Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chapter 28: Forget Your Quest
She slipped in in the middle of the night. They found her there in the morning, silent, trying not to look at anything. She was surrounded by her dead father's model boats.
Polka and Vox greet each other with no drama.
"Gysael, won't you tell us what's wrong?" It's the annoying sound of Venessa's concerned voice that finally spurs Gysael to action. Her eldest brother, Reggie, has been trying to get her to talk for what seems like hours with no success...
"Fine," Gysael growls softly. "I'll talk. If you leave first."
Venessa's expression falls. She's wounded. She exchanges glances with her husband, and they shrug at each other. Then she walks out of the room.
Greta and Izalee fidget uncomfortably as Venessa leaves.
"Now you've really got me worried," Reggie says, once his wife is out of earshot. He meant it to sound like a joke, but it's true.
Gysael narrows her eyes, and blinks back tears, and tells them what she saw. She's had time to process it, now. First there was sharp, stabbing sadness - Rohane died. Second there was terror - the desperate escape from Sunlit Tides. Third there was anger. It roiled inside her, and she twisted it around like a puzzle cube, trying to decide what to do with it. How to react. What to do. The world had done something unfair, right in front of her, and what is she going to do about it? The blunt recounting of events now helps her decide.
Reggie and Greta interrupt the story very little. Izalee doesn't interrupt at all. Sunlit Tides? Why Sunlit Tides? Where even is that? One murder, one fairy, two rebellious little secret lives of crime.
"There was a struggle I think." Gysael didn't actually see very much, but in her mind there was some vicious fight. In her mind Rohane defended himself better than in reality. "There was dust all over the place. Fairy dust. I'm going to use it to track down that monster."
"No, no that is a terrible idea. We should all get out of here," Greta says. "She may have let you go just to see where you went..."
"You trained me better than that," Gysael snaps. The anger burns at her; how can the others want to let the universe get away with this, she wonders? How can they want to live in a world where this can happen? "And I heard the way she chattered on to... to Rohane's spirit, before it was taken... and to the reaper..."
"You think she's an agent," Reggie murmurs. "Supernatural control."
"Of course I do. What else would she be?"
"There aren't enough of us to bring a fight to a shadowy government institution."
"There must be enough of us somewhere." Gysael can see he has a point, but she isn't letting him discourage her. "And maybe the purple fairy can lead me right to them."
"This is madness." Greta has her wand in hand. "They'll capture you and find where you're from. You'll bring death on us all."
"Capture me? Interrogate me? Because they did such a great job questioning Rohane?" Gysael stands, charging up her own defensive magic. "What do you think you're doing, Mother?"
Greta's hands shake. "Making you forget about this." It's not the safest of spells. Gysael could come away from it forgetting about the fairy dust... or forgetting what she wants to do with it... but her rage is so great, the spell may deem it necessary to erase more than that. She may forget she ever had another brother. She may forget who she is.
"Mom, Gysael, please!" Reggie's cries come too late. Mother and daughter are already hurling hexes at each other.
Greta casts, Gysael furiously deflects. Izalee, afraid to move, is hit with the remnant of the spell.
"Izzy!" Reggie holds his daughter close. "Izzy, are you alright?"
"My head," she whimpers, clutching at his sleeves. "It burns."
"Just focus on my voice," her father soothes. The fight between Gysael and Greta came to an abrupt halt when the child was caught in the crossfire, but that's little consolation.
"I'm sorry," Izalee chokes. "I couldn't get any kind of dampening shield up in time."
"I should have protected you," Reggie says. A normal person would be angry right now, he thinks. Angry at Greta, angry at Gysael, angry at the government... but if Reggie can still feel that emotion, it's all internalized. Maybe he hadn't tried hard enough to help Rohane. Maybe he hadn't taught his daughter well enough to avoid danger. How could he? He didn't avoid it himself. He just shouted at them, useless, like a moron.
"Dad... I can't feel my magic..."
"Look what your evil mind-altering curse has done now!" Gysael explodes. "Has she forgotten her own-"
"You fragmented that spell," Greta murmurs. "It'll wear off." She raises a hand again, making one last attempt to stop Gysael from something regrettable...
Gysael freezes her mother in her tracks.
And then Reggie sees her. His wife, Venessa. The expression on her face says it all: she's heard too much.
She is terrified.
He opens his mouth to speak to her, but she holds up a hand to silence him.
"No," she says. Just no. Then she turns and flees.
The immobilization spell wears off slowly, leaving Greta in a dreamlike daze. She's fallen to the floor. "Venessa!" someone yells. "Wait!"
Shuffling noises. Doors creaking. Are they going outside? Someone's crying.
"I can't deal with this toxic house of manipulation and liquid crazy," that sounds like Gysael. "And neither should you, Reg."
"Auntie is so sorry you had to see all that," Gysael tries to apologize to her young niece.
"You don't have to go," Izalee pleads. Her grandmother is on the floor, her mother ran out the door, her father ran after her...
"Yes... I do..." Gysael's got to leave for her sanity. She can't take this place anymore. Coming home was supposed to feel safer, not... worse. "See you later, Izalee."
Etc.: But in most timelines they never saw her again.