So they say that every person has an end of red string tied to their wrist at birth. The other end connects them with someone special, someone who will give them everything. And that's nice in theory, it really is. A lovely sentiment.
But I think whoever was in charge of that whole business might have… forgotten me. Or maybe they didn't and unlike me, the person at the other end of my string died. You know… when the world ended and all that. It's probably the biggest downside of being eternal. What if I missed them?
Now I've never been much of an emotional person, really. I don't expose myself, but since this is my diary, I figure I can tell you whatever right? You won't spill, huh? So, what I'm saying is that I kind of like the idea of having that one right person out there for me. That's a nice idea. Kudos for coming up with it, dude who is now long dead. I might ask dad if that guy's soul is still lying around. I'd like to give him a piece of my mind.
I actually used to have this piece of red ribbon that I'd tied around my left wrist. Whenever someone would ask me, I'd say it was for luck. I dunno, maybe I'd tell them it was my mother's. But I just found it in a rubbish pile once and thought it was ironic to wear when I became all cynical and jaded. I wore it all the time.
Anyway, that's not really the point is it? No, it's not. Sorry for getting side-tracked.
What I was saying is that, it's a nice idea.
But it's all carbuncles and tomato paste.
I mean, that's so cruel. For reals. What if I did miss that one person? What if they're dead now, or on the other side of the world? Or a fish?
I spent a really long time resenting the universe for that. And I pretty much loathed humans for being so selfish and blowing everything up. Thanks guys, real swell of you.
I would like to make a quick note and say that Finn's an alright kinda guy. He didn't blow stuff up. We're buds, I don't hate him. Just the ones that pushed those buttons a millennium ago.
So yeah, I hated that idea for a really long time. I got pretty grumpy about it actually. You can't even see the damn thing. How am I supposed to know who's on the other end of my string if I can't see the stupid thing? Honestly. Way to make a girl's job so much easier. The universe is a troll.
You know I met Ash right; he was a nice guy a few hundred years ago. Actually, I first met him not long after being bitten. I was still pretty naïve back then, I was convinced that if the universe really did give me a little red string, it'd at least be kind enough to bind me to someone immortal right?
Yeah, super glad it wasn't Ash. Although, since I can't see the string, I guess it might have been him… But he is a wenis, so I'm gonna run with 'no' on that one.
It was… mmmn… maybe three hundred years later, I think. There was this big pink thing running around Ooo getting trees all stuck to its gooey posterior whenever it moved. Caused a right mess, it did. It took a good deal of effort to confine the whole sticky mess.
When the little people of that area had successfully wrapped it up, they appointed themselves a suspiciously pink ruler and built a castle of all things, on top of the prison. I say 'suspiciously' because (and I'm not joking) she was the exact same shade of pink as the monster. And I lost a sword to that big blob. It killed my damn house and stole my favourite banjo.
Alright, so sticking it with my sword was my idea. But it didn't have to eat the sword. It could've just… well I don't know. Mailed it back or something. All the other monsters I've fought were at least polite enough to send my weapons back. Geez.
That's not really the point either though. Hang on. I swear I'm getting to the point.
Not the point of the missing sword, you pun-freak.
You see, I watched as the sugar-coated fluff-balls trapped the pink ooze-beast and I was one hundred percent certain that they wouldn't do such a good job. Alright, I'll concede that one. I was less concerned that they'd have botched the job and more concerned with getting first hand proof that it was actually secure.
And maybe I wanted my sword back too.
So I flew over there one evening, just to scope the whole place out. Totally innocent. Promise.
And when I got there, this big castle was sitting there, surrounded by a town and a wall and stuff. Very medieval. The only thing was, it was all made of sugar. It all seemed so tasty at first. But you know, candy doesn't bleed, it just sort of is. So there wasn't much in the way of food for me there. Which I guess explains why I'd never bothered visiting before.
I decided the palace was probably the place to go investigate first and flew on up to the tower, figuring I could get in up there. Yeah, but that's where the insomniac of a princess lived. And I sat there for days, camped out in a tree hoping that she'd just leave so I could slip in without much of a stir. But no, she just sat there, doing… princess stuff I guess.
In the end I just turned invisible, opened the window and went right on in. She didn't even notice and I swore at myself for not being a little braver before. I don't even know where she came from, but she (outwardly) looked about my age. That doesn't mean much though. I mean I look eighteen or whatever. So I wasn't especially concerned with that. Age is deceptive.
Anyway. She was wearing these goofy goggles and when I floated in, heading straight for the door, she flung out an arm and grabbed me by the collar. I remember being very surprised by this.
So surprised in fact, that I ripped free and headed right on back out again. I think she might've fallen over.
After that her balcony doors were always open.
The next time I turned up she was waiting. It was creepy. I remember being very, very afraid of the small pink girl. I mean really.
That was the first time I'd ever acted violently against one of the candy people. But, as previously stated, they don't have blood, right? So I couldn't bleed her dry and fly away again.
Instead what happened was I ended up with her big puffy pink sleeve stuffed in my mouth and then it suddenly wasn't pink anymore. I remember how excited by that she was. She just sort of glossed over the fact that I'd tried to kill her. I was pretty stunned by that too and might have spent the rest of the evening draining various colours from her clothing.
