The Rage Within Her Gaze

Author: Ibteahal Jneidi

Artist: Brandi Gomez

My name is Hyacinth, Daughter of the person that was behind the destruction that was about to befall this universe. A universe different from the one you reside in now. It is the tale of a king, a healer, a bunch of anxiety driven, and traumatized heroes and their leader, the most mentally disturbing human I have ever met. It started when I had a vision about the darkness that was about to befall this world. I was the advisor assigned to assist the generals to win a battle against the enemy of the Valor Kingdom– a hypocritical name for a kingdom if you ask me. As I remember, the enemy kept stealing the resources of their kingdom. When they were caught in the act, they decided to wage a battle to keep their stolen goods. Pathetic. As soon as I had the vision however, in a cold sweat, I hurriedly packed my things, gave my instructions to the generals, then rushed to inform the king of the new revelation. I had an encounter before I arrived at the palace, which put me in a bad mood, but not as much as what I saw when I arrived.

This is how it was to live in the high social rankings in society. It was okay for them to judge everyone else, but everyone else was forbidden from doing the same.  In that sense, the survival of the fittest law was everywhere. I remember I hated how overwhelming it was to be one of them. If you did not do what the masses did, then you could not be a part of the crowd. If you did do what the masses did, then you could join the growing hierarchy and socialites in the country, talk to kings and queens, wizards, witches, magicians, and all the known figures that live high and mighty and own what you want, so long as you do good for the less fortunate.

Lies!

They were all living a lie and only feeding their greedy needs. These parties the queen keeps throwing are all a distraction so she can carry on with her evening agenda. Ha! The king sits on his throne, unable to do anything because if he does decide to speak, then what would the masses say. That palace has tongues that are looser than a cannon. Politically, if the court knew the truth, then the king would lose the throne. Even though he is not the one at fault.

“Take it easy.” 

I looked over my shoulder. The small fragmented ghost of Grace O’Mally, the most notorious Irish female pirate, told me to calm down. I noticed I was making a fist in one hand and clenching the sword tightly in the other. 

“This peeves every cell and living fiber within me.” 

“You are usually so calm and collected. What’s different this time?” She said as she approached me.

“Grace, after our near-death experiences, and the ogre incident in the town nearby, I tire of the current standards and social structure. What is different now, though, is the silent storm that is brewing under everyone’s feet. We were fortunate to learn of this, but all of them and many other villages and towns are not.” I looked down at the sword in my hand. It still had blood stains on it, and blood was trickling down onto the blade. Grace drifted back a couple of feet.

I looked back up at her. “What?”

“Your eyes are red and emitting that energy again.”

I smiled coldly and looked back down at the sword. Grace is the only person able to handle the energy I emit, but even she has her limits. I closed my eyes and reabsorbed the energy while taking a deep breath. When I let it out, Grace came back by my side. She placed what seemed like a hand over my shoulder. Her silhouette seemed fainter than this morning. She took a deep breath. Grace was erased from history because of the domineering ways of men back then. She is one of the first female pirates of her time during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, in the 1600’s.

In this universe, those who are erased from history, die unnatural deaths, or disappear are turned to ghosts. Their spirits are cursed to linger instead of moving on, unless they are given the acknowledgement they deserve. My anger resurfaced again, but I managed to regulate my energy.

I looked down at the people entering the castle. My expression hardened. I lifted my gaze upward towards the top of the castle and noticed something. Shadows! 

“Your eyes are red again,” said Grace.

“Captain O’Mally, what do you say about calling forth your crew?”

She looked at me suspiciously. “What for?” I lifted my head and pointed in the direction of the shadows. Grace followed my gaze and saw them. There were at least 10 dozen of them. 

“Bloody Hell! Looks like the silent assassin has sent them in to do his dirty work.” As Grace spoke, you could see the gears in her mind begin to form tactics and strategize every possible way to defeat them. Metaphorically speaking.

“I wonder if they are multiplying?” said a voice. Grace leaned forward and saw Mary Lady Heath, a well-known Irish aviator from the 1920’s and 30’s.

I observed their behaviors. One seemed to loom over them like a ship would loom over its sailors. It was their leader. One of them was barking orders at the rest and was slightly smaller than the leader. The rest were about the size of a small boat but looked just as deadly. 

