Court of the King

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

What lies in the misty woods?

“L-Lacy, w-wait up!”

“Wait up? You hurry up Celia! Honestly, we don’t have all day you know.”

“B-B-But what about-”

“Oh reee-lax already! Sheesh, you make it sound like we’re doing a bad thing being out here.”

But it was a bad thing, as anyone with clear common sense would point out. Still, Celia couldn’t really do much to dissuade the other girl, and sneaking out like this was no anomaly to either one of them. The young girl-appearing no older than at least twelve-with the small green dress to compliment her eyes and the long, blonde hair absolutely hated going out on these little expeditions. Her hair would get tangled, and the scraggly branches would scratch out, and the mud would tarnish her black shoes, and all sorts of other pleasant things would occur too. In short, Celia deplored exploring the outside forest.

Likewise, the same aged girl leading the two wore a similar dress, only it was a dark hue of purple to contrast with her light, blue eyes and black hair, as dark as a raven’s. Lacy never was fazed by this place, and Celia never had the heart to say no; secretly, she probably enjoyed these small outings as well.

Morrow Wood.

A forest said to encompass the unknown regions of the world and house beings that lay dormant only in the nightmares of children. Alternatively, it was said to be home to magical creatures of incredible power. Or so the stories went. Even now, the two girls crossed over murky puddles and moss-covered rocks with the sole purpose of finding new landmarks and having new adventures.

“So, hey, Lacy? Um, what are we supposed to be looking for today?”

Celia glanced up at the gray sky and shivered. The whole expanse of Morrow Wood was rumored to forever be placed in a perpetual mist, decreasing visibility to the outside world of its contents. Rain showers were common in the area, and so a cool humidity had often become a second layer of sorts to the skins of those who dared to venture these parts. Soon though, the two girls who usually spent a fair majority of their Sunday afternoons walking these very same lands now found themselves entering a large clearing.

Halting to rest near a gray tree, Lacy shrugged in response to the question before scanning the immediate area.

“Well first we’re gonna goose old Dundy and then-”

“Again! Don’t we do that every time we come here?”

“Well if you let me finish, then I’d tell you that we’re also gonna be the first ones to find the King of the Forest.”

Celia’s complexion immediately paled upon hearing those words, and she jumped a little when the callings of some random flock of birds filled the clearing.

“S-Seriously? Lacy we don’t even know if he exists.”

The dark-haired girl wagged her finger knowingly to her friend.

“Duh! That’s why we’re gonna find him first and prove to everyone else that he is real. Don’t you wanna know if he’ll grant us powers like in the stories?”


“Oh yeah, all sorts of them! But according to the stories, you have to goose him in a way he won’t expect. And if you fail, he’s supposed to eat your soul or something. After that, you’re trapped in his belly forever and ever. I think.”


“I said I think! Anyway, let’s find Dundy first and get that over with. Alright?”

“U-Um…w-well, I suppose w-we could maybe-”


Celia instantly became silent as a familiar cold gale swept over the clearing, rustling the leaves above them slightly. Each girl looked around to pinpoint the source of the sound until…there. A soft crunching noise echoed from the far left and soon the crackles of twigs underfoot became soon accompanied by the thud of heavy feet. Celia instinctively brought her body closer to Lacy’s in fright; the other girl bent down to scoop up a wet rock in her palm and waited patiently.

The creature finally broke the moss lines, revealing to all its hideous glory. Its skin was a pale, cream color with scars and blemishes written off in a criss-cross pattern over its bare back. Its legs ended in wicked, carved talons that scratched and upturned the dirt forest floor below. Its arms were long and gangly, ending in what were once perhaps human nails now turned feral from consumption and bloodlust. But what was perhaps most disturbing was its face. A small mouth gleamed with needle-like teeth, and the creature moved its head blindly in search of prey.

No nose. No eyes. No ears. No hair.

