Everything was so slow. So dull.
In a way, he sort of liked it. He was floating in nothing. Unable to breathe, to see... To think. It was inexplicably liberating. He didn't remember anything. He didn't remember how he got there, with his body being weighed down by his heavy clothes and the sharp sounds of the sea filling each of his dull senses. He just felt numb. Ethereal. Free.
Shaking was the next thing he remembered. His diaphragm forcing something out; his body twitching with a bitter chill. Holding up his heavy frame, his eye-sight slowly returned. All he could see was a small pool underneath his head and sand. His body convulsed again, his diaphragm repeatedly forcing something out. Water.
"Oi, oi, calm down, lass."
A voice. Suddenly all sounds came at once- alarming him. The sea was unforgivably loud, crashing and attacking his new-found senses in a way that hurt them. Unable to find the strength to hold his body up anymore, he dropped down into the sand, turning onto his back and breathing in heavily. The air was so salty; so fresh and sharp.
"It ain't no lass, Rick, it's a man." Another voice spoke, and his eyes flickered open again. Above him stood two people, both of which looked so... strange to him. He had never seen anyone dressed in such a way, with their hair that style and their faces so rounded. They almost looked alien.
"A man? With long 'air and a dress?" The man, Rick, scoffed.
"It don't matter," The woman sighed and shook her head, "Just go get help. I can take care of 'im from here."
And so Rick rushed away. The woman leaned down, helping him to sit up.
"My name's Emily," She told him with a concerned but gentle smile, "What's your name?"
That was the question. What was his name? Panicked gripped him as his mind frantically tried to search for his name. Anything that might remind him of who he was, of what he was. Then, as if something had completely taken over his body, he remembered something.
"Why must you always tease your sisters so?" Mother shook her head in disappointment, sitting by her jewellery table and staring back at me in the mirror. I just stood there, a grin wide on my face.
"Why shouldn't I?" I quipped right back, only to have her roll her eyes and gestured away the maid. Cecile was her name, and she has always hated and feared me. Ever since I walked in on her stealing from my mother's jewel box I've been having her do random, unnecessary tasks all day every day. Blackmail works wonders on the weak, and it provides me with a little bit of entertainment whenever I'm bored.
"You must learn discipline, Virian." Mother told me in her usual harsh way, standing up and making her way towards me. Pressing down a crinkle on my outfit, she looked back up at me. "You will never be a good king if you do not."
A jolting, sharp scream broke the memory. Virian's eyes shot open, and he realized he was in a new place. A place full of people, every single one of which was either coughing, moaning, or crying. They were all in some sort of cot, just like Virian was.
What in nether was this place?
People, just like the ones in the cots, rushed around with strange tools and shouted commands to each other. They were exactly like the ones on the beach. They looked foreign; almost exotic. None of them were like him. None of them were elves.
And none of them knew who he was. Virian, prince of the blood to the House Kyljoy. Suddenly he remembered everything.
"You are a disappointment."
Father's words seemed to echo for hours. It struck something in me I have never felt before. Shame.
His word made me shake. Why was I so afraid? Why was I so ashamed? I've been scolded by father many times before, and even more times by mother. But somehow this was different. He seemed more determined.
"You do not deserve the throne. You are to learn your lesson. You are hereby banished from our land; our realm."
Shock. That overtook all my other feelings. How could this be?
"W-What...? But, father, where am I to go?"
"A place none dare go willingly. A land without magic. Without mercy."
Standing up, Virian felt his legs shake in numbed pain. He wasn't wearing his usual attire. Instead, a simple but very itchy cloth robe. On the end of his bunk he saw a pile- a pile of his old clothes. Now dry, he put them on and made his way out of this mysterious place.
Once outside, the bitter cold hit him harder than it had ever done so before. This was weather he had never experienced in all his years. Snow.
"Mista', spare a coin?" A little girl rushed over to him, holding up empty hands.
"I... I have none." His shaky, weak voice told her truthfully. She was wearing all rags, with black smudge on her face and hollow cheeks.
"But you're dressed so fanceh." She reacted back in disappointment, "Like a ladeh."
"Yeh," She nodded fervently, "Like, you're dressed totally uncommon. Are you from here?"
"W-Where is here...?"
"You're in Wexford."
"And where's that?"
Slightly embarrassed to even have to ask again, Virian repeated himself. "And... where's that...?"
The little girl looked like he wasn't of this universe- like he was some sort of alien.
"Earth, of course."