall.. I dunno, gosh knows how many days it's lain there. I don't want to just toss it out when we were so kind to it. It's done nothing the whole time except peck at the birdseed."

"In any case," Flora goes, "we must remain vigilent. Those 20 years without a sign from her is no assurance.. and Aurora's birthday is in two days."

/

The next day brims with sunlight, and after an innoceous breakfast, Aurora asks if she can take the raven out for a walk.

"Ah non..!" Fauna exclaims. "We don't know if that bird carries Maleficent's foulness—!"

"Please?" Aurora eagerly unlatches the raven's cage, and the bird feigns a feral nervousness, pretending not to trust the hands reaching out for it. "She looks scared, she needs some reassurance.."

"Why do you refer to it as a 'she'?" Merryweather asks, tucking away the napkins. "I'm just wondering – mind you, I'm no expert on birds."

"I dunno, to me it looks like a she. Even ravens have genders too."

After the faeries relent from Aurora's desires, the young lady has the raven perch on her shoulder as she waltzes out into the forest.

"Those faeries.." she goes, talking to her newfound friend. "Sometimes, I feel like they're just being overprotective of me. I won't deny that I'm frightened of Maleficent – gosh, she must be one awful creature, slaughtering innocent people, but I wonder if she isn't just a faerytale. If she really has powerful magicks, there'd be more rumours from people about her, like Genghis Khan. I'd shudder to imagine what she might do with me, if she were more real.."

The raven squawks, as if agreeing with her.

"What about you? Do you have a family waiting for you? Or friends? I think ravens always do; they must have such lively occurences for them to fly about the lands everyday – perching up in the high branches, conversations about what they've seen, exchanging their own g'days.."

Now the raven seems downcast, its gaze looms gloomily upon the distance.

Aurora comes by a toadstool, lit by a ray of sunlight, where she decides to give her legs a rest. She pulls out some breadcrumbs from her pockets and scatters some by her feet, and the raven flutters down, pecking at the scraps, the crusts and crispy whites gulped down by its mouth in one swoop.

The life of a raven seems so simple and magical in its own right; they can eat, drink, fly whenever it gets cold, and feed their young with their beaks..

Are there such things like raven princes and princesses, in a ravenous kingdom?

The romantic mood of the moment makes Aurora relax; if she kisses the raven, and it turns into a princess.. how she is wanting for a prince to come along, and swoop her to paradise.

In her dreams, she pictures the ideal man who would do so – he'd be taller than her, his shoulders broad with confidence; he'd be kind, gentle and brave for her sake, and when she kisses him, she surrenders herself in his arms as she sees the stars behind his head.

And in her dreams, she sees him slay Maleficent, the wicked dragon who keeps her prisoner, freeing her once and for all from the worrying constraints of her fairy godparents.

She remembers a half-forgotten tune from that dream.

"I know you.. I walked with you once upon a dream.." She doesn't know exactly where the words have come from, only that they feel right with the tune. "I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam.."

Aurora gets up and she dances – holding her arms to herself, just like how her prince would.

The raven glances at her, a bewildered expression on its eyes.

"Oh," Aurora goes, "I'm not being crazy – the faeries usually don't want me to meet anyone; but I fooled them. I have met someone, the prince of my dreams. He's taller than I am, and the most sweetest personality in his heart. He'll love me the way I need to be loved. Even though you can't see him, just imagine, I am dancing with him." To be a princess is to dance with your soul mate upon the clouds.

Even though no such person really exists. You always have notions of how an ideal friend or lover ought to be, hinted at by a tantalising glimpse, and sometimes you might be surprised by the person in reality. They surprise you with the variety of shades within their character, and disappoint you in the ways they cannot fulfill your needs.

She is twirling, holding the sides of her dress so she doesn't trip. She's so caught up in her motions that she doesn't notice attracting the attention of Prince Derek, who happens to be riding along on his pony.

At first sight, he is arrested by her beauty, and he dismounts his faithful steed (named Phillip) – he comes by Aurora's side, and joins her in her dance before she realises it.

"Aaah!" She shies away from this handsome stranger.

"I'm awfully sorry," he goes. "I didn't mean to frighten you. You looked like you were having a delightful time.."

"It isn't that.. you look awfully familiar. As if.. I've met you before."

"We have? Where?" Derek peers closer at the woman's eyes. "I'd like to know."

".. once upon a dream," she tells him.

Derek blushes at her statement; it may be something a daydreaming child might say, but out of her lips, it swoons his own heart. "What was that song you were singing?"

"Take my hands first."

He stares at her offered hands, like they are shrines ready to be honoured by his touch, and he takes them, and she shows him how she longs to be held, as they dance through the woods.

"I know you," he begins, "I walked with you once upon a dream.."

"And I know it's true," she goes, "that visions are seldom all they seem.. but if I know you, I know what you'll do – you'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream.."

They dance without a care for anything else, except each other's happiness, and the raven and his horse follow them avidly through the forest, until they arrive at the edge of it – before them, the hilly meadows with the sparsely pines.

Derek makes himself comfortable, laying down on the grass, sighing happily, trying to make out the horizon's infinities like he used to as a boy.

"I've never seen this before," Aurora goes, sitting down beside him.

"Me neither."

She follows his gaze, wondering what he sees – it's the same sight, but the perspectives betweeen two people can vastly differ, in more ways than one.

Some time passes.

"If I might ask, what is your name?" Derek goes, interrupting the comfortable silence.

"Huh? Oh—" His question jolts her into anxiety; if she gives out her actual name to him, she'd be forming an attachment to this stranger, and only encourage him to seek her out to his own disappointment – after all, she lives in a lonesome cottage in the woods, with her three doting faeries. "It's- I can't tell you."

She gets up, her cheeks red, but Derek grabs onto her.

"Why not?" He wishes he hadn't asked her that.

"I promised my godparents I would keep myself a secret," she tells him. "They said that people are eager to run their mouths off in rumours.. I have to go." She frees herself from his grasp.

"But when will I see you again?" he pleads.

"Never-!" She is rudely striding away from him.

"Never?"

A part of her is tugged at – is it really right to just leave him hanging? The one who resembles the prince of her dreams? She gulps to herself, and musters up the will to look him in the eye. "Perhaps we'll meet again someday."

"When? Tomorrow?"

"Erm.. this evening!" She just blurts out the answer without thinking, and she can't take it back.

"Really?"

"Yes.. I live in a cottage nearby in the woods – it's by a river, near the glen." And Aurora flutters along in the direction of her home, the raven perching on her shoulders and giving Derek a lingering glance. "Au revoir!" If we do meet again.. I don't even know your name!

For some reason, Derek feels fondness for the young lady, like she was an old friend he's all but forgotten about. He'll talk with his mother Uberta about it, and ask her if she still needs him in her affairs with the German diplomats – if not..

/

Arriving home, Aurora has to stop herself before entering the door; it feels like her skin is bursting in heat, from the anticipation of introducing the stranger to her home, and ultimately he'd whisk her off and away. But will he actually come? That is the question.

She fans her face with her hands, before opening the cottage door to the tangy smell of wildberry pie and onion-sauteed chicken.

The three faeries have made lunch, but their expressions are dour – as if they have brooded over a serious matter. It's something Aurora has only ever seen once or twice, in contrast with the usually jovial mood they carry.

"You'll never guess what happened to me," Aurora goes, hoping her excitement will diminish the seriousness in the air. "I met someone.. the man of my dreams!"

"Aurora!" Flora is troubled.

"I know! He has brown hair.. I was dancing, and there he was, with his cute horse – we danced together to the meadows, and- it was gorgeous being with him. He asked me what my name was, but no, I was fluttery on the inside.. I remembered what you said about meeting strangers."

"Have you seriously met with that stranger?" Flora says, as if in total disbelief.

"Of course I have! And he's not just a stranger.. he was dressed in his ermine cloak and had a glittering sheath on his pony. Almost as if he were indeed a prince. But I never got his name – only that I promised him to meet me here."

"At our cottage!?" the other two faeries join in unison with Flora.

"Yes."

And Aurora sits down with them, her stomach on the verge of hunger. She pauses before reaching out for a slice of pie. "I feel like I've fallen in love from just that brief encounter. Why aren't you happy for me?"

A beat.

"You are a princess, dear Aurora – and you have a kingdom to come back to, your mother and father included. Queen Odette, and King Charles. We've decided that after this lunch, we pack and head out back to the lands of France, in time for your 20th birthday, where you truly belong as royalty."

"But.." Aurora stutters. "This is all happening very fast, it's too soon. He's coming here this evening.."

"You've told us about your dreams for a prince who'd love you," Merryweather says. "See, you are already betrothed Aurora, to a handsome lad of the Frejordian kingdom – Prince Derek."

"I promised to meet him-"

"I'm sorry child.." Flora holds Aurora's hands in condolence. "But you must never see that stranger ever again."

Then the sadness hits Aurora, a tear at first, and then the rain all at once. "No.. no!" It feels like someone has poked a painful hole through her heart, and she bursts away from the table, her chair clattering to the floor. "I don't believe this! No!"

It is the first time in her life that she's known this kind of sadness – falling into a beautiful love, only to have it be taken away from her. She does not know what to do, besides running away from her protectors into her room, where she just grieves on her bed.

"And we thought she'd be so happy," Fauna goes.

Silently, perched by the windowsill, the raven cries for Aurora.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-01-23 12:19 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 7

7

In their eyes, Maleficent sees the orders of Charles. These soldiers, these people – who would be otherwise innocent, plan on having her heart out on a pike.

She is alone against all.

Not a familiar, friendly face.

It would be just like that time under the church's shadow, except now she has THE POWER-

Do you love me, Maleficent? Raki's words in her mind. I love you so much it hurts.. I don't want you to suffer a tragic ending.

"Maleficent!" their commander goes. "My men won't hesitate to slay you."

She restrains the impulse to smash them all.

"There are only two ways this could end," he continues. "Either we riddle your heart with holes, or you can surrender yourself to His Majesty's good grace."

She looks the commander in the eye – he's positioned behind his swordsmen, which is reasonable, given that he is their pillar of strength and morale.

"You know my name, good sir," she goes, bowing (and making tension from their already tensed weapons). "But I don't know yours."

"It's not for someone like you to know."

"Very well. After all, you'd much rather have me think of you as just the commander of this platoon, instead of another person with hopes, dreams, and desires. Likely, you have a loving family, waiting for you to come home safe from your skirmishes. All those beautiful things, which I could only dream. But since you are here as a dog on Charles's leash, with his message of death for me..

"Let me send my regards for him in return!"

And before the crossbowmen can let loose their iron bolts, Maleficent blasts an electric shock through their metallic armours, the jolt flashing between each of them in proximity, shocking their bodies within to paralysis.

Before the commander can shout "Attack!" she conjures up barbed vines from the forest's soil, which ensnare the remaining forces – the barbs injecting doses of non-lethal venom, sending them into unconsciousness.

As for the commander himself, who she's saved for last – he's panting heavily, having seen his troops fall nigh-instantaneously. He's running, and she follows the trickle of urine he's trailing behind, until she finds him trying to stand up after his stumble.

His face is awash with sweat.

He is rapidly breaking down before her, and he pleads for her to spare his life. "I do have a family.. a baby boy, if he grows up without seeing me.. please. Please don't kill me. Let me run back, I promise, I'll never lead troops to even one mile of your presence again."

"What's your name?" she asks him.

"S-Solaire."

"Here is some news; I haven't killed one person in your troop. All I've done is incapaciate them for the time being."

He seems surprised.

"Oh, you're surprised that I could spare them?" she goes. "I have this power yes, and you think me a monster because of what you've been told. It's true that I've killed and resented people over the years. I won't deny that. But if I was truly a monster, then my only choice – not a choice at all rather, is to slay you all without a second's thought.

I can tell you why
People go insane
I can show you how
You could do the same

"But I am not. Once, I was a normal person like you, shunned and feared by people, before betrayal has left me corrupted with hate. It was Charles who betrayed me when I needed his love the most, and it was him who left me behind like a toy he's outgrown. You wouldn't imagine how much it hurts when you find no reciprocation to your need for love.. it's love that I see everyone striving for, everyday, whether they know it or not. The newborns cry for it from their mothers, the young ones find joy when they're held in each other's embraces.. the old people cherish their memories of love, on their deathbeds. Sometimes I see people crying out in the darkness, because love seems to have left their lives.

I can tell you why
People die alone
I can tell you I'm
A shadow on the sun

"It's love that can make real monsters of us all, and yet bring out the best, if we let it. And I know now.." Maleficent extends a hand to Solaire. "I am not a monster. I am Maleficent, and despite the pain of living, I still have a heart that beats, a heart that aches."

And trembling, he accepts getting pulled up.

"That's my regard for Charles," she goes. "He may pity me for what I've done, what I've become, but I too pity him in turn.. his own heart has been misplaced along the way, lost to royalty, and so be it with him if he wishes to love my sister. I move on from him – the only debt I have is undoing my curse on his little daughter."

Despite Solaire returning to tell Maleficent's words to his King and Queen, it seems they do not believe it. Odette thinks it is a ruse from her to let down their guard – she pressures Charles into reinforcing capital defenses, and worries about the fate of their Aurora in the faeries' hands.

A chord is struck in him though.

All this.. this tragic line of events, because Maleficent loved him in the first place. In the bedroom, he looks at Odette, recalling Maleficent's remark about Odette being her little sister, and asks her, "You were her sister once; tell me, what was she like?"

A beat.

"I did not want you to know about her," Odette tells. "I considered her a shame of my family. She was moody around me and my parents, and I'd often find her alone, adrift in her daydreams. The thought of her makes me sad, I don't know why."

Charles puts away his bedtime scrolls. "You didn't think it would be important to let me know sooner? To be fair though, I've never told you of those times.."

"What?"

"Before we were introduced, I was sitting outside in the evening in the town of Gaumont. I was bored of my parents arguing over the ideal woman for me.. and there she was, approaching me in the peak of my boredom. Maleficent. She came to me.. showed me the town, the cathedral and the sunset.. we made love in the forest. I can still remember how she seemed.. almost like an angel at the moment."

