I wanted her to feel loved. I wanted her to feel happiness. I wanted more than anything- for the princess of Netheron to understand her fate. But I was no princess, no friend, no helper… I was a witch. And everyone knows that witches are confined into two things: spells and dark confinement.
These powers grew, and only grew to despise her. I wanted to help her. I really did- I had to. But this evil confinement, this wretched feeling I feel every time I stare at her… it's nothing but filled with envy. No one knows about the unruly pain I've been through, that has been traveling through me this futile existance. This magic confines me, makes me an unruly person. Had Estelle known about my battles, I'm positive she could never forgive what lurks within my heart.
Day by day, these abilities grow stronger. Someday, I will be unable to stop the rage I feel within, and Estelle will suffer greatly. But this poor girl, has already endured so much in so little time. I'm afraid of her… afraid for her. I don't want her to see the pain I have to deal with.
When you are cursed with the blood of a witch, you tend to forget that others suffer other problems. People suffer countless problems. Estelle suffers many more. Estelle hates her parents. They are tyrants. She's the only respectable ruler of the throne, but the people grew to hate her. I was abandoned in an orphanage, and raised by a strict, needless headmistress. Estelle has heard this story many times. She always wants to learn more.
This was one of those times.
“Tell me the story of your headmistress,” Estelle said with excitement. I paused, clutching the handles of the chair to sit down. Like reading to a spoiled child in the library chambers, I sat down on the table in her workshop and did exactly as told.
“Very well. I will explain the story of Lovina Lovebird to you, m'dear.” I replied without haste. Of course, Estelle was only eager to hear such stories. I was her only parent figure, as her royal family was usually too busy bickering about who gets to take care of the rain machine. Estelle took control, but only as an apprentice. She was a crafty young girl, that child. So full of bright wisdom.
I cleared my throat, preparing to dwell deep into the story. Estelle simply took a place on the table, keeping her ears open. I dove into a story worth telling.
“It all started that lackluster day in Shacklehigh Orphanage, on that fate-less day in the beginnings of my life. I believe I was a young ten year old, strong willed and wise, like yourself. I could not see my own troubles awaiting me, until I stumbled upon the mistress of the orphanage….
“The mistress of Shacklehigh Orphanage was an unruly woman. She beat little kids like you into placement. She swatted kids with a metal paddle, in order to make them fear her.”
I told this story to Estelle, and she was always eager to hear it. To hear about someone doing far worse than her, was a treat to her at best.
“The mistress at Shackhigh, never saw it coming. One day the house caught on fire, and she rolled away with the flames. The fire was a mishap, an accident with no cause. But she burned away with the flames, and so they let us go… then I became homeless alongside all of the other kids. The other kids found families of their own… but I was alone.”
I paused, carefully watching Estelle. She seemed relaxed, as if the story didn't bother her. She was always an odd child, always so focused on the good, and not the bad.
“Go on, Esmeralda,” The princess told her.
“Your father came and saw me stand there, awaiting for something. He sensed something odd about me, and picked me up, sending me straight to his house. Your father only wanted to use me to clean around, but found me useful because of my many household abilities.”
Estelle smirked at this, but it turned into a genuine smile. She opened her mouth to speak, her words radiating joy.
“My father only picks those off the street to use for slave labor. It's always a battle to get most to do anything, but you were always so… compliant.”
“Your mother grew accustomed to me-”
“And then you were assigned to take care of me, while they were out in war,” Estelle added. “And you are far better than my meager parents at taking care of me. All they ever cared about, was who gets this, who gets that… who gets control of the rain machine! Bah! I could care less about their trials! What's the worst that could happen, because of a stupid machine?”
“Estelle, I'm not sure if you understand… but the rain machine is dangerous. It could mean the end of the world should it be in the wrong hands,” Esmeralda told her sternly.
“I don't care! The end of the world can't be that bad, can it?” Estelle asked in wonder, bobbling her head. “I mean, even if giant raindrops fell from the sky, we would have the technology to keep them alive, right?”
I sighed wearily. “Maybe. But things don't always work that way. Your parents have been forced to be conservative with the rain supply in order to keep things neat and efficient. As an inventor, it's your job to keep things in line, just as it is for you as a princess to rule over your country. Any mistakes could cost people's lives. We don't live in a state of utopia like we used to.”
