Christian’s heart was revived as he witnessed Fire starter’s televised threat upon his late father’s kingdom.
“I’ve gotta stop him!” he exclaimed sitting up in his hospital bed. The young man’s will for life had returned, with his mother and father passed, it was HIS responsibility to protect his birthright. The youthful prince pulled the long plastic tube out of his throat and nostril making him gag. He then removed his I.V. needle out of his forearm, making him bleed a little. Christian stepped out of bed feeling just a tad dizzy, he walked along side his bed with his right arm propping him up. Once he reached the end of the bed, he had managed to fully regain his balance, but felt a slight cool breeze. Christian’s firm butt was completely exposed thanks to his hospital attire. The brown haired teen blushed as he tied the back of his hospital gown better.
Christian walked over to an ugly bland dresser in the room and opened each drawer looking for his clothing, but was unsuccessful. A commotion was heard down the hall which intrigued him into peering outside. Through opening his room door a little, he saw general Grechov down the hallway with several Vailstone guards surrounding Rufus and asking him many questions. Rufus appeared intimidated, suddenly the entire group began walking swiftly towards Christian’s room. The prince closed his door and began panicking. There were too many questions left unanswered and with the state the castle was in he was unaware if Grechov could be trusted or not?!
Christian rushed and looked into the restroom noticing not even an inch to hide, he glanced under his bed and realized it was a terrible spot to hide. He stood up and saw the window and figured that was his only chance. Christian hurried over and tried opening the window but no luck, the hospital window could only be opened 3 inches from the wall for safety purposes. The speedy footsteps of the general could be heard approaching. The prince scanned the room with his eyes wondering where to hide, where to escape? The royal youth’s heart skipped a beat as the door began to open.
General Grechov opened the door and instantly noticed the empty bed. He was surprised and angry, he turned his head looking at Rufus, “Where is he?”
Rufus was stunned to see the prince had vanished, “Huh? I dunno? He’s supposed to be in here.”
“Take him anyways.” Grechov ordered.
The soldiers accompanying the general arrested Rufus and escorted him away while Grechov looked about the room. Grechov opened the restroom door, looked underneath the bed, and inside a small closet before walking over to the cracked open window. Grechov felt of the window and could tell it wasn’t capable of moving out any further.
“Sir?” a soldier by the door asked questioning for orders.
“He’s not here. Scan the building. Search every room, this is our new king we’re looking for. Find him!” Grechov ordered.
The soldier had taken his orders and left as Grechov began leaving the room. Christian stood breathing nervously above the ceiling tiles, balancing carefully on small narrow metal strips to support his weight. Grechov began to leave the room until noticing a small drop of Christian’s blood on the tile floor. The general touched it with his gloved finger, noticing it was still fresh. He looked near the area for anymore drops of blood and noticed one on the floor near the dresser and even a drop on top of the dresser.
Grechov looked up to the ceiling tiles and saw one of them sitting adjacent to all of the others like it. He climbed the dresser and stood up, unlodging it from its given spot and looking above the ceiling tiles. Grechov squinted his eyes to try and see, giving his vision a moment to adjust to the darkness. After a minute he clearly saw a person balancing through the darkness.
“Christian? Is that you?” Grechov called out.
The prince turned his head quickly seeing Grechov looking directly at him, “No! Stay away! I know what happened!”
General Grechov hoisted himself above the ceiling tiles after Christian, “Don’t worry son, it was all the Fire mystic’s fault. You can trust us, trust me.” Grechov took a few steps in Christian’s direction before falling through the ceiling and into the hallway below, which startled everyone.
Soldiers and nurses rushed to his aid, but Grechov brushed them away. “Get away from me dammit! The boy’s in the ceiling! Get’em, he’s above the ceiling! Go!” he ordered his troops after standing his sore butt up from off the ground.
Soldiers began running down the hallway not entirely understanding Grechov’s instructions clearly. Christian however, freaked out and tried hurrying which made his footing sloppy. Eventually, the prince stepped down on the narrow weak metal incorrectly, lost his balance, and broke the metal frame and ceiling tiles below him forcing him to crash down to the hallway floor below. The prince’s arm was bruised as he lay on the floor in pain, yet he couldn’t stop lest he be taken as Rufus was. A scream was let out as the prince fell through the ceiling only announcing his presence.
