après la chute
an a:tla fanfic
There was a boy in a cradle. His fragile, newborn limbs peeked out from under a red blanket trimmed with shimmering gold. This symbol of royalty, swaddled in his nation’s favor and warmed by noble blood, looked up with wide eyes of pure gold and blinked at the smiling woman above him. Outside, trumpeters announced his arrival with triumphant fanfares. But inside, hiding their words behind curtains in hushed tones, the wise keepers of the nation’s traditions whispered. The boy was not old enough to understand, but one day he would learn that his eyes, though they shimmered and sparkled and shined up at his mother, did not spark.
There was a man standing over him. He scowled, turned his back, and said, “This is no son of mine.”
There is a boy on a ship. He stands straight with squared shoulders and head held high, but his face tells a different story in black and blue and permanent, glaring red. His eyes, once the color of soft gold, now shine as hardened amber with only one goal in sight. His clothes, once the vibrant color of his nation, have been reduced to tatters and ashes and traded for snow-white camouflage. Royal blood courses through his veins, hot with adrenaline, fighting the cold as he breathes in, out, in the dry northern air. He cloaks himself with pride to hide what lies beneath.
There is a man behind him, and when he speaks the boy starts. The cloak slips; his shoulders slump. The man swallows. “But ever since I lost my son…” The words warm the air and the boy breathes them in, allowing himself for just a moment to appreciate their meaning and the arms that have enveloped him. In the next few months he will think often of this moment, of these words, but not often enough.