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Broadcast Journalism - Full Year

To Go Where She Is 

Harper Barton

It was dark down here, and cold. Colder than I would ever have imagined hell to be. Hell was supposed to be hot, blazing with fires, where you burn for eternity. Not a menacing void, where all you can do is look up, look up at the sun as it passes over you. Then watch it slowly sink back into the earth, not to be seen again until the next day comes. But I could never get closer to it, I was yards from the surface and yet I couldn’t reach it, and I never would. This was my hell, and she wouldn’t show me mercy.  

It had only been days since I was cast down here, by my own people. They didn’t even notice they had done it, and yet they sent me down. The sickness had been alive for almost 5 years, and it had finally gotten my father the king. He resided in his room, and had been for weeks. He grew weak and tired, barely able to sit up in his own bed, and his body in constant agony, so there was a need for a new King. However, he had only two sons, myself, and my bastard older brother. He had always been a suck up to my father, and he always tried to surpass me. However, I was always above him, and yet my father always loved him rather than me. I hated him for that, I despised my father with every bone in my body. I never visited or even spoke to my ill father, no matter how many times he requested to see me. 

Ever since his wife had passed, he took great care in raising my brother and I. However, the loss of my mother pushed me into a darkness I never thought I’d have to bear, that destroyed my very being. I deeply loved my mother, she taught me everything I knew, and more. My father didn’t deserve her, she was my guardian, like an angel to help me through any troubles that faced me. She was a kind ruler alongside him, there was never any loss of food or money under their rule. So naturally, the people would want someone just like him to be their ruler. Of course, my older brother is going to be the one to become king after our father.

I deserve that throne more than him. I know that I do, I’m ahead of him in every lesson and I am more responsible than he has ever been. I wanted that position, I had craved it since I was a boy. My mother would have wanted me to have the crown. I know she would have. She wouldn’t have sided with my arrogant father, would she?

I decided to settle this in the only way I wanted to, I knew I would have to. I decided to go and visit my father in his room. I wandered through the brooding hallways of the castle. The stone walls were tall and intimidating as I headed down a corridor I hadn’t seen in years. There were large columns that lined the hall to the king's chambers, stained glass windows between each. At the top of each column there was a gargoyle. My father had always seen them as beings of hope and protection, the fool. They were ugly, and I hated them. When I was a boy I feared the stone beasts, their disgusting faces and broken horns, looking down upon him. As I walked by, he looked up at them and sneered, saying hateful words towards them. 

“You nasty creatures, you’ve been looking down on this castle for centuries, pathetic, do you even have purpose, my father will soon be gone, and you all with him.” When I become king, I want them destroyed! I get to the end of the hallway and to a large damp wooden door. I took a deep breath and for the first time in a long time, I knocked on my fathers door. I hear a voice from inside, but it's not my fathers, but rather it's younger. It tells me to come in. I paused and pondered opening the door. What's this bastard doing here? I open the door and walk in and I see my brother standing by his father's bedside. They make brief eye contact but he steps forward and places his hand on my shoulder and he says, 

“I’ll leave you two alone for a while. You have a lot to talk over.”

Then I gave my brother a menacing look, yet he smiled solemnly and left. I walk up to my father's bedside and take a seat.

“Hello son,” my father said ,”it's been awhile since we've spoken like this. It's been a while since we’ve spoken at all.” I looked at my father, truly realizing how long it had been. He was sickly, and frail, paler than a winter sky. However, I felt no pity for him, I never had. I had come here for one thing and one thing only,

“Why can’t I become the next king? I know my brother is older, but my mother prepared me for that crown ever since I was a child, until the day she passed. It was her dying word!” The king let out a small chuckle after I yelled, slowly growing into wheezing and coughing. It was truly a pitiful sight.

“After years of not seeing me and this is the first thing you decided to speak with me about?” He reached over and touched his son's hand ,“That is one of the many reasons you can not be king. I’m very sorry to have to tell you this, but you can not rule this place until they see you as ready.”

“Who! Who are they?” The prince pressed angrily.

