Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Twisted Feeling

Summer, 1032

Jack had been on his way to see Mirielle, who had successfully given birth to a son, when a fellow guardsman had instructed him to report to Sir Ancel. He was standing halfway into the room when the bearded man appeared from another room, looking tired and dishevelled. Immediately, Jack thought of Bonnie – and the delivery he had made, which caused the departure of Raiden Mieko.

“Sir?” Jack said hesitantly.
Ancel straightened and turned, “Ah, yes.” Dark circles had formed beneath his eyes, and he moved with a peculiar slowness as he beckoned Jack toward him.
“I was told to report to you,” Jack said. “Is there anything you need?”
The older man shook his head, and sighed loudly. “I want you to take some time off,” he told Jack. “Not too long as we need you here, but long enough to attend to things.”
Confused, Jack raised his eyebrows. “Sir?”
Maybe the pressure of his new position had gotten to him, Jack mused as the two men stood there staring at one another.
Ancel sighed again, and rested his head in his hands. “Don’t tell me no one’s told you,” he said.

“Told me what, sir?”
“Your wife,” Ancel blinked. “She’s dying.”
For a moment, Jack thought maybe he had misheard. Thoughts of his wife had long since dissipated, and the image of her face was now a blur. He tried to process the new information, but all he could think was how to explain this to his daughter. Neither of them had seen Betha in years, despite many promises to go and visit. 

Finally, Jack spoke again. “Is – is she sick?” He asked through squinted eyes.
“She is,” Ancel nodded. “A new illness, presumed to be moving across the kingdom. The survival count is low.”
“I understand,” Jack replied.
He did not feel sad – simply shocked. He was worried for his daughter, guilty that he did not make more of an effort to keep her connected with her mother, and now it was too late. He felt unsteady on his feet, and took a quick step backward.

Ancel had noticed is loss of balance and frowned. “I suggest you get some rest, I’ve organised a guide for tomorrow –”
“No” Jack stated quickly. “I don’t need a guide.”
“The roads are not safe right now –”
He watched as the older man opened his mouth to protest again, before excusing him with a nod. When Jack turned away, he noticed a flush in his cheeks and a twisted feeling in his gut. It was guilt, heavy in the pit of his stomach. He was guilty of keeping Payge from Betha – he was guilty of abandoning his wife and living so far away – but of all the things, he was most guilty of not caring that she was going to die.


  1. I pondered doing something special for Mirielle's baby, but after all - the king has plenty of sons and if I tried giving them all their own storylines I think I would die. Instead, we're going to explore Jack and his personality. And I wanted to give some insight into how Ancel is going, stressed all the time. I imagine he spends most of his days picking up the slack for his brother, and keeping things together for the king.
    I've been spending a lot of time actually playing the game - which is a nice break I think. So although I had this ready to post, I was too lazy to take pictures until now. Glad I didn't create a trickier scenario - it would have been hell.

    Birthday weekend soon, I'm having a little get together, so I'm hoping that it will be a good weekend and that nothing goes wrong.

    1. Oh and I should mention I've changed my skin defaults again. Upgraded to sexyfeet versions of the louis skins, and picked different ones than what I used beforehand. Everyone is just a little darker than before now.

  2. It's your birthday this weekend? o_O Ack! I was going to make you a present, but I don't think I can have it done for the weekend, and then I'll be out of the country for most of the rest of August. So I may not be able to have it ready before September. Sorry about that. :S But happy birthday in any case.

    I wonder what happened between Jack and his wife to get them to this point. He doesn't seem the type who would just unilaterally abandon someone for no good reason, unless maybe he was at one point and changed too late. In any case, I hope Payge is all right, and glad that Mirielle and the baby are both doing well.

    1. Naw that's okay! I wasn't expecting anything at all anyway! Enjoy your trip to wherever you're going :)

      I think it's very safe to assume that Jack has changed a lot since he married Betha, and at the same time, he may very well be a good person - but he's still capable of making mistakes and being ignorant. The other thing is a marriage involves two people not just one, so maybe Betha had more to do with them drifting apart than either realise. Unfortunately, families who live separated like this are quite common in Marlowe, for instance Bonnie's parents all live and work in different households, and her sister Mave was sent away at a young age - almost like Payge, except Payge has the benefit of her father being there.

      (Another thing - Payge was born in Iridia, where all someone would have to do is snatch her up and she would legally be that person's property - the law of possession - so by moving her to work at court, she was most possibly saved from slavery or worse).

  3. I think you could say that Jack's kind of growing on me, especially with those past chapters. He seems like a decent man and I wonder what will happen to him next. His life isn't exactly an easy one (I can only imagine how difficult it must be for him to spend so much time away from his daughter - even if he gets to visit her sometime) and now with his wife's death ... poor Payge. I know she must have been separated from her mother when she was very young so she probably doesn't have many memories of her, yet I can't help but feel sorry for her. At least she has a loving and caring father, unlike many children in your story.
    I'm also glad Mirielle and her baby are both fine, but now I'm a little curious about Bonnie and what will happen to her.

    1. I'm glad you're liking Jack! He's one of my favourites, although he certainly isn't perfect and has his flaws, he is a good man. Payge probably has dim memories of her mother, and I'm sure overtime she will fill the void with her own ideals of what kind of person her mother was. Jack is definitely a better father than most of the men in Marlowe.
      Haha super glad you mentioned Bonnie! Her and Jack are connected, that's for sure ;)