Nicolette smiled at the woman’s words. “O-Oh…all of you are plenty welcoming! You’ve invited me into your home…” Despite not knowing what I am. “I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you..” The brunette looked over at Merida in surprise, feeling her heart swell at the red heads words. “Merida..” She smiled, tears filling her emerald green eyes. She however held them in and turned back to Fergus. Those words sounded too good to be true. She nodded and looked down at her plate, but found that there was something in her way. Her eyes began to grow wide as she realized why those words were a lie.
The collar… The collar around her neck. The collar that was put on all prisoners who were on death row. The collar that if not stopped by the candy antidote would release a poison into your blood stream that would kill you instantly. Suddenly, Nicolette did not fee hungry anymore. “E-Excuse me..do you..have a bathroom?” She asked softly as her hands began to tremble. I-I feel like I’m about to be sick… She put on a smile, feigning happiness. It has to be taken every three days. I haven’t eaten the candy in two. It was at that moment, sitting in front of the first people to ever show her the kindness of family, that Nicolette realized she was going to die. How wonderful it would be to die…surrounded by people who would actually care.
Merida scratched the back of her head. “A lavatory?” Sitting up from her seat, she walked over to Nicolette and helped her up. “Ya doon’t look too well. Was it the sheep’s stomach?” She whispered. The family looked to Merida for reassurance if the guest was all right, but Merida nodded in their direction. “She needs t’ rest now, ah’ll be taking care o’ her needs!” Helping Nicolette up, she led her up the stairs and around the corridors. “This castle is big, and it’ll take awhile before we reach the bathroom. Now ye got all the time in th’ world to rant abou’ mah family,” she grinned. “Much better than how they were befare ah suppose.” Merida noticed the disgruntled look in her face, and gave her a playful punch. “Whatcha lookin’ all sad fer? Th’ dinner went by swimmingly!”
“I-I just…” She trailed off, breathless, her mind and heart racing a million miles a second. “I-I’m…so sorry..” She murmured sadly to the people at the table as she stood on shaky legs. The realization of her fate was like a punch in the stomach. Nicolette followed the girl slowly, unable to concentrate completely on her words. She could barely see, her mind fazing out. She laughed hollowly, holding her stomach. “I-I don’t..know if I can last that long..” She admitted.
“Y-Your family? They are…so wonderful..” A cut to the heart. “They were very welcoming..” A slap to the face. “They are very caring…” A break in her bones. “I am…so happy to have met them.” A tear in her soul. She stopped walking, unable to control her own limbs anymore. Tears filled her eyes and began to pour down her cheeks as she fell to her knees. It was too much. Why? After finally…feeling like she’d been accepted. If there was a god…where was he now? She let out a choked sob as she opened her mouth to speak. “I am…going to die soon..Merida..” She croaked, looking up at the girl. There were no lies in her green eyes as she searched for forgiveness, tears streaming down her face. “I-I’m so…sorry…”
Merida’s eyes dazed at the sight. Die? But why now? Had she known that this was going to happen, she would have done anything to prevent this. A friend; a genuine friend, hers is dying? She knelt beside Nicolette, grabbing both of her shoulders. “How do ah stop this?” She enunciated, tightening her grip to keep Nicolette awake. Before she could answer, Merida quickly picked the weak girl up and laid her in the nearest bed. Reaching into her quiver, she took out a little bottle. Merida used her teeth to pull the cork out and served it to Nicolette. A potion- given to her by the witch before she left again to another sorcerer reunion. Again, Merida gripped Nicolette’s shoulder. “Ah can help, ye jus’ need t’ tell me what’s goin’ on!”
She shook her head quickly. “Y-You can’t…i-it’s impossible..” She whispered. They told us…the moment we tried to remove the collar…it would inject the poison… “I’m sorry…so sorry..” She mumbled over and over, trembling. Green as went wide as she was lifted and taken to a bed. She closed her eyes and drank the potion, unaware of what it was. She covered her face with her forearm, letting out a shaky breath. She doubted anything could be done, but she explained it any ways. “T-The collar…on my neck..” She mumbled, pointing to it. “It the antidote..it not taken every three days…it will inject a poison into my blood stream..” She whimpered. “And it will kill me instantly..” Her voice broke and she began to sob. “I-I don’t…want to die!” I’m scared. I never thought I would fear death. But I’m so afraid…
That was enough for Merida. Deadman Wonderland- it’s an even more barbaric place than she thought. She growled and began to retreat from the room. Slinging her bow on her back, she turned slightly to give Nicolette one last look. “Ye doon’t move from tha’ spot or ah’ll inject th’ poison into ye mahself!” Harsh, she told herself bitterly. But hopefully it was enough to convince Nicolette to stay.
Nicolette flinched and stared at the girl with a look of surprise. She nodded obediently however and pulled the blanket tighter around her. she turned on her side and pulled her knees to her chest, closing her eyes. “I’m sorry..” She whispered again, tears sliding down her cheeks. She would be counting the seconds till her demise in her head How long till the poison comes? Will I even know? Will it be painful? She had so many regrets. This was not the way she wanted to go out. She had always thought herself to be unafraid. Of death. Of fighting. Or losing. But she was. She was a cowardly little girl on the inside, begging for someone to come help her. She didn’t want to die like this. She wanted to die fighting. Not lying weakly in a bed like to pathetic being she was.
Merida didn’t leave the room. Instead, she had pulled the bow from her shoulder and drew an arrow from her quiver.
She intended to shoot Nicolette.
She had never aimed at a human before- nor has she missed a target. You can only kill if you are prepared to be killed, her father told her. No tears brimmed her eyes in fear of shooting her nearest and dearest friend. Instead, her hands trembled. There would be so many outcomes to this consequence. But it had to be done. She released a breath, and shot the arrow. It whirled so slowly in Merida’s eyes. And in that moment, it had made a hit. The collar.