|What Became of Fleance
Author: screamingHALLELUJAH PM
The story of what happened to Fleance after Banquo was killed, vaguely merged with a Dickens-esque setting except it's in Paris, not London . Children living on the street, angst, and a little bit of love.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Angst - Chapters: 3 - Words: 2,441 - Published: 12-09-09 - id: 5569202
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Part I: Cold
Frost crunched beneath a small boy's feet as he trudged onward through a frigid, foreign forest. None of the boughs of these trees were familiar, none of the trunks marked with familiar niches or knots. Worst of all, it was just so cold. The unwelcoming pines held no warmth for the young boy to huddle nearby and relish in, as they were hidden from the sun at the foot of a large mountain in a narrow valley. He shivered violently, wrapping his arms around himself in hopes of keeping in some of his precious body heat, while at the same time part of him wished to grow stiff and numb on the leaf-littered forest floor as his father now was.
Tiny sobs wracked his small frame as he involuntarily recalled the moment he fled, glancing back just once to watch as a stranger plunged a sword straight through his father's back. Fleance had stood there, simply watching his greatest friend's eyes roll back in his head as he collapsed, the sword sucking all of the life out of him. "O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!" he had cried as he'd fallen to his knees, blood pouring out of his wound. "Thou mayst revenge. O slave!"
By then, one of the murderers had noticed Fleance's hesitation and rushed towards him to take advantage of the horrible scene. Fortunately, the boy hadn't been too distraught to flee before the ax wielding man was near enough to injure him. In the days since, Fleance had trekked from the small, deadly grove across empty fields and through overgrown forests. He was now nearing what he thought must be the edge of Scotland – the air was becoming saturated with the familiar briny taint of the North Sea, while seagulls cawed far above the tips of the enormous pines. Far ahead, he could hear the gentle lapping of waves against a sandy shore. Could this sea bear freedom, or leave him trapped, with no other option but to turn and go back?
The trees thinned as he walked ahead, still shivering with red-rimmed eyes. Soon the soft grass gave way to jagged rocks, smothering any of nature's attempts at arboreal life. Fleance stepped out into the open space, pausing to take in the sight before him. The rocky, exposed earth quickly dissolved into sand, which in turn yielded to deep blue, tumultuous waters. About a hundred meters out, a small anchored ship bounced and bobbed in the waves. Banked on the shore was a miniature of the boat, its bow buried in the white sand.
"Who's that over there?" a stout old man called, waving to young Fleance. The boy stiffened, half turning back towards the shelter of the trees. "Hold on there, don't leave just yet! We won't 'urt you." The man started across the sand to Fleance, pausing a couple meters away and beckoning the child over. "Come 'ere, I don't mean any 'arm." He held out a warm, welcoming hand, crouching low on the ground to seem so imposing. Warily, Fleance stepped out onto the sand, surprised at how quickly his feet sank. He continued forwards at a slow pace, gaining confidence as he went. "'Atta boy, I won't 'arm ya'." From where he stood now, just within reach of this kind looking man, Fleance had completely abandoned his trust in strangers. The world was no longer the bright, happy place it had been only a week ago. A terrifying darkness had invaded his world and conquered his senses, leaving him skittish and fearful every waking moment. He wasn't sure whether he could trust this man or not, but at this point, he also didn't feel as if he had much of a choice. What was there to lose?
He took the chance. Fleance stepped forward and placed his small hand in the strange man's much larger one, choosing to leave his fate in someone else's hands. Shock invaded the man's expression as he took the boy's hands – they were as cold as ice. "Good God, boy, your 'ands are right frozen! Come 'ere." The man pulled Fleance over, shedding his thick jacket and draping it over the boy's thin shoulders. "My name's Ben. 'Ave you got a name, son?"
Fleance nodded, pulling the jacket close around his body. "Fleance, sir."
"That there's a right good name, a right good name…" Ben stood up straight again, running a hand through his hair. He let out a puff of air before patting Fleance's back. "Well then, come on now, we'll find you a home, then." Ben took Fleance's hand again and led him over to the dinghy, introducing him to another crewmember before rowing back out to the main ship.