Layout By Kamille Castillo
Layout By Kamille Castillo.

At Arms

In the land of Dehdis, there is a love that sees no concession.

By Cheyenne | Thursday, 16 November 2023



AMMETT (21) is blind. Where wolfish eyes once were, orbs of bright violet swirl and look straight into the eyes of GILLIS (21). In their faces—a look of pain and tenderness all at once.




Five years ago.


Soldiers of House Tarner are huddled around something on the street. The quiet night is disrupted by the soldiers' words of beratement and somebody's howls of agony and fury.



     Foul-bred dog.


They spit on AMMETT as they walk away from the street. As soon as they disappear from the moonlit pavement, GILLIS, who had been hiding from a dark alley's corner, scrambles to AMMETT, trying not to wail. She kneels before his writhing body.


She trembles, lips sputtering and uncertain hands aching to cradle him.


AMMETT comes from a long bloodline of half-wolves. He is human in appearance, and so were his parents, but their eyes (and now the way he thrashes) always give it away. He bleeds profusely from the face, his hands clasped over it. He screams and screams.



     Ammett, it's me! Shh, now, it's me!


AMMETT flinches, attempting to soften his cries. He heaves and faces Gillis, but his hands remain pressed over his eyes.



     Gillis, where—my eyes. My eyes, 

     they're gone. I cannot see you. I 

     cannot see you, my Gillis.



     No, no, no, what did they do?... Oh, 

     God, why?


GILLIS erupts in broken cries. She struggles to lift him but manages to embrace his shoulders and curl around him. Bawling, she looks at his bloody face and hands and holds him tighter.






GILLIS, in front of a mirror, holds a small vial containing a shimmering purple liquid and pours a drop of it onto her scalp. Her back straightens. She closes her eyes and hums.


She fixes her hair and flattens her kirtle before heading downstairs.





GIDDEN (53), GILLIS' father, is behind the bar in his knight's armor. Men of Tarner's Guard fill the tavern. GILLIS quickly joins her father.





He has a gentle demeanor despite his rugged, unwavering stature. He bows low, his head meeting GILLIS' left shoulder. She does not have to bow a great deal. His height is so that her head meets his left shoulder with a slight nod. They remain in this gesture of respect and love for a few seconds before standing upright again and looking each other in the eye.



     Please. Join your men. I will take 

     care of things here.


     Mm. My wonderful Gillis. Fetch us 

     mead, kindly.




She is quick on her feet. The knights sit at the roundtable. An exchange of sentiments and laughter. GILLIS listens in but does not understand the heavy contexts of their occupation, save for an iteration of an "uprising." At the mention of "sorcery," GILLIS gulps. After she sets down a tankard on the table, she rubs her scalp.




AMMETT leads GILLIS deeper into the forest. He navigates with sight granted by consumption of magical philters.



     Why are we so deep in? I want to see 

     the sunset.



     Because the Guard has ears 



     Why must we hide from them?



     Because they take people's eyes, 





     Not since my father was dubbed.




     You are like a garden flower, 

     Gillis. So pretty and nescient. Your 

     Father has not changed a thing. You 

     are now just the daughter of a 

     nobleman, and my eyes still remain 

     lost to me.



     Grievance will not bring them back.



     Insolent girl. I have philters for 

     my sight, and it is not grievance 

     that moves me. It is the cause.



     You speak like the people of the 



AMMETT does not respond.



     And my father was a servant before 

     he was a knight, and an orphan 

     before anything else. He was 

     excellent, and so he took his oath.



     He is a criminal of war.



     He is a protector. I no longer want 

     to hear you speak of him. You fail 

     to see I would be nothing without 





     Don't lose your head now. They might

     hear you and cut your tongue out.

     I have not the spells for that.


GILLIS tries not to smile. She gives in.



     Have you anything new? I tried 

     wearing the tonic.



     I know. I recognized the scent.



     Well? Do you like it?



     I have no new tonics. But I can show 

     you new spells.


They settle under an oak tree, AMMETT taking GILLIS' hand in his. The polite sounds of nature fill the pin-drop silence. They sit with no space between each other, her legs over his.


AMMETT whispers the spell to himself. Catching GILLIS off guard, an orb of bright violet glows from his palms and is sent to the trees at great speed. The trees, gracefully, as if granting AMMETT permission, bend backward like a parting wave, letting light in. GILLIS gasps. The setting sun's rays, casting light on suspended, otherwise invisible fragments of the forest, kiss their skin. GILLIS snuggles closer to AMMETT at the warmth.



     It is as if you see more than I can 

     even fathom.



     The land listens to those who make 

     all stand equal in the eyes of 



GILLIS looks longingly at the focused AMMETT, a violet reflection of the sunset where his eyes used to be.



     I want to follow you everywhere, 



His expression changes. He swallows, lowers his gaze, then recollects himself. Sparing a hesitant glance at GILLIS, he smiles.




It is peaceful in the tavern. GILLIS sits at the bar. GIDDEN and the rest of the Tarner Guard chat over mead and mouthfuls of roasted meat. Someone plays their vielle in the background, accompanied by a maiden’s song. 


An abrupt CRASH interrupts the scene—the doors have been broken down. A group of hooded civilians merge in, immediately making big gestures with their arms—spellcasting. The knights are quick on their feet, while those too slow convulse and twist under the offensive spells. GILLIS stands up. 


            SOLDIER 1 



Despite the horrifying display of a number of knights being bent midair like dolls, the people of the insurrection are quickly outnumbered. The Tarner Guard swiftly grabs the spellcasters by their throats and limbs and slams them down. They have the upper hand and, by executive order, a license to end lives. GILLIS sees this too. 


She steps back in horror. Before her, she sees the very violent way in which GIDDEN seizes someone by neck and slams them into the tavern wall and how small they look in her father’s hands. AMMETT’s hood falls, revealing his identity. GILLIS’ quivering hands rise to her face.





Her voice drowns in the chaos. She trods forward to intervene but halts upon seeing AMMETT’s free hand straining as it gestures, conjuring purple sparks aimed at GIDDEN.





AMMETT struggles to no avail. He shuts his eyes, kicking, muttering a prayer.



     I know what you are, boy.


GIDDEN raises his hand and points the armored fingers of his gauntlet to AMMETT’s shut eyes. There is not the gentle, honorable image of him GILLIS had. He is but a man of the king’s guard attempting to gouge someone's eyes out, and her lover—just a young boy again. She finds herself falling to the floor, shellshocked, her countenance blank. 


The sparks have turned into a ray aglow in AMMETT’s hand, the light slowly sharpening itself into a blade. With no hesitation, he plunges the blade into the unprotected armpit of GIDDEN. Coats upon coats of deep red spurt and stain the silver armor. Retracting his arm and falling back, he sets AMMETT free from his grasp, the weak, breathless boy crashing to the floor across from GILLIS.


She remains immobile and blank, save for tears falling from her eyes. Before she deliriously scrambles to her bleeding father, and before her world crashes around her, she looks at AMMETT. 


AMMETT is blind. Where wolfish eyes once were, orbs of bright violet swirl and stare straight into the eyes of GILLIS. In their faces—a look of pain and tenderness all at once.

Last updated: Thursday, 16 November 2023
Tags: IntoStory