A Sort of Fairytale: Chapter 5

Previously: Chapter 4 [U]

An editor writes: In case anyone missed my comment on the previous chapter, may I just reiterate that this fic is NOT set in Ye Merrie Olde Englande. It is a work of fantasy. Let us assume that it is set in the fictional land of DevSezjeland (see how I put my name first?) which is – just like Tatooine – in a galaxy far, far away. – Dev

[An Author writes: In the interest of good will, I’m deleting my last comment and my comment below.]

Rating: U

* * * * *

Things did not look good for Red. At least, that was what Katia understood from Marta’s assessment. What Katia had taken to be a healthy flush to the girl’s cheeks had turned out to be the flush of fever. It was new-onset fever, according to Marta, but one that was setting in fast.

Several of the deeper cuts on the girl had festered nastily. Despite her unconscious form, the girl shuddered every time Marta used the hot compresses to draw out infection. Without knowing what she was doing, Katia found herself drawn to the head of the girl, at first just gripping her hand with each ministration and, before long, lifting the girl’s torso and cradling it against her.

Marta gave her a cryptic look and went back to her work.

Before beginning to draw away some of the poison that lay in the girl’s flesh, Marta had helped give the girl a cursory wash, and Katia had turned out to be right. Red’s hair was a burnished gold. Sitting so near, there was a softness to it that contrasted sharply with the girl’s battered form.

Now that she was close, Katia could feel the waves of heat coming off Red. With each shuddering tremor that wracked the girl, Katia tightened her arms and tried not to vomit. She had seen many things in her life – many ugly, soul shattering things – but the torture that both this girl and Trevor had clearly undergone outstripped all. What had this girl done to deserve such treatment? Trevor would almost certainly have been been tortured for knowledge of their camp’s whereabouts. Katia could only pray he had not divulged anything, but she could easily forgive him if he had indeed been broken. But, what could Barnabas have wanted with this girl?

“I think this is about all she can take today,” Marta said wearily, standing and stretching her back after such a long time hunched over.

“Will you have to do this again?”

“Probably quite a few times.”

“But she will heal?” For some reason, it was very important to Katia that this girl recovered from her injuries and returned to rude good health, if only because she had saved Katia’s life.

Marta looked up, and her hard expression softened. “I do not know.” The blonde woman bit her lip. “Quite possibly not.”

Katia said nothing.

“Kate, where did you find this girl?” Only Marta called her by that diminiutive. No-one ever called her Kat; Katia would not accept it.

“In the keep.” Katia tightened her arms around the sleeping form and closed her eyes. She had yet to lay the poor girl down and move away. It was harder than she would have thought to let go.

“What, just lying around?” There was a teasing note in Marta’s voice that overlaid a deep caring.

The brunette grinned tiredly. “Very nearly. She was a little busy killing the man who was about to kill me. Saved my life. Then she fainted and I, I suppose I caught her.”

“She saved your life?”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Then I like her.”

Katia grinned again, finally gently placing the girl down on the bunk and moving away. “After that, I felt vaguely responsible for her.”

“I can understand that. You do realise that it may bring all hell down upon this place?”

“What?” Katia looked up sharply.

Marta gently placed a hand on the brunette’s arm. “She’s been someone’s play-thing for quite some time, and I don’t just mean their punching bag.” At Katia’s confused look, she clarified, “She has been raped, repeatedly.”

If there had been anything in Katia’s hands at that moment, it would have shattered. Stone would have shattered. Diamonds would have been reduced to dust. As it was, her hands were empty, but it didn’t stop her rage from spilling over in a stream of epithets that got filthier by the word.

“You just stole Barnabas’ latest toy.” Marta stated the fact like it was a common thing.

“I’ll kill him.”

“You were going to do that anyway.”

“We can’t be sure he…”

“Oh yes we can.” Marta sneered. “There were enough rumours when he first came into his inheritance. The stories that have been passed around over the last few years, young girls sold, gone missing, kidnapped. They’re proof enough, Kate.”

“I’ll kill him.”

“I’ll help.”

Katia looked up at the blonde. They accepted most people into their little compound, and rarely asked questions. Katia still had no idea why Marta had come to join them. In their four-year friendship, it had been a silent unasked question. Marta had never volunteered, and the understanding brunette had never pushed, and, yet, at times like this, Katia couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the blonde before she had arrived. Now was not the time to ask, however.

“You want me to get her moved to the main house?” Marta’s question surprised Katia.

