Find previous chapters here.
At long last, here it is, my dear folks: The final chapter of The Kangraffs’ Curse. Thank you for sticking with it till the end, and a special thank you to all you who commented on or “liked” chapters. You were my motivation in the dark times when I hated this story and was convinced it was horrible. It is thanks to you that I now present to you the end of Will and Annette’s story:
“Will!” Annette cried. His chest lay over her legs, pinning her to the ground. Using the strength of her arms, she pushed herself upright, leaning over her brother. His muscles were jerking, making him writhe. She held on to him, trying to help, but he was stronger than her.
Steven knelt next to her, lending his strength to subdue the boy. Will’s head lolled back, striking Annette’s stomach. She choked on her breath. His eyes were closed and his face was graying. “Someone help!” she screamed.
Around them, the Clachan soldiers unfroze. Battle between them and Poldar broke out. Ironclad boots pounded the newly re-greened grass, narrowly missing their small huddle.
Trevor the sage’s wrinkled hands moved hers away from Will’s face and started feeling for his pulse. He pried open the boy’s mouth, scooping out the residual of the sorcerer’s concoction. After holding it up to the light, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, dear girl,” he patted her shoulder. “The materials to make the antidote are back at my cabin. Even if I had them, he would be gone before it could be brewed.”
No. Her brother. She’d died for him once. He knew she was his sister now, and he still didn’t hate her. He couldn’t die. No. It was wrong. It was horrible. It was worse than when her father died. She felt like something was tearing her in half.
His movements were slackening. She clung to him, cradling his head as close as she could. “Don’t worry,” she whispered. “You’re going to be alright. They weren’t our parents, you know? You were never going to be as evil as them.”
Nearby whirlwinds picked up her hair and threw it around. Dozens of Poldarian soldiers squealed as the wind plucked them from the ground and whisked them away.
Will’s body was still. Annette’s fingers hovered over his mouth, feeling the shallow breaths that escaped it. “You’re going to be a good king, and Poldar will turn good, and I’ll be with you.”
She couldn’t feel his breath anymore, so she sought his pulse, tears streaming down her face. “We’ll be family,” she promised.
The ground around them began writhing. More shouts—the attacking soldiers fell into the ground, which solidified over them. The battle was over, and Clachan was safe.
His weak pulse slowed, then it was no more. “No,” she gulped. It was over.
She hugged him close, wishing with everything in her that he could still be alive. Tears dripped from her face onto his forehead, where she placed a gentle kiss. “Farewell,” she whispered, closing her eyes.
He moved under her hands.
Her eyes flew open. Was it her imagination?
No—his brown eyes peeled open and looked right at her. “Will?” she questioned.
He opened his mouth and started coughing. When the fit passed, he said, “Hey.”
Happiness morphed her mouth into a smile, even as tears continued streaming down her face. “What—how?”
Trevor the sage’s hand again found her shoulder, using it as a support as he lowered himself to kneel beside the siblings. “We are in Clachan now,” he explained, “and Clachan’s magic is at work. They were long ago blessed that the land would draw its strength from the purity and fortitude of its rulers’ hearts. Today that has meant that this miracle occurred—and it appears the land views you both as rulers. My boy, young Annette, you shall now rule Poldar.”
She didn’t know how to rule a kitchen, much less a kingdom, but here was her brother, alive in her arms. If that could happen, very little would ever surprise her again. And she just might need to find herself some shoes.
Following the defeat in Clachan, the men of arms in Poldar rose up, each vying for the throne. For the bodies of King Maxwell and Queen Louise were found slain in the throne room, where it was rumored that the hand of the great sorcerer ended their lives. Aided by Ferngold and Clachan, the siblings William and Annette rose above the squabbling and laid claim to the throne.
Under the oversight of their right-hand man, a young scribe named Steven, their reign was soon established. They ruled side by side for many decades. In the course of time, each found spouses, and their small family grew to include many happy, well-loved children.
The task before them was far from easy, but with determined diligence they persevered. Taverns were converted into hospitable inns. Pick-pockets, bounty hunters, and mercenaries were trained for honest trades. The scoundrels were expelled from the land, no longer welcome and no longer considering Poldar a desirable place to live. Hale plants took root and grew in the newly-fertile soil. Evil was expelled from the land, all its inhabitants learned how to live in peace and kindness with each other, and Poldar grew a friendship with the kingdoms around it where it had ever before had only enemies.
As for its monarchs, as unfortunate as the first years of their lives were, much happier were the last years of King William the Kind and Queen Annette the Gentle, as they came to be called. Never before and never since was Poldar ruled by more beloved rulers.
And so, though the evil Kangraff had spoken, “May you and your descendants rule this land out of the wickedness in your hearts, and may you and your descendants never know love,” yet his foe’s counter-curse also came true: “Wickedness will not rule Poldar forever, for one day your family’s line will end.”
And the land of Poldar was ruled by goodness and filled with love for many, many generations after that.
Thank you for reading! Have a lovely week :) I’ll try to post soon about future plans for this blog, but I’m also writing my fingers off for NanoWrimo, so I make no promises as to when that will be.