Fiction Fragment Fridays: Returning Hope (Chapter 3 – Part 3)

Continuing on with Final Fantasy: Returning Hope!

Reminder: If you’re looking for the previously posted parts of the story, go to the “Categories” drop-down banner on the left banner of the site and choose “Final Fantasy: Returning Hope”.

Edgar - FingerLocke - DeadTerra - Cast
*Spites via

“No, no, no, no, no,” Locke groaned. He pulled a blanket up over his head. “I refuse. Leave me here to die.”

Edgar shook his head. Terra, who had no idea why Locke was so cranky this morning, sat on the edge of his bed and watched with interest as Edgar ripped the blanket back down from his pale face. Locke moaned in protest and curled up into a ball with his arms over his head.

“You promised this wouldn’t happen!” Edgar accused angrily.

“It’s a cruel fate that I can’t escape from!” Locke shot back, his face turning green. “It’s not my fault!”

Terra’s curiosity got the better of her. “What’s wrong, Locke?”

“He’s sick,” Edgar explained with his arms crossed. “He’s always drinking too much and letting himself get sick.”

“Oh,” said Terra. Was that all? She looked sideways at Locke for a moment and then reached up and placed a hand on his forehead. His skin was clammy, but she held contact.

“What’re you…?” Locke began, but cut himself off.

Terra’s hand had begun to glow, softly at first, and then as bright as an open flame. Locke fidgeted nervously, trying to pull his head as far back into the pillow as he could, but he soon relaxed as a pleasant, warm feeling fell over him. The light began to die away and Terra pulled her hand back.

“Better?” she asked.

Locke’s eyes were wide. “Completely!” he exclaimed, practically jumping from the bed. “What did you do?”

Terra shrugged a little. “Healed you? I don’t know what the limitations of my powers are, but I thought it might help.”

Edgar shook his head in awe. “You just get more and more amazing…”

“Not really,” Terra mumbled, looking down at the bedsheets. She liked helping, but she didn’t like being gawked at as though there was something strange about her.

Locke saw where the conversation had gone and caused a distraction by throwing his pillow hard at Edgar’s head and taking off at a run down the hallway. Terra couldn’t help but let out a little chuckle as the king took off after him.

A few minutes later Locke was nursing a rapidly-bruising forearm while Edgar paid the innkeeper for their night’s stay. Terra wondered, with a raised eyebrow and a small smile, if either of them were even as old as they looked.

“Did you hear the awful news?” said a man at the back of the room to an older maid.

Terra turned her head in interest.

“What’s that, then?” the old maid asked.

“Master Duncan’s been slain!”

“No! You must be mistaken! That can’t possibly be true!”

“But it is, my dear woman! And what’s more, his son and that disciple of his have disappeared as well!”

“My gracious…whatever do you think could have happened?”

“Well…this is just between you and me now…but I’ve never much trusted that son of his…power-hungry, you know?”

“Oh no, you don’t really think that, do you? His own son do him in?”

“Well I don’t rightly know, my good woman, but if I were that disciple fella, that young Sabin, I’d be watching my back real close.”

Terra was distracted from the conversation by Locke’s voice. “Hey, Edgar? You okay, buddy?” She turned to look and saw that Edgar’s face was blanched white, his eyes locked on the man and the old maid. He looked a hundred times worse than Locke had looked that morning.

With a stab of emotion in her chest, Terra recalled that ‘Sabin’ was the name of Edgar’s younger brother.

Gradually, looking as though he was holding back the urge to vomit, he began to move toward the man and the old maid. “This disciple named Sabin…” He barely spoke loud enough for them to hear, but they both turned at the sound of his voice. “Does he, perchance, look like me?”

“As a matter of fact,” said the man, with a hint of surprise, “His hair is much shorter and he’s rather more muscular, but the face…definitely.”

Edgar began to tremble. He opened his mouth again, but no words came out.

Locke, who had only heard half the original conversation, began to catch on. He stepped forward quickly and gave the man and the maid a serious look. “Where did Master Duncan live?” he demanded.

The man looked suspicious, but the maid saw the green seeping into Edgar’s face and she conceded immediately. “In a little wooden house about ten miles north of here.”

She’d barely gotten the words out of her mouth before Edgar was out the door at a run.

Locke looked at Terra and she nodded at him before the two of them turned and quickly took off after their companion.

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