gabrielle ghatt


chapter one

100 babies

Bright stars twinkled in the black ink of the sky. The hay inside the wagon got caught on the clothes of the two men, and the bumping when the wheels hit a rock sent jolts through their bodies. Desmond laid atop the hay bales with his arms behind his head and his eyes shut tight. His large furry cape was cast aside. Fezant laid with his eyes upon the sky, tracing the constellations in his mind.

Upon that wagon laid a prince and his sworn executioner.

“Would you rather fight ten of the strongest knights in the kingdom or one hundred orphan babies?” Fezant asked out of nowhere.

Desmond’s eyes shot open. For a moment, he just stared blankly.

“Pardon?” Desmond asked.

“Would you rather-”

“No. Sorry. What are you on about?”

The two sat up and stared at each other. Desmond looked at Fezant with a mix between confusion and annoyance.

“If you were trapped in a room and the only way to get out was to either fight ten of the strongest knights in the kingdom or to fight one hundred orphan babies, which would you choose?” Fezant elaborated.

“I could easily defeat a hundred orphan babies.”

Fezant looked disgusted.

“You’re missing the point,” Fezant said before laying back down.


chapter one

100 babies



Desmond, being the gruffer of the two men, swore to himself and turned away. He grabbed his cape and dusted it off, freeing it of any hay that stuck to the white and gray fur. The man driving the wagon hit another rock, bumping Fezant and Desmond against each other. The horses huffed as they trotted on.

“What would you do, then?” Desmond asked, rubbing his head.

“I’d go ahead and fight the ten knights.”

“Are you mad? They’d kill you.”

“It is better to die fighting those who can fight than to prevail over the defenseless,” Fezant said, looking back up at night sky.

Desmond scoffed. The regal man had a habit of taking the high road. Some of the things that came from his mouth could be mistaken for the words of a preacher. Perhaps it was merely the difference in upbringing. They’d come from two very distinctly different places.

The wagon was coming up into a forest. Leaves replaced the sky. It was dangerous to traverse a forest path at dead of night, even if multiple lanterns were present. Desmond elbowed Fezant.

Fezant clasped his hands together and uttered words in a language Desmon didn’t understand nor cared to understand. Each movement Fezant did was graceful and planned. His hands moved away from each other as he moved them in different directions. They met back together in the middle once the spell was finished. A soft light that was comforting in nature surrounded the wagon. The driver gasped and mumbled out a quick word of appreciation and awe. Desmond had seen Fezant do it nearly a hundred times.


chapter two

Peculiar Witch

Fezant took Desmond into the forest outside town to eat lunch the next day. Desmond’s clothes had been washed, but the cape was left behind to completely dry. The two strolled through the trees and grass, looking for an appropriate clearing that they could sit in.

“Remind me why we’ve been walking in the forest for the last thirty minutes instead of just eating in town?” Desmond asked.

Fezant shook his head and sighed, “It’s important for me to be close to nature at some times.”

“And…?” Desmond prompted.

“...And I’m tired of women presenting their daughter’s hand in marriage to me.”

Desmond whistled, “Lucky you.”

Fezant walked faster.

Eventually, they came to a clearing. It seemed almost too perfect. The pond in the center was circular and clear and the stones around were large and flat on the top. Fezant sat down on one of the stones and reached his finger out for a bird to land on.




chapter two

peculiar witch


“You’re so unreal,” Desmond deadpanned, “This entire place is unreal.”

Fezant hummed, “It was curated of course,” then addressing the bird said, “well, not you of course.”

“You’ve been here before then?”

“Mm. Have I?”

“Cryptic bastard.”

Desmond took his place on a rock as far as Fezant as possible. Fezant could see him just out of the corner of his eye. Desmond bit into a bit of meat as he observed Fezant. Small woodland creatures seemed to not fear coming up to the prince. They came and went, nuzzling against his foot or climbing on his shoulder. It made him seem more princess than prince. Fezant thought the critters were pleasant company.

The prince sat up very abruptly. If it startled Desmond, he didn’t show it. The animals around Fezant dispersed.

“I’m going to take a scroll, please excuse me.”

Desmond nodded, “To sing songs with the birds I presume?”

Fezant didn’t dignify his taunt with a response.