Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


The basics of Frell are as simple and mindless as the basics of any other small, mostly human inhabited, town. Occasionally wonderers travel through, but in all reality, town doesn’t change much from day to day, or even from year to year. Everyone knows everyone else, gossip is rampant among the town, and everyone has a schedule that changes very little over their life.

Gerard’s life is fairly similar to the rest of the town’s, but it’s gossiped over more than many others. Obviously, the talk of the town is usually whose kids are romantically involved with who else’s kids, but when gossip finds a lull, it always finds a way to come back to the strange boy who no one knows much about.

Presently however, the town is buzzing with word of the new residents. A mother and her two girls, living in that house.

It’s not even noon yet and as Gerard walks through the edge of town he can already feel the eyes being drawn towards him. What’s more is when he looks up at the windows of the houses, he sees curtains being hurriedly drawn so that people aren’t caught in the act of staring.

Gerard doesn’t enjoy it necessarily, he’s just extremely amused. He would feel worse about it if he wasn’t used to being the center of attention like this already. He’s just grown used to, and quite fond of being different than anyone else. He wishes it were under different circumstances that he were different, but sometimes it’s a blessing not to be the same model of the same person that everyone else is.

Gerard’s destination is to the candle shop, but not to the actual candle shop, because he couldn’t care less about candles, but to the person who lives above the candle shop and whose house always smells of melted wax. For this reason, he is very rarely ever opposed to getting the hell away from his house. Not that it smells bad, but there’s only so much candle wax that someone can stand on a daily basis and it’s just too much.

Patrick meets Gerard outside of the store before Gerard even makes it all the way to the door. He’s only halfway down the street. Patrick was waiting for him most likely, eager to get the hell away from Mrs. Dupree asking him for the umpteenth time how his mother is and if his family is doing well. You’d think for a woman whose workplace is directly beneath Patrick’s entire family, she’d have gotten the message that everyone is alright for the time being, and no, he does not want to smell your newest candle, thank you very much.

“I heard you have new company,” Patrick says.

“Well yeah, you would’ve. I told you they were coming like three weeks ago.”

“How are they?”

“Awful,” Gerard replies. “Picture snottier versions of the girls in class.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Worse,” Gerard groans. “I’m escaping them.”

“I feel special that you hate them more than you like me,” Patrick replies.

“You know I wouldn’t function without you.”

“I do,” Patrick nods. “So have you heard about the Prince?”

“I have heard about him, yes, I mean, he’s kind of important. He’s kind of our future king, that’s how those things work, typically. So...”

“No that’s not what I meant,” Patrick shakes his head, stopping slightly as they walk down the road. He’s not positive in which direction they’re going, he’s just following where Gerard’s taking them, and Gerard doesn’t have an ultimate destination in mind either. Away is his only goal.

“Well please enlighten me,” Gerard says.

“He’s coming here,” Patrick says, “in a few weeks. Some political forum or whatever.”

“Why?” Gerard asks, “he’s already got the job, why does he need to campaign for it? I mean, that’s how this works. He takes the throne because his family owns the throne. I take the fine china that my father doesn’t steal and sell for half it’s worth.”

“Early coronation I think,” Patrick replies, “since Edgar is only the steward of the throne, the Prince has more a right to it than him, so he may be able to take early possession of it.”

“Okay, see I wasn’t paying that much attention in class. Did you eat the schoolbook?” Gerard says. “But I still don’t like that family. Or at least, I don’t hold much hope for them.”

“It’s Edgar that’s the problem, I don’t know enough of the Prince to form an opinion of him yet, I just know that every girl in this town swoons over him, which isn’t really my place to comment on,” Patrick says. “What do you think though? Should we go? It might be interesting.”

“It might be awful,” Gerard counteracts.

“We don’t know anything of him though, it’s unfair to judge him from what little we know of his uncle,” Patrick says, “but you don’t see me defending that man. He’s a villain, a menace to the kingdom, but his brother, King Jerrold, he was a good man. I think it would be unwise to discredit that, and after all, the Prince is not Edgar’s son.”

“You are too hopeful, too kind, and too eager to believe the good in people.”

Patrick shakes his head, smiling at Gerard’s words, “Maybe you have it backwards. Maybe you are too quick to judge.”

“It’s possible,” Gerard nods, “I believe in good, but I don’t believe in miracles. Frank, whatever kind of a man he is, he is still, and he will always be, the nephew of the man who ruined this kingdom.”

“Don’t make your mind up about him before you know what he’s made of. You’re made if the same stuff as your father, but you are unlike me, why can’t the Prince be the same?” Patrick says, “But in any case, we’re going to that gathering, I’ve decided it.”

“Patrick, I’d rather not.”

“You’re going,” Patrick says, “End of story.”

