Flash Fiction Friday – The Child, The Other

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been getting into tabletop RPGs lately. Naturally, one of the games on my “to play” list is the true giant of the genre, Dungeons and Dragons. I’m watching a few D&D streams right now, my favorite being the truly amazing Critical Role. The other day, I came up with a character concept that I absolutely adore and will likely tweak and tweak and tweak and cherish until I find a fantastic D&D group to play in with people I know well enough to not have to worry I’ve wasted the character on a game that ends up fizzling out or being a bit bleh. Anyway, I wrote a little snippet from her backstory for you tonight:

“Miss?” the child said quietly, looking up from the small wooden bowl to the face of the young woman in the blue robe. “When can I come back out?”
The woman smiled and the child was surprised that it made her look more sad somehow, not more happy. “Not just yet, little one. We have to make sure that it’s safe. We wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt, now would we?”
The child shook her head. “No.”
“Good. Now eat your food. I’ll be back a little later for the bowl and your lessons. You have been going over your lessons, haven’t you?”
“Yes, miss.”
“That’s a good girl.” She reached over to briefly pat her on the cheek, and the child leaned into the touch without meaning to. The hand withdrew, her cheek felt cold. She watched as the woman left the little cell, closing the door behind her. The child sighed and looked down at her bowl. She wished they’d let her have a spoon, or a fork. She wished they’d let her go outside.
She wasn’t sure anymore how long she’d been there. The elders had said it was for her own good when they left her outside the temple. She thought maybe they were right. The Other was still inside her. She could feel it in there, moving around like a restless animal in a pen. Maybe it was right for them to be in a cage…
She felt very sad then, and that was good. Sad wasn’t angry. Sad wasn’t the burning blackness. She leaned into her sadness, missing the outside, the sight of the sky, her own clothes which they had taken away and replaced with a plain knee-length tunic. The woman had said all the children at the temple wore those tunics. The child thought that if she tried really hard to just be sad and not angry, maybe she’d let her go live with them instead, or at least go to lessons with them and play in the yard outside.
She finished her meal, wiping her fingers on the tunic before putting the bowl aside on the small cot that was the only piece of furniture int he cell. She sat cross-legged to start repeating her lessons, her little, sad voice drifting down the empty hallways outside. “Sarenrae is the Dawnflower, the Everlight, the Healing Light. I pray to her, the lady of redemption, to absolve me of my sins and guide me on my true path. I pray to her…”

Nota Benethe goddess Sarenrae is a D&D diety, I make no claim to her whatsoever, all credit to them. She just fit really well with my character, thematically.

With that, I’m going to attempt to resist turning Critical Role back on, and instead go to bed.

One Reply to “Flash Fiction Friday – The Child, The Other”

  1. Pingback: Twice Fortnightly – Here, have a polar bear! – Emma Lindhagen

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