“No, that’s fine. Leave her here.”

“Where will you sleep?” The blonde finished packing up her odds and ends and stood up.

“I’ll string the hammock up inside.”

“Mmm, comfortable.”

“It’ll do.”

“Kate…”

“Yeah.”

There was a pause as the blonde stopped at the leather-covered doorway. She wasn’t facing Katia, but the words that came out of her mouth were crystal clear to the brunette’s ears. “Take care of yourself.”

And then she was gone.

* * * * *

Next up: Chapter 6 [U]

12 Comments

  1. peanut
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 2.55pm | Permalink

    [an reader adds further: I don’t think anyone would question Devs abilities. She IS the grammar goddess. I’ll name my OED after her *nods*]

    This was really short … But I liked it! :D
    And do I sense some affection already growing on Katias side?! *smiles*
    I’m curious if we’ll find out more about everyones history.

    Thank you very much :)

  2. Freddikins
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 4.22pm | Permalink

    You know, I was just trying to help. Y’all didn’t have to be all bitchy about it.

    And Dev, no one is perfect. You stroke your ego so much and its not a good thing to get a big head. some people may start to think you believe you’re better than everyone else.

    Ugh, this is coming out mean but its not meant to be. I’m just stating what I feel and I’m sorry if I hurt you at all. But you hurt me, I just wanted to tell you.

    *Erase after you read if you wish*
    you put ‘u and me’ just wanted to let you know you went into text mode on the u…if you want to change it you can. Just pointing it out ’cause it was the only word in text.

  3. Packingforthecrash
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 4.24pm | Permalink

    On a first note, those little notes in the beginning makes both of you seem like some self-righteous brats, embrace your readers, don’t alienate them *hides*

    On another note, I liked this chapter, like there’s any chapter I DON’T like, really =P

    I like Marta more and more, and also Katia and her naive mind…

    I didn’t quite get the ending though… Well, I GOT it, but what Marta meant with “take care of yourself”…I guess time (and updates) will tell!

    [An editor responds:
    1. I am arrogant and self-righteous. I embrace that about myself.
    2. My comment, however, was not meant to be arrogant and self-righteous. I had wrongly assumed that this was set in Ye Olde Englande. I was wrong. I thought that, perhaps, other people might have made the same mistake, so I was sharing my error with them. Perhaps I did not make that clear enough.
    Dev]

  4. Freddikins
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 4.24pm | Permalink

    Now that I got that out….

    Great chapter Sez. I really hope Eleanor gets better soon. I bet the hammock isn’t that comfortable either for Katia.

    And I agree with Peanut, this was really short but it was still good.

  5. peanut
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 9.25pm | Permalink

    *hugs Fred*
    I don’t think they meant to be mean and I know you didn’t either. Don’t worry :)

  6. Clom
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 10.35pm | Permalink

    Ass out of u and me = Assume… it’s… a saying. Just letting you know.

  7. Freddikins
    Posted 22 February 2009 at 11.41pm | Permalink

    oooh, you learn something new everyday. =]

  8. Noodles
    Posted 23 February 2009 at 1.44am | Permalink

    Well, frequent updates are just as good as super long ones.

    I have questions, but I have forgotten them, so ill get back to you.

    But, awww, Katia. Take care of Red.

  9. Fort
    Posted 28 February 2009 at 12.11pm | Permalink

    Sorry I hadnt got round to reviewing this.

    “She has been raped, repeatedly.”

    If there had been anything in Katia’s hands at that moment, it would have shattered.

    This is my favourite bit of this chapter. I loved it when I first read it, and looking at it again now, I feel the same. Just thought it summed it up very well.

    Enjoying how this story is moving along. Looking forward to Eleanor waking up.

  10. Fort
    Posted 28 February 2009 at 12.11pm | Permalink

    ^ Obviously not the rape bit, I meant the way her reaction was described. It was a great line and gave a good impression of Katia being hit with a force by the news.

  11. blue
    Posted 1 March 2009 at 5.19pm | Permalink

    Raises more questions than answers and really makes me ponder the Marta / Katia relationship.

    Thank you for the clarification Dev as I was initially under the same impression.

    Silence is acceptance and I cannot. I am appalled at my fellow readers comments entertaining asinine attention seeking feedback repeatedly.

    Whatever. I am done.

  12. DaniZGE
    Posted 2 March 2009 at 11.07pm | Permalink

    This story is amazing. I wish that it was a book so I could continue to read it. Thank you.

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