Gerard purses his lips, but there’s no arguing to be done. “I’m not happy about it.”

“You just have to keep an open mind,” Patrick tells him.

“It’s not as easy as you make it out to be.”

“Well, the end of the matter is this, I don’t know whether Frank will make a good King. I don’t know whether he is a good person, or if he shares the prejudice beliefs of his uncle, but I do know that I haven’t been given all of the information. Without the information that I require, I cannot begin to decide whether I should pack my bags now and run away, or if I wait and hope for the improvement of my home.”

“You wouldn’t leave without me,” Gerard says.

“No,” Patrick shakes his head, “I’d invite you along to run across the border. And we could bring Ray. He’s not much of a fairy, but he’s a good man all the same. I only hope the same would be true of you, were it you doing the running.”

“Patrick, you’re the only friend I’ve ever had in my entire life. You think if I were to go on a life altering adventure, I would leave you behind?”

Gerard notices that the direction they’re going is taking them too close to the woods, and he steers them away. Gerard has dreams of going far away from here, but he still fears the grounds outside his home. He doesn’t know half of what’s out there, nor does he want to trifle with what may meet him. Gerard has left his hometown only once in his lifetime, and that was a long time ago.

Ironic that Gerard longs to be anywhere but here, but he’s too afraid to leave. Ironic again that he despises the rulers of the kingdom and yet he longs to see the castle in which they live. There is a certain romanticism in the idea of a castle, and he knows that. It’s not hard to imagine that power going to one’s head, but he still looks down on those who have it. Gerard has double standards for a lot of things, and he knows that. He does his best to be the best he can be, but he’s still human.

Gerard reads too much. That’s one of his biggest problems. He reads too much about the purity and the infallibility of the past, and he looks at his own surroundings and sees the opposite of what he’s been told is truth. The Kings of the past, even the ones with flaws as big as the eye can see, seem better, not because they are, but because the nature of what Gerard expects is not achievable by the standards to which he holds everything.

“Go on then,” Patrick says, “I know you’re dying to tell me all about your new step sisters.”

“I’m that transparent?” Gerard laughs.

“I just know you really well,” Patrick says, “and also you’re transparent.”

“Well for starters, they’re pieces of shit,” Gerard says.

“Don’t hold back.”

“Okay. Their mom looks like a gigantic bug. Her eyes are huge. And her mouth, oh my god, I’m expecting her to grow antennae any second and start flying around stinging people. And the girls, they are so dim. They used to live outside the castle, and knew which window was the Prince’s! How creepy is that? Like, I don’t even know which window is yours, and I have been in your room a million times. Oh my god, they are just completely creepy, and rude, and they decided they were going to take my room without asking me.”

“What, you mean they took your room?” Patrick asks, “You just let them?”

“What was I going to do, punch them? I had no choice, so I just ran away before they could tell me to do worse.”

“You don’t have to listen,” Patrick says, “why did you just let them take it? You could’ve said no.”

“I couldn’t,” Gerard replies.

“Yes you could have,” Patrick says.

“No, I really couldn’t.”


“Patrick, you don’t understand,” Gerard says, stunting whatever Patrick had intended to say.

Patrick doesn’t respond. Gerard fears he was too harsh. He really does wish he had the option to tell Patrick. He doesn’t know if he would if he had the ability, but he would like the choice. It’s a terrible thing not to be allowed to make your own decisions. The few times he does get to make a choice of his own, it’s always overruled by the orders of someone else. Most of the time it’s accidental. No one ever means to tell him what it is he’s supposed to do, but it happens so regularly that no one even notices.

Gerard is the only person who notices how many orders there are in the world. He’s the only person who never misses a single one. He always hears, and he never in his life has let it brush off of him. Every weight starts to get a little heavier than it was before whenever he’s told what to do.

“You think I’m too polite,” Patrick says, “I know you do, everyone does. But there’s a difference between being polite and standing up for yourself, Gerard.”

“I know there is, I see it, but I don’t have as much will to do as I wish as other people,” Gerard responds, and he knows that’s probably the most words on the subject that his body will allow him to say without stopping him.

“You know,” Patrick says, “I don’t pay much heed to the town gossip, but people aren’t wrong when they say there’s something off about you.”

“Come on, Patrick, you’ve known me long enough to know that that’s true without needing to listen to the rumor mill.”

“Yeah,” Patrick shrugs, “but I have a certain image to uphold.”

“Since when do you care about image?”

“Since I became the second biggest weirdo in town.”

“Sorry about that,” Gerard sighs, knowing it’s because Patrick associates with him that caused him to be branded a weirdo.

“No, please. It’s not like either of us are undeserving,” Patrick says, and really, Gerard can’t disagree.
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This story will pick up, I promise, I've just got to set up the story first, so I am sorry it's not exciting quite yet.