Estelle knew her parent's story. Or at least thought she knew. Her mother was coming down with an unknown illness, and proceeded to be mad in behavior. I knew the secret behind her madness- she was a witch with dormant powers that were arising, and they were taking over her body and soul. Her father was trying hard to control her powers, but instead fell to her every will, like a puppet. Estelle only knew of his puppetry, but she couldn't sense why her father lacked emotion. He was only a marionette on the strings, to her mother.
I was a witch too, one who felt pain being one. But I couldn't protect Estelle, no matter how hard I tried. The blood of witches and warlocks were strong in her wing of the family, because of her inventor gene, and the powers were awakened with stress and vile hatred. I had powers too, but they were long dormant after her father took me in. If Estelle wasn't careful, she could end up a witch herself… or worse, surrounded by them. My job was to keep her calm and rational, while keeping any realm of witchcraft a secret. Should Estelle ever become a witch… the bloodline would continue, and she would become her worst nightmare. After all, the young princess hated witches.
Estelle huffed, standing up. She eyed me with a cautious stare. I was sure she could see the knowledge in my eyes, the tales I'd never tell.
She commanded me softly,
“Come, Esmeralda. Let's see the rain machine.” Her words were like a jutting command, reminding me of who's in charge.
I replied cautiously and quickly. “Certainly, your highness, you are a princess after all… and an inventor who is loved by many.”
Off we went… into the room. It was the complete opposite of Estelle's throne room: a complete disaster. Piles of plates and dishes from midnight snacks arose the ceilings. The saws had been left out once again for Estelle's younger cousins to handle, and the room had layers and layers of dust and dirt as if even the table she laid against had some level of stickiness. The room smelled like overdone fish and chips with scents of fragrant tea with hints of rotting orange, and I realized Estelle had been snacking in here without permission, all night- working on the rain machine.
I hadn't realized how sleep deprived she looked, until I noticed her under eyes. It was no wonder she had drunk so much tea in the morning… she was possibly overworked from the absence of her parents, and Drusilla was much too busy to attend to helping her. The princess had no choice to run the machine by herself... when she already was doing her parent's paperwork and attending their press conferences. Estelle was already so busy... so why would she waste her time talking to her?
“Estelle, I do wonder why you would bring me here,” I said. I noticed something was off about her but I completely dismissed it.
I noticed a stiffness within her. A lonesome pause... and then suddenly she was bawling, her fabricated happiness gone: her whole face red with so much raw anger: it disturbed me. I flinched as she threw her hands over her face, attempting to hide the pain reflected in her pupils, until she turned to me… and said,
“My parents are off to war… and and- the generals are- and and- the generals are going to kill them… they said they were witches! Esmeralda… I didn't want you to know… but they're coming. They're coming to rid of our kingdom… and and- the war… it only started and and- I'm scared… I'm scared they're going to die. They they- they kill for fun… they kill for profit… and I didn't want you to know, Esmeralda. I didn't want you to find out. I don't know what's going to happen now… but your stories… who caused the fire? What caused it? There had to be something!”
I paused, not sure what to say for only a moment before grief overcame me.
“It was me.”
Estelle bit her lip.
“Esmeralda, now is not the time for jokes!” She cried out with a fist. “Don't joke with me like that!”
“I'm not joking.”
“Then you're the witch? You're the one they are looking for? Esmeralda-”
“They are witches too.”
“Blasphemy! Pure- pure-” She stopped, seeing the serious look on my face.
“Estelle… I haven't been honest with you. The bloodline of a strong witch blood lurks inside of you, but it has yet to be awaken. My powers have been dormant for years, but stress and suffering brings them out again. Please Estelle, listen to me. You'll be safer with Otto, I promise.”
“I don't understand… why Esmeralda? On top of the revolution hunting my family, you tell me I've been raised by witches?”
“I had to keep it a secret from you all this time. I couldn't tell anybody, in fear I'd anger your family.”
“Please Esmeralda, please. You promised you'd tell me everything, as you are my faithful servant… I don't understand this!”
“Leave me alone!” She cried.
I paused, my side of the face tinging with pain. I touched my hand as the haughty princess stomped her way out of her room. What could I do? What SHOULD I do? The way she's become upset could easily trigger her powers…
Only 13 years of age, and there was so much potential… a wide range of intelligence- even stronger strength… and yet too much frailty.