how do i say goodbye to someone like you ~ WIP ~ 3583 words
Toby sniffled, raising his hand to whip his running nose on the sleeve of his oversized jacket. Sat in his lap is his five-year-old sister; Lani sat to his left is his seven-year-old sister; Teagan. They both slept quietly.
The moon and stars are the only sources of light around them. It is late, which means that outdoor oil lamps had gone out by now, either from burning for so long or from the chilling air. It was almost winter. The night sky isn’t quite black, Toby noticed, but a very dark shade of purple...that thought made him feel better about the darkness surrounding him.
As they approached their destination, the smell of sea salt in the air burned Toby’s nostrils. It was so strong, he could taste it as he breathed in through his mouth. The sound of waves wasn’t loud but noticeable, sea birds quiet with nightfall.
The other children in the cart coughed and sneezed themselves. Toby shifted the five-year-old in his lap, craning his neck to look past the driver and the horse pulling the wooden cart of orphans. The recent events of this night were still fresh on his mind, he wasn’t quite sure how to feel...but he knew that he didn’t feel good.
It’s been less than a fortnight since he and his sisters were placed in the Home, with the kind lady named Mother Seraphina and her mother, who was not kind, Mother Theodosia. They were all right, a lot stricter than Toby and his sister’s parents had been. Lani cried every day. At dinnertime, Mother Theodosia held back eight children, three being the Smith family...or what remains of the Smith family.
Toby was confused, and he didn’t quite understand what was happening as Mother Theodosia put the eight children on a cold wooden cart. Lani had started to sob almost instantaneously, crying about how her favorite stuffed toy had been left at the Home. Toby and Teagan tried to calm the five-year-old until she eventually cried herself to sleep. Clutching her older brother like a lifeline.
Gray snow began to fall around Toby, he looked at the other five children...they didn’t seem fazed by the first snowfall of the winter. Not like himself and his sisters. Or maybe they were better at hiding it? Toby wasn’t sure.
Teagan moved, leaning up and taking her head off from her brother’s shoulder, she looked past him with sleepy eyes...Toby followed his sister’s eyes.
The palace is in his full view, taking up his entire line of sight. It’s a huge place, standing so tall it looked like it touched the clouds. It’s beautiful, having been handcrafted by the king himself, like most things in his young kingdom.
Teagan whispered, “Why are we here?” Her small hand reached over to tuck some of Lani’s hair behind her ear, an action their mother did to them all the time.
Toby shrugged, making glances at his surrounding. The palace is walled off by a very tall white bricked wall that was handbuilt by the king himself...Toby figured he had some kind of help. The king may be an avian, but he’s still a person.
The main gate to the palace slowly opened, split down the center. The men who moved the gate seemed tired and cold. Toby felt the need to help them, but he didn’t move as the cart continued on its path. Toby looked around, moving Lani again on his lap, which almost woke her.
The palace felt completely different than the rest of the kingdom. They weren’t even in the palace yet. Everywhere else right now is being snowed on, and is gray. The palace is white, gold, and red, with flourishing nature surrounding it and snow that seemed warm. How could snow seem warm?
Toby couldn’t contain his smile. He was happy to see that he wasn’t the only change enamored by the palace, all of the other awake children in the cart seemed in awe at their surroundings.
The cart twisted and turned a few times before parking next to a tall white brick wall with a single wooden door. Ivy climbed up the wall, reaching for the sun.
Two preteen girls stood at the wooden door, obviously cold from the oncoming winter. Toby deemed their dresses unfit for the cold air surrounding them.
The older of the two smiled at the cart of children, who were beginning to pile out. Toby wished at that moment that he was strong enough to carry Lani...he woke her up. Lani whined quietly as she landed on her feet in the dirt. Teagan had gotten down first to help her, taking his sister’s hands, Toby followed Lani.
The younger of the preteens laid a watchful eye on Lani, who was holding her older siblings’ hands. After a moment, she approached the Smith siblings. “Hi… what’re your names?”
Toby felt a bout of tiredness hit him, the girl’s voice sounded like how a comfortable bed feels. “I’m Tobias, this is Teagan and Lani.” His words slurred with his exhaustion, he wondered how late at night it had gotten. How could a cart ride be so tiring?
She smiled at the siblings, “I’m Hannah...would you like to go to bed now?”
Toby unconsciously nodded, following the light-brunette through the wooden door. He was so tired he had forgotten about the other five children who had come with him and his siblings. Hannah brought the family into a small room with one set of bunk beds and a normal bed that seemed larger.
