Karin: Hey, everyone. I was reading my oneshot "Gone" and came up with the idea to try to write a companion piece with Irene. It occurred to me when I was watching the scenes from Irene locking her door to discover Froglip and the state her room was in when Curdie arrived to when Curdie finds Irene and Froglip in the cellar that there had to be some reason Irene had complied with the Goblin Prince after giving Froglip lots of trouble. Here's my take on it. Hope you like it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Princess and the Goblin. All rights of that belong to George MacDonald.
"We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it."
—James Matthew Barrie
"I'll be back—that's a promise!" Curdie shouted as he left to go join the fight against the goblins invading the castle. Irene waited for him to be out of sight before going back into her room. Just as Curdie instructed, she locked her door.
However, something wasn't right, she thought as she locked the door. Something was different—a bad feeling crept up her spine in an eerie fashion.
Yes, something was definitely wrong.
Her heart pounded and she quickly made a turn to go further into her room. And yet, as she did this action, something shown in the corner of her eye that she was sure wasn't supposed to be there.
Her eyes shifted to what was beside her door and she let out a terrified shriek when she found the yellow gaze of the Goblin Prince looking straight back at her. A sadistic smirk on his features and he let out a cruel chuckle.
The Goblin Prince wasted no time in trying to obtain her and she didn't hesitate to attempt to maneuver him. Her screams were unheard by the rest of the castle, she was certain, while she too found herself in a battle with the goblins.
But not just any goblin. She was facing the Goblin Prince. She was facing Froglip.
Her safe haven had now turned into the most dangerous place to be.
"Stay here where it's safe." Curdie's word came back to her.
If she was being perfectly honest at the time, she would've corrected him, saying the safest place she could be was right beside him instead of being all alone in her room. Nevertheless, her conscious told her not to press the matter—for she had just saw Curdie again after they had their fight. She didn't want to make him angrier at her.
Besides, she told herself when she watched him go away, he knew what he was doing. Why should she question him when he knew the situation more than she did?
"Come here, you!" Froglip lisped out causing Irene to wake up from her thoughts and get back to the matter at hand. She grabbed the nearest object to her and began hurling anything she could get her hands on at him. She made sure to move around a lot during their struggle so he didn't have a chance to catch her while she was throwing things at him. Crashes and bangs sounded in her ears as her room was being destroyed in her haste to stay out of the goblin's grasps.
"Go away!" Irene screamed at him as she chucked a vase. Then she took a painting and hit him with it. He made a move to grab her, but she quickly evaded due to her small size.
Her mind was in a frenzy while the two of them struggled—one to get the other and the other trying to get away. It was like a twisted, aggressive game of cat and mouse. Her thoughts were jumbled from thinking about Curdie's words from before, her father and her subjects who were fighting, and then to fighting off Froglip.
"They can't stand singing." a flashback from the time she had first met Curdie appeared into her mind. Of course! She could sing to make him go away!
Irene quelled her terror and her racing mind long enough to gain the courage to open her mouth. Froglip, seeing what exactly she was just about to do, lunged at her for she was not throwing anything and barely running around. The two of them fell into a heap and he caught her hands in a tight grip—so painful it was that it brought tears of agony to Irene's eyes.
"Don't even try what that sun-boy told you to do! One musical note and I'll wring your neck faster than you can carry a tune!" he hissed at her, some of his spit landing on her cheeks. Irene thrashed around, but the Goblin Prince was too strong for her to fight off. "Try as you might—you can't escape Princess!" she then kicked him in the foot and he let out a yell of pain. Using this opportunity, she made a run for the door, intent on getting as far away as possible from the Goblin Prince and maybe—if she was lucky—locate Curdie as well. At least then her nerves wouldn't be so frazzled facing the goblins with him there.
Her hope was stolen from her grasps brutally when Froglip, now recovered from her blow, blocked her only escape. He scowled at her outraged and frustrated that she would dare stomp on his foot.
"I see you're going to make this difficult! Well, I'll just have to make sure I use all the pain and frustration you gave me when I'm taking care of that sun-boy!" he snarled at her.
This statement caused Irene's blood to go cold. He was going to hurt Curdie…?
"You're lying!" the princess scowled at him. He had to be lying, but something in her heart told her he wasn't—he really would go to hurt Curdie.
"Why would I lie about that?! I have a score to settle with him from the last time he hurt my ears from his nasty singing! If you don't come with me, then I'll just have to turn my attention to him from anger and frustration! Either way, I'll be getting what I want." Froglip told her, approaching her with a smirk.
He means it. He really means it. she thought in horror. Not for herself, but for Curdie—her friend. The person who had rescued her from her first encounter of any association with the goblins. The person who she unknowingly braved herself into journeying up and inside the mountains for. The person who made her smile just by being there.
But he was also the person who doubted her. The person who didn't believe her about her great-great-grandmother. The person who accused her of lying.
But he was also the person who came back for me. He came back.
And she couldn't—wouldn't—let Froglip hurt him.