“They seem to have militant behaviors. I am mainly familiar with Ireland and England’s military ways; however, these seem different,” Grace stated. Suddenly, something shifted beside me. As I looked on the left, the ghost of Empress Hoifa-Nara, the step empress of the Qianlong Empire.

“There is a reason why they are here. They smell your blood,” Empress Hoifa-Nara stated as she looked down at my hand. Blood was still trickling down. The pain was getting worse. “I suggest you clean your wounds before entering the palace, my dear Hyacinth.” Everyone looked extremely worried. The claw of the ogre that attacked me thankfully did not get in too deep. However, it was filthy, and I might have had some bacteria that entered my wound. Explains why I was struggling to stand.

“Thankfully, they have not smelt my blood, but if they are going inside the palace, then…” I did not need to finish my sentence. They all understood. I knew Captain O’Mally and her crew could handle them, but considering how the shadows were flying…

“Earhart!” The ghost of Amelia Earhart materialized at command. “Hyacinth dear, it’s been too long,” she said. I smiled back at her. “I need you and Lady Heath to assist Captain O’Mally and her crew with air support. These shadows are not to enter the palace. Understood?” They all nodded. 

“Good. You’re dismissed.” Within seconds, they all evaporated. Slowly, flashes of white shadows moving around with dark shadows appeared and the fight began. I know what you are thinking. They are ghosts. Why would they need air support? Well, just because they are ghosts, does not mean they do not have their human attributes. 

“Empress?”

“Yes?”

“Do you know someone that can help me tend to these wounds?”

“Rongpei?” Her head maid materialized.

“Yes empress.”

“Go find information about the owner of Lake Ruyi.”

“Right away.” She vanished.

My shoulder wound started to burn. I put my sword in between the crack in the crack in the ground and used it to lean on. I fell to my knee. Empress Hoifa rushed to my assistance. I was heavily breathing, and I could not contain the pain any longer. 

“Hyacinth dear, you need to address the wound right away, the bacteria are infecting it. Are you sure you still want to attend? Is it worth it?” 

“I promise I will go heal myself at Lake Ruyi, but after I talk to him about what I saw.”

The empress nodded. “How are you going to attend like this party though?”

I looked up. My eyes turned red again. I am growing older and weaker, but… “If the king does not come to his senses, then he is going to let that so-called queen of his bring the country into ruins, Hoifa. The money spent on this party could have been used to build shelters and provide food for the refugees.” I coughed. “There is no time to rest. There is a war brewing, and no one is doing anything about it. They are like a bunch of sitting ducks, just eating and…” I paused. She was a ghost, but it’s as if she raised an eyebrow at me.

I cleared my throat. “Well, you know what I mean.” I managed to sit myself down. Hoira called one of her maids forth to give me my water satchel. I did not notice how thirsty and dehydrated I was until water trickled down my lips. I drank the entire bottle. I put it on the ground and felt like my negative thoughts were beginning to consume me. The fate of the world rests on my shoulders and there is no one that can help.

“It feels lonely up at the top sometimes, doesn’t it Hoira?” She put a hand over my shoulder. She took a deep breath and let it out. I looked up at her exhausted. I leaned against the cold stones behind me and followed her example.

“I need to find her. My age is catching up with me, Hoira.”

“Your age or your illness?”

I closed my eyes and squeezed my hands together. My heart was beating so fast. I could not calm down for some reason.

Suddenly a voice popped into my head and said, “Breath!” 

My eyes flung open. I looked at Hoira. “Did you hear that?”

She looked around and saw nothing. “Hear what?”

“It was that woman’s voice again. She said, ‘breath.’”

Hoira held my hand to comfort me.

“Why did she tell you that? Were you about to have a panic attack?” asked Hoira.

“Maybe.” I took a deep breath.

Suddenly, the pain disappeared, and the wound healed. “Every time I hear her voice, my wounds just disappear.”

“That’s odd.” This always happens. Her voice pops into my head— she would tell me what to do whenever I am flustered then leave. This has been happening for the past three months now.

I stood up cautiously. I can move comfortably now, and there is no pain. I wonder how… I wonder. “The pressure in my chest is gone now. We need to find her Hoira.”

“We will my dear, for now; however, you need to go to a party,” she said with a wink. “He must know what is going on.”

I took a deep breath, then looked back down at the last of the people entering the castle. An idea started to formulate in my head.

“Empress?” my eyes turned ice blue this time, “let us crash the party.”