Hannah helped Lani change into pajamas that were provided for the children. “Over breakfast, everything will be explained, just rest now little ones.”
The Smith siblings couldn’t be bothered to respond as Hannah shut their bedroom door, letting them fall peacefully into a restful sleep.
That night, each Smith child dreamt of their parents, though they all had very different dreams. Toby dreamed about having a normal morning with them, Mother had made breakfast and braided the girls’ hair. Father joked with them and tickled their sensitive bellies. Teagan dreamed about cuddling with Mother and Father in their big fluffy bed, being told a story about a magical princess. Lani dreamed...rather had a nightmare about their last day with Mother and Father; when they promised to be right back after leaning to go fishing on the ocean.
With the rising sun, came the rising of people. Hannah opened the door to the Smith sibling’s bedroom. Smiling at the sleeping little ones, she approached Toby first, gently waking him.
Toby coughed, waking up slowly, “Mum…it’s still too early.” He groaned.
Hannah’s smile dropped, “Little Toby...time to rise.” She sang, getting off his bed, despite trying not to, she woke Teagan.
Silently, Hannah assisted the Smith siblings to prepare for the morning, proving them with fitted clothes and new shoes. The new outfits seemed to please the children, which pleased Hannah.
Lani held Hannah’s hand as the older girl lead them to breakfast...it was a large room with many tables and chairs. Hannah sat them down and quickly left them alone to tend to something. In the center of the tables are many different kinds of food on large platters.
Toby took notice of the fact that the room is mostly children, though...Lani and Teagan seemed to be the youngest of any of them, Toby himself seemed quite young in comparison to the preteens hoarding the room.
The older preteen girl from last night got the attention of the room by standing on a table and shouting, “Hey!” She wasn’t loud but attention-grabbing. “We have quite a few newcomers! The queen requested from each orphanage, eight children! Last night and this morning, a total of forty new children! Not everyone will be assigned jobs today, but most of them will be! That will be all!”
Toby looked at Teagan with a confused expression, “Jobs?” He questioned, the seven-year-old could only shrug. The word job implies payment, which is what Toby figured.
The three of them continued to eat breakfast...which tasted just like Mother’s. Toby tried not to smile as he eased-dropped on other people’s conversations, his throat ached with his on-coming cold. Teagan and Lani played a quiet game of I Spy.
The girl who had stood on the table and gave the speech approached the three Smith siblings, “Tobias?” She got his attention. She was standing with a short slim boy whose hair is shaved. The more he studied the boy, he quickly realized that he two different colored eyes. Toby was fascinated by this but said nothing.
Toby turned to them with a confused expression, “Yes?”
She smiled brightly at him, “Hi dear, my name is Caroline, though most people call me Captain Cara.” She’s bubbly, saluting at him like a captain of a ship would. “This here is my friend Jack, he wanted to take you on as his apprentice.”
Toby looked over at Jack, visibly confused. “Apprentice?”
Jack nodded, stepping forward to be closer to Toby, “You’re nine, right?” Toby nodded, “The prince, ugh, Prince Thomas is also nine...it’s kind of my job to entertain and care for Thomas. I thought that if brought another boy around his age, it might make my job a bit easier...I’m also going to be enlisting in the guard when I turn twelve soon. I need someone to take my place.” Jack explained with a smile, it was genuine.
Toby looked at Lani and Teagan, “Who would look after my sisters?” He asked.
Captain Cara chuckled, “I will care for them, they can be my little helpers.” Her smile continued to be bubbly and positive...Toby couldn’t bring himself to feel that way about anything. Maybe one day he could?
Toby agreed because what else was there to do? Jack and Toby slowly made their way, Toby trying his best to memorize the path they’re taking from where all of the child servants live to the lavish wing of the palace that holds the bedrooms of the three princes.
The two spaces weren’t completely different, they had ties to each other. Like they were designed by the same person, probably the same two people. The king and queen.
Jack knocked on the white and blue floral bedroom door, after a few moments, it was pulled open by a partially dressed nine-year-old boy. “Good morning, Prince Thomas.”
Prince Thomas rolled his eyes with a cheeky grin, “I told you to call me Tommy...who is this?” Tommy moved past Jack to inspect Toby. Circling him like a predator stalks its prey. Toby attempted to make himself seem as small as possible. The prince seems joyful but intimidating.
“Toby, my apprentice,” Jack explained as he walked into Tommy’s bedroom.
