Adventures of Will & Kat: She is a Beast Worth Saving

A mountain with a small forest with a campsite saying: The Adventures of Will and Kat

Dear reader, 

My name is Will. I have been tasked to take care of Princess Kathrine. This has been my sole task since I was a young lad and her a young lass. I get back to Renaissance Tower with the guide ‘How to Make a Phoenix Cry: a Series on Phoenix Care’. The guards let me up with a quick warning that it might be her time of the month. I suppress my comment about how it’s not her time of the month. That would be in two weeks and it wouldn’t be my first time supporting her in that season…either way, clearly they have no idea what’s going on. I reassured them she would be fine and so would I. They locked me in. 

The room was darkening as the sunset with purple and blues. I light a few lanterns and place them strategically around the room.

Kat was eyeing me and I didn’t like the look in her eye that said she wanted to tear me apart.

Somehow in the week, I’ve been gone, she’s started to look more beast than human. She’s covered in black fur, her eyes look more primal, she’s sprouted a snout and tail, she’s grown to be larger than I in stature which hasn’t happened since before puberty.

“You got the book?”

I hold it up. Her expression remains neutral. We read the book together by candlelight but it was a little difficult. She had absolutely no interest in reading the book and was criticizing my reading. First, she couldn’t see the pages. Then, it was the way I read then… It all just piled up. It’s just the curse I keep telling myself. 

According to the guide ‘How to Make a Phoenix Cry: a Series on Phoenix Care’, Pyro must witness a brave sincere act in order to cry.

I don’t even know what that means and we are running out of time.

Kat prowls the tower floor pacing back and forth on all fours. 

“I don’t even know why I bought that stupid bird anyway. I should just eat it.”

“You bought it because we are going to cure you.”

“Why do you even bother? Don’t you see, it’s too late for me? That any minute I’ll completely give in to these primal instincts and kill you? I’m not worth saving.”

“How can you think that? Kat, you are not defined by your curse. You are kind, beautiful, generous, spunky, hardworking, diplomatic, and my best friend. I have loved you since you rescued me 13 years ago. I have continued to love you since then. That doesn’t mean you are perfect by any means. You can be bossy and intimidating but your flaws make you all the more human. You have shown me what a wonderful person you are, anyone would be lucky to meet you, nevertheless know you as I do. It has been a privilege to be by your side for all these years, you are going to make a fantastic queen one day. So understand I can’t just sit here and listen to you talk that way as if you aren’t worth it…because you are.”

I can’t believe I just said that.

Pyro flies over to me and puts her beak on my cheek. Tears stream down my face. I grab a bottle capturing the Phoenix tears. I look at Kat waiting for a response. Instead, a massive paw with claws swipes towards Pyro and me. I dodge and grab my weapons. I squeeze Pyro out of the tower through the window and into the basket outside. With a snarl, the monster that once was Kat is on the hunt now. She pounces, I dodge. I need to make the potion. I get her to crash into the bed, destroying it. The pillows, blankets, the wooden bed frame, and fabric canopy go everywhere. 

She pauses as though the crash bothered her. I grab some fabric. Next, I jump on her back. She starts bucking trying to get me off. Then, I wrap the fabric around her neck to hold on. She stands on her hind legs and I jump off as she slams up against the wall. I grab the fabric and tie a knot around her front paws. This slows her down but she’s still in hot pursuit. I narrowly dodge her as she slams her head into the wall. I grab another piece of fabric and tie a knot around her back paws and pin the fabric to the floor with a few arrows.

 She’s growling and snarling in my general direction but I don’t have time to dwell on the fact this is the worst response to a confession I can think of, I need to save her life. I grab a bowl and mix the Phoenix tears, dragon saliva, and mermaid blood. The smell is pretty bad, the consistency is worse.

I only have enough of the potion for one shot.

I transfer the potion to a vial while I think of a good way to do this. She has broken free and is especially angry at yours truly. I start running around trying not to die and get some time to think. You’d think the guards would hear what’s going on and come help but no. 

“Please Kat, I know you’re in there. I really don’t want to hurt you.”

As an inhuman screech came from her, she pounced and I didn’t dodge in time. She’s got me pinned…well most of me. My sword hand is free. Saliva dripped from her jaws as she hovered over me. It lands on my face. She goes back, the moment before she goes for the kill. 

I swing my sword. The snarls stop. I stabbed her in the chest. Tears stream down my face. I quickly moved out from under her. Her body has started to revert back to its original form and I see a flash of her former self in her eyes as she closes them. I position her on her back. I pour the potion down her throat, forcing her to swallow. 

The medkit, where is it? There it is. I find bandages and dress her wounds. She has not stirred. I try to check for a pulse but my hands are shaking as the adrenaline catches up with me. 

Conveniently at this moment, the guards come in to see me bent over the princess’s lifeless body. 

“This isn’t what it looks like. Well…maybe it is.”

“William Chance you are under arrest for at the very least assault and at worst murder and treason. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

I hold my wrists out as the guards place a pair of shackles on my wrists. 

One of the guards stays with Kat while the rest get on their horses. I was hooked up to the central guard’s horse so I could walk behind with a couple of guards behind me. I swear this trip was shorter when the princess was taken here.

Upon entering the city gates, the people recognized me and I guess word travels fast. Rotten food, mud, and insults were launched at my head. I don’t remember receiving this much abuse since leaving my former life. 

We passed Hope Springs Orphanage. 

“This is how you repay the person who rescued you from a life on the rack? Who gave you a new way to live?”

I don’t say anything. What can I say to that? They don’t know she’s not dead. They don’t know…

We pass by the inn and Annabell comes out. 

“I thought you were going to help her and that you respected her. Haven’t you learned anything?”

Once again, I have nothing to say. I swallow and the shame and guilt and grief go down my throat and settle in my stomach and chest.

We get to the foot of the castle. I’m tired and it’s been a long day. 

“The king and queen will see you now.”

Crap. 

I enter the throne room and kneel before the monarchs. 

“Will, you are like the son we never had. We want to hear what happened and give you a fair trial. We have been reading your letters and thus have a general idea of what may or may not have happened. That being said, we can’t let you roam free while we sort things out. The people would riot. Therefore we sentence you to indefinite jail time in the dungeons.”

“Thank you, your majesties.”

The guards help me to my feet. They guide me to the dungeons. The barred door of my cell slams shut. It sure is dark down here. I watch the guard walk down the long stretch of the hallway. Well, dear reader, I guess I really failed in my task. 

Signed, 

Will, the convict in the cell at the end of the hall. 

(Next chapter here and if you want the full ebook, complete with map, click here.)

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