What It's Like

By Zaphod Beeblebrox

From somewhere in the echoing recesses of Guardia's dungeon, a voice pealed hard against the stone walls that were caked with dirt and grime. He screeched until he was hoarse and even then, the guards remained inert at their posts. Realizing that his pleas were falling on deaf ears, the prisoner loosened his grasp on the cold, cast-iron bars which secured his concrete cell. He let his malnourished body slide down along the maggoty confines of the alcove, a tear of heartbreak streaming down his weatherbeaten face. More tears followed, each one glistening in the light of the wall-mounted torches just beyond his reach.

He felt ready to give in to his subtle convictions of exhaustion when a brawny yet rotund figure trudged down the stairwell at the end of the corridor. Its progress to his chamber was frenzied, its intention to put an end to all the cacophony permanently. Holding an iron gavel in its hands, it reared back, swung the lump of metal through the bars, and into the frail skull of the shrieking captive. While the impact never killed him, the hemorrhaging within his cranium left him wishing that death would come and shake his soul free from this tortured existence.

For a while afterwards, nothing happened. The only sound was the incessant dripping of rainwater that kept his sanity amused. Then, in the glow of the fire's radiance, the felon recognized the face of the Chancellor, this one corrupted by human nature. Seemingly pleased with the results, he wished to get in there to continued punishing him for disturbing the peace of the castle. It was then that another more feminine voice forbid it.

"Stop, Chancellor," she said, speaking in a mature tone that bore a hint of cruelty. "I'll take care of him."

"Marle..." came the young man's abrasive voice which was still worn out from his screaming. It now carried an undertone of genuine satisfaction.

"Just don't forget about your title, Your Majesty," the Chancellor said in leaving the stockade.

"I never do," she assured him as she moved on to visit the oppressed, sighing respectively as she did. "Hello, Crono."

"Marle," he said, now in a languished manner as he rested his forehead against the rusty cage door. "Why?"

"Things change, Crono," she said, proving to him that her kingdom came before everything else. "And so do people?"


Well, God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes, Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues.
What It's Like


‘How much comfort does one need before it provokes a fight?' That was the question on Terra Branford's mind. She stood wearily before her husband of six years who had just gotten back from the Narshe mines. Their home in Jidoor wasn't exactly above average but it remained suitable for their needs, at least for the time being. Now, she looked at him with sympathy. Judging from his condition, he had had a rough day.

"How was work, honey?" Terra asked him with the warmth only an experienced wife could comport.

"Where's my dinner?" was his only answer in pushing his way past her to get to the dining room.

Feeling neglected, she silently went to the kitchen and got him his meal. She lay the plate down in front of him and sat down at his side. She still regarded her husband with loving care, but he was too enraptured with his food to notice. Finally, as her fingers danced around the hairs on the back of his neck (which he may have at one time enjoyed), he pushed her away with enough force to knock her off the chair.

"I told you never to do that while I'm eating!!" he roared at her.

"I'm sorry," she pleaded, squirming away from him.

"Maybe you need a little something to remind you!" he yelled, taking off his belt.

"No, Grant, please don't hurt me!" she wailed.

But her cries for mercy went unanswered as her husband went about his misplaced relentlessness. His fury beat lose Terra's screams while simultaneously reminding her how stupid she was in settling down with this thing called love. And as Grant's despicable act shook the very foundations of their cottage, one who was too young to accept any of this rested between the sheets of his bed upstairs, praying to God that the racket would end soon.

Much later that night, when she was sure that Grant was asleep, Terra slipped out of bed and into her robe. It hurt to move but she'd gladly feel it to get away from him. She feebly hobbled her way downstairs and looked at her face in the mirror, finding it bruised and bloodied, her beautiful green hair apparently torn askew from Grant's rage. She let a tear run down her cheek as she loosened her robe to see the rest of her body. Her physical beauty way deformed in an equally upsetting fashion if not worse. It was times like these in which she was reminded of what Leo had once told her. What was his exact words again?

People are people. Not everyone is like Kefka.

"That shows what you know, Leo, and you were the one who said I'd be able to love someone too!"

Here, she dropped to her knees, reveling in her vast chasms of despair and ready to lose all control.

"God, I hate you!! I wish you were never born!!"

"Mommy?" came an worry-stricken, infantile voice from over the stairs.

"Leo? Sweetheart, what are you still doing up?"

"Mommy, did I make you cry?"

"No, baby! It has nothing to do with you. It was an old friend, that's all. Come here!"

She took him in her arms and embraced him heartily. She never wanted to let him go.

"I just do bad things sometimes. I get in daddy's way when he doesn't want to be disturbed."

"But why does he hurt you, mommy?"

"I don't know!" she cried, holding him more tightly than ever.


Well, God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes, Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose.
What It's Like


With a mountainside for a home, a prophet forgotten to time bundled up tightly in a robe that was like a blanket of blood. It was amazing that such insufferable rage and burning anger could survive in a world that had practically disappeared in a thick layer of ice and blowing snow. Just as his sister had vanished some three years to the day, so true did his aspirations fade for a prosperous future, that is, for Zeal anyway. Their kingdom's legend was disintegrating faster with every passing day and that reflected badly on the one called Schala, perhaps the only Enlightened One that acted as humane as an Earthbound One.

But in a small fraction of a second, his thoughts became fogged by some intangible voice faintly emerging from the hollows of underground. Had it not have sounded familiar, he never would have found himself running against time through a series of natural tunnels to find this individual. He quickly lost track of how far his feet took him but they were moving faster than the speed of his own pain from yesteryear. His running ultimately led him to what appeared to be a subterranean waterway that took the waves in from the unending ocean horizon.

It was then that he found a young woman beached along the frozen sands, her shimmering purple hair solidified to icicles from whatever journey she had painstakingly completed from the now-nullified world of Guardia. The Zeal Prophet shook his head imperiously as he gathered the young woman into his arms and took her back to his grotto back above.

The search for Schala had ended, but the worst of the quest had not yet come to pass. In surveying the damage, he saw that her skin was had no more of a hue than his own, that her lifeforce was fading fast. He rubbed his hands together and pressed his mouth against her near-dead face, trying desperately to warm her up again. It was here that she opened her eyes and seemed to be comforted by what she saw.

"You're that Zeal Prophet, but what of Crono and our kingdom and..."

"Schala, I'm not the prophet of Zeal nor any other prophet. I'm your brother, Schala!"

In recognizing how much face coincided with the smaller, more youthful Janus, the woman slipped into a coma and rendered up her soul to God. The shock was just too much for her and for that, Janus found himself despising his own existence all over again. If he only could have waited for her to get her health back...


Every day after that, Janus silently wished that the events of that fateful moment were but a nightmare, though he found that reality was much more unforgiving. Never would he forgive himself for punishing his sister with the bitter truth that took her life.


Well, God forbid you ever had to wake up and hear the news, Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to lose.
What It's Like

Zaphod Beeblebrox's Fanfiction