I sometimes would wonder what it would be like to not be a recipe for disaster, to not be the Wolf King’s bride. Who would I be? What would I become? I sometimes wondered aloud to Aaron and he would listen to me with earnest eyes and a consoling hand. He would say that he and I were tied to the hip, those who are meant to be forgotten. He would walk me through lessons he had learned in life.
“It’s better to do everything you want to without regrets” he would console me, “So witch girl, what do you want to do?” he would smile at me, a kind smile and it warmed me to answer him truthfully and honestly.
“I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Right now, I just want to eat dinner. I’m hungry” I said laughing. He would laugh too. Like a drunken fool. He would laugh as though he had been tricked. Maybe, he thought, the witch girl had her own share of secrets.
But I didn’t. I didn’t want anything. I coveted nothing and all I wanted was to be, to exist in a world with the same type of day in the Elf King graveyard with Aaron while he was drunk in the afternoon and cursing the gods for his current situation and me, being the secret everyone wanted me to be. I would live a life with the same patterns and the same people. A life of habit.
Unfortunately what you want is never what the gods declare. Dinner came and with it, a kidnapping of a wolf bride.
It was a smart way to do it, I thought over it many times. The kidnappers had two main issues: an unwilling wolf bride and a whole kingdom of elves to get through, a kingdom that had specific alarms that would be triggered if the witch’s magic even touched the castle walls. The only way you could do it was turn the wolf bride into a temporary cabbage. Not transformation magic, only a witch could do that, but simply put, kill her for a short period of time. After that, it was a simple job of disguising her as the dead body of a trespasser.
However, how would they temporarily kill the witch? How would they get to her? How else but an old elf that sympathized with the wolves and his ever growing penchant for mead. The stage was set. I, the unknowing victim was happily satisfied after dinner. I sat lazily on my bed, staring at the ceiling when Aaron came knocking. In his old frail hand, was a cup. He smiled at me as he always did and I smiled back as I always did.
“Witch girl” he knocked “I come bearing gifts.”
“Anemone” I responded letting him in, “I don’t know why you keep calling me that after all this time Aaron”
“But you are the witch girl, are you not?”
“I am also a person”
“And the King of the Wolves’ only bride. His sole awakening. You have a tragic destiny witch girl.”
“Don’t I know it.” I stared at him, the cup, back to him. “What brings you here, old drunk elf?”
He laughed, “I came to celebrate an important day”
“Important? No day is important here in the graves.”
“Today is the day you came here. The day you and I met.”
“You mean the day both of us were imprisoned?” I scoffed.
“It is the day our friendship began. You as a witch and me as a forgotten one.” He offered his cup to me “Drink.”
I laughed “No, you only get one cup every week and you want to give it to me because of one measly day?”
“Maybe I am getting old and sentimental” he retracted his offer.
“You need to fix that.”
We both laughed.
“But I insist. You are in all truth, my only friend, I’ve only had you as a friend.”
“Well, you’re my only friend too Aaron.” I took his other hand with mine and held it. His hand was cold.
Looking back on it now, Aaron truly was honest about our friendship. It was something important to him. We were each other’s only friends. Two peas in a graveyard.
“Then let’s drink to that. We drink to us” he paused and with a smile he said, “Anemone”.
I smiled and took the cup.
It was sweet.