Author's Notes: Hm, Okay, the explanation of this, hehe. Right, so anyway, this was an essay/rewrite of one of the Canterbury stories.. And well, I used some of the ffVIII characters ^______^ The only thing I changed in the whole essay from what I gave the teacher is Squall being referred to a girl (In this he's changed back to his former gender - much to his liking I'm sure! ~_^)

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters - I only wish I did! ^_^ I really don't even own this plot - yet I do own the way I worded it ~_^

The Canterbury Tales ~ Physician's Tale

By Kuja's Moon

The physician cleared his throat, waiting rather impatiently for his fellow companions to quiet down, so he could begin his story.

Once the silence was broken only by the sound of their shoes upon the dirt road, he began:

"Laguna Loire was a knight. Chivalrous and brave, he had been to the crusades.

"Now let it be known that he had had a wife, who was nicely swollen when he left - but upon returning he found she had taken the earth as her bedding. The only thing she had left him was the most beautiful child ever known to man. Nothing more pulchritudinous had yet to be seen or would be.

"His name was Squall, for his eyes resembled the sea after such storms - a fierce blue-grey. Many a man and boy found themselves quite taken by just one bat of his thick lashes. His hair, a chocolate brown of dark richness that cascaded down his back if left unbound, was pulled up in an elegant knot; it framed his porcelain skin so that if he were to stand perfectly still, one might think him a china doll. Thin and lithe he appeared almost fae-like in his silken dresses and graceful movements. All this he had gained and not a day past fourteen summers he had seen.

"Laguna had loved his wife and so now loved his son just as much - if not more, in a way only a father can love a son. There had never been a time that, upon his returns from battles, there was not laughter filling the halls of Esthar, which was Loire's dwelling.

"Now as every family of proper up bringing is known to do, Laguna and Squall went to the temple every Sunday. But this Sunday was different from the rest, for as they passed by the governor's courthouse, a man slipped out. And had they been a moment faster in the ambling walk to the temple - or a hair slower. this story would have no meaning in the least. But alas, it was not so.

"Now the man who slipped from the courthouse caught sight of the fair Squall, and his mouth went dry, and his eyes went wide, for as the reader knows - there had been no one so beautiful as Laguna's son.

"Here Laguna chanced to turn a glance back and found the man's lusty gaze.

"How horrid it would be to find this man, Seifer, gazing at one's son! For it was well known that the judge was lecherous in his ways and took many a girl or boy to bed without permission or marriage.

"So it is now that Laguna quickened his pace, taking his son gently by the arm and leading her swiftly to the temple for prayer.

"This did not deter Seifer, for he watched in wonderment at the beauty being led away, and a smile touched his lips. He gave a soft chuckle, bringing his hand up to his chin in thought. 'Yes, the boy will be mine - no man, be it even Sir Laguna himself, shall stand in my way.' But he knew he could not win Squall - nor bribe him - nor . force. His friends were numerous, and his spirit so pure that it would be impossible for the beauty to take notice in him.

"And there he sat, long in thought, for what he might do to achieve his newly found goal. It had not been more than five minutes before his lips turned up in a grin. He had remembered a name. that would surely help him, a name of a woman so cunning and dark. Before he could blink, he found that his feet moved toward the woman's very house, on the outskirts of town.

"'Edea!' With a voice so loud that it rattled the glasses on the table, the black-hearted Seifer swung open the door. His emerald eyes searched the room for the witch of a lady but to no avail!

"'Ah, so tis you they send, now, is it?' A hissing voice emitted from the darkness of a doorway.

"From the shadows, a woman appeared. Hunched as she was, she leaned heavily against the doorframe, her long black garments covering most of her body.

"And the words poured forth from Seifer's lips until the story had been told of how he had seen Laguna's fair son, Squall, and how his heart had been struck by the arrows of Cupid, to which the woman laughed.

"Yet, they came up with a plan in a matter of moments, talking in hushed voices as excited as children.

"The day that followed, all was well at Esthar, and Laguna and Squall sat down to a morning meal. Squall was in the middle of folding his napkin neatly in his lap, when the doors flew open. Laguna pushed back from his chair, face pale with anger.

"'What is the meaning of this?' he cried, outraged.