“Toby? Toby...Tob, Toob, Toobie.” The prince laughed, grabbed Toby by his wrist, and dragged him into the room, “Tubby!”
Toby looked at Tommy with a curious expression, but allowing the blonde prince to drag him around the bedroom, “Tubby?”
“He’s trying to give you a nickname, don’t fight him on this.” Jack chuckled, “You have to get dressed for breakfast Tommy.”
Tommy didn’t seem happy about having to get dressed, but he didn’t fight Jack, dropping Toby’s hand and approaching the boy with dual-colored eyes.
Toby quietly watched Jack help the prince dress for breakfast, Tommy would ask Jack stupid questions to keep himself entertained. The prince was dressed in beautiful golds and reds, he looked like the definition of a prince based on appearance alone...his behavior was no different from any other nine-year-old boy though.
Jack quietly followed the loud-mouthed prince through the halls, Toby hot on their heels. Toby let out a quiet gasp when they entered a very large room with a glass ceiling. In the center of the room on a raised platform is a table with five chairs. Sat at the table are three figures.
Jack grabbed Toby’s arm and dragged him to stand by the wall, “What are we doing?” Toby stifled a sniffle as he asked, his voice a whisper.
“Waiting for Thomas to be finished,” Jack replied, also whispering.
Toby almost gasped again, realizing that the people sat at the table are the royal family...the king has wings though? Doesn’t he? Toby observed the adult man sat at the table.
The King is bright, with strawberry-blonde hair and the shadow of facial hair. He is wearing a large forest green cloak, which is probably what’s hiding his infamous wings. Very different than Toby’s father.
The Queen has olive-tone skin and the most beautiful smile Toby had ever seen, her curly black hair falls past her hips. Her dress is a shade of purple Toby had never seen before.
The older Prince’s wings were on full display, and they’re beautiful. They came from his shoulder blades and he seemed very comfortable and familiar with them. They’re stark white, but the ends of his feathers fall into a sunset pink. Toby could barely take his eyes off them.
They looked like a family, Tommy and the king looked bordering identical, while the older prince’s appearance is much more similar to the queen.
“There he is!” The queen announced as he son sat next to her, “How’d you sleep, Tom?” She asked as she reached over to play with his hair and fix the collar of his shirt, actions that are second nature to a mother.
“Good! I had a strange dream!” Prince Tommy began to shout excitedly about his dream last night. The king or queen would often remind their youngest child to eat his breakfast instead of talking.
“The Queen’s name is Kristin, and the King is named Philip…” Jack whispered as he leaned closer to Toby, “The eldest Prince is named David, but don’t call him that he gets mad.”
Toby was barely able to get his voice out, “What do we call him?”
“Technoblade...I don’t get it either.” Jack responded to Toby’s confused expression.
A door that Tommy, Jack, and Toby didn’t enter through opened, following the open door is a tall boy with curly light-brunette hair. His appearance is the perfect balance between the king and queen. He was smiling.
This prince had wings as well, on full display. Because he is standing fully straight up, Tubbo could get a proper grasp on how large their wings must be. This prince’s wings sprouted from his shoulder blades as well and were the length of his body. The feathers are white, but they each seem to have their speckled pattern of brown, black, and blonde speckles. His wings were beautiful and seemed much more like a bird that could be found in any forest. The other prince’s wings seemed more exotic and rare, like a tropical bird.
“Good morning family!” He announced with glee, approaching his empty seat. As he stepped onto the raised platform the table sat on, he fluffed out his wings. Giving the illusion that he was flying, though his feet never came off the ground.
Queen Kristin laughed, “You’re late, Will.” Like with Tommy, she reached over to him and moved his curly light-brunette hair from his eyes, rubbing at wrinkles on his white shirt. Toby began to crave the touch of his mother.
Toby coughed as his stomach soured with grief, though no one seemed to notice or care. He missed his mother, more than he could understand.
“That’s Prince Wilbur.” Jack quickly whispered, putting a gentle hand on Toby’s back, attempting to soothe the paling boy. Maybe changing the subject on his mind would help, Jack figured.
“I know, I know, but I wanted to look perfect for today!” He explained, cutting at his sausage on his plate.
Wilbur is the middle son, but he stands the tallest of them all, at only fourteen he could easily be mistaken for older...if it wasn’t for his baby face that is. Tommy smiled at his older brother, who smiled brightly back at him.
Kristin chuckled, but her smile dropped when her husband stood up. “Phil…” She groaned, annoyed but not mad.