He is tearing up – it seems so long ago that it happened, like it was a different, more innocent life he'd lived.

"I had this quaint feeling, like I wanted to know more about the secrets behind her eyes, in her heart. But my family dissuated me from her. She was absolutely not the kind of person who'd be my Queen. And it made me torn – I met you, but at the same time, she was there too in my mind. Even though I didn't really think much of her besides a happenstance.

"What was I to do, when the time came, and we married – and Maleficent.. I.." He sniffles. Is he about to say 'I'm sorry'?

"Please don't blame yourself for what happened," Odette consoles him, rubbing his chest. "I would have done the same in your shoes. Oh, she seemed so mad then, it was unbelievable! I'm glad that even after it was all over with my sister, you went with me. Our sweet Aurora.."

"Aurora? What does our Aurora have to do with it? It's Maleficent.. I wish.."

An indignified look comes over Odette. "You wish what? You'd rather be with that crazed sister of mine, who'd bring shame upon you, simply by being associated with the likes of her?"

"No, no Odette. I just wish if things had gone a little differently.." He pauses. "If I hadn't met her before you, there would be no pain."

Glancing out the grand windows, he sees his city of Paris is alight with diffuse colour, the sky a dark magenta above it. He remembers faint intimations of that evening in Gaumont, that joy.

/

Maleficent finds it difficult to scour the whereabouts of Aurora. The people know to shoo away her crows, and since the sanctity of own home has been revealed to the soldiers, she decides to move to another location, right in the heart of Paris itself, under disguise with help from her poutrices.

As long as she can obtain the ingredients for them, it should be fine, while she inquires about news related to the royalty from the citizens she encounters.

There is a little disorientation at the fact of having to mingle in with the crowd, the self-awareness of her not being in touch with society for so long – if each of them know who she really is on the inside, they would all be..

Never mind that.

What she's heard is that the good king has sent away his daughter to a hidden location, under the watchful protection of the three faeries. But where exactly? She'll have to eavesdrop on them, and so in her cottage, she devises a hamster to surveil for her.

One day, visiting the castle, she lets loose the hamster down the toilets, and upon heading home, she gets it to scour the dank, smelly pipes, until it emerges up from the royal latrines, where she has it wash itself in one of the baths and afterwards, feed on the storehouse cheeses – the hamster must be feeling like Andy Dufresne from the Shawshank Redemption.

Then she has the hamster hide in whatever nooks and crannies it could find, following Charles and Odette around in their daily routines of ordering the servants around, managing territorial disputes with the diplomats..

Soon, she overhears Odette worry about Aurora, and asks Charles if there's any way of exchanging news with the faeries, despite the risk of Maleficent finding out.

"Hmm," Charles muses. "If we send out a courier to the Black Forest, it might be possible, although it will have to be an indirect route, lest Maleficent realise."

The Black Forest! In Southwestern Germany!

With further hearings through her hamster, Maleficent hears them talk about undoing Aurora's curse, with the prisoners on death sentence getting their hearts preserved for study. And then unimportant things that she's overheard a hundred times already before.

She lingers over her hamster's seeings for a few more days, hoping she might hear more key information from them, but the poor hamster is soon caught by the royal chefs – and is thrown out with the garbage.

She's also running out of ingredients for her poutrices; fluxweed is particularly hard to come by, especially now that Spain is running trade embargos on France.

Thus, Maleficent flees the city, and with her remaining strength in the open fields, she transforms into

a raven
whose wings carry her afar
over the clouds
over the troposphere layer

(nobody will see me, knowing I am above them)

and the sky
is an ocean of fading blue
and white feathery cirrus
and doves

(sometimes the clouds resemble a familiar face)

and she glides along the
wind current
falling forward
like drug's euphoria

until the pines and firs are below her, and she circles around and around, descending below the overcast layer, her body aching from the air pressure differential.

All the trees seem endless, scattered over the horizons and hills and cliffs.

She could lose herself in the depths of this green forest – alien, vast, unknown, untouched, unseen by other human eyes. This must be the joy of every winged animal, to soar beyond the ones earth-bound.

And then she faints.

Her raven body, out of stamina and breath, tumbles down through the branches, pines and needles shaken loose, falling..

..

On the ground, Merryweather discovers a fainted raven, rumpled on its back – barely wheezing in and out. It is covered in layers of tan needles, spider webbing, and a coat of moss. She's gathering wildberries for her pie, and the sight of it brings feelings of pity and sorrow to her heart.

"Oh, poor raven," she coos, gently picking it up in her hands. "What terrible accident has befallen you?" She lays it in her basket, intending to carry it back home to the cottage, where 19-year old Aurora is weaving a dress with Flora and Fauna.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2015-01-14 11:52 pm
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 6

6

From that day onward, the King and Queen bemoan their daughter's fate; if Maleficent's words are true, then it would mean that the royal bloodline will ultimately cease. But surely, the three good fairies are able to undo her magical condemning, the royal couple would ask – and the fairies would tell them, "No, it is virtually impossible. Maleficent's spell is too powerful to undo, even for all three of us combined.."

It only makes Charles brood in silence; in pain, he closes his eyes and dwells on that woman he's once idly spent his time with. Who is she, to have turned from that young woman into the wicked witch?

He's heard all the rumours over the years about the witch Maleficent, flaying people who ventured into her forest, and the occasional torment of crows, sent to villages – but he's dismissed it all as folklore superstition that's cropped up, in preference of focusing on real problems such as religious integrity (holding Catholic France pure against Islam) and the tense relations between Spain, between Britain.

He's paralysed when the memory comes back; a memory he's long since dismissed – where Maleficent, dressed in black, is crying out for his love. It was so bizarre, the moment; she looked like she was dressed for a funeral. How was he to answer her then, when he was filled with apprehension about the madwoman who chose to make a fool of herself at his wedding?

"Please.. don't forget me, whatever happens. I just want you to remember me."

He thought it was only a distractive excursion from the monotony of looking for a suitor. He thought wrong. For her, it must have meant the world, and he curses himself for involving himself with that seemingly innoceous affair.

Her resentment has lasted over time.

"Your Majesty." The head faerie, Flora, nudges Charles out of his reverie in his private chambers. "We've come up with an idea that could potentially save Aurora."

Upon hearing that news, Charles glees with hope. "Really?"

"It may not save your daughter outright, but it will provide us with a chance to resuscitate her, should she succumb to dying."

Charles's smile droops to a frown.

"It's a technique that we pioneered on one of our patients. His lungs were diseased, and when he gave in to consumption, we put him under suspended animation, so that his body shall not deteriorate while we sought to replace his organs. We were able to revive him soonafter."

"What is suspended animation?" Charles asks.

"We put him in an airtight casket, that we've enchanted so that time does not pass inside it, while it's sealed. And with Aurora, we can do the same; but it will be incredibly hard to find a replacement for her heart.."

"How come!? You're fairies, you have magic that can conjure up the wildest fancies-"

"Our magic simply cannot replace an intricate organ like the heart. If she were to lose a finger, or a tooth, we can regrow it back, bone, tissue and skin, but the heart is.. still a mystery to our comprehension, with its veins and its power to pump blood through the whole body."

"Then study the heart! I'll get the royal doctors to send you hearts to dissect.. you can't also heal my Odette's womb?"

"Not to our present knowledge, no," Flora goes.

In Odette's arms, petite Aurora is crying – her mother's face is so sad and teary, if only she were happy like she used to be..

/

"You lied!" Raki yells at Maleficent. "You said you weren't going to harm their child.. how could you be so despicably cruel?"

She looks away from him, almost wincing, unable to bear the shame of what she's done, despite her heart reeling from inflicting the same wound upon the royal couple.

The evening is gloomy – only the overcast sky illuminates darkly their forest.

"You saw how the scene unfolded.." Maleficent goes. "Everyone glared at me like I was a freak – which I am, Raki. Like Judas Iscariot betraying Christ's joy with a kiss, I broke in and interrupted their festivities. Charles.. Odette.. they pretended they didn't even know me! When I goaded them, Odette spilled out the truth of it all: I wasn't wanted.

"So I condemned their future, their Aurora. Now they know better than to turn their fucking backs on me-"

"You're so petty," Raki goes, tears escaping his eyes. "I thought you'd be better than that – you've hurt a child who did nothing to you. Please.. with what good heart you have left, take the curse back."

"Raki.."

"TAKE IT BACK!" he cries, taking her aback. "Take it back, take it back take it back.." He is sobbing into her chest, and she holds him gently, and then his sobs become filled with rage, and he pounds against Maleficent with his fists – "Maleficent, let go of me! I hate you! Don't touch me!"

In her bout of distraughtness, Raki manages to squirm out of her grasp. He flees down though the trees, his steps soft and moist on the soil, before Maleficent makes a tree root protrude from the ground, catching Raki by the foot and tripping him, face flat.

Calmly, she walks over to him, and kneeling down, she wipes the soil from his face-

"Go away!" Raki screams, sitting up. "You're an evil murderer!"

It's strange – there's a difference between having a murderous reputation, and having someone actually witness you commit an evil act.

"Go away!"

Maleficent is holding him by his head and back – she's weeping. ".. we're both murderers, Raki. Where can we go?"

The resignation of it hits him; he's killed his brother, and it's no different from Maleficent killing Aurora, or another person – no matter the context. Even if it had been to save her from Zaki's bloodlust. He's tethered to her now; the one he hates, the one he's loved, and the only one who understands him.

They are outlaws, fallen leaves off a tree – lone stars separate from recognisable constellations, together drifting away in a vast, unknown space.

"Why do we end up hurting others?" Raki says.

".. I honestly don't know." Maleficent thinks about it. "People are unhappy – they're frustrated with what's happening in their lives. You want to love someone, but the closer you get to their heart, the more it will hurt when they wrench themselves away from you. For every happiness you may feel, there is an equal and opposite unhappiness underlying it. And vice versa when you decide you won't bear the pain by yourself anymore; it's easier to bring others down. You can't bear to see it when others.. like Odette and Charles, they're happy without consequence. It feels so unfair."

"But Maleficent," Raki goes, "you're responsible too for your own happiness. I know it's one of the worst feelings to be humiliated in their wake. I mean, I wasn't too happy with my older brother, and I got into rough scratches with the other kids. What would hurting them in return actually achieve? Nothing much, except to assuage your own ego – you'd just be bringing more pain in return. If I could go back to that time.. when Zaki was alive.. I'd wish I could muster up the courage just to walk away from him, and live by my own right. He wouldn't have to die.." He tears up at the horrid memory.

She considers his words, musing on her own situation. "How it could have gone so differently.."

"Yeah. Maleficent – I know you might have thought about it, but you're born of the same ilk as your sister Odette. The same blood runs through your veins. You're family, even if she left you behind."

"I know she's my family- I wish she wasn't, what are you trying to say?"

"My only love, sprung from my only hate," Raki quotes. "I don't remember where the phrase came from – it's something I remember from my literature studies, but you can change it. You don't have to hurt them. You always have that choice – you can be better than your sister; I don't think I like Odette too much myself. I feel there's this vanity in the public speeches she gives." He grins.

"Oui; she was such a vain person back then – she'd kiss up to anyone who seemed of high status, and she is a vain person now, as the Queen of France." Maleficent is liking the direction of the conversation. "It's humbling actually.. because I've always felt that I was the only person who knew what a creature she is, and I felt I had to scream it out for everyone in the royal court. For her to be humiliated and torn, with her husband!"

"Do you love me, Maleficent?" Raki asks, looking her right in her eyes. "Like you did Charles then?"

"I was hurting when you went away from me Raki," she goes. "We were so happy.."

"Let's run away. From all this. We can start it all over again.." He holds her by his chest, his voice turning into a low whisper. "If you could lift the curse from Aurora.. you could forget about Charles. He's a jerk who you mistakenly entrusted your heart to."

It's hardly crossed her mind before of the possibility of actually walking away, and start a new life with Raki, under a new identity. Even though she's hung onto her hate for the people who have humiliated her – like a nagging reminder she faces for much of her waking moments.

Because she'd face new humiliations, perhaps stemming from the very kind of personality she holds. Too eccentric for emotions, yet too stormy to cast herself as a straight thinker.

But Raki has given her a hope – the possibility she could be truly loved for herself.

"Ok. I'll need to be by Aurora's side again to do so.. I'm a little tired, Raki."

/

After much hesitation, the King and Queen decide – for Aurora's safety – to allow the three fairies to carry Aurora away from the castle, under disguise as peasants, who will nurture their child with the greatest care, teaching Aurora the basics of royalty as she grows up, so that she will come prepared one day to be a good Queen for France.

King Charles, feeling bitter at the sight of a black crow perched upon his windowsill, for he recognises now Maleficent's influence through them – he enacts a decree for everyone to extinguish the crows, drawing upon the already-existing superstitious fear to unite everyone behind the effort.

The witch will no longer be welcome.

So shall it be done.

Poisoned bird feed, scarecrows, slingshots and arrows – all jab against the sight of the crows. ("Maleficent must not prevail with her terror!" proclamations declare across the country.)

Then, with fearing for his daughter not subsiding, he takes the fight one step further – to slay her.

Much of the King's men are frightened by the prospect of facing Maleficent's wrath, but that is what they're trained for, no? To serve their country to whatever lengths needed.

The scouts are sent out in search of the witch, and at first, no sign of her turns up, but when Charles is advised about the rumours regarding the forest by Gaumont, he sends a full siege party with pyromancers to raze the trees down – instinct telling him this is where Maleficent resides.

Even if it means destroying the location of his private memory, and razing the landscape with smoke.

"3.. 2.. 1.. loose!" By the siege commander's call, the pyromancers set aflame the trees (which have been doused with oil) – the wind blowing drives the flames inward, threatening to devour the forest.

Maleficent acutely senses the malice being done to her home. Furious, she conjures up the waters from the pond, and sends the droplets to the burning areas, where the flames are extinguished in a bout of hissing steam.

