Clang!

”Ha… ” Sniff.

It was New Years Eve. I had just gotten home from a long day of volunteering at my art college. The bus ride back was unbearable. The cold was unbearable. I just wanted to curl up in bed and forget about all the things I had on my to-do list for the evening. But I knew I would freeze to death if I did not at least light the fireplace.

Clang, clang!

”Argh… that is the third time now! ”

I groaned for the fourth time as I attempted to pick up the poker. I hated this part of coming home the most. The metal poker had been laying in my empty apartment for the entire day and was nearly frozen by the time I had come back. Even my frostbitten hands could not bear touching this repulsive thing. But however cold this lump of metal became, it was something I needed to keep around despite hating with all of my being.

”Ah ha! ”

I stepped back to admire the masterpiece I had just created with that broken brush. The fire had started to burn bright. I toss the poker aside and made my way to the kitchen. I flicked on my large stone oven to warm up the kitchen as well, and then started preparing hot coffee.

***

”Huh? Wait a second… ”

Just as I had readied myself with my drink in one hand and a romance novel in the other, something caught the corner of my eye. The novel I had chosen looked familiar. I must have read it some time ago.

”This… when did I last read this? What was this story even about? ”

An eerie feeling washed over me. I took a sip of my now mildly warm coffee and looked down at the novel again. ”Forgotten Love ” read the title.

”KHOFF- AH! What- what is this bullshit?! ”

I read the cover again. I could not believe the magnitude of my mistake. No. Not that I had nearly extinguished the fire I had painstakingly put together with that spray of coffee. What I had done was far worse than a mere coffee spill.

”Forgotten Love. ” If only I had not ”forgotten ” how atrocious this novel was. Normally, I would have enjoyed reading the typical fantasy romance. A tale taking place in the fantasy realm describing the valiant efforts of legendary individuals. Warriors fighting against all kinds of monsters and villains. All to save their damsels in distress.

I had always found these stories interesting. Not because of the great heroes, but rather the unfortunate heroines. The reasons for their misfortune always seemed so unnecessary. Rumours, petty revenge, the loss of a loved one, the patriarchy, the list goes on. Reading about these women always took a toll on my mind. But when they reached their happily ever afters, all my heartache was left forgotten.

I thought I would always be satisfied with their decisions. That is, until I read this one tale. A tale of utter madness, anguish, and sorrow. ”Forgotten Love. ” The tragic story of a mistreated princess from the Rose empire. She was sold off into a mar

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