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Fauna's Touch | Chapter 4: Conroy's Scheme

September 23, 2020

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3
    Earl Conroy scowled. He remembered the dreadful moment exactly. Laura had been raceing down the steps- in an unladylike manner- when he had stopped her. Laura had said that she had to find her sister, but Conroy had told her this was more important. Then he knelt on the ground and pulled out the box. He opened it, and the ring glistened. He was about to say those prized words when Laura had interrupted him.
    "Oh, Earl Conroy," She had said, her voice dripping with apolegitcies. "I'm so sorry, but I, well, already have a fiance." 
    "What!?!" Conroy had snapped the box closed. 
    A neigh by the stables had come galloping towards their ears. Conroy had rolled his eyes at the interruption. But Laura had looked hurriedly at the horse and then Conroy. Then she winced.
    "I'm sorry, Conr- I mean Earl Conroy," She said, picking up her bags. "But I really have to go!" 
    And she had dashed off, leaving the earl behind. The whole week she had been wondering who she had married, who would've been better than him. He was handsome, strong, literate, and wealthy. Sure, he wasn't as energetic as Laura, but as an earl, he had to walk with dignity. 
    Laura came out of the castle and met up with a boy. Conroy couldn't recognize the boy from here, but he could tell the boy was a commoner. And Laura was talking to him more freely than she could speak with Conroy. Disgusting. Conroy walked towards them. 
    "I can't believe its to-day!" Laura exclaimed.
    Conroy froze. There was only one thing happening today: the princess's wedding. The announcer hadn't said who she was getting married to. He had said it would be a surprise. Conroy had supposed it would be a man with a higher rank than Conroy, not this commoner
    Conroy squinted. There was something familiar about how much his knees wobbled. Suddenly, he remembered this boy. Before the king and queen had died, the boy would come and sneak out of the tower with Laura, and they would race towards the pond and talk. This had started when they were five. Conroy had eavesdropped on them many times, but they had been only friends then. He had stopped listening after a while. In retrospect, he shouldn't have. But he couldn't change the past. He would have to change the future. 
    "This is your fiance?" Conroy asked, hoping that he had jumped to conclusions. 
    "Oh, yes," Laura gushed. "Conroy, this is Stephen. Stephen, this is Conroy." 
    Stephen stuck out his hand in a friendly manner, a nervous smile on his face. Conroy shook it, and then wiped his hand on his leg. The boy's hand was as sweaty as a polar bear in the desert. Conroy frowned and then turned to Laura. 
    "You choose him over me?" Conroy asked. He gave a heartless laugh. "You are kidding, right?" 
    "No, I am not," Laura said. 
    "What does he have that I don't?" 
    "Compassion," Laura shot back. 
    "Compassion!" Conroy laughed. "That's nothing!" 
    "Exactly," Laura muttered. 
    "His knees wobble as if they are having an earthquake of their own!" 
    "No, they don't," Laura said. "Besides, he loves me, not my title." 
    Conroy knew this, unlike most people. He knew that whenever the king used to talk to Stephen, he would let out a squeak of fear, and then Laura would talk for him. A mouse seemed courageous compared to Stephen. If he can't bring himself to talk to Laura's father, why would he want to lead a kingdom?
      Since Conroy couldn't say anything more on the matter, he swung at Stephen. Stephen's eyes were watching the whole time, and he stepped to the side the second Conroy started. When Conroy saw this, he scrunched his nose. 
    "Conroy!" She said, now seeming the 18-year old she was instead of a child. "Why did you do that?" 
    Conroy ignored her. He swung again at Stephen. This time, however, Stephen was watching Laura with a glazed look in his eyes. It made him look like a head-before-heals fool. And he was a fool! His fist was just about to slam into Stephen when Laura pushed Conroy. 
    Conroy gasped and then narrowed his eyes at Laura, bitterly saying, "Be careful, princess, better not hurt your precious ring for your precious wedding to this weak boy."
     Laura stomped on Conroy's foot. It hurt, but he couldn't tell her that. So he clenched his teeth together while smiling. 
    "He's not weak," Laura insisted. 
    "Really?" Conroy smirked. "A real man would stand up and fight, while a boy would watch with big eyes. And may I ask, which one did Stephen do?" 
    "If being a boy means being peaceful and not fighting," Stephen mumbled, looking at his feet which were kicking dust. "I'm okay with being a boy." 