"They will not drive me away so easily," she tells Raki, hurriedly, knowing the soldiers would persist. "But if they grab ahold of you – I wouldn't know what to do. Raki. I don't want to see them hurt you, or turn you against me."

Raki is distraught; this is the end of the dream as he knows it. "Mal.. what are we going to do?"

"I'll send you away – to Italy. I know a good friend, Antonio, a museum curator; he'll take care of you in my absence. He'll be kind to you, and will give you a full life, the kind of life I could never give to you."

"No.. Mal! What about you? Won't you come away too..?"

A beat.

"I will," Maleficent tells him. "But if I run away now, from this battle, it's not a wound I've made to them that could be brushed aside easily, threatening the life of those bastards' child. I've made my humiliation clear to them, and now they want to return the favour by extinguishing me forever. They could hunt me down to the ends of the Earth.. and I don't want to carry that doom to you. You deserve to live a beautiful life – that is the greatest honour you can have, believe me. To live amidst other people, to be respected as a human being, instead of a freak."

A portal emerges from the pond, the waters forming a shimmering gateway to the rivers of Venice. Maleficent shoves a parchment in Raki's hands – it has a portrait of Antonio, with his fuzzy beard and curious eyes. "You'll find him in the Palazzo Ducale; tell him that Maria sent you to be taken care of.. I did him a romantic favour once."

"I'm not going without you Maleficent!" Raki cries. "I won't go, I won't go!"

"Together, we have no chance. What could you do? You'll be killed if you step into battle with me – I have my magick, and that is more than enough to handle their battalions. Raki, please go- the time I've had with you will be my fondest memories. I promise, when everything is over, I'll find you. We'll live the rest of our lives as happily as we could, make money and friends, eat rich food.."

"No, you're just saying that so I won't worry-"

"I love you, Raki." A genuine smile on her face, as she caresses his cheeks one more time with her fingers. "Go now, go to that better place. I'm going to get rid of them all." She winks.

"I'm sorry I called you an evil murderer," Raki goes, holding her.

"I'm sorry I clinged onto hate for this long. Look what it's done to me already, look what's about to happen. It's revenge bouncing back-and-forth. I hope you never get hurt like I have."

You can hear the chanting cries of the soldiers from the distance; they are swarming in.

"Go," Maleficent says, and Raki hurriedly steps into the portal, looking back at her before he disappears from her sight for the next 20 years.

Then the soldiers arrive, their pikes and crossbows aimed at her, and the first thing they notice is her calm and resolute eyes.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2014-12-28 01:35 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 5

5

Raki can never go back to Gaumont – to show his face, and receive the questions about his dead brother. He is a dishonoured citizen, sharing in the same evil of Maleficent's murders.

Except he does not see her commit murder.

The times he is with her – which is nearly all the time, she is his friend, his caretaker, his confidant.

She shows him how to dance, based off of what she's seen from the ravens who've peered into the royal halls whenever they celebrate. The most romantic dance, and they do it in the open fields where the over-matured grass caress their legs and swish under their feet.

To his ears, she sings a lullaby from a distant memory: "I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.. I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam.."

Raki easily allows the miseries of his past life to slip away, like fallen petals upon a flowing river. It feels he's woken up from the nightmare that was once ago, into a beautiful dream that he never wants to fall asleep from, ever.

He is 16 years old now, and he is in love with her.

At nights, she'd show him visions from her crystal globe, of other people who are unsuspectingly under her ravens' watch – families who indulge together in their fireplace's warmth, friends who get drunk and open their fleeting thoughts out to each other, lovers whose fingers and lips and bodies are intertwined, old couples who kiss each other goodnight for what might be their last time..

It isn't that she is lonely; it's that she regrets not living amongst the common folk, and live beautiful happiness as an ordinary person. She can only observe..

And during the days, she would take him to the exotic countries elsewhere – she'd have him hold her tight, and wrap her cloak around him, and fly off into the stratosphere of heavenly blue where she'd allow him to visit Denmark, Spain, Italy- Raki would not falter in making acquaintances with the locals there, and one of his best memories is greeting Leonardo of Vinci (he's quite a nice man, and an even more amazing polymath) during a gondola ride through Venice. All the while, Maleficent disguises herself as an old peddler, watching over her boy, and simply breathing in the atmosphere.

But no matter how much happiness Maleficent and Raki have shared together, one bitter memory still rattles in her heart like a dark pebble.

That of Charles and Odette, making off with each other – leaving her behind.

In Paris, it has been announced that the royal couple would be having a child. Everywhere, people have celebrated – the loud parties held through the towns and kingdoms after the couriers have delivered the news, lasting all the way to midnight with fireworks celebrations.

"When I saw them fondling each other in bed," Maleficent tells Raki, "I had a mixture of envy and fascination. My dearest Diaval saw it all for me, every detail of it. My sister's caresses of his cheeks and his bum, like she's proudly affirming her possession of Charles. The slut! And their forms, contouring beautifully against each other, as ecstasy escaped his lips – 'Oh!' – when he finally climaxed after what seemed like hours.." (She seems to shudder along with the remembering.)

She is showing Raki the globe, where Odette's belly has swelled, and Odette is standing by the balcony, a look of expecting a bright future as she gazes out upon the kingdom before her, and Charles – he's grown a beard now! – he holds her shoulder and tells how baby Aurora will be the fated heir to the throne, alongside the royal child from Versailles.. Derek.

"Urghghh-!" Maleficent fumes, cursing as she slams the table, the vision falling into its default haze. "She doesn't deserve royalty! Or that child she reaped together with him!"

"Maleficent!" Raki has never really seen her this upset; he's sensed though that there was always that something that's cracking through the allure, like a black rose that's suddenly emerged from the soil.

Her hands clasp, fingernails digging into her palms, before she relaxes.

"I wish this hate inside me would go away.." she says. "Every time I'm alone, and I close my eyes.. I can still see all of them.. tossing garbage in my wake. I can hear them jeering my name. Raki, I know.. I know I've made such a fool of myself at that time – I wish I could forget it all. Forget who I am, and forget my love for Charles.. forget that he's turned away from me, over Odette."

Raki pauses to think. "You have potions that bring you back from the brink of death.. why don't you just make a potion that will help you forget it all? Or at least the painful memories?"

"I just can't bring myself to.. I've considered that already, and I've decided that to do so would be to run away like a coward. There are tales of cowards who run away from their haunting mishaps, try and pretend like they are different people entirely, and end up in misery. I won't do that; as long as I breathe, I vow to right myself.

"And I am having something in mind for the likes of Odette.."

"Like what?" Raki asks.

"That child she's so proud of, who has yet to be born.. I will curse it, in such a way as to torment its parents with an equal degree of anguish!"

".. you're going to.."

"To hurt their child directly, depriving it of sight or a limb, it won't be good. Alors.. their child will only live to the premature age of 20, and then.. it will die."

"Wha.." Raki is stunned – even knowing her evil reputation. "No.. no! That's not right!"

"I imagine their pain would be as great as mine." She smiles. "After all, poetic justice must be accomplished sometimes by force of will from the wronged, or otherwise I would not be languishing under this hate."

"Maleficent.. this evil side to you," Raki goes, "I don't like it. Please.. I know you could be happy again. I want to see you smile, like you did when we were travelling. Let your hate go.. I'm sorry if you were hurt so badly by your sister's betrayal, but you could rise up above her pettiness-"

"And let bygones be bygones? That I will not accept, Raki. I know you've seethed yourself against your older brother's repression, and it was mainly when you decided to off him for my sake, that you were able to breathe freely."

"That's.. he was going to-"

"You could have shouted and dissuaded him like a truly good Samaritan. But in the end, you chose the pistol – an instrument intended for death. And here we are. I do not expect total happiness for myself, but my act of retributive justice shall level myself with them. Charles and Odette, and their child along with them will know my despair, for my name is Maleficent, and I will not be sullied in vain!"

No matter what Raki tries, it's impossible to go back to those carefree times with her.

And Queen Odette gives birth – it is a girl, who is named Aurora for the aura of innocence radiating from her petite being. Charles and Odette, they are crying; their souls are irrevocably united in their newborn child, who would be a continuation of their existances.

The entirety of France cheers for the good news, and a national holiday is proclaimed, so that all of high or low estate can pay their homages to the infant Princess. Thus, on this day, does all the kingdom celebrate Aurora's long-awaited birth.

And in the royal halls, where the crowd has gathered by the public thrones, King Charles and his Queen make welcome for their friends and associates.

"Her Royal Highness," the Herald goes, "Queen Uberta and Prince Derek!"

Derek is a strapping boy of age 7. He reluctantly carries to the petite princess a gift of beautiful dolls and fairytale books, and when he quickly turns back, his mother scolds him: "Derek! Uh-uh-uh!"

So he takes great, hulking steps towards Aurora in her cradle, and he is bending his head towards her attentive face, and when he pecks her on the forehead, he goes "Uaghhh!" and wipes his mouth – much to Queen Uberta's embarassment.

Little does Derek know that this is his future bride-to-be, and that his arranged marriage with her will unite the Frejordian kingdom with France's, for a new era of prosperity.

"Oh-hehehe," Uberta goes, in her typically coy way. "This is just one of Derek's moods – he'll learn to appreciate Aurora's beauty, as she blossoms into a wonderous woman like her mother."

Odette is flattered, and while Derek is off playing with his toy knights, she does a curtsy: "It's my honour to be conveying my good looks through her."

The next guests-of-honour arrive, not through the Castle doors upon the red carpeting, but from a ray of light, streaming down from a ventilation orifice – right in front of the King and Queen. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather; the three good faeries who wander the country and heal the deathly ill with their magic.

"Oooh, she looks so sweet!" Merryweather goes, as they are cooing over Aurora's cradle. They each bless the child's life with a single gift; one of emotional harmony, one of wisdom, and one of health.

It seems all is going well.

But Maleficent has been watching through her raven Diaval, who is perched upon a candelabra. She's in the forest, gagging her throat out at the cutsy antics that all the guests have been giving Aurora.

"Please don't do it.." Raki pleads. "Their child has not wronged you – she is just an innocent baby. If you condemn their child, I'll hate you, Maleficent, for as long as I live."

It makes her pause – something has pulled against Maleficent, and she gazes upon Aurora's face, deeply considering the fate of the child who is not hers. In her own heart that she's thought has become stone hard, there's still feelings of sentimentality that almost brings her to weeping.

As if the pure innocence Aurora has, it was once hers too. There must have been goodness in herself too, once long ago, even if she can't seem to recall it. A garden of Eden that she had been cast out of, at some point in her childhood, for if it were the case she was borne from darkness, there would be no pain entirely; no light to differentiate from the shadow, to give meaning to her suffering.

"I won't kill Aurora," Maleficent declares, her hand caressing Raki. "But there must be punishment given to their unbridled joy."

So, sucking herself through the globe, a thunder echoes through the entire castle, and a huge gale blows on a spot over the carpeting, before Maleficent herself appears in front of the man who'd turned away from her, nearly 20 years ago (and counting) – Diaval perching on Maleficent's shoulder.

The entire chamber falls still with apprehension.

Maleficent is fully aware of all their pressing stares; she holds back her own overwhelming feelings, looking upon the crowd, the majestic beauty of the halls, as she advances, step-by-step, towards the King and Queen.

Only a mere few paces away from Charles and Odette – she says, "Well! It's quite a glittering assemblage, your Royal Highnesses. The nobility, the gentry, the commonfolk.." She glances at the three faeries. "How quaint, even the rabble."

Merryweather especially flinces at the remark. "How dare you..!"

Maleficent ignores them. "I really am quite distressed," she goes. "I look around at all the people who feel welcomed here, and yet when it comes to my arrival, the celebratory air seems to have hissed away. How come."

"You aren't wanted," Odette tells her.

A beat.

"Oh..? Not wanted?" Maleficent dwells on her remark, like salt over a festering wound. She analyses Odette, wondering if there is a pang of recognition in her eyes – is Odette addressing her as the witch.. or her long-pushed aside sister? "It seems we have an awkward situation on our hands. Here in front of you Odette, is someone who's watched you play chime and chipper as you've grown, all just a guise for the vanity lying at your heart's core. Since you were a petite baby, I hummed you lullabies. And in that white carriage, you went away with Charles.. when you could have reached out to me instead of leaving me at everyone's mercy. And you tell me now, I'm not wanted?! Odette, my dearest little sister?"

And a collective gasp emenates from everyone; a few women who sigh and faint from the shocking revelation.

Odette's face is of revulsion. She's trying to recollect herself from having her dirty secret spilled into the open.

"Who are you..?" Charles asks, despite knowing the answer already.

"I am Maleficent. I took you with me once upon a dream, and I still remember the salty taste of your lips. The Maleficent today is the end result of your betrayal to your sister, and she would like to bestow a gift – two in fact, out of generosity – in honour of your sweet Aurora."

She walks up to the cradle.

"Now you shall listen well," she goes; "to spare Aurora a whole lifetime of living, I will cut her life short. On her 20th birthday, when the sun sets, she will die. It will be as if she is elderly, lying on her deathbed, her last breaths rattling in and out, before her heart expires. Forever."

Odette is sobbing already – she clutches Aurora, cradling her beloved baby.

"And to make sure you don't cheat yourself out of grief – Odette, my noble sister, I curse your womb to infertility; may you never bear another child, as long as you live."

(a nerve is touched)

"SEIZE THAT INFERNAL CREATURE!" King Charles points at Maleficent, and the royal guards lunge at her.

She blasts them away with an arm's swoop, and they tumble down from a gale of electrified wind.

"You will never touch me again, Charles," she goes, cackling with the same crazed laughter of that time, before she blasts herself (and Diaval) out a window in a swirl of charcoal, leaving the royal halls without firelight.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2014-12-02 01:42 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 4

4

".. and I ran away from home," Raki goes. "I got so sick of Zaki's overbearing attitude towards me, and I.."

