August 5, 2021

Rafael Silkskin

This archived article was written by: Kiara Horowitz

“Rumpelstiltskin,” I jumped, looking over my shoulder to see the Captain. I snorted stretching out on the stone floor, gazing at the shiny ceiling.
“Now what do you want, Sonny?” I groaned.
“Don’t use that tone with me, boy,” Captain snapped, emphasizing the word boy. Was he bluffing, or had he figured out that I’m not old? “Your makeup is very convincing. However, I’ve clapped irons on hundreds of people. Your hands and body build tell a different story.”
“Very good,” I said, dropping my act. I decided to cut him a break. “So how old am I?” Okay not that big of a break, I do have my pride.
“No older than a youth,” he answered. “Younger than twenty.”
“Ding, ding, ding. Give the man a prize,” I cheered sarcastically.
“Now that’s over,” Captain said. “Where are your parents?”
“I don’t know.” Which is the truth, Randolf is all the family I have.
“Why do you want the prince?”
“I don’t,”
“Apparently, you didn’t put up much of a fight.”
“I don’t like fighting.” I stated. “And I have never killed anyone.”
“If you don’t want him, then why did you make that deal with the queen,” Captain demanded.
“Because at the time I didn’t know she was a Blue Blood. I thought she was a Red Blood, so the kid is useless to me.” I sighed. “Not that you understand what I’m saying.”
“So you thought the prince was going to be a Gold Blood?”
My eyes snapped open and I stared at him. “Did you just say something intelligent?”
Captain glared at me holding up four fingers. “Blue, Red, Gold, and Silver. The four kinds of blood and their rank.”
“Sounds like you also know where Gold Blood comes from.”
“First born of Blue and Red Blood parents” Captain said.“Gold Bloods are also the only ones with magic. They can’t reproduce Gold Bloods themselves.”
“You’ve been doing your studies,” I said, stunned.
“I uphold justice. It’s my business to know these things.” Captain said. “But what I don’t understand is where you fit in?”
“Oh, don’t you?” I asked. He shook his head. “I’m the one who keeps my world populated.”
“So you make a deal with the parents. Win the deal, take the child. . . then what?”
“Sell them,” I shrugged. “Some become apprentices, others get adopted. It all depends on who bids the highest price.”
Captain paced back and forth, thinking. It must have been a lot since he appeared lost in thought. I watched, wondering if he was considering letting me go. I gazed at the ceiling thinking about Randolf. He was either worried sick or really mad at me for disappearing. This wasn’t the first time I’ve vanished, he’ll most likely just wait for my return. That is if I can escape from this cage.
I shifted, trying to find somewhere cool. The heat from the silver made me feel like I was in a fire. My whole body seemed to be perspiring, making my clothes damp. At least the silver wasn’t touching me so I wasn’t getting more blisters, although my face was pure torture. The sweat under my mask was mixing with the dirt, making my face itch. It took a lot of willpower not to rip off the mask and wipe my face. Even though Captain guessed my age, I didn’t want him to see my real face.
Captain shook his head. “She was so sure you would take the prince.” He sighed. “But she didn’t mention why.”
I sat up. “Who’s she?”
“The woman who told us your weakness and helped us catch you,” Captain explained. “Did you actually think I would have known about the silver without someone telling me?”
“Melanie?”
“That’s not the name she gave us.” He frowned. “The woman you spoke with.”
“Melanie!” I clenched my fists. “No.” My skin went numb and clammy as my head spun with racing thoughts, to my horror it made sense. Randolf is the only one in the magical world who can control Melanie. With me in prison, Randolf would lose his Rumpelstiltskin license since I’d be his third failed apprentice and he would no longer have the counsel’s aid in keeping her in place. Melanie could do whatever she wanted and never face charges.
The outer door opened and a guard entered. He glared at me. For the first time I didn’t care. He gestured to Captain. After a quick whispered word, Captain glanced at me before leaving with the guard.
“Wait!” I yelled after them, getting to my feet. “We need to find her. Trust me, Melanie is dangerous. Let me out, you don’t know what you’re up against. Please you have to believe me.”
They weren’t listening, and why would they? The captain had no reason to listen. I grabbed my hair, cursing while I walked around my cell. It made sense. It was twisted and crazy, but it made sense.

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