Fatefall - 50

Fatefall - 50

A Chapter by A.L.
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Poppy

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Chapter 50 - Poppy

And now it seems like he wants to kill you. For that, I am sorry. I should’ve been a better king, and I should’ve been a better father.

Poppy woke up in a room that was not her own.

A heavy flower covered bedspread had been draped across her while she was sleeping. A rose colored carpet covered the floor near the closed door and vases of flowers had been precariously placed in vases around the room. The air was thick with the scent of blossoms.

She pushed herself into a sitting position, surprised by how much her body hurt.

The last thing she remembered was her own ungracing, but it seemed like a haze in her head and her Grace still stirred in her chest. Had she imagined the whole thing? Where was she?

Carefully, she slid the blankets off her legs and dropped to the floor. The wood creaked beneath her feet.

She wore the same outfit she could remember wearing for the second trial: black jacket and pants, the boots on the rug by the door. She crept over to the boots and flipped them upside down, and just as she expected, grains of sand came tumbling out.

A headache pulsed at her temples. 

She could remember the Fete and the third trial. Surely that meant they’d happened, right?

She made her way back to the bed, afraid to leave the tiny bedroom.

Where were her teammates? They would be able to explain what was happening to her. Maybe the ungracing ceremony had been a dream…but that would make the third trial a dream too, as she’d been awake for the entire thing. Unless Hunter had killed her…

The doorknob turned suddenly, startling Poppy out of her thoughts. She briefly considered feigning sleep but decided against it. She wanted answers.

A familiar older looking woman smiled as she saw Poppy awake. 

Poppy recognized the scale tattoo on her arm. The seamstress. Viola.

“Oh, my dear, you’re finally awake!” Viola exclaimed. She rushed forward, her smile morphing to a frown as Poppy shrank back from her.

Confusion twisted her mind into knots, making it hard to think. “Where am I?”

Viola hesitated. “You’ve been in an accident, dear. It’s…how much do you remember? Do you know what your name is?”

“Poppy,” she answered, confident that she at least knew that.

Viola nodded to herself, a flash of something that might have been disappointment flashing across her features for a split second. “You see, Poppy, the second trial has just ended. You’ve been asleep for a little while now.”

Fear slithered through her gut. “The…second trial?”

Viola’s eyes were filled with pity. “I’m so sorry, dear. Your teammates left you in the desert. We don’t know all the details---we just know that they’ve disappeared off the map and they left you behind. One of the False Fates reported that they found you and I’ve been taking care of you.”

“You’re a seamstress,” Poppy stated, feeling dumb. “Why would you care for me?”
Viola frowned. “A seamstress? No, I’m a doctor.”

“Nakoa and I visited your shop before the Fete.” Realization dawned on her. “Which was after the second trial.”

Viola bowed her head. “I’ve been talking to you, trying to keep you comfortable. You’ve probably been dreaming, and you probably heard me talking to you so I appeared in your dreams.”
“I suppose that makes sense,” Poppy sighed. “I just…why would my teammates leave me? We were on good terms in the second trial. As far as I remember, at least.”

Viola shrugged. “Our judges are still looking into the situation,” she confessed. “I hope that we can bring your team to justice. I mean, to leave your friend stranded in the desert with no food or water? I think they sedated you too, but whatever they used, they gave you too much of it. That’s why you feel so horrible right now.”

Poppy drew her knees to her chest, feeling incredibly alone.

She couldn’t figure out why her teammates would’ve left her. They’d been getting along perfectly fine, but how much of what she remembered of the second trial was made up? 

And if her memories of everything past the second trial were fake, that meant…

She’d never screwed up with Nakoa and Ansel

She’d never spoken to Adrian about his feelings.

She’d never forfeit the Tournament to save Sage.

She could still go home.

Relief swept over her, along with the sting of betrayal and the dull ache of regret. 

“I’m sorry, Poppy. I know how much your team meant to you, but evidently, you meant nothing to them.”

Poppy bit back her tears, unwilling to let this doctor see her cry.

How could her team betray her like that? It certainly didn’t seem like them, but if her memories of everything after the second trial were all messed up, what was to say that her memories prior to it weren’t also false? Had her team ever cared for her at all? 

“I know this is hard to hear,” Viola said with a sigh. 

Even though the third trial hadn’t really happened, Poppy had been sure that it was at the time. She’d given up any chance she had of ever seeing her family again in exchange for Sage’s life, and how did her team repay her? By leaving her for dead?

“It’ll get easier,” Viola assured her. “The Tournament has been postponed indefinitely. The judges want to track down your team before the competition continues. Until then, I’d recommend staying out of sight. If your teammates are still in Xegalla and they see you alive, they might try to finish the job.

Poppy closed her eyes. She couldn’t see either Jett or Sage harming her, but what about Nakoa and Adrian? They were practical people, after all. 

“Thank you for telling me,” she managed to whisper. 

Viola nodded. “Of course, dear. You’ve been through quite an ordeal. I’m sure you’d like to rest some more.”

Poppy slid off the edge of the bed and grabbed the boots by the door. 

“I know you said you’re not a seamstress, but do you have any extra clothes? I’d like to go outside,” she said, forcing her voice to stay level.

If Viola was shocked by this, she didn’t show it. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Bitterness burned in Poppy’s gut. “Of course it is.”

“You’re going after them, aren’t you.” Not a question, a statement.

Poppy didn’t bother to meet Viola’s gaze. “Before I was a competitor, I was an assassin. I’m well acquainted with Death, and there’s a few people I’d like to introduce to him.”



© 2023 A.L.


Author's Note

A.L.
So...that's it for book 1. I intend to continue this story in a sequel, but I want to edit this one first.
If you've made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading Fatefall. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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Added on March 30, 2023
Last Updated on March 30, 2023
Tags: adventure, Grace, Fates, Fate, teen, ya, fantasy, fiction, magic, tournament, game, competition, enemies to lovers, young adult, assassin, thief, royalty, prince, priestess, death, survival, noble


Author

A.L.
A.L.

About
When I was eleven, my cousins and I sat down and decided we want to write a fifty book long series that would become an instant bestseller. Obviously, that hasn't happened yet (and I doubt it will) bu.. more..

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Fatefall - 1 Fatefall - 1

A Chapter by A.L.