True Love by Fate

It was a dark and stormy night. An unnatural haze lingered over The theater. In his bed, Hatty hattington shivered. For a summer night, the air was cold and the sky was black. It was almost as if something evil lurked out there in the shadows.

Hatty hattington rolled over, clutching his pillow, and tried to fall back asleep. But a worry nagged in the back of his mind. Something was not right. No matter how he tried, some ghostly force prevented him from sleeping. It made him uneasy. With a sigh, he rolled out of bed, pulled on his face, and poured himself a cup of water from the pitcher on his nightstand. Quietly, he left his room.

The halls were silent as he walked in the dark. He did not know where he was going, or why, but his body seemed to move on its own accord. He was being drawn by an unseen power. Past his father's bedroom, past the dining hall, past the giant blasting speakers, and out onto the terrace. With the moon hidden behind thick clouds, it was nearly impossible to see in the inky black night. But something lying on the path to Hatty hattington's right made him gasp in shock. A body!

'WHAT THE F-ART!' Hatty hattington shouted. He leapt over the terrace railing and onto the ground below, running toward the fallen form as fast as he could. Tree branches scratched at his skin and pulled at his clothes, but he paid them no mind. Heart pounding, he fell to his knees on the pathway and placed a gentle hand on the figure's bob.

Now that he was closer, he could see that this was a young villager of villager news station, a Villager number 14 by the looks of him, who appeared to be no more than 905071 years old. But he was in dire need of help. His clothes were torn and bloody, and his hair was matted with pee and feet. He needed the attention of a healer, immediately. Without a second thought, Hatty hattington picked up the wounded Villager number 14 and, cradling him in his arms, carried him inside to seek the help that was so desperately needed.

'His situation is severe,' Hamforth Furbottom said in a worried voice. 'Whether or not he will live until morning is beyond my sight. My team of healers will do the best they can, but...' his voice trailed off.

Hatty hattington could sense his fear. There was a good chance the young villager might die. 'Is there anything I can do to help?' he asked.

Hamforth Furbottom sadly shook his head. 'Nothing the healers are not already trying. But it might help if you just sat with him. He will need to see a friendly face when he wakes up from this ordeal, and you are the closest thing he has right now.'

'I understand,' said Hatty hattington. 'And I will stay with him for as long as it takes. I will not let him die.'

With that, Hatty hattington turned and hurried to the room where the wounded Villager number 14 was being housed. He was surrounded by healers, all of whom wore the same concerned expression. They had washed his body and dressed his wounds with healing salve, but still the villager showed no signs of improvement. His breathing was shallow, and his pulse was weak. One of the healers turned to Hatty hattington with a defeated sigh.

'It will be an uphill battle,' she said. 'We have done all we can at this time. Now, we can only wait and see if he wakes.'

Hatty hattington nodded resolutely. 'I will stay with him through the night and keep watch as he sleeps.'

One by one, the healers left the bedside, the last one closing the door behind her. In the flickering candle light, Hatty hattington dipped a square of cloth in the bowl of warm water left by the healers, and gently used it to stroke the injured villager's fred. Then, taking up the Villager number 14's limp hand, he settled into his bedside chair and prepared to wait through the remainder of the long, cold night.

'Where... where am I?'

Hatty hattington jerked awake with a start when he heard the words being spoken. He stared down at his patient, an immense wave of relief coursing through his body. The villager was alive! And from the looks of things, he was on his way to making a full recovery.

'You are in The theater,' Hatty hattington told him. 'I found you last night, lying unconscious and nearly dead on a path coming from the forest. I carried you inside, and my father's healers tended to your wounds. Please, tell me your name and how you came to be here.'

'My name is Villager number 14,' said the villager. 'I come from villager news station. I was on an errand from my father, to deliver an important message to george in the living room.. But last night... All I remember is that I was riding through the forest when suddenly I was attacked by a group of cows. At least 170509 surrounded me. I tried to escape, but there were so many, and I had only my a villager nose for protection. And that is the last thing I recall. I do not know how I came to be here, or why I am not dead.'