It is his seventh cup of poutrice, Maleficent has counted, and the sky is turning blue as morning approaches. She perches her head on her hand, still listening intently, never for one instant letting her attention waver from him.

He is always interesting to watch, when he crosses his legs after each pause, or when he grows teary-eyed about missing his parents.. or when he fumes about the way things are, like he's bottled up all this stress, and he's only now letting it out by her.

He is done finally, and when she blinks, he realises just how long he's spent here in the forest – how long he's been energetically awake, with little trace of drowsiness.

"Oh mira.." he goes, "has it been that long? It's almost morning!"

He feels like a petite child again, being able to stay up all night, feeling excited by the fireplace with his papi, and then finding himself sleeping through the entire day afterward.

Maleficent nudges his chin. "I think you should return home to your brother. It seems he does care about you very much, despite how you might feel about his brittleness. When I was younger, I never used to have a sibling who cared for me, besides that I would cry and all my sister would do is waver off.."

"You had a.. sister?" Raki asks.

"She is happily away, governing the land we're on, while King Charles is sucking her tit in the royal bedroom." Her frown is scornful.

"Ohh.." Raki is trying to orient himself around this newfound fact. "Odette's your sister.."

"I doubt she'd tell anyone about me," Maleficent goes. "If you had a brother or sister whose very existance embarrassed you, would you want to tell the whole world? I wouldn't imagine it."

"But I told you about Zaki.."

"You are embarrassed about him?"

When Raki sulks, she imagines how it might be to have this caring brother watch his every move, as if in obsession about keeping your loved ones safe – safe from the likes of her. If that were her own brother, she'd never have the chance to wander off, exploring the city, the outside wilderness and forest. "How stifling it must be.." she whispers. "I wonder if there is such a thing as the perfect sibling, who can love you – not for the way you act, but the way you are. He'll be there for you when you need him, and willingly let you be otherwise.."

"Yeah." Raki is doodling on the table with some chalk – a rocket spaceship aimed for the moon, made of yellow cheese.

"Gee, I sound like describing the perfect husband as well," Maleficent says. "Though you wouldn't ever believe it, I loved Charles."

"Eh?" He looks up.

"He had a little purple mole underneath his armpit.." she continues. "He was bored while his family took him to meet the right princess, so I was there, every evening. I showed him the city of Gaumont-"

"You lived in Gaumont-!?"

"Before I had these horns, I had long, flowing black hair."

"Then.. how did you become-"

"Because I ran away after Charles got married to my sister. Because I hated everyone and everything so much – I wanted to die. And so I became like this, somehow, the witch who everyone is bound to loathe."

Raki hasn't touched her yet; it looks like her gnarly arms must hurt, like the festering sores of plague patients, so he gently reaches out and finds that it feels like scales – smooth to the touch, moist, yet bumpy at the same time.

Then he tries touching her face – the only part of her that looks normal, and finds her skin cool, and then he runs along her cheeks to her nose, and then her lips.

"Ooh," he goes. He's like a baby again, innocently and curiously fondling someone else.

"You're blushing," Maleficent tells him.

It only makes his face all the more red, with warmth, which she cradles by his cheek.

"I don't want to go back home," Raki says. "I wish I could stay here, with you instead."

"But your brother will worry for you," Maleficent goes. "And if he doesn't find you, he could easily assume that I've abducted you, and give reason for more hostilities against me."

Raki frowns. She's right.

"But you can always visit me," Maleficent goes, "whenever you need someone to talk to about your problems, or anything. I'll be right here, and I promise to watch over you. You'll never have to feel lonely again. Now go, Raki.. the people are almost awake."

As Raki walks out of the forest, he sneaks several looks behind him – maybe to have last glances at that beautiful witch, or to see the lush surroundings that she calls her home.

He finds the kingdom walls – they gleam orange with the dawn, and he allows the guards to check him before he enters, a hopeful smile in him as he arrives back in those familiar streets, more welcoming under the sunlight.

He rushes back to his cottage, where he undresses his cloak in his room, before he hears the door open behind him.

"Raki!" Zaki is so relieved at the sight of his brother, that he rushes over and holds Raki in a brotherly hug. "Raki! Don't you ever make me worry like that again! I was looking all over town for you! Where were you!?"

"I was.." Oh non – Raki can't just say he went out of town, or else Zaki will think of Maleficent. "I slept in one of the alleyways, where the guards don't notice."

"Really!? I could have sworn I checked every corner!"

"Apparently, not the one where I was staying. You might think you're sure of everything, but not necessarily."

Zaki sighs. "Yeah, you're right.. you know, I try to act so sure, but I do harbour a lot of doubts inside, if you haven't noticed already. Come, let's have some breakfast.. and then I'm going to take a power-nap."

So Zaki toasts some bagels, and brings out cheese and some tomato soup. "I was up all night, looking for you," he tells Raki, while hungrily munching on the cheese. "You couldn't imagine – my legs were shaking, and just the thought of you in harm, it kept me going and going.. I'd do anything I could if it meant you're safe."

"Well.."

You're blushing.

"I'm home now," Raki goes. "I'm sorry that I ran away. Maybe if you can cool it with your concerns, it'll be okay."

"Okay."

And so as the days pass, Raki is a studious student in school. He gets decent grades on his quizzes, and he pays atttention, especially when his teachers start to discuss the lore of the forest, and the witch Maleficent. He lively chats with the other kids during breaks.

And all the while, whenever he sees a black crow, he smiles, and remembers his encounter with her, like it's from a beautiful dream he's had, a memory that sends a blush of warmth in him. He never knew that there is someone like her, who could make him feel that way – feel understood, like she's listened to every word he's said. Never impatient, never getting annoyed with him.. never the feeling of her just waiting for her turn to talk.

But he hasn't dared venture back into her forest – he only has the occasional crow, with which he could feel her presence, as he is walking down the streets.

It isn't enough though, and he finds himself yearning to speak with her again, wanting her to touch him like the way she did, when it made him feel accepted and electric.

Some nights, instead of dreaming, he'd lie up and glance out the window, thinking of her – only to feel terribly exhausted the next morning, and Zaki would start to worry if something is bothering Raki.

"Is anyone husslin' you man?" Zaki asks. "If so, I'm here, I'll pound them and they'll learn a good lesson."

"Non, no one's bugging me."

But despite what answer Raki gives, Zaki is pressing hard down on him again, and he'd see glimpses of Zaki tailing him behind on the streets (maybe Raki is having a girlfriend?), and Raki would silently wish Zaki would go away and mind his own business.

And then he'd see a few crows come and jabber around Zaki, driving his big brother crazy while Raki runs off out of sight.

Eventually, Raki decides to meet Maleficent again.

In the morning before school, he prepares an assortment of snacks in a knapsack, and gets a cloak by his bed – and wait as the uneventful hours of the day pass him by, before it is night, and Raki feels the unbearable excitement of going out of the city walls,

out of Zaki's reach.

/

"Raki.. where are you going?" Zaki asks, this concerned tone in his words – he's opened Raki's door, just as Raki is putting on his cloak. It's around 11 at night, and how is Zaki bugging him at this moment, when he should be asleep already-

"Zaki..! I'm.." Raki isn't good at faking excuses on the spot, and he'd blush, choke up. "Hey, why are you up anyways?"

"Because I saw the cloak on your bed, after I've noticed some food has gone missing. You're sneaking out, aren't ya? Where? Raki, tell me where are you going? Don't worry, I know you're growing into a young adult, and I should grant you a greater degree of freedom accordingly. Just tell me where, and for how long, so I know when to look for you."

"Zaki.." Raki is trying his best to suppress a fit of giggling; it can feel ticklish when Zaki pressures him down like this. "I'm going out to a friend's. An all-night study session with her."

"Her? Raki, is that your girlfriend? Is that why.. you've been having trouble sleeping?" A smile beams up on Zaki.

"Yeah, my girlfriend – Anita." Raki pulls that name from the top of his head.

"Hey.. no worries. A girlfriend's a girlfriend, there's ups and downs with those kinds of relationships. But why so late? Why don't you visit her earlier – you could have let me known sooner – don't you think it is a bit late at this hour?"

"She prefers to study at night," Raki goes, "when her family isn't awake. I'm going to make my romantic entrance then, and-"

"Ohh.. yeah, you'll.." Zaki is nodding in approval about the idea. "So where's her place anyhow?"

"In the Northeast, along the Rue de Fleurs.."

Raki takes his knapsack, and the cloak.

"Raki.." Zaki says, before Raki leaves. "I'm really glad you're doing happily at school."

/

Raki is glancing behind himself – hoping his brother will not follow, hoping that the night's secrecy will shroud his pilgrimage to the unholy land, where the one he's met and remembered deeply in his heart will be awaiting him.

He is afraid that the forest is non-existant; all he could see is the black wilderness outside the castle, and then, to his delight, he rediscovers the forest's light, and makes his way through the luminiscent woods once more.

He smells the fresh pine and soil, the air noticably cool – the leaves glow gold and red this time, for the trees are wilting.

"Maleficent.." he calls out, his heart leaping, but his legs giving in to exhaustion after the fairly long trek. "You are there?" He rests his shoulder by a tree, panting, in hopes of recovering his energies.

In the coolness of mid-autumn, his face has gone chill, and he crouches down, huddling, rubbing his cheeks warm.

How long has it been since I've last met you? Four weeks? Almost the whole month..

He isn't getting any warmer.

Soon, he picks himself up, and finds the glade with the pool of water, but no smoke from her cauldron.

"Maleficent..?" he goes, arriving by the place where her 'kitchen' is at. She isn't anywhere to be found, but he softly hears the sound of her weeping, somewhere. Raki calls her name, amidst the counters, and the makeshift bookshelves with the worn-out tomes and manuscripts.

He gets closer to her weeping, until he trips over what looks like a black shroud that is draped over a mound, and he hears a voice yell "Oomphh!" interrupting the crying.

He realises that is Maleficent – she looks up, he sees her face; she's been lying on the leaf-covered ground the whole time, in tears.

"Raki..?" she goes. "You've come back to me.." She rises up, holding him tightly.

He isn't sure what to say; he just allows her to cry on his petite shoulders. Maybe she's missed me after so long.. I didn't know I meant that much to her.

"I was.." She sniffles. "I wondered why you didn't want to come back.. you looked so happy all this time, and you might have forgotten about me.. you might have even wanted to hate me all the more, knowing I was kind to you, while I killed.. your parents.."

"I thought of you," Raki goes. "Every day, I was happy to see your crows, and I relished how someone like you could exist.. to make me feel like I was being listened to. Nobody else made me feel that way.. I've always wanted to come back to you, but I had no proper reason to give to Zaki, so I could visit you again. Until now."

"I've never.." Maleficent sits down by her study chair, wiping her eyes. "Excuse-moi."

"It's alright. You looked so sad when I came.. I wasn't.."

"Wasn't expecting me to cry, or feel sad? Expecting me to stay in that calm, collected persona, like this is how I normally am?"

"Yeah.."

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, Raki," Maleficent goes. "Even witches like me, I laugh, and I smile, and I get upset and angry and.. lonely. I'm.. I have no one. You have friends, you have a brother, and I have no one but the forest, and the crows and toads to talk with. And if they do understand me, I'd hear only a chirp out of them. But at least, they won't hate me, or spit my name in disgust.

"I've always wondered about this paradox; how it is people are able to share love and respect with one another, but when it comes to me, they become like this one-dimensional caricature, where it's just their unbridled ability to spew bile towards me, if not treat me just as a distant acquaintance, or flat out ignore me in coldness."

"But all people have mainly known of you is that you're a murderer, and a nuisance to the towns nearby your forest," Raki says. "Won't you try showing to everyone that you can be kind? like you have to me-"

"That was before I've become a witch," Maleficent goes. "Every time I close my eyes, I could still see the smiling faces of all those people, and they glance at me, and their eyes show only cruelty. They were so happy at his wedding, and I show up – and I only wanted to know, if he loved me..

"And his answer? Nothing, except to leave me behind to their hatred.."

"Maleficent.." Raki goes. "I'm here, with you right now. And I don't hate you. I don't want you to hate.. you were the most kindest person to me then."

"You haven't seen me kill. Mercilessly rip the whole forms of those people into shreds, taking their lives away-"

"No-" Raki reaches out to her, touching her chest. "I know that isn't you. The real you isn't the you who flayed my parents, or all those people I don't know about. The real you was giggling when I told her about stealing a kiss from a girl after I've tripped on an apple; smiled when I remembered how warm it felt by the fireplace with my papi; you held my hand when I told you how much it hurt, those months after my parents were gone forever.

"I've always known.. you're not the witch people make you out to be. You just never had the chance to love and be understood."

Upon hearing his words, my heart imploded. My heart has always been a frail feeling, always in pain, always in search of happiness and wholeness. In my privacy, I cry about the fact that I was once innocent, like every other young child - that I too had the absolute right to love, with my mere and pere.

That my mere once held me in her arms, and I stared at her beautiful face, her eyes never wavering from me, and all I felt was pure happiness.

I felt like I was jolted back into being that young girl again, and I held him, Raki.. as if he was the only person in the whole world who could return to me that love.

I never wanted to let him go; it is too much to bear that out of everyone I've known, he was the only one who ever saw me beyond the monster that I've become.

"Raki.."

It is a beautiful feeling of total acceptance, shared together by those two of each other.

/

The lucid beauty of that moment, it carries itself as an internal blushing, all over Raki's body when he returns home to his cottage – he isn't certain of how much time has passed since he's left; only the certainty that he has stayed far, far too late for just a 'study session.'

Usually, Zaki keeps the rooms alit with candles, both to deter would-be intruders from entering the lonesome cottage (while he's out searching), and also so he could find his way back in the dark.

However, the cottage is eerily black. No lights have been lit.

Raki wonders if Zaki has decided to just sleep – miraculously placing faith in Raki coming home in one piece, safe and sound, and they could argue over it tomorrow morning. It doesn't seem likely.