"'Sir,' the page bowed low. 'I mean not to interrupt your morning meal. But it is by the decree of the court that you make attendance immediately at the courthouse. I have only just run from there - they are in need of your presence, sir!'

"Laguna left; his food untouched on its plate. Squall sat alone - his brow knitted in wonder, worry intertwined. Could his father be in trouble? He would never do anything wrong! By his life he could attest for that. His father was a noble knight!

"In the courthouse Seifer waited - Edea by his side, both faces marred with a Cheshire grin. When Laguna's footsteps sounded in hall - the faces were both wiped clean of any emotions.

"Doors were thrown open once again that day, and a raging Laguna stepped forward, his eyes blazing.

"'As you know,' Seifer started upon the man's arrival. 'You have been called here. Now you shall find as to why the reason!' He grinned and nodded to Edea.

"'But no more than fourteen years ago, I had a child with my husband, Cid.' Tears were springing from Edea's eyes as she spoke. 'He had been a beautiful babe, porcelain and petite. Now on the very night of his birth he was robbed from the crib! And it is this man who be guilty of that sin!' With her long red nails, she pointed to Laguna, whose rage was overflowing.

"'Tis not so! Impossible!' He bellowed. Turning up to the judge he implored. 'Did you not see us on the yesterday? To the temple we went as we are so accustomed - to pray for my wife, who gave birth to my son and died in doing so! She was with child when I left! And with me gone - how now can I have stolen my dear Squall from this woman?'

"'You make a fair point, Sir Laguna. As do you Edea..' Seifer brought his hand to his chin in feigned thought. 'But I fear this is too much for me to sort out in any small amount of time. Yes, and for your answer I must have time! But I cannot, in my heart, find it to be just to the lamb that he stay with one or the other. so by judging, I think it best that he be sent to me - and I shall watch over him as I make such an important decision.'

"Laguna open his mouth - yet, closed it once again. His lips formed a thin line. He knew what would happen if he was to leave his son with this man, but there was no other way, for he had sworn himself to justice . so he must follow through. unless. His head felt in defeat - much to Seifer amusement.

"Squall sat by the hearth, needles in hand, as he knitted what he hoped would be a warm shirt for his father to wear. He had not gotten far for he was truly worried about his father's well-being. At the noise of the front door being opened, he almost dropped his needles in his haste to meet the person.

"The sight of his father relieved him to no end, and a smile crept upon his lips. But it slowly faded as he noticed the crease in his father's brow, how he sagged as if some invisible weight was strapped to his back. He looked up; no longer cheerful smoky eyes greeted her own.

"'Squall, my son,' Laguna's voice was broken. 'Let me look at you.' After a moment, he said, 'how you've grown.'

"'Why of course, father,' he smiled soothingly, and led his father to his chair.

"'Now you must be brave, Squall,' Laguna started.

"The curious look her father gave him sent shivers up his spine as he nodded to his comment.

"It was then that Sir Laguna explained what happened at the court; it was then he watched his only child - his beloved son - pale; it was then he watched him leave the room only to return with his broadsword.

"He presented it to him without a flinch. His back was straight and his words firm; 'I understand, father. Do what you must!' And with that he knelt before him, head bowed.

"Laguna stared for a moment at his son's humble form, but knew his words were true. With a heavy sigh, tears in his eyes, he brought the sword down swiftly.

"There was no sound. only silence, for Squall did not cry - though he was afraid.... and Laguna did not cry - though he felt the pain in his heart as the sword fell.

"With shaking hands, Laguna carefully wrapped the precious 'gem' in a silk cloth, so blue that it put the sky to shame. He cradled it carefully in his arms as he walked to the courthouse.

"Seifer's thin lips turned in a grin.. Any minute now.. Any minute the little beauty would walk in and be his.

"When Sir Laguna entered, Seifer almost fell to the floor in his excitement.

"But. wait...

"'Sir Laguna, where is he?'

"With lips pressed hard together, Laguna placed his burden in front of Seifer, who opened without a second thought.

A gasp and a scream followed as Seifer threw the bundle across the room.

"'What is the meaning of this?' He shouted, shivering in horror, for what still stared at him from the other side of the building were the sea blue gems embedded in the porcelain skin, with the dark chocolate that framed it all pulled up into a lovely knot laced with pearls.

"Laguna's voice was low, 'I would rather see him dead by my hand than stained by yours.'"


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