Part 8: Empty
The world is often cruel to people like Janus. Born into a family of villains, but wanting no part of it, Janus wanted badly to be a part of the outside world. But the twisted horns and dark features marked him for life. Nothing good could ever come from a boy like him, and humanity shunned him.
But, by golly, Janus was going to be a knight if it was the last thing he ever did. Nothing was going to stop him. He’d find a way around whatever obstacle he faced. But…when that obstacle turned out to be bigger than he could avoid, he was at a loss.
“There’s no place for folks like you in our ranks,” he was told over and over. And he asked over and over. And when the knights turned him down, he set his sights higher. He wouldn’t become just any old knight! He would join the ranks of the Knights of Dusk!
But never had he faced such scorn in his life as when he had pleaded for any of them to take him on as their squire. They laughed at him and spat in his face. “Like anyone would ever think to take on a child of evil as their squire!” Then they chased him out of the kingdom, threatening to imprison him if he ever showed his face again.
His dreams crushed before his very eyes, Janus left the kingdom, cursing his family. How dare they have such evil ambitions! How dare they blot their name in such a way! Janus thought to be what he was born to be; a villain, dark as night and ruthless. He could make the Knights of Dusk tremble in their boots. But no; although he could be cruel, he had no desire to torment humanity. He had no plans of taking over the world. Not like his sister did.
So he disappeared, knowing no one would stop to wonder where he went or care to find out.
The Wastelands were known to be an inhabitable place, with deserts going on for miles, and if you became lost, you would never find your way out. So Janus did the only logical thing he knew to do. He went straight there and made himself at home. With his own two hands he built himself a tower. Not a cold, lonely, frightening tower like his twin had, but a homely one with plants and flowers. One that would be of comfort to him in such a lonely place. With the care that he put into it, he was able to make it a beautiful place.
Sometimes he became so lonely he feared he would be driven mad. Human beings weren’t ever meant to be alone. Though he never cared for the company of others before, he still longed for them to accept him. Surely someone out there would love him. The only time he came into contact with people was in the old tavern into the woods, far from the Wastelands, but far from the kingdom. Maybe…just maybe he would learn to enjoy living this way.
He grew older, and so did the bitterness in his heart. Anger against the people of Mackshire festered into hatred. The thought crossed his mind to make them pay; to wipe them all out of their miserable existence. He could make his sister look like an angel in comparison. And when they were all begging for mercy, he would remind them they brought all of it upon themselves when they turned him away like he held no worth whatsoever.
But he still lacked the motivation to make them suffer. So he lived with his bitterness and his hatred and ignored humanity. When he visited the taverns, he kept to the shadows. It was like an invisible shield was around him when he went. Something that made the people unable to come near him. They would send quick glances of disgust, then hurry to sit somewhere else or get out of his way. He didn’t care. It no longer hurt him. He was content to sit and simply watch them.
Until one day, while he sat in the shadows, a prince walked through the doors of the tavern. He doubted anyone else would have recognized him out this far. Oh, but he knew. He knew right away that proud, regal belonged to Prince Hunter of Mackshire, and it made his heart burn with rage to see him. He hated the people of Mackshire, but he hated Hunter the most. So when the prince came up the rickety staircase, Janus wanted him to feel the despair he had felt for all those years. His emotions could rub off on anyone who came near to him. He knew it was working when the prince froze.
Their conversation had been brief, but it had made Janus’ hatred burn all the more. Not to mention that the prince had the audacity to go to his own tower to try and make him kiss a girl who would never love him. A girl who would wake up and slap him for saving her. Thinking about it made the sorrow he had learned to ignore creep back into his heart.
Now, he stood at one of the windows at the top room in his tower, staring out over the Wastelands. No one would ever love him, even if he tried to prove himself. He was marked as evil, and that would never change.
Not even saving the princess would change their minds.
~ <♥> ~
Hey guys! I know this one is a little on the short side, but hey! That makes it easier to read! We’re getting closer to when this short story will become more character focused, and I’m really excited about that! It’ll be fun to see where these people end up! I hope you like this week’s part! If you have any feedback, let me know in the comments below! God bless and have a wonderful weekend!