Although it walked on two sturdy legs, it grazed in a hunched position reminiscent of an old man’s. Celia failed to contain a soft whimper as Dundy flared its facial features to locate the two girls, knowing on some primitive level that it could never taste nor smell the sweet aroma of flesh.With a smirk, Lacy took one quiet step toward the damned thing and then another, and another, finally maneuvering her body to the creature’s left flank.

“Lacy! Come on, just goose him already!”

Lacy rolled her eyes to Celia’s forced whisper before letting out an unappreciated sigh.

“Hey there Dundy…got another gift for you right here…”

Tensing her small frame and rearing her arm back, Lacy tossed the rock with as much force as her body could muster. Upon release, she bolted backwards to stand in front of Celia, gripping the other girl’s arm in preparation to run.

The rock made sudden impact with Dundy’s scraggly body, and the creature snarled every which way and direction to locate the source of the attack. Watching it flail around like a headless chicken, Lacy giggled mindlessly at the creature’s stupidity. Celia laughed as well, although not with the same intensity as Lacy’s mirth. It took a good twenty or so seconds for Dundy to turn its naked head back towards the girl and leap forward. By then, Lacy was half-leading, half-dragging Celia away from the danger.

“You…you really shouldn’t h-have provoked him like that,” Celia panted, trying to keep up with her friend’s sprint.

“Hey, we can’t spend all day messing with him. Our main priority right now is the King!”

“B-But Lac-eeep!”

A snarl, one that sounded very much like the howling screeches of a dying newborn, yowled directly behind them. The sudden noise made Celia’s hair stand up, the newfound adrenaline forcing her into a full-on sprint through the woods. Rotting logs and wet marshes passed by her feet as the blonde girl ripped her hand from Lacy’s grip and continued to run for her life.

“Haha, that’s the spirit Celia!” Lacy encouraged behind her, adjusting her pace so she could keep up. Another throaty snarl echoed behind them, a little too close for comfort by Lacy’s standards. Turning around for a brief glance, Lacy soon found herself darting forward once more at the slowly disappearing image of Celia’s back in front of her, mildly spooked by what she had seen behind her.

“Heh, looks like he’s really got it in for us today,” she said nervously. “Celia how about we…hey Celia slow down and wait up!”

Well considering they had a malnourished beast raging after their heels, it was most unlikely that Celia would slow down for anything at this point.


But the blonde-haired girl was deaf to all outside warnings as she forged her way blindly deeper into the dark forest. Her eyes began to tear up at the sheer terror of their situation as bracken lashed at her ankles and vines threatened to entangle her form for whatever other predator might lay hidden.

“I don’t want this, I don’t want this, I don’t want this, I don-aah!”

Celia lost her sense of feeling underfoot, bringing her steps to feel nothingness itself….no, that wasn’t it. She was falling, spiraling downwards into an endless abyss, her limbs flailing about like a wingless bird. Rolling down onto the dirt ground, Celia’s body finally breached into a standstill once she felt her back crash into a hard surface.

Several long seconds followed before the girl finally reeled her eyes back open, her breathing now an erratic panting. Bringing herself up, she stood on  wobbling legs that threatened to collapse on her; looking down, she frowned at the various cuts and smudges brought about on her dress, caused by her tumbling.

She almost broke down into tears right then and there, and only her realization that she had been separated from Lacy made her reconsider the pathetic action. Streams of pale light floated from above and illuminated her body, casting the area in a milky apparatus. It appeared as if the ground above had given way under her weight, leading into an underground make-shift cavern. Sniffling, she took a wide sweeping arc to scan her surroundings.

There was only one way out in the small, cramped space, given shape and form by the dark tunnel that led forward. The walls of the hole were unnaturally cold, their icy exteriors rapidly bringing down the temperature and forcing her to cover her dress-sleeved arms for warmth. The smell of decaying earth intruded her nostrils and she nearly gagged at the sharp tang present in the air, as if stale wine or vinegar had been sprayed all over the hole.

“Lacy…p-please come for me…I don’t w-wanna…” she whimpered to the darkness, ready for the long wait for her friend. Would she just sit down there and cry her eyes out? Very much so, seeing as this was Celia of all people; the girl swore she didn’t have a brave bone in her body and she certainly had no notions of actually exploring that inky black passageway.