“The guardians, every time a future king walks by, they turn their heads and look at him as he passes.” 

“Those pathetic gargoyles? You’re telling me they are the ones who choose the next ruler? You really are an old fool.” I scoffed and pulled my hand away and stood, starting to leave the room. Then the king said something that made him stop in his tracks.

“They did it for me, and now they do it for your brother, but no matter what your mother said, they will never do it for you.” I clenched my fists tightly, leaving deep marks in my palms almost breaking skin.

“Goodbye father, say hello to her for me, if you even go where she is.” Then I hurried out of the room, tears beginning to creep into my eyes. I walked back down the hallway with the tall columns, each one with a gargoyle at the top. That man is delirious in his old age. There's no way for these gargoyles to move, they never have and they never will. Not on their own anyways. “Foul beasts.” 


I walked into one of the main corridors and ran into one of the workers in the castle. I walked over to the man, gripped him by the collar of his shirt and yelled, “When my father dies, I want every single gargoyle in or on this castle gone and thrown under the bridge! Do you understand?” The boy nodded in fear then went on with his daily work, shaken from the interaction. 

Soon afterwards, I headed into the kitchen and found a chalice, pouring it full of wine. I brought it into the dining hall while no one was there, and I added monkshood to the brew in the chalice. I placed it carefully at the spot where my brother sat, and left the room.

I began to walk back to my chambers, my hands by my sides, my legs weak and wobbly and my head completely elsewhere. I stumbled mindlessly down the hallways, in complete disbelief at what I had just done. I came to my chamber and dropped to my knees beside my bed. I placed my hands together and began to weep loudly, wailing like I hadn’t in a long while. 

“You always said I’d become king, and now I shall. Are you proud, please tell me you are. One last time I just want to hear you say it. Tell me you're proud of me one last time! Please! I did what you always said I would!”

It came to be dinner time, and I walked downstairs with the same dreary mindless shuffle that I had before. The dining hall had only dim lighting from candles, the sun had set and what remaining light there was outside was drowned by the rain that pelted the windows. Thunder cracked occasionally, sending a shudder throughout the castle. There weren't many people at the dinner table, about five, my brother, the two doctors, a priest, and myself. I spoke as I normally would as we ate the tasteless food, though hardly a word was spoken, I couldn’t even feel my tongue. I kept a close eye on the chalice with the wine, the tainted brew. I could feel my hands shaking, sweat dripping from my brow. 

He reached for the chalice, my heart leaping into my throat, my vision clouding as doubts started to flood my mind. Mother wouldn’t have wanted this, and if I did this, I wouldn’t go where she is. But she made me worthy of the crown, she helped me to get here when no one else believed in me.

I watched it all happen and yet none of it registered in my head. I was completely absent as he choked, I could practically hear his heart beat in my own ears. He soon fell forwards and lay still, the two doctors hovering over his body, frantically trying to keep him alive, and the priest trying to snap me out of my trance. Once I realized it had happened, I realized I needed to act like I was in shock. It had happened, and yet the fog never lifted. I started to nervously stutter.

“W-what? What happened? How… how did…,” I realized none of it sounded genuine and the priest looked at me concerned.

“My prince, he is dead! Have you been having anything intense to drink as well? He must have been poisoned because you seem almost just fine. Maybe retire and rest for the night, t-to be safe?” I stood without a word and walked slowly out the front door of the castle. No one followed me, no one came with me as I wandered out the door. However I didn't go very far. It was raining and the thunder was loud. I stopped just outside the door, leaving it open. As I stood in the rain, I dropped my head back, allowing it to wash over my face. However, it was no longer refreshing, the rain just felt like water, nothing more. It was nothing more than pathetic little drops as I breathed in and let out a long wail of joy that was promptly cut short.


There was complete silence and in my mind, I had already moved on, or at least I wished to. But all I saw was darkness, I stood in an empty black void. Nothing around me for as far as I could see. I had no choice but to start walking. I walked forward, for what seemed like eons. The darkness around me consumed me, eating away at my mind. It was silent and yet I heard yelling, it was pitch black and yet I could see the endlessness that faced me.

