Crooked Stitches

By Noah B Free All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Drink

Victor, trapped in this new and strange body made of ice, was forced to be Vandi Fafnir’s servant and bodyguard. He had plenty of other servants in the palace, Freya had many which he had promptly taken as his own. However, Vandi wanted him specifically.

When the fairies started retaliating, Victor didn’t know what to do. He simply stood there with his icy lance and trembled in fear. The fairies scoffed at his terror.

Amongst the angry fairies were ones he recognized as the fairies that chased he and Francesca down. When they swung at him, he ducked away from the blow and let it strike his lance. It made a resounding clank that uncomfortably shook his whole body.

He jabbed the lance in their direction. He was surprised at how natural it felt. He even managed to graze the axe wielder’s arm. She clicked her tongue in annoyance and swung at him again. The blade missed him by a mere inch.

It was then that Vandi crashed down from one of the upper floor’s windows. He landed between Victor and the fairies. His expression was calm as he looked down his nose at the others.

“Honestly, I gave you only one job,” Vandi said with disappointment.

Victor was only able to see Vandi reach over into his chest before he blacked out.

When Victor woke up again, he had dozens of fairy wings impaled onto his lance. He flinched and let out an unheard scream.

Vandi stood before him. His hair and coat were disheveled. Sweat made his bangs plastered to his forehead. Victor could see his chest was still rapidly rising and falling as he was trying to catch his breath. There were multiple scratches littering his hands and face.

“Next time you see a fairy come here,” Vandi said evenly. He pointed to the impaled wings on Victor’s lance. “You do that to them.”

Victor had simply nodded his head and left it at that.

After a few days, Victor noticed that one of the servants, the one he had seen when he had first come into Valhall, would stare at his old body hanging in throne room while he was cleaning it. What was it Kyrie Valk called him? Old Forestar? Yes, that was it. Old Forestar would stare up at his body like a man would look at a ghost. But he wouldn’t run. He would put his hands together, bow his head, then shed tears.

It was after one of these instances that Victor finally went up and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. He was at first confused at why Old Forestar jumped at his touch until he remember that he was made of ice.

Old Forestar’s eyes narrowed at Victor. His permanently sealed mouth turned down into a frown. He moved as if to take his cleaning supplies and leave.

Without thinking, Victor held out a hand for a handshake. The elf jumped away from his hand. He pointedly moved the tip of his lance as far away from the elf as much as possible.

The elf stood motionless for a few minutes before he hesitantly grasped the icy hand. Victor couldn’t feel the warmth of the other.

When they released each others’ hands, Old Forestar made a few odd movements with his hands. Victor tilted his head in confusion. Old Forestar repeated the movement, more irritably. Victor shrugged.

Old Forestar rolled his eyes. He pointed to himself, he held up four fingers, then he pointed at star on the stain-glass window’s design. He repeated the sequence with a look that hoped that the statue would finally understand.

Thankfully, Victor finally registered that Old Forestar was trying to introduce himself. Victor, having nothing else to introduce himself with, pointed at himself then his old body. Old Forestar’s eyes wandered to Victor’s chest, then something seemed to click.

Old Forestar grew rather fond of him afterward for some reason. Whenever they came across each other, they provided solace. Which was something both of them needed.

Vandi Fafnir finally exacted his revenge.

The palace was his. Respect was his. What was left of Valhall bowed at his feet. He had all the power he could imagine. However, none of that would give him his wings back.

He tossed and turned in Lady Freya’s, no, it was his bed. The frayed stubs on his back ached.

He let out a groan and pushed himself out of bed. There was no point in sleeping with this ailing him.

He tossed his coat on over his night clothes and pushed the door to Freya- his room. He glared around with bleary eyes until he spotted one of the servants.

“Excuse me,” he said smoothly.

The servant flinched and turned around. It was a young halfling with a pair of braids in her hair. She smiled at him nervously.

“Y-Yes, m’lord?” she asked.

“Would you get me some wine?” He gave her a smile that caused her to squeak and hurriedly run off. He rolled his eyes. Honestly, I wasn’t going to do anything.

Once he got his wine and he was properly drunk, he made his way to the throne room. In his booze-addled mind, the throne would cure the aching on his back. His steps were wobbly and the malicious smile he was known for was replaced with a rather absent-minded grin.

“I’m the king now,” he mumbled to himself with a giggle. “King Vandi Fafnir. High ruler of fairies and Valhall.” More giggles bubbled from his throat. “A wingless fairy is the fairy king. Lady Freya couldn’t predict that, could she?” Giggles evolved into laughter. “That bitch! How do you like having a wingless disgrace sitting on your throne?”

He nearly passed by another hallway when he noticed something. The statue he had animated was sitting on the floor. It had its knees up to its chest and its face in its free hand.

He let out another giggle and crouched down in front of it. It pulled its face out of its head and stiffened up. Vandi’s grin grew wider upon seeing the Stone of Life in its chest.

“Are you crying?” he asked it. He laughed. “Silly, statues don’t cry.”

The statue merely stared at him, still frozen in the position it stopped at. Vandi thought it was funny; having an ice statue freeze up at the sight of him. So he laughed some more, making the statue lean away from him.

“Come on,” he said. “You’re coming with me to the throne room. It’s not like you were doing anything else.”

The statue shakily got to its feet and followed him. It seemed positioned to catch him if he were to fall. The part of his mind that wasn’t affected by the wine wondered why. It wasn’t like it could feel concern.

When they entered the throne room, Vandi sloppily sat himself down on the throne. The smile on his face stretched further. The chilled throne soothed his sore back.

Then he noticed that his statue was staring at something. For a moment he thought the statue was looking at him. After all, he was the model for that particular statue. He then followed the statue’s gaze to the body hanging behind the throne.

“Why are you staring at that?” he asked. “Do you like it?”

Of course, the statue couldn’t answer him. Its gaze just sort of shifted toward him for a second before finally turning around. He snapped his fingers at it to get its attention again but its head didn’t move. He clicked his tongue.

“What?” he said irritably. “Are you mad at me?” He pushed himself off of the throne and walked up to the statue. He stood up on tiptoes to glare at it in the eye. It almost instinctively leaned away from him and brought a hand to its gem. “I haven’t done a thing to you. You can’t get mad at me. I gave you life.” When the statue didn’t respond, he settled himself back down. His face stretched into a drunken smirk. “What am I doing? You can’t feel anything. You’re just a statue.”

He was almost turned away from it when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye. When he woke up the next morning, he almost thought he imagined it thanks to his hangover, he thought he remembered the statue shaking its head when he had said that.
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