Sebastian's Spirits: Part Five
"Curses can be lifted, can't they?" the Lupe asked desperately, but the ringmaster scoffed.
"By the sorcerer, maybe, but why would Vandor ever consider lifting the very curse that he placed on us?"
Sebastian's answer was simple: "To comply with Carolyn's wishes."
Fredrick was dumbfounded. "You don't understand. I may love Carolyn, but she doesn't love me back. In fact, she loathes me for abandoning her to Vandor. She... she'd rather I had lived than herself. And besides, she specifically said that the next time we went to Vandor's mansion, she wouldn't help us."
Jerome frantically held up his Hissi wings, attempting to stop Fredrick from drawing spontaneous conclusions and having an untimely breakdown. He took care of this, of course, by drawing his own spontaneous conclusions. "Wait, let me get this straight. We're going to force Carolyn to convince Vandor to break the curse on us, therefore reuniting Fredrick and Carolyn before we destroy Vandor in an unexplainable way, thus lifting the curse off Roger in the end? Sebastian! That is absolutely ridiculous! And Carolyn would never follow with our plan!"
"Roger can talk him out of this," Viktoria hissed brusquely and massaged her temples. The entire situation was making her grow weary. "It's the only way."
"Talk to your grandfather, Sebastian!" Ava pleaded. "Listen to him. He'll want you to stay away from Vandor. He'll convince you that what you want to do is too risky in the end."
"But that's the thing! I don't need any convincing," the Lupe argued, his tone rising over Ava's. "Carolyn has to change her mind. She'll have to be on our side this time."
"You stubborn child!" Fredrick huffed. "Why can't you just listen to us? You don't know what you're talking about!"
"What exactly do you plan on doing once you end up standing in Vandor's path? We can't do anything to help except get you out of there in case..." Ava's voice trailed off. The ritual of transporting Sebastian from one world to the next took too long, and by the time they circled the Lupe, Vandor would have already placed a curse upon Sebastian.
"Do it." Jerome glared at his three companions. "We'll be quick with our escape. He'll just have to hide the box somewhere where he can grab it in case there's trouble. Vandor cannot get his hands on the box!"
Viktoria was furious at Jerome for continuing to support the idea. "Oh, for the love of Fyora, this is Roger's eldest grandchild! We can't put in the way of harm someone that Roger loves unconditionally! This is not going to work and Sebastian will end up dead! And it will be a pity, because I've grown to like him!"
"I don't want my grandfather to die in the state that he's in." Sebastian's voice rose. "My grandfather is the most selfless, inspiring individual that I have ever met. If something does happen to me, at least I'll know that I lost while fighting for someone who means more to me than anything and deserves the best."
Not one spirit moved as their gazes fell on the young Lupe. After what seemed like an eternity, a circle was formed. The light blinded Sebastian, but he could hear the soft yet defeated mutter from Fredrick. "You'll destroy us all, you foolish, foolish child."
The food from Carolyn's plate went untouched and cold. If Vandor was sitting next to her in his usual seat, he would surely have mentioned her lack of appetite out of concern. But with his absence, Carolyn silently thanked Fyora that she did not have to choke down the food that Vandor willingly prepared for himself and his bride. She never felt hungry anymore... actually, she never felt any sort of emotion anymore. The beautiful, courteous, gentle Carolyn was trapped in a never-ending nightmare that started when she was a carefree maiden and followed her into her adult life. The old and wise sorcerer Vandor loved her so dearly that he became obsessed with making her is wife. Carolyn became the victim of Vandor's curse that confined her soul to his. She could never leave him, and even if she had the opportunity, she would be too afraid to try. When Vandor got angry, it felt as if the world would suddenly come to an end. She refused for anything to succumb to Vandor, even herself.
The dining room was anything and everything regal. The golden ceiling and blood red walls towered over the frail Xweetok, and the chandeliers dangled and sparkled above. The table that stood in the middle of the incredibly lavish, spacious room was long, and set on top were numerous lit candles that flickered sporadically. Carolyn sat to the left of the head of the table, next to the seat that belonged to Vandor. Where he went, Carolyn was not positive. If time was needed, Vandor would retire briefly to his hidden laboratory in the confines of his basement where his potions and dark sorcery were perfected.
Outside the dining room came a noise that Carolyn was in the least bit not expecting. Voices... numerous ones for that matter. Two were female, no question about that, but one was much younger. A child? A child was in the house? Carolyn got up and pressed herself against the closed door and proceeded to listen, but hastily stepped back when she realized that the doorknob was turning. A timid Lupe stuck his head in the room, blue eyes widening at the sight of the violet tainted Xweetok.
He opened his mouth after staring into her tired eyes. "Hello..."
Despite being quite taken aback, Carolyn cut him off. "Please leave. Honestly, it's for your own safety. I won't get you in trouble for trespassing, but please, go before he comes back." As quickly as those words were said did she shudder. Years of socialization had been robbed from her, and her normally welcoming and kind personality had faded to this bitter being.
But the Lupe said nothing and instead smiled. "Carolyn?"
Her pulse quickened and she stood in awe. "How do you know my name?"
"I know Fredrick," he said rather happily. "He's here to see you!"
For the first time in what seemed like eternity, Carolyn felt her heart skip a beat. "Father's here?"
Not the reaction I was expecting, Sebastian thought to himself. But in reality he had no clue what to expect when Carolyn's own father, while not in flesh in blood, had come back after years and years of separation from his beloved daughter. When he changed from his invisible state to becoming perceptible to the unaided eye, Sebastian swore he heard Carolyn draw in a breath of shock. If Vandor did happen to make a return, Jerome, Ava and Viktoria were ready to appear and transport Sebastian out. But as Fredrick faced his daughter, Sebastian could not help but feel anything but love between the two.
"Carolyn, sweetheart, you haven't changed a bit." Fredrick's voice was soft and unrecognizable to his daughter.
She stuck her nose in the air. "You must have skipped over the wrinkles and lines on my face. Here I am looking older than my own father! And I've lost that sparkle in my eye you claimed that I had even on the darkest days. I would say that I have changed quite a bit."
Fredrick gave a half-hearted grin. "That's all you have to say?"
"Frankly I don't know what to say," she bit her lip. "Why have you come back here? Your safety is in jeopardy."
"I came to see you, of course. I came to see my beautiful daughter that I raised and loved."
She did not respond to her father's statement, but rather completely disregarded it. "Is he the Holder of the box?" Carolyn gestured towards Sebastian, who was standing rather uncertainly off to the side and watching her and Fredrick intently.
"Why yes, that is Sebastian."
She pointed a slender finger at her father. "Sebastian put you up to this, just like Roger did. I know it."
"Why does that matter?" Fredrick raised his translucent paw and lined it to the Xweetok's prominent cheekbone, giving the illusion that he was actually holding her face as a sign of endearment. "Oh, how I would give anything to embrace you."
"You can't save me from Vandor," Carolyn's words shot through Fredrick's heart and stepped away from him. "All this could have been avoided, you know. Why couldn't you learn from the past, Father? Why do you have to be so foolish?"
Carolyn became choked up on the last word, which made Fredrick's heart break. "What kind of father would choose his life over his daughter's? I'll tell you which kind... one that doesn't deserve to live in the first place."
"Father, I don't know if I can forgive you," Carolyn sniffed, trying desperately to hold back tears.
"Do you know how many nights I stayed up sobbing and staring out the window, praying that I would one day be able to escape this jail? I told you to save yourself, but you didn't listen," she clenched her fists. "And you really, really should have."
To be continued...