a bit of a warning - this glosses over rape. I'm not going to detail everything because I consider that unnecessary, but if you feel uncomfortable with the descriptions of the aftermath of such a horrendous event, I ask that you not read this.
this is not meant to normalize or approve rape in any way. it is a disgusting act that should never be forced upon a human being.
"Meche, are you sure you're okay?" Corrin held her hand to my head, eyes worried. Her long hair was swept over her shoulder, the feathers and beads decorating it coming too. Her lilting accent made me realize that I probably had one too. "You don't have a fever?"
"I'm fine," I told her, brushing her hand away. Her eyes widened, and then she gave up.
"If you so say," the girl replied, smiling a little. She ran her fingers through her hair, playing with a feather as she did. "Thank you for putting up with me. It's been only a few days, yet you still keep me around."
"I need to, don't I?" My voice was slightly scathing and I wrung my fingers together, my mind occupied. I wasn't paying attention to my words, not with this dark cloud-like haze casting a shadow over everything.
Corrin laughed, bringing a hand to her mouth to cover it as she stood up. "I'll leave you alone then, Meche-sas. I'll be waiting for you in the morning, don't be afraid to wake me up." She pronounced my name as 'Mesh-e.' The former priestess shook off the dirt from her skirt, smoothing wrinkles in her form-fitting dress. "Sleep well."
She left me alone, patting my shoulder as she did. With her gone, the night was quiet. The stars above were bright - I could see the constellations above forming into the recognizable shapes of the Dawn, the Hawk, and the Road spreading over the sky.
I let out a breath, getting up. I glanced behind me - the camp was bustling. Now I could hear a child crying out, the soothing voice of Lomone', and Oro begging our leader to come sleep. I looked up at the stars again and decided to go for a walk, away from the camp. I couldn't go into the forest, no. That's where Matt and Crysto were. If I ran into then, I'm afraid I'd burst out sobbing. The shame of that is not something I can handle.
The soft grass beneath my feet made no sound. That was eventually my undoing - as I walked farther away from camp and could hardly see, I couldn't hear the man creeping behind me. I could only feel the crack of a heavy, blunt object hitting the back of my head and suddenly the ground was just so, so close.
I'd passed out. I only woke when someone was shaking me, their voice desperate.
"Meche! Meche, wake up!" Crysto was shaking me, his grip on my shoulder bruising. It hurt. Everything hurt. My head, my..legs..my..
It was warm. It was my blood drying on my legs and something else I couldn't identify. I screwed my eyes shut, desperate to believe that it was just a dream.
At my brother's cry, I finally opened my eyes. His face was relieved to see mine, but it hardened. "Who did this to you?!"
"Don't ask her that just yet," someone else murmured - the sorrowful face of Corrin was to my right. Her green eyes were wet with tears. "I'm sorry I left you alone, Meche-sas.."
"It's my fault," another said - it was a man, dressed as a scout. His face was broken. He fell to his knees. "If I had just checked through here earlier.."
"Havel, it's not your fault," Matt was at Crysto's side and he walked over to the scout, comforting him. I couldn't hear what he was saying. Crysto pulled me up and I managed to support myself with my hands. They trembled.
"You're safe, Crysto..thank goodness.." I murmured, my eyes locked with my brother's. The haze from what seemed like so long ago was clearing and I swallowed it down. "I'd hate it if you were hurt too."
"Don't say that," my white-haired sibling choked back, biting his lip as he held back tears, "I could've saved you if I was just there.."
"There's no point in saying what could've been done." My voice was raspy. I looked down at myself, but I couldn't see anything beneath the blanket someone had draped over me. My clothes were gone, ripped to shreds. I shivered.
"I'm going to kill whoever did this," he whispered. My eyes darted to my brother and widened - his face was hard. I froze.
Matt looked up from Havel at that. "Crys, you can't!"
Abruptly, his grip on me vanished. Corrin was now supporting me, holding me close. I couldn't even look at her, no. I was focused on my brother.
He was seething, his breath coming fast and deep. His eyes were unfocused and they then focused on the head scout, Havel. "Can you track him down?"
Havel froze too, the icy glare coming from Crysto overwhelming. He shook his head to clear it and replied. "We may be able to, but I'm not sure how long it would take.."
"Find him. All of you." In turn, my sibling leveled his gaze on each of the scouts. I hadn't realized there were so many around me. Already they were learning to be silent in the soft grasses of the Plains.
I didn't even hear them leave.
It was just Corrin, Matt, Crysto and I then. Crys and Matt looked between each other before Matt left to join his men, the brunette sparing a sympathetic glance to me as he went. I didn't say anything as the two of them supported me, my brother mostly carrying me back to the camp. It was in chaos, but my eyes closed before I could notice anything else.
The haze was returning and a single tear ran down my cheek as I could hear more people surrounding me, tending to me. Something cold was pressed to my head, people were shooed away as the blanket was removed. A gasp, and then tender presses of a wet cloth to wipe away the remnants of what that man had done. Bandages were wrapped around my head, covering my eyes. The white cloth soaked up my tears as I felt something change within me.
I passed out after the majority of the people had left, leaving me in the makeshift medical tent. Only Corrin remained, sacrificing her sleep to hold my hand to comfort me.
I could feel her tears drip onto my wrist, her sobs wracking her whole body. She was trying to hide it, I knew. I didn't say anything.
I let her cry. I let myself cry.
this is supposed to be a serious piece, but i somehow ended up listening to bo burnham and nsp while writing this. thank you, youtube.
like i said at the beginning, this is not meant to normalize rape. I can promise you that Meche's assailant does receive justice, but the damage is already done. this changes crysto, too. he becomes quieter but more prone to violent outbursts. Matt is gentler, trying to calm him down. he only gets enraged when he has to fight his father.
this is a dump from my story, the Wildlands. I'm working on it for the SoS Workshop but will probably write blurbs until I can get back into the violent happenings of the Plains. expect more, but this should be the only piece with the aftermath of a rape. i'll make sure to put a violence warning before everything violent from now on.
thank you for reading.