Revenge of the Father
by Meghan Loughlin
Rumplestiltskin was furious. No, not furious. Furious did not even begin to describe the sheer depth of rage, grief, and helplessness he felt at this very moment. He didn't think a word had been invented that would come close.
He had been sitting in his cabin, twirling his dagger in his hands, wondering if perhaps he should try to figure out more about how these powers he had acquired worked, and cursing his son for being foolish enough to enlist in King Tristan's army. He had gone through hell for Baelfire, and the lad had repaid him by running off at the first opportunity, taking his friend Marrionne with him. Rumplestiltskin had discovered their flight too late, and there was still enough of the protective and loving father in him to alternately curse his foolish son and pray to the gods that he would be safe.
A knock on the door pried him from his thoughts, and he hid his dagger under the floorboards, and then stood, crossing over to the door and glaring in rage at the soldier that stood in the threshold. "What do you want?" He hated soldiers. They had succeeded in taking his son. There was a crowd of them standing on the lawn, and two held large sacks in their arms.
One soldier, a man in his forties, cleared his throat before speaking. "Rumplestiltskin?" He nodded, and the soldier continued. "His Majesty King Tristan wishes to convey his sympathies, and tell you that your son fought bravely."
"What?" Rumplestiltskin whispered, fists clenched. "What…is in those sacks?"
The soldier nodded, and his men came forward, lying the sacks down at Rumplestiltskin's feet as carefully as they could. "King Tristan has decreed that burials should be done by the parents, if at all possible."
A cold feeling was inching its way up Rumplestiltskin's spine as he forced himself to look down. For a moment, he wasn't sure what he was seeing. The broken, bleeding sack of flesh before him could not be the boy that only months ago had been healthy and alive. There was blood everywhere, his face and chest looked like raw meat and flies buzzed around the gash in his stomach. But as bad as that was, the body of the girl was worse. She was nearly unrecognizable, and one eye dangled from its socket while the other was gone, leaving a bloody and empty socket. Rumplestiltskin collapsed to his knees, shaking. "Bae….?"
The leader of the soldiers launched into a speech he had made many times before. "The King is always sorry to see a fine soldier such as your son and his friend die in battle, but it was a fine and noble sacrifice. You should be proud."
"He was fourteen." Rumplestiltskin looked up at the soldier, eyes blazing in rage. "My son was fourteen! Marrionne as well! They were children! And because of the…King…"he spat out the word in hatred and contempt, "they have been slaughtered! And FOR WHAT? ! NOTHING! THE WAR IS STILL GOING ON!"
He was on his feet; a fury like he'd never known coursing through him, and that was when it happened. One soldier clutched his throat and collapsed, convulsing in pain, followed by another, and another. Soon, they were all on the ground, blood pouring from their noses and mouths as Rumplestiltskin watched, fascinated and shocked. 'Am I doing this?' His head felt like it was being split open, and his vision kept doubling. He fell onto his knees, head clutched in his hands as he fought to keep from screaming. Zoso hadn't told him about this. 'Then again, he didn't tell me anything.'
As quickly as it had begun, the headache stopped, and he looked up. All the soldiers lay on the ground, clearly dead. Rumplestiltskin took a breath, then made his way over to Baelfire, wondering if perhaps there was a way he could use the power he had discovered to bring him back. He stared at the body of what had once been his son, trying to figure out what to do. He placed his hands on Baelfire's chest, willing him back to life with everything he had. Nothing happened, and Rumplestiltskin concentrated harder. Perhaps he needed to focus more.
"Come on, Bae. Open your eyes. Come on, please. Bae, open your eyes. BAE!" He shook Baelfire as hard as he could, tears of rage and grief in his eyes. "BAELFIRE!"
With a convulsive jerk, he dropped the body and stood, screaming to the heavens. "TRISTAN, YOU BASTARD! I GAVE UP EVERYTHING TO SAVE MY SON, AND YOU KILLED HIM! I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE ON YOU AND ALL YOUR KITH AND KIN, EVEN IF IT TAKES ETERNITY!"
He stood for a few moments, shaking in rage, then went into the cabin and found a shovel. Hours later, the graves were dug and marked with flowers, and Rumplestiltskin grabbed his dagger before leaving the cabin forever.
Rumplestiltskin was patient. He could wait, and watch, manipulating events to suit his needs. And when the time was right-
He would strike.