In the darkness, Raki tip-toes over to his room, making sure to open the door in such a way that it doesn't creak – it usually does sometimes.

He begins to realise just how tired he is; the effects of Maleficent's poutrice are wearing off, and like someone who's endured several days' worth of consecutive hard work, Raki drops his knapsack and plumps himself onto bed, without bothering to change into pajamas or tucking himself into the bedsheets.

And he slips away into blackness, his thoughts of Maleficent, along with his worries about Zaki dwindling like fading echoes.

/

The next day, Zaki seems unusually non-chalent about last night, and when Raki tells his brother the excuse for his lateness (that he's just thought of upon waking up)-

"Oh," Zaki goes, munching half-stale bread at the table. "I'd figured as much you'd want to just chill with Anita."

"You weren't worried I didn't come back on time?"

"I was.." An anxious beat. Zaki wipes the crumbs from his mouth. "But I realised, you're the only family I've got, and I should place my faith better in trusting that you can tough it out by yourself. Heh. I remember all those times you've told me to calm down whenever I got on your case. And I'm beginning to see why; there's absolutely no point in excessive worrying, and all I can do is what's there in front of me, in the present moment. Because if there's something truly wrong, then that's when I can spring into action. So I'm not that worried Raki, if you happen to be just a minute late, or if you happen to not be in the right place."

Hearing all that, it surprises Raki. A feeling of relief comes over him, but he is careful not to visibly sigh lest he'd trigger Zaki into imagining that he's hiding something again.

"We're all we have.." Raki goes, mulling over that sentence. "I'm glad. And.. I think I should be more grateful to have you as my bigger brother. The times when I was in deep shit, like when I got caught out under Tyrion's bullying, and you showed him on my behalf how wimpy he actually is."

"Yeah!" Zaki grins, remembering how much his knuckles ached after knocking Tyrion's jaws out.

It feels like a sentimental moment between them – even though Raki isn't feeling so sure if he's really sincere about Zaki, or if he's just saying it to go along with the change in tone.

"Anyways," Raki says, "I have an exam to take today. I have to recite the meanings behind the nine circles of Hell.."

"Oh really? Mm, I suppose I'll have to wish you good luck on it – tell me how it goes, alright?"

Except there isn't an exam.. it's just to justify going out yesterday.

And for the rest of the day, Raki couldn't concentrate on the teachings, as his worries mount that his brother might be coming by to the school, to discover about the non-existant exam, or he might start quizzing him on the names of the nine circles – of which, Raki doesn't know any of them (besides that the deepest circle is a frozen hell).

That feeling of coming to an inevitable end, the ugly revelation that will surely devastate Zaki.. is that guilt?

The only other thought he can think about-

the black crow that is perched upon a dying tree, whose bark is like her embracing arms, a sanctuary from harshness,

is finding her again in the forest.

He still remembers comforting her amidst her tears. The only person in years who's ever come by her parlour.

I'll see her again.. I must! (Maybe she can give him advice about Zaki, or something.)

Upon heading home around evening, Raki quickly conjures up a reason to head out into the forest again. He's done so well on the 'exam,' and he wants to hang out more with Anita, his 'girlfriend' who's been so sweet with him.

Raki is wolfing down the dinner of sauted chicken, at an unusually eager pace that leads to him having hiccups. All the tensions seem to come through his eating – which Zaki takes notice of.

"Hey bro, what's the rush?" Zaki goes.

"I've.. mmnh.. Anita, I just promised to visit her again tonight." Raki wipes his mouth. "I told her I'd come as soon as I can – I don't want to keep her waiting."

"Oh really?" Zaki furls his brow, in what resembles suspiciousness. "You're over an hour late, coming home. What's been happening at school?"

"I.. I was having a long chat with her," Raki says, finishing up his dish. "I lost track of the time, hehe."

"And you're leaving so soon to be with her?" It seems that whatever change in Zaki's attitude this morning, it is only temporary. "Something's up with you, I can almost smell it."

"Zaki.. what's the matter with you?"

"I thought we were brothers, Raki."

"But we are-"

"You don't want to be around me anymore. You're looking for any excuse to avoid me."

"No.. it's- Anita, I.. last night, when we were together," Raki says, noticing Zaki's expression relaxing. "Anita's lonely. She's a misunderstood outcast, and I helped comfort her. I'm not going to leave her alone all of a sudden, when she needs me the most."

The very air between them seems to relax.

"Zaki, I'm going to her," Raki says, resolute in his decision. "I'll come back home to you after, alright? Please don't worry about me too much."

He leaves the dinner table, and heads over to the doors to grab his coat and knapsack – it'll be chilly outside.

"Raki.. wait. Wait-!" Zaki rises, about to stop his younger brother from embarking on a needless excursion outside. "Please don't go! STOP! STAY HERE!"

But Raki slips out into the cold night, leaving Zaki's pleas behind as he trudges on to the familiar and uncertain path of the drawbridge, and then the wilderness, with the trees like a landmark under the cerulean dusk. His very body seems to be lulled towards the pond, the bonfire smoke – towards Maleficent.

She sits, reading from a tome, and the sight of her is a soothing balm for Raki's eyes.

"Hallo.." Raki goes.

"Hello." Maleficent slips a bookmark in-between the pages.

He is light-headed; here in the forest, he begins to feel a new sense of total relief – where he doesn't have to think about his everyday worries. Like when he loses his sense of self during a good theatre performance, or in a deep dream where his feelings flow more readily.

"What are you reading?" Raki asks her, at a loss of a real topic, just looking for any excuse for a conversation.

"Orpheus and Eurydice," she goes.

"I haven't heard of it."

"Oh, it's.." She shows him the tome's cover, which is inscribed with a combination of Latin and Greek. "A tragic tale of love. The Greek poet Orpheus had a wonderful wife, Eurydice, and one day, he lost her to a satyr—"

"That's like a man and a goat," Raki says.

"Yes, and upon discovering the loss of his beloved, Orpheus sung such sad songs to all those around him, and it made the nymphs and deities weep. So moved were they, that they granted him a chance to rescue his wife from the underworld.

"Orpheus, driven by the need to have his beloved at his side, fought tooth and nail to be in the presence of Hades, and sang his lamentations to his ears; Hades took pity upon the poet, and gave Orpheus back his Eurydice – under the sole condition that he never look back at her, until they were both at the surface again.

"The journey back was arduous, and Orpheus began to doubt if Eurydice was indeed by his side. So he risked looking back, and saw her for the last time, before she vanished forever from his existance. That about sums it up."

"Waw.." Raki goes. "That's such a powerfully sad story.."

"It's my tenth time re-reading it. Of course, it could have been written such that Orpheus and Eurydice could have had a happily ever after, but tragic endings linger more deeply in the soul. It's just how it is."

Raki is tearing up. "Maleficent.. I.."

"What's the matter, dear?" She notices Raki beginning to tremble and look peculiar, so she goes up to him.

"I.. I don't want you to suffer a tragic ending. I can't stop thinking about you, everyday. How you're so sad and lonely in the forest, with nobody who cares or loves you. And you're the only one I know who's ever been a real comfort to me. I don't care if everyone else hates you- I love you. I'm only 14-years old, my only family left is the brother who suffocates me, and I've never had a kiss from a girl. But I love you nonetheless, Maleficent.. I don't have anyone else to turn to in this life.."

It is an outpouring of emotion from the boy, out of control, and his sobbing is unbearable to witness.

"Don't cry, Raki," she goes, tenderness emerging from her.

"I love you so much it hurts.." He sobs onto her chest, clutching her with a feral intensity. She knows how he is feeling – this love borne out of hurt, out of aching pain. She lets him clutch her like a comforting blanket, feeling her gnarled limbs react to his grasp, and she puts a leaved finger by his teary eyes, his dripping nose, wiping away the wetness, like dirt and blemish from a cherished doll. "I never want to leave your side," he goes. "I'll be here, and you'll never be lonely again."

From him, it sounds almost like a futile promise, like vowing to invert the forces of gravity, or turning back time in order to change a tragic moment. No one had touched her in all these years since, and why should a young boy be any different?

Because he isn't afraid of her, for all her hatred and outward ugliness.

I killed his parents, like they were nothing..

"I'm sorry," he says, realising how he's covered her hand and dress with his snot. "I got you so dirty-"

She puts a finger to his mouth. "Shhh. Never mind that."

And in a kiss, she embraces him. Sudden and total. Blissful heaven contained between their lips. Raki finds it surprising, the sensation of her mouth, and her tongue. But he relaxes all the same, and closes his eyes, and lets himself go.

Hidden behind the trees, Zaki watches the whole scene unfold, his eyes widening to this goddamned nightmare between his Raki and that creature. All along, he's followed Raki from behind, rightfully suspecting that there's something worth hiding from his sight.

The last thing he's expected is to see the one he loves the most, falling enamoured with the one ultimately responsible for the misery wrought upon his family. Kissing like they're long-time lovers.

It's like the last foothold, crumbling away beneath him, sending him tumbling down into the abyss.

No.. I don't believe this! Tell me this isn't happening!

How can Raki betray him- how dare Raki betray him! For that witch!

"You've got him under your siren's spell, witch.." Zaki snarls, his shaking hand taking his father's hatchet from his belt. Then he runs towards them. "YOU DIE!"

Maleficent has her back towards Zaki, and she turns, just as Zaki swings his father's hatchet down – the blow glances onto her shoulder, slashing into her arm, where black bile streaks out from the injury.

"Zaki!" Raki's eyes widen in horror, realising his brother's presence, droplets of Maleficent's bile streaking onto his face.

She is howling with pain; her arm is nearly severed, and she's lying on the ground.

Zaki lands another blow on her chest, and another – he's going to sever her into itty bitty pieces, pouring every ounce of his hate into hurting her, humilating her body the same way she humiliated his dignity. And when she's begging for death, he'll shoot her in the nose with the matchlock pistol, already loaded upon his belt, but yet to be cocked.

"NO!" Raki screams. He thrusts himself upon Zaki. "STOP IT!"

Zaki's much more strongly built than his brother, and he easily tosses Raki aside. "She's bewitched you into loving her, my little brother! But I, Zaki, will put an end to this madness, once and for all! She is evil! And I'll KILL THIS EVIL!"

Ugly sounds come from Maleficent – the gurgling of her blood, rousing from her punctured innards, seeping outward.

An idea comes to Zaki, and he thrusts his bare hands into Maleficent's wounds, feeling the moist, tender flesh within, and claws inside with his fingers – relishing the scant pain that is reflected upon her face, contorting in agony, while her body writhes helplessly. He is the executioner, drawing out her death as long as he could muster.

Raki can't stand it any longer. "Evil..? You're the one who's EVIL! ZAKI! Leave her alone!" And seeing the pistol holstered on Zaki's belt, Raki yanks it out, and holds the gun towards Zaki.

Zaki pauses, his fingers still enmeshed within her. "You gonna shoot me Raki? I'm the one who's doing justice! I'm killing the one who's hurt other people without any concern! Who's taken our mother and father away! You going to shoot me, you little wimp?"

Raki pulls the trigger, but to no effect.

The pistol has been the family heirloom – it's been passed down to his father by the blacksmith, for winning top prize in a festival shooting contest. A distant memory now comes to Raki, where he's shown how the pistol's firing mechanism works.

After the pistol's loaded with the pellet and powder, you must first light the match, and hook it to the serpantine lock. Then you pull the trigger..

But Raki doesn't have a lighter on him – there's the caultron atop the burning bonfire though.

"You don't know how to even shoot," Zaki goes, taking his hands out of Maleficent, going to reach for the hatchet.

Raki runs to the cauldron, hastily putting the match to the flames, where it ignites.

Zaki's fingers wrap around the hatchet.

What's next? Put the match into the lock, and tightening it in place with the turnscrew..

"You'll end!" Zaki exclaims, crawling to the perfect position over the lain Maleficent's head.

Raki sees the hatchet in Zaki's hand, rising, rising to its peak- it's going to fall- have to aim-

(shoot)

The trigger is somewhat rusty, but upon being pressed, the pistol explodes, a thunderous echo rippling throughout the forest, and halting the motions of Zaki.

For a moment, nothing seems to happen, but then a grimace shows on Zaki's face, the eyes widen with a terrible shock, and then the hatchet slips from Zaki's fingers, clanging on the ground, and Zaki wavers, limping a few steps sideways before he plunges onto the pond's waters, staining with his blood.

Raki pants. The cloud of fired smoke is wafting away from him, smelling fresh and burnt.

He lingers still, feeling utterly disoriented.

And then his awareness comprehends Maleficent's torn, bleeding body on the leaf-covered ground, and Zaki, who once lived and breathed for all these years, and now he's dead.

Slain by Raki's own hands.

Slain for the sake of Maleficent, who by typical standards, has every reason to be killed.

"I.." he utters out, as a wave of anguish comes tumbling over him. He throws the pistol out, away into the dark distance. "I AM FORTUNE'S FOOL! Maahuahhhhuhh-"

Raki is laughing uncontrollably – no, sobbing at the pathetic fate he's put himself into. He is truly alone now, as a murderer of his own remaining family. If he'd come back home, people will notice Zaki's absence and it will come crashing to Raki's murder.

No, he's not alone. Maleficent..

She's so rumpled.. how could he heal her?

Raki thinks of the poutrice he's drunk from her – maybe it could heal her from such a damaged state; how else could she have kept lively in the woods? Without hesitating, he rushes over to the cauldron, and pours a cup of the mixture, and kneeling by Maleficent's side, he gently pours it down her mouth. Some of it spills out the corners of her lips.

To Raki's astonishment, the effect is immediate as Maleficent's body swiftly regenerates itself, the slice holes shrinking, and the sinews of her arm sewing up together with her shoulder again. As if Time itself is rewinding all those inflicted fatalities. The colour returns to Maleficent's face.

And when she gets up, she cradles Raki – unable to thank him enough, unable to make up for the grieving loss of his brother.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2014-09-07 11:56 pm
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 3

3

"Raki, can you help wash the dishes after dinner?" his big brother Zaki says, before chowing down on the roasted ham on the plate. ("Mmhuh--")

"Sure.."