Phil smiled as he leaned down to kiss his wife’s cheek, “I won’t be too long, I have a cabinet meeting…” He whispered something that only the two of them heard. Prince Wilbur and Technoblade glanced at each other, then back at their father who was making quick strides to leave.
Jack silently exhaled, noticing that Tommy was almost finished with his meal. He was always a fast eater despite talking instead of eating.
“Ma...I’ve heard the rumors.”
Kristin blatantly ignored her eldest son as she tended the youngest, whipping his face clean with a cloth napkin. “There you go Toms...you can go play now,” Her voice is motherly and kind, but only to hide her obvious upsetment.
The older princes’ moods dropped as well, but they didn’t hide is nearly as well as their mother. Tommy jumped out of his somewhat tall chair, “Oh Manifold!” He shouted, running at Jack and Toby, “I want to play that game you showed me!”
Jack chuckled, letting himself and Toby be dragged wrist-first by the prince out of the dining room. Toby could barely get a gasp at his surroundings as he was dragged by the running prince through the corridors of the large palace.
Finally, though, the prince stopped running...they were in a large courtyard, the grass was green and bright...despite winter? Toby looked at the sky and was met with another glass ceiling, this room is indoors but meant to give the illusion of being outdoors. Toby thought it was pretty wondrous.
In the center of the courtyard is a pond with ducks. On the edge of the pond is a huge willow tree, Toby could barely wrap his head around how large the courtyard was to fit both of these things.
It felt like eternal summer, trapped in a small-large place in the center of a palace that was no less than magical.
“What’s the game?” Toby asked, looking at Jack.
Jack gave Toby an amused look. The prince excitedly waited for them while Jack explained the game to Toby. Toby was happy to participate, the game sounded fun and creative. Eventually, a lul came in the day the boys lied in the grass by the pond.
The ducks ignored them entirely, they must be accustom to people. The family ducks reflected the royal family. A mama duck, a papa duck, and three little ducklings. Though the ducklings clung to their mother, something the princes didn't seem to do.
The glass of the ceiling was clean, there wasn't even snow on it. He silently played a game to himself, trying to figure out what shapes each cloud looked like. It was a game he and his sisters played all the time.
Prince Tommy laughed loudly at something Jack had said, Toby looked over at them. They seem like good friends. “That so gross Manifold!" Tommy whined, "Right Tubbo?”
Tubbo? Jack did say the prince would nickname him. “I didn’t hear what he said.”
What Jack Manifold said was indeed gross. “Ew! Jack that is gross.” Tubbo agreed with Tommy, sitting up.
The prince grabbed Tubbo, dragging him gently on the grass to sit closer to the prince. Tommy has arranged it so that Tubbo was leaning on the prince.
“So Tubso, tell me about yourself!” The prince talks loudly, he was practically shouting directly into Tubbo’s ear.
Tubbo chuckled, moving from where he was sitting to face the prince. "What do you want to know?”
Tommy’s eyes seemed to shift from joy to anxiety, “Well, only orphans work in the palace…” For only that moment, Prince Tommy’s voice fell gentle and soft.
Only orphans work in the palace? Well. that can't be correct. The royal guard works here. Maybe that's not what Tommy meant? Tubbo wasn't quite sure.
“Oh…” Tubbo said without much thought, sniffling without thinking about it, “They didn’t tell me much, the guards found their boat but not my parents. My sister’s figured it out before me. I thought that they were just missing.” Tommy’s sad face made Tubbo feel bad, “Don’t worry, we’re doing better. My sisters are here too.” He overexplained. He had upset the prince!
Tommy nodded, seeming to be thinking about something. Tubbo wished for only a moment that he could read his mind. Tommy was so deep in thought his face twisted with concentration. “Want to know what I do to make myself feel better when I get sad about them?” Tubbo offered, not wanting the prince to be upset.
“I daydream about traveling the world, being the greatest adventurer to ever live!" Tubbo smiled brightly at the other two boys, looking between the two of them. "I think about what it would be like, what it would feel like to find new lands and meet hundreds- thousands of new people.” Tubbo's chest bubbled with glee, he'd never talk to anyone else about wanting to an adventurer before.
The prince said nothing for a moment, thinking about what Tubbo said. “You’re nice, Tubbo.” He finally spoke with a wide smile.
Tubbo giggled, “You’re nice too, Tommy.” Tubbo didn't mean for his voice to come out so small, but Tommy didn't seem to mind.
Tubbo sniffled again.
Jack chuckled and rolled his eyes at the two of them, “You two are annoying is what you are."