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"you write so beautifully. your mind must be a terrible place."
always on the lookout for tragic backstories and broken characters. :D

check out my series "Stereo Tropes Co."!
where story tropes run amuck in an office setting!

No One Cares for the Wicked | #AllinNowin Prompt 2

May 26, 2020



Everything changed when he showed up. 
    That's what they say about me. 
    Everything fell apart when he appeared that dreadful, fateful night.
    That's the lie they wrote in their history books.
    The day which we now call Memoriam Kandara. The day the war with Tangata began. The massacre at the river. The villain we know as Rewera. 
    They thought they defeated me. They thought they had vanquished the enemy. They thought they could raise their children in peace and prosperity, singing lullabies full of sweet nothings, instead of haunting tunes of warning. 
    I've bided my time. 
    I've perfected my spells, I've collected my magicked paper, I've hid in caves and holes. 
    Tonight the moon casts its silvery glow on the empty streets of Hale Nui, my hometown. What used to be my hometown, at least. I never got to know it, or the people, or the cuisine. They stole me away before I could even learn to walk. 
    The town is asleep.
    But candles already flicker and flame on their doorsteps, as is custom for this holiday. 
    Memoriam Kandara.
    The people of the nation set out these little lights in memory of the ones who died at the river, the general, the general's granddaughter, the peasants, the soldiers, the visiting ambassador from Tangata.
    The people of the nation like to point fingers and blame.
    For instance.
    A freak fire broke out at Kainga, burning down homes, shops, and the governing houses. Many died. Many lost their livelihoods.
    So their wrecked hearts and mourning souls found me on in the city that day, the boy of dark prophecy. And quicker than the skittish mice who were my friends in those damp caves, they pronounced their judgment on me. 
    I was only trying to help.
    I was only trying to be a better person. To break tradition, to resist the prophecy that said I would rain ash and brimstone onto the land, that darkness would consume me and my minions and we'd lead a campaign of evil, speaking wicked words, burning magicked paper, razing the countryside.
    I never wanted to be that.
    Who cared what the prophecy said?
    The dark prophecy ruined my life. 
    The dark prophecy drove my parents to poverty once people saw the black tattoo near my collarbone and my crimson eyes. The dark prophecy got me captured by radicals when I was a baby; they sought to use me for their own purposes. The dark prophecy left me beaten up in an alley after I ran away from that cult; all anyone could see in me was a future that had never happened. 
    The dark prophecy forced me into solitude, teaching myself, consoling myself in the freezing cold, trying to figure out everything for myself.
    I read books from the libraries, huddled under the bushes where no one could find me. That was when I discovered the dark prophecy. 
    That was when I vowed I'd never become that. 
    It didn't matter if I was evil incarnated, according to myth and legend.
    It didn't matter if my past incarnations all had tried to leave the world in ruin. Those incarnations, of course, were stopped by a hero of golden prophecy. 
    It didn't matter if the scholarly texts claimed that my birth, my villainy, my defeat were inevitable, and all part of the grand scheme of time. 
    I promised that I'd break the cycle. 
    I studied books on the spell system of our world. I copied recipes to make my own bottles of Inchant Potion, to create my own magicked paper. That's how I got the scars on my leg; wild dogs in the forest surprised me while I was searching for ingredients.
    I whispered the commands to my homemade magicked paper, referencing the pictures and the words in the tomes beside me. This book claimed it could teach you how to fight and magick like a golden hero themself. I hoped that that would be enough to combat whatever evil lurked inside me. 
    There were many failures and mess-ups. 
    If you find a medium-sized crater in Rakau Forest, that was me. 
    But I learned, slowly and surely. 
    I aimed to master the commands that would give me those brief powers, of vision, of instruction, of miracles. 
    But there was one thing it couldn't give me.
    Other people. Friends. 
    Hiding can get lonely, especially when you hear people pass and have to retreat further into your hole, careful to stamp out the fire, careful to not make any sudden noises.
    It was worse when they were kids my age. 
    I wondered if they'd accept me, if perhaps our youth would mask any prejudices or prophecies. 
    But then I'd observe them playing hero and villain; the kid playing the bad guy would draw black tattoos on himself. 
    I'd watch as the girl playing the golden hero would lead the other kids against the "villain", declaring in the name of the prophecy that he was defeated. 
    Those were some of the times that I'd sense it. The evil that ran through my veins. There were times that I'd look at those kids, that I'd hear the townspeople gossiping and cursing the boy of the dark prophecy, and the urge to destroy, to kill, to fulfill my destiny, sparked in my mind.
    But I pushed those away. 
    I made a vow. I intended to keep it. 
    So I stayed hidden. If they found me, I knew it would be over. They'd kill me before I could do it to them. Not that I would do it to them.
    I discovered many things about me in this time of exile. Like how my crimson eyes glow in the dark. Like how eating blackberries make my skin all red and itchy. Like how it's so easy to think dark thoughts because maybe that is what you were made to do. 
    No, I told myself. 
    Self-imposed exile was growing old and so was I. I was also growing stronger, smarter, taller. 
    I started to make plans for what I could do, where I could go. I scoured maps for paths through forests, across seas, over hills, to a land where no one had heard of a boy of dark prophecy. I gathered my supplies, bid farewell to my mice companions, and set out.