"If I go, will you leave him alone?" Irene whispered aloud. Her shoulders slumped, resigning herself to her fate—a fate she had no idea what held for her. She had no idea what the Goblin Prince had planned for her, but she knew she was apart of their plan from what Curdie had told her. "Will you promise to not hurt him?"
Froglip paused—thinking about it—and then turned his yellow gaze back to her.
"Not a hair on his head, Princess." he promised falsely with a vicious grin, one she did not see for her eyes were closed and her head was bowed. With that, he grabbed her by her arms, placing them behind her back, and commenced leading her roughly to the wine cellar where she would be taken back to the Goblin Kingdom. Before that, he closed her bedroom door behind them and they made their trek quietly to the wine cellar.
She briefly wondered why he had closed her door, but the silent question in her eyes was answered.
"To give the sun-boy a brief hope that you're still there when he comes back to see you, Princess!" he said gleefully, some spit coming out from his lisp. "He told you to stay inside and lock your door—I want him to see that he might have a chance to feel relief that you were as he left you, only to have his hopes crushed into oblivion!" some spit landed on her cheek as the goblin cackled.
Irene tried to ignore his words. Tried to ignore the image of Curdie at her door when he came back to only find her room destroyed and her not there. Tried to ignore the ponderings of what he would feel when he saw her room in that disarrayed state with her no longer in it.
"Imagine the look on his face when he discovers you're not there, Princess!" Froglip continued happily. "Oh! If only I would be there to see his pitiful expression when he realizes he lost you! He thought you were the safest in your room, and he still lost you! Ah, what a sight that would be." he sighed blissfully from imagining the anguished expression on Curdie's face.
Don't think about it. Don't think about it. Irene told herself as tears came to her eyes. The fact that she was probably never going to even see Curdie again made her fill up with sorrow. Though, if she looked back on it, at least her last memory with him was a happy one. At least her last memory of him wasn't when he left when they had their fight in the attic.
It still hurt though—that she would never see him again. It hurt that she wouldn't be able to talk to him again. It hurt her to know she wouldn't have the chance to laugh with him again. It pained her to discover she would never see his smiles. It agonized her to think of what he'll feel when he doesn't find her in her room. It hurt to know she missed all her chances to thank him for being a good friend to her, even with their fight in her memory.
It just hurt. Everywhere her body and soul felt the pain.
That reality she didn't want to face dug deeper than any wound Froglip could give her.
"Thinking about it, eh Princess?" Froglip interrupted her thoughts with malicious glee. "Thinking about your little sun-boy coming back for you? It's marvelous, isn't it? If only he could see you right now though—about to be dragged down the tunnels back to the Goblin Kingdom. Now that would be a show, wouldn't it?" he lisped out.
Irene never knew hate like she did right now. She couldn't help but feel hate for this goblin that continued to feed off her misery. To feed off of Curdie's impending misery.
She didn't respond to Froglip's taunts as they made their way to the wine cellar. They had made a bargain, one she was determined to keep for her dear friend's sake rather than her own. She wouldn't think about the bleakness and blackened turn her future has taken, but she would think about her friend's now safe future.
He was safe. That's all that matters. Even if she wasn't there to see him, at least he would be safe.
Tears of silence slid down her cheeks and she bit her lip—desperately trying to use any type of physical sting to distract her from her ponderings about Curdie. It wouldn't do her any good to think about what he'll think when he came back to her room only to find her gone.
Maybe he won't care, she thought while more tears came down her cheeks, Maybe he's still mad at me after all and the only reason he came back for me was because he was too noble to let the goblins storm the castle and hurt everyone.
If that was the case, at least he wouldn't feel hurt or pain when he saw her desolate and destructed bedroom. Although the chance that he wouldn't be upset made her feel relief for him, she also felt despair and sadness for herself. If that were the case indeed, she really did lose a friend whom she cared for greatly even though it was a short amount of time she knew him.
Froglip pushed her roughly down the stairs, giving her arms a warning squeeze as to not make a sound to alert the guards who were searching for her. They hid behind some kegs of wine and he moved her swiftly away from the guards and still concealed between the kegs. Clearly he intended to wait it out until the guards gave up before he took her back to the Goblin Kingdom. The less people to see her leave, the better after all.
She bit her lip harder to prevent sobs from escaping. So hard her lip now began to bleed. Her heart pounded as her fate was drawing nearer and nearer. A horrid and nightmare-inducing fate.
She shut her eyes, conjuring up happier memories of her encounters with the young miner in order to calm herself down enough to remain quiet. She was doing this for him. She was protecting him.
And yet a flash of what she imagined his saddened expression to be when he returned to her room made her stomach clench in guilt.
I'm sorry, Curdie. Irene thought with more tears coming down her cheeks. I'm so sorry.
Guilt at being weak enough to be taken overwhelmed and consumed her in grief.
"Real loss only occurs when you lose something you love more than yourself."
Karin: Okay, finished. It was very hard picking out quotes for this one because there were too many fitting ones, but in the end, I decided on these two because I felt they fit the content the most. I hope you all enjoyed the oneshot. Reviews are much appreciated. Thank you very much.
See ya Next time!