The 14-year old Raki usually doesn't mind the chore – it's a few minutes of rinsing the porcelain in the water buckets, and then it's off into the night to enjoy the theatre, or to play soccer with the other kids, or whatever might catch his fancy. Until it's nighttime, and then he has to come back home to Zaki. With Summers, it seems like the evenings can go on forever.

Four years ago, they'd lost both their parents to the witch. A risky walk through the forests, in which to gather ginseng root to brew celebratory tea for the lunar harvest.

And then his pere, after tripping upon an exposed tree root, he cursed her name – "Damn Maleficent. A plague on her when she dies!"

And then Raki saw it; it was as if the forest vines had heard his pere's words, and they wrapped themselves around his mere and pere's ankles, up to their torsos, upon which their flesh was instantaneously flayed with ten times the venom that was present in his pere's tone.

After, Raki was crying for his parents' loss, while Zaki swore a hard vengeance against the dark witch of the woods, and vowed to protect his only remaining family – his petite brother Raki. Never letting Raki out of his sight, never letting him venture into the darkness alone.

Maleficent.. you're never supposed to utter her name in vain. It's a superstition that Raki's heard ever since he was very young – that there's a witch who inhabits the forest beside the city of Gaumont, who takes the lives of those who dare venture into her territory. But his pere said it was just a scary myth, like religion, and he'd never had trouble getting into the forest to gather rare fruits and ingredients. He'd even shouted out her name with all his breath, and nothing happened. Until..

And since recently, it's been rumoured that she's somehow listening in to people's conversations here. Because the mayor of the city found his precious erotic art collection (stashed in his home's cellar) torn to bits after confessing its existence to his wife. As if they'd been pecked by the crow who'd been perched upon their windowsill, that the mayor tried in vain to shoo away, but was too tired in his bed – him still remembering the black bird's ill gaze, even to this day. (There's absolutely no way his wife could have done it; she seemed very happily interested about it.)

People had heard his cries of terror the following morning. He sounded just like an opera singer, even when he declared the crows outlawed, by the very same intuition that helped the farmers double their crop yields by way of a clever mandate.

And so, people have associated the crows that have been noticably appearing with the likes of Maleficent, and what they'd do is stare coldly back at the perched crows, remaining silent as to not slip out a careless utterance, until the crows fly away somewhere else. Or more productively, they'd hit and pelt the crows to death, and skin off their feathers for fabric, and have their bodies cooked as a delicacy of the province. A dead crow is a good crow.

Raki thinks it's like a silly religion – instead of Jesus and the Holy Trinity, you have Maleficent and her forest with her crows. Even though what he saw that day.. the mangled bodies of his parents, who'd once hold him when he feels sad, or tuck him in at bed and read him the wonderous faerytales..

Who is this Maleficent anyway? What does she look like? That's one of the things he always wonders about, whenever his attention isn't preoccupied by anything else – like being pestered by Zaki about the dishes, or other such petite things.

Gosh, it can get annoying. But Raki knows his older brother is the type of person to compulsively worry about anything – as if to make up for the lack of parents now, Zaki is trying to be an adult, much too soon.

So to put his brother's worries at rest, Raki fetches the water from his home's well, and scrubs the few dinner dishes with the soap, and puts them away sparkling clean.

Right now, it is the month of August. The last few days, before September, and the fall season truly kicks in. That's when Raki has to attend schooling again, with these long sessions of sitting in a room, doodling on the parchment pages while the old teachers would recite the multiplication table, or the Ten Commandments of the Bible as applied in hypothetical situations.

He's never cared for school much, other than that it seems necessary to attend, and pass all the tests in order to become an educated, respectable citizen at the age of 16.

What is out there, besides what everyone already knows?

Such as Maleficent. To him, it's.. what kind of a name is Maleficent anyway? It actually seems beautiful, that name, and it's not very often that anyone gets to be named that, so far as he can tell.

She is a mystery. Even though she is the one responsible for depriving him of his mere and pere. As far as he knows, nobody has really seen her up close and in person yet. Or they have, but none have lived to tell the tale.

A mystery – like how Raki has visited the forest for the first (and only time) with his family, and he felt a very different atmosphere, the air humming with interest and wonder, sunlight straying through the shadowy leaves. Or when Leonardo of Vinci went and toured his newest painting of La Gioconda (Mona Lisa), and Raki saw on the petite canvas the alluring glance and smile of the woman, which seemed so plain and hypnotic at the same time, for what could she be smiling about? Someone asked Leonardo that, and he only answered enigmatically, "Something that's not on the canvas."

Hm. Maybe Raki should make a glance, and have someone famous paint him, and then he could be famous too! Hehe.

/

Sometimes, it gets stifling to even be in the same house, the same room as Zaki – unfortunately. There are times when Zaki's worryings get too much, and it's almost like you can't breathe properly, or do anything lest you set off one of Zaki's 'tripwires,' where you even so much as look at him funny, and Zaki would go on a tirade of all his grievances, and pressure you into house cleaning, or studying, or just keeping your noise down to a teeny-tiny whisper, while Zaki is trying to catch up on his sleep.

It is one night, when Raki could not stand it anymore, that he heads out the house with his jacket and some money, and all the lamps in the streets are lit in their amber glow – hoping to find an inn to stay overnight, until it cools down back at home.

Raki tried bringing up the subject of having some breathing room from each other. Yeah, we're brothers, and we're all we've got, but you can be so grabby and pushy when you're around – maybe it's something like if you have a girlfriend, and she's like that..

Maybe it's nice if it's your girlfriend Zaki – but for me, I just want a break from all your worrying.

And Zaki flared up, like he's offended. "So you want to make bad decisions on your own?! What you've asked of me is totally unreasonable! I'm your older brother, and it's my responsibility to look after the both of us! I work my ass off almost every day, so the food is on the table, and we can keep this house! If it were up to you, this house would have been sold off to somebody else, and we'd be cast off in the orphanages! Do you want that to happen? Do you!????"

"I'm 14-years old now!" Raki said. "I'm not the little boy you've grown used to! I think it's about time I have some say in this house! You never let me do anything.."

"I know you Raki. You like to daydream, and look at the pretty girls on your spare time. But life isn't easy. It's never easy. I figured that out ever since Mama and Papi died by that witch. It's an uphill struggle that you have to put in effort for, every day. And do I see you apply yourself? You can be such a lazy bum at times.. and it's mainly when I tell you to do useful things that I see you growing up into a real man."

Raki's hands clench. "If that's what it means to grow up, turning into a dipshit, then I refuse to. Let me stay a young child for my entire life, so that I can cherish what happiness I can feel." Many adults seem grumpy, because maybe they too grow to see life like Zaki does. A series of obligations to do everyday.

"You want to be like a hapless child?" Zaki went. "Put everything on my shoulders while you go play off with your toys? Does that seem even remotely fair to you!?"

"It's not like you'll ever see me outside of being such.. I'm just a young child to you, and nothing more. And that's why I want space from you. I want to breathe away from your presence. When you're around.. I feel trapped. I can't do anything without your approval."

".. is that how it is..?" Zaki said. "So this house is like your prison, and I'm your warden? That's the way you choose to see it?"

"I can't see it any other way. Do you want me to tell you that I've cherished every moment I'm able to freely be myself, away from you? To choose how I'm able to act or not act around people, to pick if I'm going to have a snack with my pocket money, or buy a new figurine.. I make my own choices, and I do make mistakes – but it's how I learn, instead of being told all the time what's supposed to be right."

"Then leave!" Zaki pointed at the door. "May you make your own mistakes, alone in the dark! Beg on people's doors for shelters, and go starve to death! I don't need a brother who resents me and my efforts!"

There was no reasoning with his big brother, so Raki finds the chill of the night refreshing – although all the anger back from just then, all the pent-up resentment and unhappiness, it still lingers in his heart like a bad stomachache, and he hopes that by morning tomorrow, he'll be feeling better to decide where to go, what to do on his own.

He could cheer up people – he could be like one of the street clowns who dances and pulls off silly routines for a living. That is one option.

Or.. what else might he be good at? He could try cooking food – it doesn't seem that hard, seeing his brother do it all the time. Just mix in ingredients, and stir it right on the fire.. he could be one of the chefs at the restaurants..

It's a bit tiring to think – it is around the time when he would be blowing out the candles in his room, sheltered in his warm blankets.

Raki has almost forgotten the light of the amber lamps; how it is to not have to fear the night, made so forbidden. When his Papi takes him on walks around the street for fresh air. The streets look very different than by daylight, where few people are still walking about – mostly the alert patrolmen.

He looks at the buildings, hoping that one of them is an inviting inn – walking briskly, lest he'd be forced to sleep outdoors like a homeless person. (Well, he is a homeless person now.)

He's not going to knock on just anyone's door, hoping that they'll have the kindness to help shelter him, even if just for one night. Most of the buildings – they're either homes, or they're shops or service buildings, and they're all dark on the inside, or dimly lit. They must be all asleep, and it's sorta rude to awaken someone if it isn't an emergency, like a fire.

So Raki finds the inn of the Prancing Pony, and inside, it is still warm and jovial with the noise of men and women talking, but mostly just the men getting drunk on another game of chips. Raki feels like this could be a friendly crowd, but at the same time, he is such an outsider – and he's feeling weary for a room at the moment, so he asks the innkeeper for one,

and after paying 7 francs, Raki is led to the cheapest available one-person room, where it's just a quilt bed and a wooden desk with the candlelamp, which the innkeeper is kind enough to light for him.

But even though the bed is invitingly soft, and Raki has taken off his socks and shoes, he is still awake an hour later – the noise of the rowdy people neverending, and above all, the thoughts of his own future beyond Zaki.

Certainly, he'll have to be struggling to make a stable living, with maybe little free time left to do the fun things. And worse yet, he'll have to see Zaki again on the streets, or Zaki's buddies or his girlfriend – and avoid eye contact.

He could never go back home.

Has their argument really gotten that serious?

When out of the midst of noise, Raki hears his brother's distinctive drawl: "Excuse me, have you seen my brother? He has short brown hair, and looks like me, but shorter.."

Merde! Zaki must have been looking all over for him – maybe he's feeling sorry, and really couldn't imagine living without him.

"Yeah, I signed him into a room not too long ago. Why?"

"Non.." Raki mutters to himself. I'm anxious about making it on my own – but I don't want to go back, if it means having to be suffocated by his worries, his burdens.. everything.

He sees out the window, the lit streets, and it's big enough for him to fit through and escape. So hastily, as he hears footsteps approaching, Raki fits his socks and shoes on, and he bolts out the window, snagging his pants on a loose fitting and tearing the fabric – just as the door to his room opens, and Zaki is exclaiming to the innkeeper, "Are you shitting me man? There's nobody here!"

Raki is panting, hiding just out of view by the window, as he listens in to the ensuing conversation.

"I checked him out in this room--" the innkeeper goes. "The ledger is signed.. I think he must have gone. He heard you probably. Seems like he doesn't want to come back with you."

"I don't believe this!" Zaki exclaims. Then he shouts, "Raki--! If you can hear me, please – come back home! It's not safe out there! I'm not giving up on looking for you!"

"You're such a devoted brother.." the innkeeper goes.

"It's what being a brother is all about. We might have our ups and downs, but no matter what, he's my little brother, and I have to look out for his well-being."

Raki can look out for himself! He scuttles away from the inn, before Zaki gets back outside. He's got to find a safe spot to hide away from his brother's concerns, and that means not going out to an inn, or a shelter. Those obvious places to look for him.

So where can he hide?

Raki sees a patrolman kicking a sleeping bum on the street awake – "You're not allowed to sleep out here. Go find a shelter, or at least an alleyway where we won't see you."

Suddenly, the city is a foreboding place – unwelcoming, with seemingly no options to hide away from his brother's reach. If Raki tries to tell someone, like a city offical about wanting to find his own place.. it's not like a marriage where you can divorce your partner because you've decided the relationship isn't worth it. It's your close family, and they'll want to return him to Zaki, because..

what is he if not a child under Zaki's legal guardianship?

Then he thinks of getting out of the city. And then go where? Anywhere but here..

Raki's coat has a hood on it, which he puts on to make himself look like one of those wandering travellers, and he heads for the South gate of the kingdom walls – the only gate that has its portcullis open, this late at night.

There, he is questioned by the guards at the post, asking him what his business is, travelling out of the city.

"I.." Raki goes. "I'm just heading back home.. it was a nice stay here."

The guards check his person, to make sure he isn't actually a would-be thief stealing valuables. Raki only has the few coins on him, so at last, the guards let him go, and Raki finds the outside wilderness so dark in the night.

Damn, he should have brought a lamp or something, because all he has is just the light emanating from within the city.

And..

Something catches Raki's eye; in the distance, the forest seems to be luminiscent, although the fact isn't apparent until after his eyes have adjusted to the vast darkness.

It is the same forest where Maleficent must be residing, where his parents have died.

It is aglow with a faint cyan and magenta from within, and seeing how there isn't anything else to go for in the wilderness, Raki makes his way to the boundaries of the trees, a lost person looking for anything that is remotely inviting.

And once he is amidst the luminescent trees, Raki feels like he has stepped into a different plane of existance altogether. The crisp scent of pine and wildlife brings back his memories of that time, when his Pere dared to show his family how this Maleficent is just a sham, and failed with his and his wife's lives.

But it looks different – as the streets seem more gloomier and lonely in night's darkness, the trunks and roots seem alive with the flow of soilwater, the leaves inhaling and exhaling the air with a noticable sigh, like you'd see breath visible in Winter's season.

Raki is fascinated now with this strange environment. He almost stumbles upon an exposed root, and sees by the ground the ferns that waver in his presence, as if they're attracted to his warmth. (At first, he mistakes them for some kind of glowing worms, with bristles.)

He hears the croak of a toad, and comes across a lake, with its still surface nearly perfectly mirroring everything above and around it.