So what then, made the young girl ultimately change her mind? What forced her to proceed further into the unknown with the risk of never making it back above ground? What external force made her decide to find Lacy herself instead of sitting down and wailing at her misery? The answer was very simple.

A low growl snarled right next to her ear.

Celia took off in a sprint towards the darkness, eager to get as far away she could from…whatever the hell that thing was. However, a few brief steps forward quickly made her regret the hasty decision. The tunnel was pitch black and dank, as if it were the inside of some unholy creature. And yet at the same time, an icy wind blew through the tunnel walls, completely contradicting the aura within and giving off temperamental feelings of hot and cold.

She didn’t like this at all; at least back there, she could see what was going to inevitably get her. In this tunnel, her screams and pleas would fall on deaf ears. She was about to turn around to face the lesser of two evils when a hand lashed out and grabbed her wrist. Naturally, she screamed out in fright before the mysterious figure promptly silenced her.

“Hey, hey, shut up and keep up!”

“L-L-Lacy? When did you….?”

“Come on already! He’s right behind you!”

“Behind me?”

Before Celia had any more time to pause and comprehend what was going on, she felt her body being led by the other force. She did not openly question it, nor did she verbally protest; if this really was Lacy, there was nothing to fear, right? It wasn’t long before a brief speck of light filled Celia’s vision, one that eventually grew into a wide open space. More and more light gradually filled the area and Celia was finally able to witness this new section of the tunnels.

It was much like the enclave from earlier; only this one had a large incline made of dead roots, tree trunks, and sprawling greenery. Without hesitation, Celia sprinted towards the make-shift ramp and carefully climbed upwards. Finally, she could be free from this place and just go home and sleep!


The blonde girl looked up to see a perplexed Lacy standing above her with eyebrows raised. Her blue eyes reflected confusion at the sight before her.

“Hey L-Lacy, can you give me a hand?”

“Oh right! Uh, sure. How did you find your way back to me? I’ve been searching for you the last ten minutes or so; I figured you went back home already.”

“What? Lacy you led me out of the tunnels just now, remember?”

“No I didn’t. Jeez, did you hit your head too? I told you I’ve been up here all this time.”

“But then who-”

A mighty roar ripped through the small hole in the ground, reverberating over the walls and shaking Morrow Wood to its core. The sudden shock and impact of it sent Celia tumbling backwards a good amount before she scrabbled to cling back on. She looked up to ask Lacy what happened but froze when she saw her friend pointing to something behind her. Her body moving on its own in a mechanical manner, Celia slowly turned around to see what the other girl saw.

And then she screamed.

It was huge, impossibly huge. So large was it that both girls wondered how it was even able to fit through the tunnel’s opening. White, blinded eyes seething with age and time gleamed from the darkness as the massive creature crawled on all fours from its den. It took the form of an immense, black bear, with fangs that were stained crimson by the blood of the curious. Patches of hair were torn and strewn about from its hide, and both girls could make out the shapes of twigs, knives, mud, and the earth that clung to the creature’s mangled coat. Its left flank exuded a strange white color that contrasted with the thick, dark fur; upon closer inspection, each of the girls were horrified to discover half of the beast’s ribcage exposed to the open air for all to bear witness.

A silent understanding passed between girl and monster, and both of them knew without speaking what it was that stood before them.

The King of the Forest.

With a low growl, the beast lumbered forward with the intent to kill and feed. Its closing presence startling her back to reality, Celia scrambled up the log incline towards safety.

“Lacy p-pull me up!”

“The King…he’s shown himself to us…”

The dark-haired girl stared down with a blank expression plastered onto her face, her body refusing to move at will.

“Lacy hurry!”

“He can see us? No…no we disturbed him…he’s going to punish us…”

“L-Lacy, please!”