A nurse ran over to his aid and grabbed his arm for the soldiers, that way he couldn’t escape. Christian stood up, hurting from his fall, and pulled his arm away.
“Let go, let go of me!”
“Don’t worry, it’s okay. He’s over here!” the nurse yelled.
Christian pushed the man down while pulling his arm away, successfully freeing himself. Christian ran over to the elevator doors and pushed the button repeatedly hoping for the doors to open faster. His blood-pressure began to rise as the soldiers spotted him and began pursuing. Christian was hopelessly cornered until the elevator door finally opened. He leapt inside finding the button to close the doors and pressed it as soon as he could. A moment sooner and he certainly would have been caught, unfortunately the chase wasn’t over just yet.
Grechov stood at the end of the hallway and witnessed his soldiers miss the elevator doors, “Did he go up or down?” he yelled.
“Down, sir! Most likely first floor.”
“Take the stairs, beat him. Meet him down there!” Grechov ordered.
The soldiers obeyed their general without hesitation. They burst through the emergency door stairwell running down the stairs. One troop jumped down two flights of stairs, beating the others down to the bottom floor. He ran into the hallway and awaited the elevator doors to open. As soon as the elevator opened the soldier was confused, seeing an old woman connected to her breathing apparatus.
Christian peeked around a door watching the soldiers. He slowly closed the door to the room he had entered. The prince still needed to hide. It wouldn’t be long before they came looking for him in this room as well. He turned around seeing multiple rows of church pews, stained glass windows, and a statue of Jesus Christ in the front and center of the room. Christian walked towards the statue looking for somewhere to hide securely and safely. There, beside the statue, sat many beautiful potted plants and a piano nearby. The prince began to hear voices coming from a room connected to his and laid down behind the many plants.
An emotionally scarred mother and father walked out of a room with a blond man dressed in black and white robes. The father held some folded clothing in his arms and slowly handed them over to the man in robes.
“Here, father. These were his favorite clothes, please give them to another young man who will appreciate them.” he asked woefully.
“I will. God bless you brother.” the blond man replied. “How about one last prayer before you go?”
The mother and father bowed their heads with the man in robes as Christian watched through the plant life.
“Dear heavenly father, we ask that you help guide brother and sister Ramos in their time of pain. Help them to understand your plan and to assist them in finding forgiveness to the lost soul who crashed into them the other day, taking their only son. I ask that for the holy spirit to help them in strength, and help them to stay true to their paths. We ask that.....” the reverend was interrupted as the hospital church doors flew open, startling the recovering parents. “Amen, I’m sorry, is there a problem gentlemen?”
General Grechov marched into the room with three soldiers looking under the pews and inside a utility closet, “Go check that room in there.” Grechov ordered.
“Excuse me, what’s going on here?” the reverend wondered.
“Have any of you seen a young brown haired boy running around in a hospital gown?” Grechov questioned.
“No sir, we were right in the middle of prayer here.”
“Pray I’m forgiven.” Grechov replied rudely. He looked to the soldiers that entered the other room and was notified it was clear. “Back into the hospital then.” he ordered while motioning them to leave with his two fingers.
“We’ll be back father.” the husband informed as he left the church with his wife.
The reverend nodded “God bless you.”
As the husband and wife left, he turned to the impatient general.
“What’s the matter? What has this young man done?” the reverend inquired.
“We’re looking for the prince. If you’d turn on the ‘devil’ every now and then and watch the news, you’d know what’s going on.” Grechov sarcastically answered.
“Trouble with religion brother?” the pastor asked.
Grechov smirked while walking towards the exit, “I don’t have a problem, I just have a hard time talking with imaginary friends.” he smarted back before leaving the church.
“Asshole.” the reverend answered back under his breath. He started walking back to his study while holding the deceased boy’s clothes in his hands until he noticed Christian’s naked butt pop up on the other side of the arrangements with his peripheral vision. “Hello?” he called out.
The prince stopped not to cause suspicion.
