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Worlds Apart: Part Nine

by tanikagillam


“My name is Vincent, and I’ve done a few terrible things in my time.

     I’ve often wondered; is it better to die a hero, or live like a villain?

     I’ve heard it before, and I think it quite frequently.

     There’s a line between good and evil, everyone knows that. But to know just how fine that line is takes a certain type of person.

     Someone who’s lived as both.

     It’s hard to comprehend, isn’t it?

     A hero falling from grace, betraying their cause and ascending into the darkness.

     Or a villain who commits a simple, selfless act and saves a life, or perhaps many.

     Yes, sometimes the line between good and evil is so fine that we don’t even know it’s there, and we don’t know that we’ve crossed it.

     And that’s when things can get really ugly.”

     Vin paused with his pen on the paper and glanced around his room. It was nice enough, nothing too grand but it was certainly better than Meridell.

     He had returned to the Space Station after so many years, and it felt like yesterday. It hadn’t changed much, except perhaps for the number of other species beside Grundos. It was nice to see them all getting along so well.

     Compared to Meridell, his new cell was very nice. It was bigger and actually had carpet. It wasn’t the fluffy orange he had been hoping for; in fact, it was a harsh, rough grey. But it was better than a cold stone floor, and in winter it really made a difference. The windows weren’t barred, but were covered in a sort of force-field that allowed Vin to look out, although no air came through. At least he had windows, though; in the Meridell dungeons there were none. His bed was a decent size and he had a little desk where he often (like now) liked to sit and write away the hours of the day. He had written a few stories and the odd poem or two, but now he had decided to take on something far more challenging.

     He chewed thoughtfully on the end of his pen before continuing writing.

      “It’s time this story was told, and I hope to be as accurate as the facts demand.

     Years ago I made a stupid mistake and it cost me my freedom. I was exiled from my home on the Space Station and sent to Meridell. My sentence was life; I was to be in there forever. I deserved this, for the wrong I had done.

     Inside I met a Zafara, who at first did not speak a word to me. If I’m honest I’ll admit I thought she was a little crazy. She would hum this song over and over every day, and at night she would dance.

     Eventually she warmed to me and I’m proud to say that she became my best friend.

     Jaden and I were a team, and together we befriended one of the guards. I’m told he has retired now, and I’m so happy that he has some peace and tranquillity in his life.

     One year we were awoken in the night by the arrival of a new cellmate. Carrick was the loudest person I have ever had to share a room with and it took him a while to calm down. Eventually, he too, became my friend.

     Jaden, Carrick and I had a plan to escape, and I am proud to say that it worked, and we were free. We broke out of the jail they said could not be breached. We travelled the worlds together, and were going to find a great place to settle down and have normal lives. I say normal, although we knew it would never be how it was before. The guards were chasing us and things were looking grim when we lost one of our party.

     And then I found a journal, a diary of someone who knew things about one of my friends. Reading it and knowing the horrible extent of the situation, I had to do something which required a great amount of faith. Leaping from a boat into freezing ocean water was a terrifying experience, but I did it thinking of the future that I would be affecting. It was for the greater good, I kept telling myself.

     I had to remember that this was all for the greater good as I was betraying my friends. I sought out the guards and traded them the knowledge I had for the promise of a better life.

     I gave up my friends’ location and went with the guards as they captured them again. I cannot even begin to describe how I felt, watching my friends being dragged away from their newfound freedom. But I could not let Jaden get away again, no matter how much I treasured her friendship.

     I had hoped beyond hope that Carrick had not made his way to Moltara, that he had continued to go his own way, but alas, he was there also. Regretfully, he was taken also.

     I visit him often, as often as my guard will allow. He’s quite nice, but he sticks to the rules.

     Carrick’s in Tyrannia, and I think it’s the best place for him. He can be with other fire-breathers, and can bellow as loudly as he likes. I had worried he would not want to see me, after what I did, but as it was, by chance he, too, had read the journal and felt the same as me. He’ll be out around the same time as I regain my freedom, in three years. Perhaps we might get together and have that happily ever after.

     Jaden is back at Meridell, and I’m glad, as she will be safe there, safe from the world and safe from herself. I have not visited her, and I don’t think I will. It will be too hard to explain to her why I turned her in, that she is simply too dangerous to be out in the worlds. I don’t think she even remembers what she did...

     I’m writing this all down not only as a memoir for myself and a record of my own story, but so that if one day this should this ever be released, the world will know why I did what I did.

     Why I betrayed the two people who meant more to me than anything, why I traded them in for a better deal for myself. I hope you all can understand.

     My family come and visit me sometimes. Seeing their faces again after all these years is the most incredible feeling I can hardly even describe.”

     At this point Vin stopped writing and wiped a single tear that had spilled from his eye. He smiled tenderly as he glanced at the framed photo on his desk of his family, who were beaming and waving happily up at him.

     They were planning on stopping by tomorrow, and Vin couldn’t wait. He took a large chomp out of his apple and chewed vigorously, thinking hard.

      “My name is Vincent, and I’ve done a few terrible things in my time.

     I’ve often wondered; is it better to die a hero, or live like a villain?

     You see, there’s a line between good and evil. It’s quite a fine line and easy to cross.

     But it’s whether or not you cross back that matters.

     Because we’ve all got good and evil in us. It’s what we choose to do with it that makes us who we are.

     And that’s when things can become beautiful.”

     Vin finished writing and signed his name with a flourish. He read through what he had written and smiled with satisfaction. He tied the papers neatly with a green ribbon and placed the bundle back gently on the desk.

     He glanced around his little room and felt a sense of calm and comfort settle over him. It was neat and tidy and had everything he needed. Yes, the guards had cut him a very nice deal.

    Far, far away on the world down below, his dear friend Carrick was no doubt snoozing comfortably in his room, or perhaps eating a large feast. Or entertaining the guards with his fire-snorting tricks. Vin was glad that he, too, was happy. Three years seemed like three minutes when compared to a life sentence.

     “Hey, Vin. What you doin’?” his guard called from outside the door, peering in through the little window. The big Grarrl was probably the youngest guard to be working on the Space Station, but he was sweet enough.

     “Just finished writing my memoir, I’ve been working on it for ages,” Vin replied, sliding off his seat and grabbing the bunch of papers. He went to the door and poked them through the slot into the Grarrl’s waiting hands. “Let me know what you think, I’m thinking submitting it for print.”

     Hours passed while the guard was leaning against the door and reading through the paper.

     “It’s good, Vin, I like it. But you haven’t mentioned something, possibly the most important thing out of the whole tale.”

     “What’s that?”

     “What Jaden did to be thrown in Meridell’s dungeon in the first place, the awful thing that made you decide to turn her back in.”

     Vin smiled wickedly.

     “Ah. That, dear reader, is a story for another day.”

The End

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Other Episodes

» Worlds Apart: Part One
» Worlds Apart: Part Two
» Worlds Apart: Part Three
» Worlds Apart: Part Four
» Worlds Apart: Part Five
» Worlds Apart: Part Six
» Worlds Apart: Part Seven
» Worlds Apart: Part Eight

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