Phantom Island-Story 6-Part 1-“Octavian”

Octavian hated long, quiet rides like the one he was currently enduring. This particular trek was made worse by the fact that it was on a ship.

Octavian also hated the ocean.

He had grown up surrounded by water and had held many different types of employment that involved the sea. He had grown extremely tired of water ages ago; yet here he was, on a ship headed for an island.

It was her fault.

Centuries of having to endure countless moves, identity changes and a slew of other things he hated, were all her fault too.

She had cursed him with a life that wouldn’t end and he had tracked her to this island to make her reverse it. Once she did, he would kill her so she could never again inflict such an atrocity on another.

He had at some point, stopped changing his name and hiding his occupation. He didn’t advertise himself, naturally, but he also didn’t lie about who he was anymore either.

He hated the lying the most.

He had grown up proud to be who he was; proud of his name and his reputation as an incredibly honest, well respected man. He had been surrounded by friends and family that loved him and an endless line of beautiful girls that followed him everywhere.

That was until he fell in battle; or didn’t fall, in his case. He should have died and everyone who had been there to witness the sword go through his heart knew it. As it was though, he only felt the uncomfortable pressure of the sword as it went through him. He had dropped to his knees from shock, thinking it was the end of him and maybe it was shock and adrenaline that kept him from feeling the pain.

As the moments slowly ticked by however, everyone including him knew something wasn’t quite right. He looked down at the hand he had placed over the wound expecting to see blood; but there was none. He had checked where the sword had entered and exited to find no blood there. There was a tear in his uniform but his skin was untouched.

Though they were in mid-battle, the people around him, friend and foe alike, froze and stared at him before backing away in fear.

It was unacceptable to be considered a witch back then and he had been labelled one immediately; despite having grown up with many of the men around him, the life-long friendships and bonding through military endeavors.

Octavian had run from the battle field and made his way to his parent’s home. He sat them down and told them as calmly as he could what had happened. They were as distraught as he knew they would be.

First their daughter, now their son.

Their only two children had somehow become witches in a world that refused to be tolerant of them no matter who they were or whether or not they’d had a choice in the matter.

His sister had been gone for over a decade at that point and no one ever talked about her. Ever.

After a few moments of crying together, his father had suggested he pack and leave immediately. He was to change his name, ditch his uniform, cover any distinguishable features and keep moving.

Had it been a private matter he may have had time to better prepare and take his parents with him, but too many people had seen and would be coming for him. He would have to run, hide and fight forever now and his parents could not endure such a life.

Octavian clinched his fists in rage at the memories. He missed his life and his parents every day. He had worked hard to insure his future in every way; his family had money, but he wanted to earn his own and contribute to their overall wealth.

He had joined the military for the adventure, comradery, education and experience; the pay had been a perk. He had also made a number of important connections through this venue that would be beneficial to his future; one such connection being Elizabeth’s father.

Octavian’s body relaxed slightly as he remembered her.

They had been passing through his captain’s home town on a military campaign and he had allowed a few of the guys to stay at his estate for the duration.

It had been fun, despite the seriousness of their campaign. They had dined, out of uniform, at a dinner table for the first time in months and found they truly enjoyed each other’s company. They had become friends.

One night, as they dined, the captain announced that they were nearing the end of their stay. They would be leaving in a couple of weeks and, though he had been enjoying this much needed break, they would have to start getting back into the practice of formalities once again.

He had suggested they spend the next week at his home incorporating battlefield etiquette into their days. He explained that he wanted them to address each other formally throughout their casual conversations. He told them he would start planning meetings every morning to discuss strategy; they were to wear their uniforms to these meetings. The first meeting would be the next morning.

The captain concluded his talk with an unexpected bit of news; his daughter would be arriving the next morning as well.

They never knew he had children; though it had been easy enough to imagine him as a father. He had been like a second father to all under his command; and like a first father to those who had never known one.

The captain went on to say that they were strictly prohibited from any interaction with his daughter. They had all nodded their agreements as he eyed them all in a way that let them know they may not live long enough to regret breaking that particular rule.

Octavian snickered at himself as he remembered his thinking back then. He had been imagining a child coming home from school for holiday. He had no interest in children and no short supply of females waiting for him to be ready to marry.

He had thought himself a long way from such things; boy, had he been wrong.

*Thank You for reading!*

End of Story 6-Part 1

Copyright©2019 Jennifer Treece

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