I am a huge fan of the movie Descendants, but I felt like the movie could have added more dept in the story. Disney touched breifly on many issues that causes someone to feel unloved and turn to evil, but never really explained them (especially the soul-wrenching task of living with hard to please parents). So I began to ponder: what if the story was written for a more mature audience, in which each scene would dive deeper into how much the children on the Isle suffered. In addition to what it was truly like to try and change from being evil into someone good, especially if abuse, torture, and cruelty were all they knew.
This will be a series of one-shots that either further develops a part in the movie or a completely new scene that will help explain a scene from said movie. These will be published as separate stories, but I will indicate which order they should be read.
If this collection of stories gathers enough interested readers, I might rewrite the whole Descendants movie with more dept, especially character developement. (The movie made it seem so simple to change from villains to heros, like flicking a light switch. I feel however that such a process would have been much harder for the four teens who only knew evil.)
TRIGGER WARNING: I will be writing about abuse (both physical and mental), slight torture (aka punishments that the four VKs had to indure during their childhood), neglect, and basically living in a world were love does not exist (you can use your imagination on what that might mean). There will be no rape in this story. That's too evil even for me to write. Those four suffered enough. NOTE: not all the stories in this collection will have these elements in them.
Disclaimer: I do not own descendants or any of these characters (unfortunately). The idea for these stories is based on the movie Descendants. This is just a rewrite of a previously told story.
Lastly, enjoy and let me know what you think. :)
"I can do this. I can do this," Carlos was quietly chanting to himself, arranging his body comfortably into a runner's lunge.
"Are you ready," Ben called from a few meters away, his stop-watch in hand.
Carlos took a deep breathe, gave Ben a tentative look, and nodded, before his temporary coach signaled for him to start running. The white-haired boy sprinted down the field towards his companion in an effort to train for the Tourney team. Jay was so good at it, and he just wanted to be good at something too... to find a place where he felt he belonged, because there had to be more to his life then the Isle; more to his life than serving his mother's every whim.
As Carlos reveled in his new emotional state filled with hope for the future, he kept running until he passed Ben. The other boy marked his time and walked over to the nearly hyperventilating teen. "You okay?" He said sounding genuinely concerned. "I didn't think the sprint would have taken this much out of you." Ben continued on his explanation, almost as if he felt guilty for pushing the other boy into training, "It was only a hundred meters. It's the shortest length the track team has to run. I thought..."
Carlos waved him off in a it-doesn't-matter gesture and tried to speak between gasps, "So... what's... my... time?"
At this, Ben stalled a bit, "Well, this was only an evaluation. After I help you train, and we practice some, your time will rapidly improve." Ben stopped his rant, when Carlos gave him a deadly stare that screamed: spit it out or there won't be a next time. Even the smallest of the four, who was barely able to catch his breathe at the moment, was intimidating if he wanted to be. Ben was yet again reminded that they were not ordinary teens, but villains-to-be, and if his brilliant integration program didn't work, that was exactly who they would become.
"A minute and thirteen," Ben finally responded. At this Carlos nearly face planted, looking even more dejected then when coach had implied that he should give up on joining the team and tryout for band. As if Carlos knew how to play an instrument. "But hey, like I said, we haven't even started training, and I'm sure that-"
"Why bother? I don't really know that much about track, and even I know that's slow, " Carlos looked so defeated that Ben was shocked that he cared this much about some silly little team of prancing princes as Jay had called it earlier. Ben assumed that Carlos was only doing this because Fairy Godmother mandated that the boys work out their aggression on the field, but looking at the forlorn boy in front of him, he realized how wrong he was. Ben agreed to help because he wanted Carlos to feel included, but as it turns out, Carlos also wanted the same thing. He would do anything to help these four villains, if only they would let.
Still hanging his head, Carlos started to turn and walk off the field. Who am I kidding? I can't believe I even tried. There's no way for me to get any good. Ben is wasting his time. Mother was right; I'm just a waste of space. He berated himself just as his mother did back home. Moving to Auradon wasn't nearly far enough to get away from all the negativity back on the Isle.
"Wait... please," Ben pleaded as he easily caught up to Carlos. "Don't give up now! We haven't even started."