As soon as I felt the need to stop, there was a bright flash ahead of me. I shielded my eyes, trying to be able to see what was in front of me. My eyes didn’t adjust in time, for all I heard was a few words, five to be exact, five words that ended me.

“I’m not proud of you.”


Suddenly I woke, my eyes opened and the world returned, however it was only part of the world, a dark chunk of the world around me. I was able to move my eyes, but not my head. In fact my entire body remained stationary.

Rain still fell, yet I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t breathe, and yet I did not demand air. I felt empty, hollow, there wasn’t a single thing that I remembered from my old body aside from my eyes. Panic soon filled the space inside as I started to pant without lungs. My chest neither rising nor falling as I looked for a way out. My eyes darted in every direction looking for some answer as to where I was.

I looked down and saw the bridge that led to my castle, over the lake, and I saw the forest that lay behind it. I looked directly below myself and I saw a ledge. I stood on a ledge, no, my form was hunched, gray and paler than a late winter sky. I looked at the bridge once more, but this time I saw a trickle of blood going out from below the . It took all of my strength to look further but I immediately regretted it. I saw myself, my body, my arms and legs, but no head. The head was completely gone, crushed by a fallen gargoyle. I let out a scream that only I could hear, silenced by the prison that held me, the emptiness that was inside of my body, the cold hollow shell of a gargoyle. 

There was another strong gust of wind and the door below me shot open, and I heard a scream of fear. No despair and absolutely no sadness, just fear. They had found me, my body, my real body. They didn’t clean it up, however, the rain was too strong, they had said. So they shut the door, and the night slowly moved along. I soon realized, I could sleep just as much as I could breathe in this prison. All I could do was sit, hunched over, watching the rain fall, leaving impermanent marks on the surface of the lake. Soon however, I saw a slight movement out of the corner of my eyes. I looked over to my right and saw one other gargoyle sitting perched next to me. However, its head was turned towards me, staring. Yet all I could do was wait. It soon lowered its gaze, slowly and weakly shaking its head back and forth, disappointment filling its posture. He soon fell forward, off the ledge, and onto the cruel ground. He shattered into a million pieces and I felt a raindrop fall from the corner of my eyes. All I could do was watch. 

The following morning, he heard the door open again, and he heard the workers coming outside, chatter surrounding them as they began to clean up the mess. They were all tired and slow, and yet they were still filled with more life than I. I saw more leave the castle, but they were holding more, stone statues, the gargoyles that led to my father's room. He was dead, he had passed in the middle of the night last night. 

I started to look around for any kind of escape from this solid stone. There was no way I could move, all I could do was see and listen. They each held a large gargoyle in their hands, and went to the edge of the bridge, where the water was deepest. Silence, and then splashes, each gargoyle falling into the water with a loud crash. I started to move my eyes frantically, hoping one of them would see me. The worker he had yelled at the night before began to climb up to my ledge. I felt a wave of relief as they began to pick me up and take me down. 

“It's a shame the prince wanted these taken down, his father always loved them. But with the royal family gone now, I guess there's no point in keeping them here.”

No! I’m not gone! I’m here! I’m right here damn it!

The worker carried me forward, onto the bridge, and as they did, every bit of fight I had in me sank away. I had no chance, I knew that now. I was damned, I was one of the damned souls that should have gone downwards, far from where she is. But a very specific hell was made just for me, in her eyes I did not deserve to burn. So I was colder than ever, and everything was dark. I fell with the same thunderous crash that the others did, except I sank lower. Lower and lower I went until touching upon the bottom after what felt like years. I could feel myself filling up with ice cold water, and sinking down down away from the sun. Disappearing along with my family name. I sank lower than I never thought I could. I let out one final try to scream, call for any kind of help, but it was all in vain.

And to this day, I sit here, down at the bottom with nothing but the rising and sinking sun, nothing more than the thoughts to drive me slowly mad in this lonely dark abysse.