“He’ll gobble our souls…he knew we were going to goose them….and when’s he’s done…”


Celia’s shrieks startled her and she quickly bent down to grab her friend’s hand. Rumbling shook at their feet, nearly making both girls plummet towards their demise. The King of the Forest sank its cleave-like claws into the soft earth, climbing out of its hole.

“Run Celia!”

Both girls sprinted away from the creature towards the edge of the forest, the howls that craved for their blood splitting the very wind itself. Reaching the very top, the King charged at them with hell-bent contempt to feel their frail bodies be twisted and mutilated in its jaws.

“Lacy we can’t outrun it!”

“Shut up Celia! We just have to make it home and it can’t get us!”

“You’re not gonna try and goose it?”

“Does that look like an option right now! I’m not goosing that thing ever again!”

They dared not look back, for both of them knew that if they so much as allowed their gazes to linger on those misty white eyes, they would be paralyzed with fear, a guarantee to losing their souls. Wood splintered like bone as logs and strewn tress crumbled under the might of the demonic bear. Tears had since welled up in Celia’s eyes again as she scrambled after the other girl in a blind panic.

“Look, there it is!”

“Lacy are you sur-”

“You wanna take the chance or duke it out with big and hungry back there?”

A howling roar became sufficient enough for Celia’s answer, and the two girls crossed into the tree line, finally emerging into a misty clearing. The King lashed out a hefty, clawed paw in one final act of spite, severing two trees in one swipe. Both girls screamed out as they felt the bare wisps of their hair be sliced in the attack. That last burst of adrenaline allowed Celia to trip forward, stumbling and crashing into Lacy, her hands clenched on her dress and pulling her down as well. The two girls rolled onto the wet grass, freezing in place before daring to try and stand up. When they didn’t feel their insides being ripped out of their tiny bodies, Lacy and Celia stood on trembling feet, turning around to peer at their assailant one last time.

The dark bear, choosing not to set foot on holy land lest it invoke the wrath of the high deity that ruled all, glared right back at them with twin points of unseeing eyes glowing in the gloom. A final snarl rang out into the misty air before the King turned away to return to his gray domain. The ring of its almighty roar made both girls shudder as the very vibration seemed to rupture their bones.

“T-That’s….can we skip next week’s adventure L-Lacy? And the next…?”

“Y-Yeah. Yeah I think we need a break from all this…heh, you were totally scared silly Celia!”

“W-Well of course I was! You should have never tried to goose him!”

The dark-haired girl shrugged, her familiar grin slowly forming again. It was so bright, that even Celia had to smirk a little in its radiance. The two young girls began walking the wide open space, nothing but morning dew and freezing grass around them. And home. They were finally home.

“Alright I get it! I shouldn’t have tried to goose the King of the Forest…not like he gave me a chance anyway.”

“That’s right! I guess he’s the King for a reason.”

“But hey, we still got old Dundy, huh? And that person who led you in the tunnels…that’ll be our next target for later! I wonder if they’re adventurers just like us…”

“Er, Lacy? I-Isn’t that where the King lives-”

“Nah, we’ll find some way to bypass all that. You trust me, right?”

As the two girls prepared to depart, they stood in front of their home. Stone, strong, and erect, it was home where the dangers of Morrow Wood could never hurt them. Home was where their loved ones were. Home was warm, safe, and happy. A place that, at the end of the day, they would never fail to return to. Knowing this eternal truth, this one unmistakable fact, Celia turned to her friend and smiled shyly.

“I-I suppose…yeah. Yeah, I-I trust you Lacy.”

The other girl gave her a goofy grin.

“Good, good. Well, see you tomorrow Celia!”

And just like that, the girl with the purple dress and the raven hair faded out of sight. Likewise, her companion with the green dress and the hair that shined like the sun followed suit with a sigh.

Two grave stones lay still in the middle of Morrow Wood, where the wind blows cold and the forest hides all.

Here lies Lacy Bastion. Here lies Celia Crescent. May Death bind their friendship as one.


Submitted: February 08, 2015

© Copyright 2023 Lulzvek. All rights reserved.

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