Then a breeze blows, and the lake shimmers, and Raki sees in the distance some red smoke. The smoke which billows from the other side of the lake, and the faintest flicker of a bonfire.

There must be someone else here; and Raki immediately thinks of Maleficent – all the paintings and sketches of her that he's seen, showing her as a looming shadowy figure, thorned vines blooming from her feet and flaying her poor victims, from what accounts have been made from the few survivors who've seen her acts first-hand.

His heart freezes. He is on the verge of finding her, to see her with his very own eyes.

As he is wandering around the lake's perimeter, towards the bonfire, he is filled with a mixture of apprehension (he could be flayed any second) and desire – the feeling of exploring something new, like an adventurer. He notices how the smoke is reflected as a bright violet on the lake.

Eventually, he's at the bonfire, where a black cauldron is boiling an effervescent mixture of somethings, and he gazes around – it seems nobody is here, but there's wooden counters with cups and ingredients, like it is a kitchen out in the open.

Raki wonders what is boiling, and he turns his head over the cauldron, wafting the smoke to his nose – it smells very.. it's like an exotic soup, salty meats with the fruity blueberries, with a heavy dose of spiciness.

He reels from the intense scent, and he stumbles onto his back, his hood pulling away, where he sees Maleficent. She's been standing behind him all along!

"Bonjour.. my stranger," she goes, and she tends to the boiling cauldron, stirring it lightly so it doesn't congeal.

Raki's face is frozen with panic, the sweat coming down his neck, and he's gazing, paralysed as he expects Maleficent to do something that would result in his sudden death, or at least, extreme pain.

But she just looks at him, her eyes studying, and he sees her green irises glowing in the dark, while the flickering light of the flames dance contours over her.

Then she kneels down, so she's eye to eye with him. "What's your name, boy?"

"Erm.. uhmm. Raki.."

"And I've frightened you, oui?"

"Yes.. you have.." He scratches his bum, getting some pieces of dry leaves off.

"Did I frighten you because.." She pauses, her finger to her lips. "I've surprised you? Because the forest can be quite eerie at night.. or, was it because you already know who I am?"

A beat, where Raki strives to recollect himself.

"I won't bite you," she tells him.

"I know who you are.." he goes. "You're Maleficent."

She nods. "Yes. That is me. And what have the good townsfolk been saying about me? Did they tell you that I am the wicked witch of the forest? I indiscriminately kill whoever ventures here? That I ought to be feared and loathed if you have every sense of decency in your heart?"

"All of that.." Raki says, a bit taken aback by how she already knows.

"I will tell you what I know is absolutely true.." She offers him a hand, and he takes it – they stand up. "I will not lie to you, Raki. I have killed many people over the years."

"You've murdered my parents.." Raki says.

"I think.. when was that?"

"Four years ago," Raki goes, the memory of their deaths bringing bitterness to him. "You flayed my mere and pere. I could still smell the fresh blood from their bodies.."

"Oh. How? Was it the vines?"

"Yes."

"If I did, then I probably haven't seen them, or you." Maleficent gestures at the glowing fauna. "Look – they glow because my consciousness, my feelings has seeped into the wildlife. I could feel when anyone intrudes into the forest. And while I don't have eyes everywhere, I could still sense somewhat.. the same feeling of when I'm hated, rejected, put in contempt, and I feel it emanating from them. And then I'd smile with the satisfaction that their last second alive is filled with utmost pain.

"But you don't really hate me.. I feel," Maleficent says. "You've ventured into the forest, despite your fear. You've been taught to fear me, but deep down, I don't imagine you really hate me."

"How can you say all that..?" Raki goes, feeling offended how it's like she's probed his thoughts.

"It is simple observation and understanding," she says, and she glances at the cauldron. "I think my poutrice is just about ready." She waves at the fire, and the logs extinguish themselves.

Raki realises he is feeling quite weak, from fatigue and hunger. Sometimes he gets up to grab a midnight snack; and this is one of those times. His stomach growls. He hasn't brought any food – he's never expected to even venture out this far into the forest.

"Oh.. you're hungry," Maleficent goes.

"Are you going to kill me?" The question slips out of Raki's mouth; it's what's been bugging him all this time.

"No I won't. But I will feed you instead – my poutrice here is a rejuvenation drink. It's like porridge, with all the essential nutrients and energies provided from nature."

Maleficent's hand extends out, and two empty bowls fly from the counters into her hand. "Dine with me, young Raki; it will be a pleasure to hear what brings you into my domain."

qdesjardin: (Default)
2014-08-25 12:46 am
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 2

2

The next day, Charles fell in love with her sister, Odette. Maleficent was sitting on the porch of her favourite tree when she saw Odette with her parents, and they went to the inn where they disappeared inside. How could Maleficent not know of this?

Because she was already distant from the rest of her family, to the point where she'd just take her dinner and eat alone in her room, while her family conversed about topics unrelated with herself.

Perhaps it just happened that one of those topics was finding Odette a suitor, and they'd heard of Charles's arrival in town.

So Maleficent peered through the inn's window, where she saw Charles beam up with Odette's presence, and it was like a light had flickered in his eyes, as it seemed he was talking about one thing with her sister, and then the next, and the next.. like they were in no danger of running out of topics to excite them both.

Maleficent had never seen that light before, in the moments that he'd lingered around her. She'd never seen him beam up like that.

Then a pang of envy shot through her heart. What did her petite sister have about her that she lacked? Her golden hair? Or was it that her sister was so *normal* in comparison with her - she had numerous friends, had all the moments of casual joy, the innate talent of being generally likable. Where she was just able to connect with those people with such ease, as Maleficent found it a joy to silently experience the grass and weeds growing from the cracks of the ground, the shadows silhouetting everything in daylight and twilight, and imagining the fantastical moments to herself out of everything she experiences.

Maybe the two things were like apples and oranges; supposedly incomparable besides that they were both sweet fruits.

After a while of observing, it hit Maleficent that she never mentioned to him about her family, and she wondered if he'd realise that it was her sister he was speaking to, and she just lingered on his eyes, hoping he'd make the connection.

She could only look; the very words spoken are distantly muffled by the glass, and they saw her as only a mere shadow beside the bushes.

And afterward, Charles bowed down to her family, and accompanied them back to their home - Maleficent followed behind them from afar, finally able to listen in to their conversation.

"Do you have a sister?" Charles asked.

There was a bout of uncomfortable hesitation, and then Odette answered him, "I do.. but she is away right now. Besides, you wouldn't want to meet her. She's quite cuckoo."

"Oh. Alright."

That bitch.

Maleficent's hands furl, and the thought of ripping out her sister's golden locks (to shreds) was incredibly tempting.

So, it seemed Charles did not really know of her relation to Odette.

Perhaps.. the next time she'd meet with him, she would tell him: I am her sister, Maleficent - and my love for you is deeper and more sincere than any of her exquisite charms. Please love me back, like I've loved you. My heart is aching, and I cannot bear to wait any longer for your answer.

Don't leave me alone in the darkness..

And at dinner, Maleficent decided to stay at the table, which ruined the usually jovial atmosphere into a hesitant parody of itself, where her Mere and Papi were reluctant to talk about the meeting with Charles, until she corralled them with piercing words into divulging the gist of the meeting.

Charles would marry Odette; it had been decided. Another day or so of them meeting each other again would seal the deal.

To Maleficent, it felt like her heart had been stabbed, the wound tearing and expanding, her hands and feet growing cold, while a white-hot anger was forming in her chest.

"I'll.. be in my room," she told them, flustered, a revealing quiver in her voice. "Please don't bother me.."

On her bed, she wept, helpless to the flood of sadness that ran its course. She muffled her sobs in her pillow, clutching onto its softness, the fabric wrapping gentle feathers inside.

Her only companion.

Little did she know her family heard her cries from outside, as with all her moments of crying in the solitude of her room.

Then it was morning, and Maleficent was weakly, her eyes aching from all the crying, and she felt little else besides dread for the day. The warm sun was like a searing light that went through her curtains and it burnt her eyes, and her parents had to coax her out of her room so she could eat the porridge breakfast with what little appetite she had.

She saw Odette, well-dressed, her dress navy-blue with white lapels - happily downing every drop of porridge and bread, her mood cheery as she talked about a future life as a royal Queen. There were her hopes of governing this province in France to a better future, with the excitement of a lifestyle of luxuries to pamper her mood, for the heavy responsibilities of orchestrating a few dozen districts in the province.

If Maleficent were to sit in the throne beside Charles, she would wear a modest black dress that reflected in no way the conventional notions of aristocracy; just her inner nobility and sincerity – she'd gladly embrace the shadows where others would fear to tread. And above all, she'd willingly listen to the individual troubles of even the smallest beggar,

and she'd kiss his cheeks and cradle his heart, and whisper only the most comforting words that will give him every reason to live and exist.

But it is doubtful that Odette would carry out Maleficent's desires out of her own will, let alone be sincere in her boastful promises of making this province of France a better place to live.

Those were cliched dreams Odette had, like every aspiring princess would have from the stories, the rumours and theatre plays they put on twice every month – and Maleficent wanted to tell her that directly. But feeling the joyous mood between the family, she decided to remain silent as her parents affirmed every word Odette said.

Maleficent had to find Charles.

She should tell him at least all the hopes she'd felt about being a governing personage, with the ability to exercise choice over far-reaching matters, with as much authority granted to the King as is necessary.

That afternoon, she found him, taking off from the restaurant with his parents. The sun beat down on her, the sweldering heat. Her chest was filled with excitement mixed with trepidation.

Behind them, she called out his name.

His parents turned around, and saw her – this woman who resembled one of those rootless, vagrant people with her dreary outwear.

"Buzz off, gipsy!" his father said. "If it's our money you want, get a job and earn a legitimate living of your own!"

There was a look of recognition in Charles's eyes though, and he calmed his parents.

"Maleficent.." he went.

"I.."

For some reason, it simply felt wrong to confess herself with his parents looming over the two of them. The words just wouldn't come.

Briefly at first, she wondered if she could find a reason to bring Charles into a lone corner nearby, but that would still mean being conscious of the fact his parents would be waiting for them to finish; the sooner, the better, for this interruption was already becoming a waste of their time.

"I.. I'm sorry.." she eventually said, looking glum. "Please.. don't forget me, whatever happens. I just want you to remember me."

It was all she could say, and she felt so utterly embarassed afterward, as she quickly departed – running away, the glimpse of his barest reaction seared into her memory, still fresh, like a tender wound.

Was it a mirroring of her feelings, in his eyes? Was he going to tell her to buzz off, like a fly? To only imagine what had happened, it sent pangs of self-consciousness through her being.

What could she had done differently..? If she had the merest chance of him ever reflecting her in the mirrors of his eyes, she would seize it with all her will.

I just wanted to show you my heart, from this insignificant me.

Without a point of reference, without having mattered to anyone meaningful, a person has little way of affirming their own value, their own meaning and identity.

So the day had passed, and a beautiful evening transitioned into the night's darkness. Maleficent did not want to gaze upon her sister's brimming joy, nor did she want to experience the ripples of her rash meeting with Charles – so when she went by his inn then, there was Charles and Odette, sharing the white petals of a flower in each others' hands.

And she went away from that sight's torture.

Even it it meant missing out the chance to take him to the concrete block, where her words awaited him.

Eventually, it was the wedding day of Charles and Odette, by the cathedral. Maleficent told her family she would prefer to stay at home, despite her parents' insistance that this was a royal wedding "with your sister, no less!"

"Go away," Maleficent said.

"It's just this one time.."

"GO AWAY!"

"If she doesn't want to go," Odette went, straightening her veil, "she doesn't have to. You shouldn't cajole her into something she doesn't want."

Thousands upon thousands of people would attend, and Maleficent would be hidden amidst the swarm of them, while Charles and Odette would be the focus of everyone's attention, from the marriage vows to their kiss and the carriage that would sweep them off to the Capital. No one would ever know that she and he had touched and kissed, tenderly, once upon a time.

Was it fair? Of course not. But only the victors get to decide how history is to be remembered by everyone. That Odette.. that Odette's love had triumphed above all over winning Charles's soul.

What should it matter, to be hurt by that one person, Charles?

It shouldn't matter.

He was only just one person out of many.

Yet there was a feeling of doubt in her – were the moments she'd spent with him just an illusory dream? A dream only she remembered.. and maybe Charles himself as well?

Did he want to tell her that he indeed loved her at that time, when she shamefully ran away from him and his family that fateful afternoon?

She had to know. And there was only one way to be sure.

So she would see him.. one more time.

It was a wedding, and even for her, she felt she had to dress herself properly for this one and only day, and what attire should she pick? When Odette discussed being Queen, Maleficent remembered how she'd wanted to appear as being the Queen herself.

She searched the closets, and found the black attire – a mixture of a mourning dress, with black stockings, and a black hat that shielded her face with its veil.

Outside, she could hear the cathedral's bell, resonantly announcing the joyful occasion in the distance. The streets were mainly devoid of people, except for the patrolmen who were watchful of any would-be thieves wishing to take advantage of the day's opportunity.

Her legs carried her until she saw the swarm of people by the cathedral's plaza, and in the air were the doves and the white and pink petals, scattering down from the bell tower by the bellhop servants, as Queen Odette and King Charles emerged out the doors, walking down the red carpet, people's gazes kissing the very ground on which they walked upon.

Behind the newly-wed couple, there was a parade – a wedding cake with fork and cutting knife, flowing banners of the various cities, and the trailing men and ladies in white who threw roses into the crowd, for those lucky enough to catch one for themselves.

The sight of it all overwhelmed Maleficent, dazing her with its awe and sheer beauty.

So this is what a real wedding is like..

There was Charles, and he was getting close to that white carriage, with its white horses decorated with golden reins, whose clopping on the ground bore a music of its own.

And Maleficent seemed so far away from him, separated by all those people.

She had to reach him.

She foisted herself through the gaps she found between the men and women, the petite children who were as tall as her waist – much to their consternation, and she found herself by the erected barrier of blue rope, where she climbed over, as Charles was helping Odette up into the carriage..

