The High Lord Guin stared out his tower at the grand city below. His gaze was smoldering, and he gripped a sheet of paper so tightly it crinkled in his grip. “It can’t be true.” He growled as his orange eyes settled on the physician who brought the news and narrowed. “What is the treatment, and what is its cost?”
As the doctor explained, Guin raised a hand. “About the delusions you mentioned, how bad are they?”
The doctor took a deep breath. “She will have no idea that her fantasy world is not real.”
Guin swallowed rising bile. “How soon will she recover from this mess?”
“She won’t, High Lord. There is no recovering from this, and her life will be very short. If she survives to adolescence, I will be shocked. I will be happy, but I will be shocked.” The doctor bowed deeply.
With slow, measured movements, the High Lord covered his mouth and looked down. “Go.” he ordered firmly. When the man was gone, Guin walked to one of the plush chairs by the fire and sank into it. He stared into the artificial flames, their light dancing along his tired features.
Only when he was certain he was alone, did he begin to speak. “I hold a vital position within the government. Without this, the country is defenseless. My wife is dead, and remarriage is unlikely. My only child, my beloved daughter, is sick with a disease that makes me chose between delusions and paralysis. If I at least knew if the delusions were pleasant, I would chose that. Letting my daughter pass away is not an option. First, I love her too dearly. Second, if she cannot fill my role, she must have a child that can.” He stopped speaking and buried his face in his hands. There was no viable option, save to keep his child alive while he begged the emperor to arrange a marriage for him. He lifted his head and stared once more into the fire. It’s artificial light reflected off his orange eyes, and he closed them, decision made.
Slowly, the man rose and walked from his study. He walked all the way across his manor to his only child’s bedroom. He stared down at her still form. She was so tiny, and her limbs were so thin. He touched her hand, and her fingers remained still and cool to the touch. Slowly, he wrapped his hands around hers to warm them. Internally, he knew he was being foolish, hoping that mere warmth would awaken movement.
Boreal remained asleep, her chest rising and falling with the aid of an oxygen tank and rubber tubing. The sight of so many wires and tubes inside of the girl filled her father with irrational worry. With careful fingers, he brushed her hair behind one of her delicate ears. Her hair was the same color as her mothers’ had been– a black so dark it shone blue.
Guin closed his eyes and recalled his daughter’s eyes before the accident. They were so alive, happy, and bright. She had her grandfather’s dark blue eyes. The idea that those eyes might lose the will to laugh scared him even more profoundly than the tubes in her delicate body. His finger paused at the edge of her ear, and her eyes slowly opened.
“Daddy?” Her voice was so small.
“It’s me, Bo.” He forced a smile.
The child smiled. “Daddy. I’m still tired.”
“I know, dear heart.” He knelt beside her and swallowed the lump in his throat. He kissed her forehead. “You’re going to be able to move again. You’ll see things though, strange things. I don’t know what they will be, but always know that you are safe, and that I love you with all my heart.” He felt like this was some sort of good-bye, but forced a smile.
“Ok, Daddy. As long as you’re here with me, I don’t mind.” Her smile was so bright that her father almost cried. Would she smile like this often in her delusions, or would she cry?
“If you ever want the strange things to stop, just tell someone, and me and the doctor will do our best to make them stop, but you might not be able to move again.”
“Ok, Daddy.” she repeated. “Can I go back to sleep?”
“Of course.” Once again, he kissed her. As her eyes slowly shut again, he walked out of her gaily-decorated bedroom and quietly shut the door. He held his tears back as he made his way to the doctor’s room.
He took in the halls. They looked so ugly and dead. The wallpaper offended him. Just two weeks ago, he recalled putting it up with Bo and the workers, together. How dare the walls look so nice, when Bo was so deeply injured?
The sheer irrationality of such a thought jarred him, and he shook his head sharply before he reached for the door to the doctor’s room. It opened soundlessly. “Doctor.”
The aged man looked up. “Yes, High Lord?”
“Give my baby girl that treatment.” He spoke bluntly. “I will pay for all fees.” The High Lord walked away before the Doctor could finish fully waking. The old man wrote a note to himself and returned to his sleep. It was late, and mornings in this home came very early.
It took little time before the bands on Boreal’s arm were installed. They powered a set of chips that bypassed her spinal injury. To give it power, a person needed to be active, and Bo still needed to recover muscle mass from two weeks of laying down, doing and feeling nothing below her neck. As the surgery completed, Guin waited patiently for his daughter to wake up.
Bo woke up in her magical tower bedroom. The medical equipment was gone. A young dragon stared at her, then grinned, and the two began to play together, while an old wizard in funny glasses instructed them to stay active and eat healthy. A large carpet with uneven rings adorned the floor, and that was where she did daily exercises, surrounded by friends that were only real in her mind.
Guin watched for several long minutes before he closed the door. His daughter looked so happy, and was listening to the doctor’s advice, but her eyes weren’t what they once were. They were distant, and saw something neither he, nor the doctor, could fathom.
I make no claim to own Bo on the Go. It belongs to someone on the Canadian Broadcasting Network. I am making no profit from writing this, and make no claims to own this children’s show. This is my take on it, and it’s been stabbing me in the brain for two weeks.