‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

Nightmares (they haunt me)

1043 words

3 MONTHS EARLIER


The room was dark. So dark that even the lit torches couldn’t penetrate it. Zelda’s breath fogged in front of her in the stale air. As her eyes adjusted, she realized she was in the dungeons of Hyrule Castle. Zelda walked along slowly, trailing a hand along the wall to guide her. Her bare feet padded silently against the stone floors as she made her way up the staircase.

The darkness pressed in as she neared the throne room. Her movements became slower, as if she was moving through water. The air was heavy and thick, making it harder to breathe. A nearby window revealed black clouds spilling over Hyrule, casting the kingdom in an enveloping grey haze. Deep, rolling thunder rumbled across the castle grounds, though there was no rain to accompany it. Two shadowed figures approached the castle. A tall man with a blood red cape billowing in his wake, accompanied by a woman armed with swords and long red hair.

Zelda turned from the window and finally pushed open the throne room door. The room was so dark she couldn’t see her own hand in front of her face. There was no light emanating from the torches, though they were lit. She felt her way along the wall deeper into the room, towards the door. There was another rumble of thunder followed by several loud, sharp cracks. The stone beneath Zelda’s hand splintered into fragments. A silver-white light - lightning - flashed between the cracks for a split second. Zelda stumbled backwards as another rumble shook the castle, and suddenly the rock fragments blew into the throne room with a clatter.

She shielded her face as the shrapnel scattered around her. When she looked up, the two dark figures loomed in the doorway lit up by the unearthly glow of the Triforce of Power. Zelda had no doubt who they were as their golden eyes gleamed while the castle crumbled around her.


Zelda woke in a cold sweat, shaking as her terror faded. Her door opened and she startled, then relaxed when she saw Link stride into the room.

“Zelda?” he asked, sitting on the edge of her bed. “Are you okay?” he took one of her hands and gave it a gentle squeeze. “You were calling to me again.” The ringing of their resonating Triforce pieces faded into the background, leaving the room in silence.

“I’m sorry, Link,” she said. “I just… had a bad dream. Hyrule was in danger.” She shuddered. “It was so dark… and cold.” He locked eyes with her and searched her gaze.

“Ganondorf?” he asked, after a moment. Zelda squeezed her eyes shut and nodded.

“Yes,” she said. “With… with Rabia.” Link frowned and pulled Zelda into a hug.

“Don’t worry… I won’t let them hurt you,” Link promised.

“I know,” Zelda whispered. They stayed like that until Zelda’s shivering subsided. Link went to leave, but Zelda caught his hand. “Please stay.”

“Of course, Princess,” Link took off his boots and got into bed, wrapping Zelda up in his arms.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


The next morning at breakfast, a servant brought Zelda a letter. She accepted it gratefully, and flipped over the heavy parchment. Her heart dropped when she recognized the symbol pressed into the wax seal. The conversation around her stopped as they took in her expression.

“Zelda, what is it?” Kaikoura asked, peeking over her sister-in-law’s shoulder.

“It’s… it’s from Rabia,” Zelda said.

“Oh? Then what’s that look for?” Kaikoura asked. Link’s expression darkened. Sheik considered them both thoughtfully.

“You had another nightmare,” he concluded. Zelda nodded. “And… Rabia was in it?” She nodded again. A look of concern crossed over Kaikoura’s face.

“What do you mean? Is she okay? Open the letter!” Kaikoura demanded, reaching for the parchment. Zelda shook her head.

“Rabia’s… Rabia’s fine,” Zelda said.

“How can you know that? You said she was in your nightmare!” Kaikoura reached for the letter again. Zelda shook her head.

“No, she wasn’t in the nightmare… she was the nightmare!” Kaikoura sat back, confused. “In my dream… everything was dark, shrouded in mist. Ganondorf and Rabia broke into the castle and used the Triforce of Power to take over Hyrule.” She took a deep breath. “Now… can I read this letter?” Kaikoura sat back in silence. Zelda opened the letter and began to read aloud.

“Dear Zelda,

I’m glad to hear that you’re all well. Our honeymoon was amazing! Lake Hylia is wonderful this time of year. The waterfalls were beautiful, and we could see the Minish Woods from where we were. I miss you all - it’s been a little lonely since we got back - Ganondorf is wrapped up in his work. He seems excited about it, though, so I don’t want to interrupt him too much.

Actually, we were wondering if you’d be able to meet with us about a trade agreement next week? It’d be nice to see more open trade and cooperation between our people. It’d be wonderful to see you all again, too! If that’s not incentive enough, we have some pretty cool stuff to trade. ;)

Let me know what you think! I’d love a chance to get out of the house. It’s too hot to wander around the desert most days, and being inside is driving me crazy. Hope to see you all soon!

With love,
Rabia”

There was a silence. Zelda sighed and looked at her friends.

“What do I tell her?” Zelda asked, chewing her lip. “How can I let them back into Hyrule, after that dream? I owe them for saving us, and she’s one of my dearest friends… I can’t just tell her no.”

“Sure you can,” Link said encouragingly. Kaikoura glared at him. “Whaaaat?” he grumbled. Sheik hummed thoughtfully.

“I think you should meet with them,” he said after a moment. “If the request was just from Rabia, she’d probably ignore your denial and show up anyway,” he said. “But as it’s from her and Ganondorf, ignoring the request could be… disastrous. I don’t think we should risk outright offending him, especially after that dream. Like you said, you owe them.” Kaikoura nodded in agreement.

“Yeah… besides, maybe your dream was just a dream,” she said.

“...I hope you’re right,” Zelda replied.
♠ ♠ ♠
OCs: Rabia (main character/Ganondorf's wife/Zelda & Kaikoura's BFF); Kaikoura (Rabia's BFF/Sheik's wife/Zelda's sister-in-law)