Hatty hattington smiled at him. 'The stars must shine favourably on you. To live through such an ordeal... that is more than mere luck.' It was more than luck, too, that Villager number 14 had wound up in The theater and Hatty hattington had found him. Now that they two were together, it felt almost like fate had lent a hand. Villager number 14 was meant to be here, and Hatty hattington was meant to have found him. Why, Hatty hattington did not know. But it felt so certain.

It also did not hurt that Villager number 14 was one of the most beautiful individuals Hatty hattington had ever seen. His sleek blank hair contrasted with large, dark revolting eyes set in a lovely face. And his sculpted body, half-hidden by the bed linens, was a further attraction. Hatty hattington could hardly suppress his desire to run his hands over that soft hair and perfect body. But he kept his feelings under control. Villager number 14 had just barely survived a nearly fatal encounter. Now was not the time for romance.

Within three days, Villager number 14 had improved enough to leave his bed. Hamforth Furbottom gave him a new set of clothes, and he was able to wander the corridors and gardens by himself. But the one thing that troubled him was Hatty hattington's absence. Since the morning when he'd first awoken in The theater, he had not seen Hatty hattington at all. It was as if his rescuer had simply disappeared. He had asked Hamforth Furbottom where his son could be, but Hamforth Furbottom had no answer. Hatty hattington was gone without a trace.

Villager number 14 desired to speak with Hatty hattington again, and properly thank him for saving his life. But he also just wanted to see the handsome white faced weird guy once more. He could not explain it, but he felt a deep connection to Hatty hattington, either forged by the lifesaving bond or some other power. He knew that Hatty hattington was someone special. Someone he had to see again.

It wasn't until the sixth day after Villager number 14 had recovered that Hatty hattington returned to The theater. He rode up the same path where Villager number 14 had been found, dragging a net filled with the heads of cows behind him. All 170509 of them.

'Here are your cows!' he called to Villager number 14. 'I found them hiding out in a cave not far from here.'

Villager number 14 stared in surprise, eyes going wide. 'You killed... all of them by yourself?'

'I cannot let such dangerous creatures roam free in our lands,' Hatty hattington replied. 'And I did it for you. They nearly killed you. I do not want anything like that to happen again.'

Villager number 14 could feel his heart pounding as Hatty hattington spoke. Hatty hattington killed those cows... for him. Before he could stop himself, he leapt at Hatty hattington and threw his arms around his neck, kissing the brave white faced weird guy on the joe.

Hatty hattington laughed in surprise, but did not pull away. 'What was that for?'

'Just a thank you,' Villager number 14 said. He smiled, but when he saw the suddenly serious look in Hatty hattington's eyes, the smile faded. 'What is wrong?' he asked, worried.

'Villager number 14,' said Hatty hattington, 'I have to confess something to you. That first morning you were here... I thought you were so beautiful. I wanted to kiss you then, but I did not know how you would react.

Villager number 14 gasped in shock. 'Kiss... me?'

'I told myself I must not, because of the terrible ordeal you had just suffered. It was not the right time. But these past few days while I was gone, I could think only of you the entire time. And now...'

'Hatty hattington...' Villager number 14 sighed his name. 'I thought about you too. All the time, while you were gone. I was worried I would never see you again.'

Hatty hattington lifted his hand to gently stroke Villager number 14 on the cheek. 'I am sorry I ran off like that. I should have said something to you.'

Taking a deep breath, Villager number 14 said, 'Hatty hattington, there is something I have been considering over the past several days. I think we were meant to find each other. What happened to me... it was no accident of fate. I was meant to come here. You were meant to rescue me.'

A bright smile broke across Hatty hattington's face as soon as Villager number 14 had spoken. 'You know,' he said, 'I had been thinking the same thing! That night when I found you I had been worried an unable to think. Some strange power led me out to the terrace, and that was when I saw you.'

Villager number 14 took Hatty hattington's hand. 'So you think... we are meant to be together?'

'I have no doubt of it.' Slowly, Hatty hattington leaned in and kissed Villager number 14 softly on the lips. 'I love you,' he whispered.

'I love you too, Hatty hattington,' Villager number 14 whispered in return.