    I passed through a town called Kainga. 
    I admit. I was immature. I got cocky. I had worn a cloak and a high-collared shirt to cover my black tattoo, and donned a large-brimmed hat to help shield my eyes. I kept my head down as I braved the throng of people heading through the city gates. 
    And for a sweet, blessed moment...I was normal. 
    I was part of the crowd. 
    I bumped into someone, and they apologized. 
    I knew they wouldn't do that if they knew who I was. But they didn't. And it was bliss.
    I wanted to push the boundaries. Perhaps I could get to talk to someone. Maybe I didn't need to hide anymore. 
    I didn't huddle under any bushes that night for my shelter. I managed to rent a room at the inn.
    But then the fire broke out. 
    The innkeeper ordered everyone to evacuate. So I did. I got swept up in the crowd. Suddenly I found myself at a front row seat for the fire engulfing the plaza.
    There were people trapped inside those buildings.
    There were lives at stake.
    Volunteer fighters were nearer to the blaze, calling out commands to their magicked paper. This is what I had trained for. To be the hero, not the villain. 
    Without a second thought, I pulled out my own paper.
    "Burn," I commanded the parchment. It did. "Aqua."
    The ashes started to transform into water. But it never finished.
    The fire had leapt to another building and the crowd surged in my direction. 
    I fell backwards. Smoke invaded my nose and stung my eyes. My magicked paper flew out of my hands. My hat was on the ground. 
    Someone stared straight into my eyes. It was the man who bumped into me earlier that day. 
    He gasped and raised a finger, that wretched pointed finger, at me. 
    "VILLAIN!" he screamed and the crowd joined in. 
    They all stared.
    They all stared at me. 
    They backed away.
    They yelled curses. They shrieked hate. 
    "KILL HIM!"
    Fighters rushed forth, ready to send me to my death.
    I panicked. 
    As I fled, my heart dropped a little lower into my stomach with each scream and cry that came from  those who were still caught in the flames. 
    I could've helped them. 
    But general opinion said I was evil and not to be trusted. 
    I didn't lose hope though. Not yet. Surely there was a place where I'd finally be accepted, where people would first see a human boy, not a demon from dark prophecy. 
    I was wrong.
    As fickle fate would have it, I stumbled upon Hale Nui, my hometown, although I didn't know it at the time. 
    My reputation had grown considerably since the freak fire incident. 
    I slowed my pace as I came to the river. Across, an army had gathered. I stood on the banks as they marched in file, the general at the lead, his granddaughter, an admiral, right by his side. There were soldiers and peasants and the ambassador of Tangata, known for his powerful magicking. 
    They thought they could defeat me.
    They looked at me, a lanky, adolescent boy with a black marking and strange crimson eyes and decided I deserved to die. Not because of what I did. But because of what I could do. And that was enough for them. 
    They sounded their horns. They chanted their war cries. They nocked their arrows. 
    Only then did it finally occur to me that I would never have that normal life I had dreamed of for so long. 
    This was it. 
    Because like the dark prophecy said, I was the villain. 
    I could never be one of them.
    And I laughed at my naïveté, my foolishness for ever conjuring such wishes. To think that I was convinced there was a happy ending for me. 
    I had vowed that I wouldn't fall into the evil lurking within me, that I would be different.
    But I guess villains were made to break promises.  
    My heart hardened against the people; if anything, they were the incarnations of darkness. 
    As they charged and as their arrows flew, I scattered my magicked paper onto the rushing river, screamed "BURN!" (which they did) and commanded "SURGE!"
    And the river did. 
    I had learned to fight like a golden hero themself. 
    And like a golden hero, I vanquished the enemy. 
    I disappeared after that. The scholars in their fib-filled history books said I was swept away in the flood as well, that I had fallen dormant, that there was no reason to fear, because even if I showed up again, the golden hero would defeat me.
    The villain Rewera. 
    But I'm very much alive. 
    And I'm very much ready to have my revenge. 
    So now I stand here in the moonlit, candlelit streets of my hometown, years later. The place where my cursed life began.
    The nation is now at war with Tangata. The army is in tatters after losing its best general.  The workers are upset. The taxes are rising. The officials are corrupt. 
    Memoriam Kandara. 
    Remember the good guys.
    Curse the bad guys. 
    No one cares for the wicked.
    I will show them what they've created. They treated me like a villain, so fine. I'll be one. Are you happy now? Are you happy that I've accepted who I am?
    This war, this corruption, this poverty, this isn't my fault. 
    This is all their fault.
    I take out some magicked paper. "Burn," I whisper. And it does. 
    I never wanted to change the world. 
    "Extinguish," I command. 
    But I guess everything changed when I showed up.
    Simultaneously, all the candles on the doorsteps go out. 

Word Count: 2011
ummm...I don't know where this came from. I looked at the prompt and suddenly...this happened. :D
I do love a good fall arc, antihero, and tragic backstory. 
And maybe I was thinking of Ganondorf (from Legend of Zelda) and Wicked, the musical...maybe?
Anyhoo. This was for amazing grace's contest.

The magic system mentioned here is the same one used in this other piece of mine, so if you want to see more burning paper, check it out: 
Burning Paper into Ashes


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  • CrazyNinjaKid

    Ur username is super cool lol (not bias at all hahah)

    Btw this piece is awesome!

    6 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    nice subversion.

    6 months ago