Carlos stopped trying to feebly out-walk Ben and looked him seriously in the eyes, "Why not? I'm no good. I'm only wasting your precious time." Carlos nearly spat out the word precious as if it was covered in poison, but Ben didn't think that hostility was directed at him. Carlos almost seemed lost in his own misery... a misery that went far deeper than getting a slow time.
Ben put a hand on Carlos's shoulder and spoke just as seriously in return, "There is nothing I rather be doing right now then helping you." Carlos was shocked by how sincere he was. Ben wasn't playing an angle; he simply meant what he said. "You are good, Carlos, just the way you are. If you truly, don't want to continue with practice or the team, then that's all right. I will help you find an activity that makes you happy, but please let this be something you want to do. I can help."
Carlos was shocked by his words. It was the first time anyone has ever said something encouraging or nice to him. He always played off everything his mother said back on the island. After all, you can't really compare who has it worse, because everything basically sucked. Plus, no one talks about their feelings as a general rule, period. But, since he started school at Auradon Prep, he realized that there is so much more to life than being ruthless, and right now that meant being on a team. Carlos secretly did want to play Tourney with Jay. He knew he wasn't very good, and he wan't expecting a miracle, but part of him, just wanted to be apart of something.
"I guess I could finish off the training session. We are already here after all," Carlos said dismissively, with a slight smile on his lips. "But if by the end of the week, I still suck, I'm quitting," Carlos quickly added half jokingly. Ben laughed and nodded, agreeing to his terms. He took this as his admission to wanting to be on the team and swore to himself he would do everything he could to help.
Just as Ben was about to give his next set of instructions, he looked down. His eye landing on a collection of small scars on Carlos's arms. Ben was surprised that he hadn't noticed them before. Have they always been there, he thought. They were sporadically spaced out on both arms, ranging in size. The most abundant, however, were these small circular marks; they almost seemed like cigarette burns, but that was impossible. Who would do such a thing?
Ben looked back up at Carlos, about to inquire on his angry scars, when the white-haired teen, oblivious to Ben's inner turmoil, commented, "I think I want to try the sprint one more time. I really think I can do better than a minute and thirteen." He scoffed at his own horrible attempt earlier at running.
"What?" Ben was was so lost in thought he had nearly forgotten they were at the field training. "O-oh, y-yeah. Sure. Sounds like a good idea." If Ben sounded off, Carlos did not notice. Instead, the other teen skipped over to the starting point, happy to finally have something worth working towards.
Ben-still a little dazed by his realization that life on the island might be worse than he possibly could imagine-started to walk back to his post from before. He looked over at Carlos getting ready in his runner's lunge yet again, but this time with more determination. At this, Ben decided to compartmentalize what he had just learned, so he could dwell on at a different time. But for now, he would focus on this... on helping Carlos succeed, because something told him that he more than deserved it.
You have reached the end of a new scene I decided to add before Carlos meets Dude.
I always felt that Carlos was the more sensitive of the bunch. He pretended to be like his villain friends, but all he really wanted was to fit in and be loved. Carlos in my opinion would be the first to acclimate to Auradon Prep and realise how much better they are off now. This however does not mean it was easy for Carlos, especially with Cruella as a mother. In my opinion, she would not hesitate to beat her son if he displeased her, and based off her daminor in the novel Isle of the Lost, that wouldn't be that hard.
And before anyone comments on it: yes, I know a minute and thirteen is a very long time to run a 100 meter dash. I did my research, and right now the world record stands at about ten seconds. So I'm guessing a typical runner can do 20 and a slower athlete would be closer to 30, meaning a non-athlete should be between 40 and 50. I just had Carlos do a minute more as a joke and to really eggagerate the point that he is not athletic at all. And though he is trying to join the team, it is not an easy feet for him to accomplish. Plus, it would be that much sweeter when Carlos sees amazing results from Ben's tutelage.
So LMK what you think so far, and I'm always open to comments, criticisms (only the constructive kinds please), and ideas for other scenes to expand on.
Be on the look out for part two of The Sprint entitled The Dog.
Here's a little sneak peek: If Ben has the chance to confront Carlos on his scars, will he intrude in the teen's past to get his answers? And what if the answers that he finds isn't what he wanted to hear. He may learn more about the four misfits then he ever cared to know. Can a kind heart like his handle the truth? Find out in the second installment, which I hope to have that out soon.