Stonegit struggles to cope with his blindness and the king's recent kiss. He purchases a seeing-eye dragon, a Changewing named Snag. He attempts to kill himself, yet something appears to prevent that from happening. He grudgingly chooses to train the dragon instead.
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Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss:
Stonegit fell to the floor of his room, spreading out his arms, panting heavily. Throwing daggers were stuck loosely in the hard wood wall, completely off target and poorly grouped. His ax was lying on the ground beside him; it had been swung around a few times, aimed at a thick wooden poll. It had missed nearly every time. His mind flashed back to the King, the feeling of his lips touching his. He gripped his brow. “Why…?” he thought. “Why would he? I mean I loved…love…him.” His hand slowly lowered. “But not like this…I may be a murderer, mental patient, and a sick fuck that would carve up one of my friends if it meant saving the King…but I’m not a…” he swallowed. “I’d never break up a family. Not like that.” ‘Well maybe it’s not like that,’ ‘maybe you’re missing something.’ A part of his mind tried to reason with him. “Or maybe,” Stonegit said aloud, rolling onto his stomach. “Maybe now I’m useless and a threat to a family’s well being.” At this point it registered to Stonegit that even if he had his sight back, he would have no idea how he could possibly continue to serve the King now.
Dehydration and hunger demanded Stonegit pull himself off the floor. The darkness of his world went beyond his lost sight. He wasn’t a bodyguard, he couldn’t be. He couldn’t even make himself a meal without it taking an hour just to pull around the dishes and spices. And now, he knew the King felt something, a similar feeling to what he had felt for a long time now. And it was terrible. Maybe it would have been different if Haddock was single. But Stonegit had never lucked out on anything yet…so why now. He pulled up his ax, looking down at it, and then rage filled him. It’s not like he could see it anyway! Why was he looking down as if he could! “What’s…” he said slowly, hauling the ax over his head. “The…fucking point!” he yelled. “I would have preferred if he had never told me…showed me…that at all if it meant this! Now I can’t do the only thing that kept me sane! So why should I even keep this useless carcass breathing!?” he threw the ax with all his might, the handle bouncing off the wall and whizzing back towards his head. Stonegit side stepped, the ax shooting past him and clattering to the floor behind him. He blinked. “It bounced…” he murmured. “How the Hel did I dodge…?”
“Mr. Stonegit?” A scruffy old man ask, and then frowned, checking his paper. “Yeah…Stonegit, that funny…familiar name, anyway. Is a man by that name here?”
“Yes.” Stonegit said cautiously, looking up from the full dinner plate he had been…almost…picking at. “He is.”
“Hey there sonny, I’m that dragon trader you contacted, I have your order.”
For a moment, the dark weight on Stonegit’s heart lightened and he stood up. “I’m coming!” he said excited, running over, and tripping over a stool. He let out a cry as he caught himself on the counter, and then his hand instinctively moved away, just in time to dodge a falling pan.
“Whoa there boy,” the dragon trader called. “You’s got yourself some nice reflexes there.”
Stonegit slowly straightened himself up. “…I guess.” He said cautiously, rubbing his hand.
The trader took him outside, pulling open the doors to a large metal cart. “I know it looks harsh sonny, but rest assured I treat me dragons as if they were my own children.”
“Actually it doesn’t look like much of anything,” Stoneigt grumbled.
“Eh? Oh yer blind! Well ain't that something, no wonder you wanted a Seeing Eye dragon.”
Stonegit glared at the old coot. “The name didn’t give it away.”
“Here we are!” the trader declared, ignoring his prod. “This here is the smallest Changewing I could getcha. Her names Snag, she’s great and real quick too. Why she’s so well trained you could run down the halls at top speed and she’d make sure you didn’t bump your noggin, not even once I declare.”
Stonegit frowned with thought for a second. It was odd, because that very thing had just happened to him recently, for some reason he could not explain. “Can she protect me?” Stonegit asked.
“Oh she has some commands, here I’ll write em down for you.”
“Excuse me?!” Stonegit said impatiently. “Blind!” he reminded him.
“Well tickle me pink!” The coot cried. “I plum forgot about your condition! Ok then, ye’ll have ta whistle to get her to attack, and whistle again to call her back. Bark out the word ‘back’ for emergencies, she stops everything when ye say that. Anything else you’ll have to teach her. And boy, if you train this dragon right, you won’t have to worry about your safety.”
“Could somebody like…me, owning a really good dragon like…well her,” Stonegit said uncertainly. “Be a…well…serve as a bodyguard?”
The trader watched him for a moment, and then burst into laughter. He wheezed, slapping his knee. “Wooooo! Boy you really have a sense of humor! Naw…not unless your charge wanted to commit legal suicide…or unless you do. HA HA!” he howled, and then gave a huge sigh. “Oh thank you boy, you gave me some of me years back with that laugh.” He pulled out a bag. “Alrighty then, put the gold in there.”
Stonegit stared wide-eyed down at the desk in front of him. His face was lined from exhaustion and grief. He listened to Shovel and Snag playing outside, the two had really hit it off. He remember how he had failed to be there the first time Frosti had tried to kill Haddock, and how he as too late to save his King from injury the second time. And now, his mind kept bringing him back to the kiss he figured he should have never received. His teeth gritted together so hard they strained. “You’ve been a fuck up ever since you took the job.” His mind told him. Stonegit clenched his fists, and then grabbed up a pen and paper. He could only hope his words were intelligible. “My King” he wrote. “Not your fault. Don’t you dare think it is. Please take care of Shovel, Snag will serve you well. I’m so sorry that I loved…“ He scribbled the last words out.
Stonegit had been holding the knife for over an hour at this point, his whole body shaking, unable to keep himself from crying. He was locked up in a privet room, curled up in the corner, and positioning himself on his blanket and mattress so the blood wouldn’t make a huge mess. Trembling, he put the tip of the knife to his wrist, a brief sob escaping from his mouth. He covered it quickly. He had left the note on the desk. Working up the courage, he gripped the knife tightly, adding pressure. But oddly enough his skin didn’t break. He tried adding more, but again his arm resisted him. “Come on!” he hissed. “You bloody coward.” He set his arm on the mattress and hauled back his other hand. Exhaling harshly he brought the knife down with enough force that he would not have been able to stop it in time.
If that knife had been so much as a centimeter off to the side of Stonegit’s wrist, it would have missed him completely, and Stonegit would have chocked himself up to be just another coward. But that’s not what happened. The knife stopped above his wrist and for a second the young man thought somebody had grabbed him, preventing him from killing himself. He jerked his arm back, but nothing was there. Almost feeling scared now; he panicked and shoved the knife to his chest. But once again he stopped, unable to force the knife into his heart. He let out a cry, tossing the knife away from himself and scrambling back, curling up in the corner. “What’s happening?” he whispered to himself. He stood up, rushing to the desk and grabbing up the note, crumbling it up and throwing it into the fireplace. He grabbed his head and pacing in a circle. He slowly sank back down onto his mattress, covering his face with his hands. “I can’t do it.” He mumbled softly. “Why?”
Stonegit’s eyes opened as he lay on his back, his face blank. He turned his head, listening to the birds chirping out the window and the activity around the fortress. He inhaled slowly. “Fine…” he said. “I’ll train the damn dragon.”