The guards immediately noticed Maleficent's intrusion into the spree, and they were running towards her..

"CHARLES!" His name erupted from her lips, like a divine command – silencing everyone, interrupting the ceremony.

And he turned towards her, and saw her.

She pulled off her black hat, so he could see her face clearly as a black beauty.

"I, MALEFICENT," she yelled, "have loved you dearly with all my heart and being!"

Even the guards were arrested by the force of her words, as she staggered towards him, by the carriage, his eyes lingering upon her.

"Do you love me?" He was marrying Odette, but it was not impossible for one to still love another person inside.

And oui, she knew she was making a fool of herself like then – except this time, she would not want to run away. She wanted his answer, right here and now.

"Do you love me, Charles?"

And in the silence, she waited for him.

A young boy was looking upon her too from the side, and he had in his hand an ice cream cone, which he licked with his tongue, before he pelted it upon the interrupting Maleficent – on her ear.

And everyone laughed.

Someone else threw their ice cream cone at her, and then it was shoes, and even the roses with their thorns, and they laughed and laughed, delightfully lashing her with humiliation, as she saw Charles turn away from her and enter the carriage with Odette, shutting the door behind himself.

And they still kept laughing; even the guards, whose buffawing got some of them to their knees with their armour rattling.

She was on the red carpet, covered with vanilla and strawberry-flavoured goop, and smelly shoes, and all the other crap that the people could come up with, from their hands.. from their mouths..

For them, it was the most delightfully unexpected moment of the wedding.

For her, it hurt, so much, so much.

The flower petals, having celebrated the couple's departure, wept for her with pity, and she was weak on the ground, curling up into a shivering fetal position, and from where she was, the doves looked like crows, her seeing their flying silhouettes under the bright blue sky.

..

I hate you.
I hate you all.
Because you are so capable of goodness and kindness, with each other, but you don't show them to me.

I wish you could suffer as much as me, if not more.
I'll make you feel pain, a thousand times over, for as long as I live.
May you learn my misery forever.
I'll jab it into your hearts.

Yes.

I will..

And despite the pain, Maleficent rose up from the ground, her eyes reddened from her crying, cold and bitter towards all the life surrounding her.

She'd always wondered what it would be like to destroy that happiness which tormented her.

So she saw the knife by the wedding cake, and while everyone was still laughing, at her, she went and took the blade into her hands, and went up to the barrier of blue rope, and thrust it into a nearby man's chest,

straight into HIS BEATING HEART.

And the colourful redness emerged, his life's water spilling out, dying his dress red, and the ground red, and the surrounding people red.

And she saw him gurgling as his face reflected terrible pain, gnawing in his chest, his eyes terrified, realising he was going to die.

And from the laughing, there were the terrified screams of everyone, blossoming all over, and the sound of it felt good and exquisite to her ears.

And the guards, realising her irreversibly evil act, began to advance on her, brandishing their swords, prepared to either arrest her, or slay her on the spot.

She glanced at them. They could kill her. It would make no difference.

But the feelings of shame emerged from her now, and she staggered away from the guards, the rope barrier collapsing behind her, and inexplicably, her voice let out a crazed, terrible cackling of someone who'd embraced insanity as the final solution, when life had turned its back on her.

Maleficent's hands trembling, the fresh blood dripping down her fingers, she dropped the knife and decided that she'd run away from it all.

The people.

The city.

She ran away to where there were no people, a place that was yet to be tainted by people's hands. The beautiful forest. Her second home, where others were fearful to venture into.

And she did not care if the branches and vines scratched at her face, tearing gashes on her cheeks and bare skin, as her legs carried her as far away from the city as they possibly could.

Until she could no longer hear their screaming, until her body finally gave way into exhaustion, and she collapsed on the mossy ground, limp and weak and dying of pain that she'd endured all this time – that she'd spread to another person.

Let me die.

She felt her senses tingling with a strange energy, as it seemed her consciousness was slipping away into permanent sleep, the darkness overtaking her vision, and she imagined her limbs were melting into shadowy oblivion.

..

It felt like an eternity, before she found the forest again in front of her eyes, in the moonlit night.

Something was different; she did not know what yet – she looked around at the trees and plants, and she saw a strange light emitted from their beings. The veins and pores from which the lifeforce of the Earth flowed through them, keeping them alive with water and nurturance.

And she looked at herself, her hands, and realised that they were like the hardened bark of trees – gnarly, crusty, yet the moist air breathed through the open pores, and she was able to bend her limbs normally, like before.

Her feet had become cloven hooves, like that of goats, or the Devil's.

Her awareness was slightly groggy as she aimlessly wandered through the trees, until she found a familiar place; the meadow clearing with the stagnant pool.

And there, she saw her reflection under the moonlight.

She was..

Where she had flowing black hair, she now had the aggressive horns of a Minotaur. Her eyes gleaming green, and her lips.. as darkly red as coagulated blood.

And who did this face belong to, the one she'd now seen in this pool?

My name.. is Maleficent.

qdesjardin: (Default)
2014-08-15 01:12 pm
Entry tags:

Maleficent / 1

1

Maleficent; the evil witch. A woman, loathed by the general public for her darkness and wild sorceries. The black horns on her head, like those of an angry bull.

But it was not always this way.

She was just the older sister, a disappointment to her parents for her introversion and lack of relatability. She found the other children her age to be dull, only concerned with the petty trivialities while she would wander off into the wild forests and creeks to adore the fauna, and the wildlife. And she'd imagine to herself that this is just the tip of the iceberg, the mere entrance to another mysterious realm beyond the safe boundaries.

And when her younger sister was born, who turned out to be the ideal child the parents had so desired, she was envious of the warmth her mere and father showered upon that child, and all the happiness her younger sister enjoyed with her peers, while she stared from the sidelines, an outsider.

Time passed, and Maleficent was a young woman, her long, flowing hair black and her pale skin like the moonlight -- scorned by her peers for her strangeness, her eccentricity. ("That loathesome, deviant wacko!")

Her eyes have grown accustomed to gazing out, observing life's happenings around her. And it was one evening, when she had taken a walk down the alleyways, that her eyes fell upon the most.. the most beautiful human being she's ever seen.

He was just sitting on the steps, his royal family having a bitter argument in the inn. He looked idly bored, tossing bits of bread for the pigeons to feast on - and she was paralysed as she was enraptured.. not by his blond hair, or his princely physique, but by the spirit that seemed to animate the life within him, the way he'd innocently toss the bread at the birds, as if it were nothing, while his eyes seemed set on the colourful horizons beyond his reach.

Perhaps he would appreciate all the horizons she's known, and so with her heart pounding, Maleficent walked up to him, one step after another, nervous about rudely interrupting his reverie, and there were the children who were playing football not too far beside. If that petite boy could confidently kick the straw ball into the box, then she could likewise lead him into something better than just mere daydreaming.

So timidly, she introduced herself to him. His name was Charles, and in the future, he would be Charles VIII, a reigning monarch of the country. For the time being, his parents were trying to find a suitable woman to be Queen beside him. But that did not matter to her much - for her, he was someone who would be able to listen to her and understand.

Maleficent held his hand; he was warm and sturdy and comforting, and the streets never looked so wonderful as it did when she showed him around, him being an unfamiliar guest to this city. She showed him the market, the tree where she stashed all the candy, and the stairs up the cathedral, where on the bell tower they saw the marvelous cityscape - that which was so familiar for her, he was totally and utterly amazed by; the baroque layout, the red roofs, the over-reaching castles and the fields beyond the city walls..

But the sun had disappeared, and it was dusk - and so she had to take him back to the inn, where she bid him good night.

She never asked him if he would be available tomorrow, nor did he ask her about her own self, her own family. To him, she was like one of those wandering gipsies who seemed to have no roots, and who would fault him for that, when the way she was with him - it seemed carefree and irresponsible, and he wished he could be like her in that regard, escape his future burdens and responsibilities as a reigning King.

He did not expect her to show the next day, as he was introduced to princess after groomed princess, in those interviews so mind-numbingly bland that he imagined his nose would jump off in pursuit of a million Francs. But there she was, Maleficent, awaiting him that same time as yesterday -- except he was looking for his own dinner [he disliked the inn's mucky dishes], and so she showed him her favourite restaurant, where they ate the scallops and Italian pasta with the tomato cake as dessert; the overall expense would make her own family blush.

Luckily, Charles had more than enough money in his wallet, and he paid for the both of themselves.

She wanted to make it up to him though -- she had nothing on her, just her modest clothes, so she told him of all the exciting moments she's had, both real and imaginary, when she was growing up in her few years of schooling, and after when she would pull off silly errands for people to make money; when she'd be in her bedroom, her eyes managing to read the written tales by dim candlelight, and..

how it felt for her to be aroused by the glimpses she saw of the men, passionately kissing the women by the brothels -- more than just by their lips, but also their bare bodies.

He was a little taken aback by this sudden intimate revelation, but it also made him strangely excited, for she had sparked in him that electric charge. It was night again, and he had to return to the inn. But this time, he took it upon himself to ask her about meeting her again, this time for the whole day, because his parents had suspected they were wearing him out with whole days of bachelor interviews.

She had an idea; she'd take him out the city limits to that forest, and she'd bring a whole lunch along with her, in a picnic basket..

Just her and him.

He would breathe the crisp, moist air with her, and see the lingering shadows under the leaves, and the green algae over the stones, and the splinters of bark amidst the branches and squirrels.

And that day, it was cloudy and overcast; she'd prepared all the food in the basket early morning, and her family was asking her what it was all for, and she said she was going out with a friend.

And she and he met at the agreed-upon spot, just by the kingdom's gates, and she led him down the fields, where he was wheezing, out of breath by the time they arrived at the boundaries of the forest. (He should exercise more.)

He was visibly anxious about the place; the darkness and claustrophobia of the trees seemed foreboding to him, but she told him it was like a second home for her, whose perceived dangers were as illusory as the shadows underneath your bed when you were young, imagining all the lingering night crawlies.

Their feet squish upon the mossy ground. He was staring all around, and the atmosphere of the forest so got to him that even the mundane chirping of birds seemed to jolt his attention upward, as if he expected wild animals to jump the both of them -- he had his hand upon his ornate dagger, ready to unsheathe it upon any definite sign of danger.

He never had to.

They arrived at a clearing, where the rivers led to a still pond, whose surface was more perfectly reflective than an ordinary mirror, provided it wasn't windy and you did not disturb the waters. You could see your own face against the grey backdrop of the sky, and if there were any dirt or blemish on your cheeks, you dripped water over them, and you would be clean just like that.

And that was what Maleficent and Charles did; they rinsed their hands in the purifying water, and the bread from the basket, along with the cooked pork and beans and sausage, and the salad, it was satisfying for their tummies.

And they sat there for a while, Maleficent unsure of what to do next.

It was eerily silent in the glade, and they could only hear the sounds of each other, breathing, shifting around on the grass. Maybe they could linger like that for as long as they wanted, like a deep rest.

And then Charles took off his clothes, and naked, he waded into the pool, where it went up to his neck, the waters. Maleficent was shocked at his action - how could he be this disregarding of the pure waters; but he reasoned that what is water, if not meant to be taken by every life form, animals and human beings alike? The muskrats could rinse themselves in this lake, no problem, and besides, he felt he was sweaty.

So Maleficent joined him. She draped her dress beside his clothes, and he caught an arousing glimpse of her form before she was wading beside him, the waters caressing both their bodies, the surface rippling with every one of their infinitesimal movements.

How cold.

Here, she went up close to him, seeing the bristles of his growing whiskers on his face, saw his ripe, rosy lips, and she did what she'd always wanted to do - to kiss a beautiful man.. to kiss him.

A lingering kiss; her lips never left his, as her tongue danced with his, savouring his salty taste and his breath and his salivation, and her hands held his face and his body by hers, and for some reason she wanted to emulate the nurturing waters, so she dipped him down until the waters enveloped much of his head, with just his face over the surface, the lake lapping over to his eyes and nose. Getting him acquainted with the notion of being enveloped, and then she pushed him down underwater, and joined him there where she distracted his shock by continuing her kiss. To drown in her mouth, instead of the water's.

And when they went back out, the crisp air sent tremors over their wet bodies, her hair dripping over her shoulders, and they had no towel or fire to dry themselves with.

So they decided to huddle together, holding each other in an embrace that is fuller than an ordinary hug, their inner warmths starting to surge, as if in recognition of their touch.

And he noticed how soft she felt against him, and he remembered how yesterday, she related to him her fascination with the love-making couples, and he felt again that electric arousal.

Innocently, he moved his hand to touch her breast, and she did not seem to react when he was there, feeling her pulse beneath. Then she held her own hands over his, in endorse of his gesture, and they followed though their desires, consummating the notion of what it meant to love as adults.

And after, they went back to the castle; it was getting dark, and the repairmen had just finished replacing a stone block on the kingdom wall with a prototype concrete one. It superficially resembled stone, the concrete's greyness, but up-close, the texture bore more resemblance to dense sponge.

It was wet, currently drying, and the concrete block was noticeably lighter than the surrounding stone blocks, so Maleficent and her companion took a look, and she touched the block, and was surprised when her fingers left an indent on the surface.

They had the idea of playing some tic-tac-toe on it, before they decided to wipe the surface smooth, and leave a lasting sign of their existence there. Maleficent placed her hand on the surface, beside Charles's, and side-by-side, their hand imprints were now part of the concrete block's drying process.

Charles began to worry about his family's worrying about him [worry-ception], so he had to cut their meeting to an end, regrettably, but not before leaving her with a goodbye embrace, and a promise that he would remember her after.

And in the resulting loneliness afterward, Maleficent was crying. She'd never been loved so much before, had never felt so much love for anyone -- before, it was just a vague, abstract sadness she'd feel, lingering about her in melancholy moments.

The concrete block was still drying.

So with the last of the sunlight available, she found a nearby stick, and she etched that deepest feeling onto petite words, just beside their hands.