“Could you please stand up.” he paused. “Um, I can see your butt.”
Christian quickly stood to his feet in embarrassment.
“You gonna tell Grechov I’m here?”
Christian shook his head answering ‘no’.
“You running because of what happened at the kingdom this morning?”
Christian nodded his head ‘yes’.
“Did you come here to talk to me about it?”
“No, I came in here on accident.” Christian told him.
“If that’s what you want to believe.” the reverend replied.
“What do you mean, ‘what I want to believe’?” Christian asked.
“Perhaps you were guided here by something? Rather than just, stumbling here on accident?”
“I need to go.” the prince said.
“You won’t get very far in those hospital clothes there.” he said grabbing the prince’s attention. “I ‘just so happen’ to have an extra pair of clothes over here, ‘if that’s what you’d like yourself to believe’. I mean, you’re welcome to them if you like.”
“I thought those people wanted you to give them to somebody in need?” Christian wondered.
“Yes, someone who I felt would appreciate them and I can’t think of anyone else who would appreciate some nice clothes than a half naked prince. Besides, I think the previous owner would think it pretty cool for, of all people, a prince to wear his outfit now.” he smiled.
Christian walked over to the reverend and was given the clothes, “Thanks. Why are you being so helpful?” he asked.
“Do you not appreciate my helpfulness?”
“I do.” Christian answered.
“And that’s why. Oh, you can change in there if you like.” the reverend stated. Christian began to walk into the other room before the blond man spoke again, “Also, ya might wanna be more cautious about saying that in a church ya know.”
The prince looked back, “What?”
“I do!” the man said laughing from his own joke. “Because you’re in...a church! Marriage, ‘I do’.” he chuckled. He could see the joke was lost on Christian, “Never mind, you’ll laugh later.” he said wiping away a tear.
The prince closed the door to the study and undressed completely, he looked at the outfit and noticed an interesting spiral shell necklace. He thought it was neat and wore it around his neck before dressing in the remaining clothes. Christian put on the last article of clothing, a dark grey jacket and looked in a fancy mirror inside the study. He judged himself from front to back, “I like it.”
Christian walked out of the study and looked at the reverend, “It’s a perfect fit.”
“I figured somehow it would be.” he admitted smiling. “Now what will you do?”
“I have to go, I need to fix what’s happened somehow.”
“And how will you do that?”
“Um, I dunno. I just know I have to stop Fire starter and Raziel, I’ll figure something out.”
“Raziel? The grand duke?”
“He killed my parents. I have to find a way to make things right.”
The sound of many people running down the hallway began to grow closer and closer to the church entrance. The reverend pushed Christian inside the study and locked the door from the inside.
“What’s going on?” Christian wondered.
“It sounds as if your friend is back for you again.”
“Grechov!” Christian announced.
The pastor hurried over to his stain glass window, “Here, you can get out through here young prince.”
Christian ran over to the window, “Thanks for all your help, I never even got your name.” he realized.
“Luke Winters, now hurry.” he stated as Grechov began pounding on the study door.
Christian climbed out of the window, but Winters grabbed his wrist at the last moment, “Huh?”
“Young prince, keep in mind, revenge is a dark path, if traveled, it won’t lead you to happiness.” Winters warned before releasing Christian’s arm.
Christian paused for a brief moment absorbing the man’s warning, but soon after, ran along the side of the building until he was able to turn a corner and disappear inside the city. Soon the doors to the study room burst open.
“Where is he? Where’s the boy?” Grechov questioned.
Winters moved away from the window, “What ARE you talking about?”
“Security footage showed the prince ran into the church.”
“Then I would advise searching the church, wouldn’t you agree.” Winters replied.
General Grechov motioned for his soldiers to search the church and study for the prince, “What are you doing by the window?”
“Talking with my friend until you showed up.” he replied sarcastically.
Grechov glared at the reverend while the rooms were searched.
“It’s entirely clear sir, he’s not here.” the soldier informed.
“Then find him elsewhere.” Grechov ordered in a stern voice without looking away from reverend Winters. He then turned away and followed the Vailstone soldiers out of the church once again. Slamming the door on his way out.
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