    "That's absolutely right," Laura said. 
    Conroy almost cursed. Almost. But as someone as literate as him, swearing was considered below him. So instead he muttered under his breath about being absolutely wrong. Then he spun on his heels and walked off, insides burning to the whole time. 
    The rest of the morning he spent on his bed, miserable. He entertained himself by watching his servants usher around, preparing him for the wedding. Part of him wanted to lash out at his servants for giving him marvelous clothes for something so terrible. But he knew that he had to keep his dignity in tack, so he just watched them with lowered eyebrows. 
    He grudgingly went to lunch. Luckily, Stephen wasn't sitting there because he techniaclly wasn't royal. Yet. But Conroy felt that Stephen was there because that was what everyone was talking about. So he asked a servant for wax and then shoved it down his eardrums. The rest of lunch was quiet peaceful, except when he would look up and see people mouthing "Stephen", "true love", or "marriage". When he saw this, he felt bile go up his throat. 
    After lunch, his servants dressed him for the wedding. They put on too-fancy clothes for too dry of an event. They plastered make-up all over his face and combed his hair. When they were done, Conroy ripped his collar down the middle; an act of rebellion. His servants looked at him with their big eyes, but they were too wise to stop him. 
    In a blur, Conroy was sitting down at the wedding. A man was reading the vows. Conroy didn't remember sitting down nor watching at all. All he remembered was resentment towards Stephen. 
    "Are there any objections to this unison of this happy couple?" The man looked around, then was satisfied. "Now, since there are no objections, we may-"
    "I object!" A voice called out. 
    With a start, Conroy realized that voice was his own. He felt himself rise up. But what was he thinking? Why was he objecting? And most importantly: what could he even do?
    "And why, exactly," The man in front was saying, frowning. "Do you object?" 
    "Do you think it is exactly wise for a commoner to marry a princess?" Conroy was walking towards the front, now. "Giving a commoner the reigns of the kingdom?" 
    "The princess will rule," Someone behind Conroy argued. 
    "Yes, but wouldn't it be more wise for her to marry someone with experience with ruling?" Conroy asked, tone rising. "Such as a nobleman?" 
    "How convenient that a nobleman includes yourself," Laura muttered. 
    "Earl Conroy," The man in front said with a sniff of disdain. "You have no real place to object. Now if you are going to continue uttering nonsense, please step outside." 
    Conroy stood there, his angry breathing the loudest thing in the room. He looked at Laura, who was glaring at him and shaking her head. He looked at Stephen, whose eyes were as big as an elephant. He looked at the crowd, who were all frowning at him. 
    "Well, I curse your husband and your family, Laura," Conroy said cooly. "Have fun with that." 
    Conroy spun on his heels and stalked off. No one spoke a word. Conroy yanked the doors open and slammed them behind him. He stomped all the way to the pond and stoped on the bridge. He looked out at his reflection. 
    His black hair was now all over the place. His rip at the collar of his shirt has split even more. His face was red and his eyes look glassy as if he was about to cry. 
    He took off his jacket and throwed it in the water, throwing his care of dignity to the wind. He lets his tears flow free.
    But then, he wiped his face.  Wasn't he just mocking Stephen for not being a man? Men don't cry. They plan... then attack. And that's what Conroy was going to do. 
    Conroy ran to his house and packed all his necessities hurriedly. In a moment, he sneaks to the castle's stable. Everyone was still at the wedding, so he was able to steal one of the horses and gallop away. 
    Conroy was going to plan everything perfectly. He knew that it would take years to plan. But he didn't care. He didn't care. If he held onto his anger, his revenge would be even sweeter than ambrosia. 
    Conroy cackled.
    This is a chapter in my new series. This is my first time writing a series on Write the World, so please comment or review! Thank you!

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  • September 23, 2020 - 9:02pm (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • Emi

    Wow, Conroy is...a jerk. Totally. Great work developing him as an antagonist! And Phoebe and Stephen's story is just so sweet.


    6 months ago
  • anemoia (#words)

    Ooooh. What happened to Phoebe?


    7 months ago