I was just stunned, alright. I didn't mean for that to happen. She's just very persistent and surprisingly strong for such a small confectionary woman.
Blue was gross and slimy. Green was like chewing on cardboard. Yellow felt difficult to swallow, like too many false niceties. But red, in all of its various shades, was quite pleasant. Like fruit juice and sugar.
She made me explain all that too her so she could write it down. She never once asked me why I was there, or what I wanted. She just… accepted me.
When I finally pointed out that her dress was rather splotchy and (as a self-respecting princess) she should probably change into something nicer. You know, since she had company and all.
Do you know what she did? I bet you won't even guess.
She shrugged and asked me to unlace her. Right there. In the middle of her bedroom she asked me to help her get undressed. I hadn't had blood circulation in a few hundred years at this point, but I swear to Grod that was so embarrassing I probably blushed anyway.
I gave her my shirt to wear since she seemed perfectly willing to go back to work in just her underthings. Which would've been awkward I'm sure. I had a singlet on, I had a jacket too, I was fine, but she just didn't even care.
That's when I noticed something really weird: she had a red metal bangle on her left wrist. It was red, where the rest of her room was pink. The rest of pretty much everything she had was pink. The other colours she asked me to eat were mostly books or ink or something weird like that.
I asked her about it: "Hey, princess, what's with the red thing on your arm?"
She glanced down absently before going back to her writing. The pen skritch skritch skritching away, somehow not annoying despite the boring repetitiveness of the sound. "Oh," she replied. And yes, I do remember this conversation almost word for word. "My butler tells me stories of the time before the Mushroom War occasionally. I really liked the one about the little winged fellow who would tie red string to peoples' wrists at birth. The idea that out there somewhere is the person with the other end of my string is quite exciting. I wish I could see it."
I remember her saying that. I remember it so clearly it's like it was yesterday. I remember the way my heart tried to pound in my rib cage. I remember the way my mouth fell open, the way my fangs tickled my lip. I remember the way I fell out of the air for the first time in years. I remember the sound my heels made when they hit the floor and the way she looked over at me. I remember, very suddenly, not hating the humans who blew up the world so much. I remember not hating much at all after that.
I remember it all so perfectly.
I even remember the look on her face when she turned in her chair to stare at me questioningly. I remember holding out my arm and pushing my sleeve back so she could see my ribbon. I remember her eyes widening when she realised what I meant.
I remember the way she walked over to me, her work forgotten, the ink on the end of her pen leaving a big black mess on the parchment, spreading until it had ruined a big swath of it. I remember the way her warm fingers touched my skin, fiddled with the frayed and faded fabric. I remember the shiver in my shoulders, the look in her eyes as she searched my face for something I couldn't understand.
I remember her hushed voice when she said, "You know the story too?"
I remember nodding like an idiot.
I remember her smile. It was so bright and big and beautiful.
I remember her asking me to stay a while.
I remember spending three weeks in her room with her. Just talking. Just doing silly things. Things I hadn't done with anyone in a long time. I remember her reading on the window sill while I played my guitar or polished my axe. I remember the way her voice sounded when she suggested I kill two birds with one stone and turn my axe into a guitar. Then I'd only have to carry one big heavy thing around with me. She was always so practical.
I remember that summer. I remember the autumn that came after with its warm colours and the way she was always asking me what it felt like to be eating leaves. She asked me what it was like to essentially be herbivorous. I remember her laughing at me, the way she'd loop our arms together. I remember the way I didn't fly for months because it felt so nice to walk beside her.
I remember the winter that followed and the feeling of helplessness that went with. I remember the way the biting cold turned her aerial bedroom into a freezer and the way I couldn't do anything to help her because I was so cold myself. I remember sitting on the window while she slept, wondering what was going to happen.
I remember the argument we had the a few years later. I was just worried that she was working herself to death. I told her to relax. She told me she couldn't. She said that the Ice King was a threat, that the winter wasn't ending, that her people were slowly dying. I remember her fear, her anger. I remember leaving. I remember her face as I flew away through a blizzard.
I remember seeing her again years later and feeling guilty. I'd stopped Simon from trying to freeze the world. I'd taken him a place where he was… well if not happy at least content to some extent. I remember smiling at her, saying 'hi' like nothing had happened. I remember visiting her a few nights later to apologise. I remember being unaccountably nervous.
I remember all that.
And do you know something, diary?
All that stuff is almost as good as life is now. Almost.
Cause you see, I wake up every morning and see her face. Sometimes. Admittedly sometimes she doesn't ever go to bed and that worries me still. But I can't stop her.
I started writing diaries because of Simon. Did you know that? I started because watching him forget everything was scary. I never want to forget my life. Not the mistakes, not the worries and especially not the good days. And if I could go back in time, I'd insist that Simon write a diary so he could remember everything.
But I'm not writing for Simon anymore. And I'm not writing because I'm afraid. I'm writing now because I have to put it all down. I have to let you know.
I'm writing this down now, here, and I'm going to leave this in our room. Because I know you're going to read it. You're snoopy and besides, you like words and will read anything that's put under your nose. I remember you reading that damn menu five times before you ordered at the restaurant and then you kept reading it until the meal arrived because you were nervous and couldn't meet my eyes.
I know you're going to read this. That's why it's here. It's here for you.
Just like me.