The Freehold of the Shaded Wing
Marjan's Journal - June 4th
- One of Our Own -
I bend over and hold out my hand. “Accept his oath, I promise that I will take care of you. No one else will harm you.” I give you a half smile, which is no doubt more than half stunning. For the first time, I feel shamed for being so beautiful. For being different.
Hoyle, in all his ignorant arrogance looks at me as if I am helping him, with an affirming nod. I have already lost all my faith in these established kin of ours. Barry has nearly killed you, the Fairest mewls and whines about her rights, and Bailey? Bailey lied to herself and walked away.
Our protectors. A great job they do too, don’t they Zia?
As I lead you out of the clinic, I try to keep you calm with gentle sounds and assurances, but you seem so far gone. Lost. It angers, no, enrages me in deeper ways than I dare show. They command us like servants, they tell us what is good for us, and where has that led you and I? You were left to stray. I was kidnapped, brutally assaulted and threatened with death more than once. Our protectors seem to act more like Whom we hide from than they realize.
Is that what will happen to us all? The longer we are free, do the more like Them we become? A cruel joke, one I am sure They delight on. The way things are going, it seems the only two options available to us fresh out of the hedge is to be re-enslaved to a monster or become a monster ourselves. And what of the other newly escaped? Some of them I feel an affinity towards. Sparrow. Isaac. Is this our fate? Has freedom ever existed for us?
I think it has, Zia. I plan to give you, what the others could not and would not. I will free you of Them and their influence. When we are in the apartment, I lay you on the bed. You are nearly catatonic. The trauma you have faced the last few days (perhaps longer) must feel like you never left Arcadia.
“Drink this,” I say, and as the humanity creeps back into your veins, I begin to press the pillow firmly into your face. The window shatters, one of our glorious protectors has come to mewl some more. Ignoring her, I whisper to you secrets and promises. Your life fades away, and soon I remove the pillow, and gently place it under your head. I fix your hair.
“I promised to take care of you.”
You lay there, human again, and forever more. No more will you be assaulted, or threatened. You will not be recaptured and manipulated and tortured. I gave you back your humanity, and no one can take that away from you again. I gave you what our protectors could not. I wipe my nose absently, and notice my face is drenched in tears… I am hysterical. Zia, I wish I had known another way. I am so sorry it came to this.
All I can promise is to do my best to protect the other recent escapees from the hedge. Even the ones that despise me already, and I see it in their eyes. I may not be able to protect us from Them, as our protectors claim to be able to, (I’m so sorry, Zia) but I can protect us from our protectors.