¿¿?? Author's notes : Well, here it is, the 'last chapter'. I am so sorry it took this long. No, it wasn't because of a writer's block. To be honest there was a huge part of me that didn't want to finish this fic at all, because when you bring a certain story to a conclusion, your journey as its author ends... and all that sentimental nonsense. Well.. I had to finish it.. Here you go, enjoy. Its long. I hope I've pulled all loose ends together.
And Emmalyn, I sure hope you appreciate this.
¿ Pinked Memories ?
¿ Chapter Nine Memories of Pink ?
Serafid opened his eyes. He became aware of the loud buzzing noise that was all around him. He groggily turned his head to left and looked out the window. They were passing through clouds.
"Ah, so you're finally awake," a voice beside him said.
He turned to look at the one who spoke. His heart skipped a beat when he saw her.
She was seated comfortably on her side of the helicopter. She rested her head on the soft fur-covered backseat. Her eyes were fixed on him steadily, there was even a playful shine to it.
"You're such a sleepy head you know, you've been sleeping for 2 hours straight now," she said in a curious voice.
Serafid frowned. "You were watching...?" he asked.
"Well I..." she said and turned her head away, blushing a little, but she threw him a seductive look under her elongated eyelashes.
Serafid soundly slapped his own face.
She turned to him in surprise. "Why did you do that?!" she asked in 'her' fake saccharine voice.
"Nothing. For a moment I confused reality with a dream," he said unemotionally. He started to massage his temples.
"Oh..." 'she' said, "Would you...like me to do that for you?" she offered.
Serafid shot him a deadly look. "No." and then he added quickly, "Thank you, Doris," he forced out of his lips.
She then curled up some more in her seat and continued to converse, "So its been a while huh? I bet you're all excited to see your parents and how things changed around here... I mean come on! Its been what..? More than 15 years? I don't really know why you never came to visit....." 'she' kept on blabbering, competing with the buzzing of the machine above.
He stopped listening. No, not a dream, more like a nightmare... he thought to himself. She would have looked like him at this point... Aside from the spy-surveillance images that he had acquired, this is as close as he could get to how she would realy look like now, if only her hair didn't change...
That's why he put up with him, excuse me, its 'her', or whatever, this transexual, even if it made his skin crawl inside.
And for a moment there, for a moment when he woke up, he thought he really was her...
His Dorothy... the one he'd lost... the one who's now a different person... The one who's with his brother...
He closed his eyes and tried to suppress the rising anger that he was beginning to feel.
Then his anger killed something, the buzzing noise overhead started to slow down.
"What the...?" Serafid asked, opening his eyes and looking up in alarm.
"What's going on?!" Doris asked, as she systematically went to the pilot's side and grabbed him.
The pilot slowly turned to the both of them, his eyes reflected fear. "Ma'am, Sir... I'm afraid we have a problem..."
Waves w a v e s w a v e
There was a gentle almost whispering sound that filled his ears. He listened to it for a while, its constancy, its soothing calmness. And then he opened his eyes.
He waited for his sight to focus and for his sense to come back to him. It didn't take long. He was still alive and he was onshore.
He got up and ripped away his bright orange lifesaver. He turned to one side to see Doris still unconcious, his wig had fallen out of his head. His mouth was open as if inviting mouth-to-mouth resucitation.
He suppressed an urge to throw up, it would be ungentlemanly, he reminded himself. He muttered another derogatory comment and got up, not even bother to check up if 'she' was alright.
He brushed the sand all over his clothes and looked about the place. He frowned and then started to walk away.
He hadn't gotten far when he heard Doris yell, "Wherever you're going, I'm going with you!" suddenly coming to life.
He had pulled his act together and appeared 'normal' once again, save for the misarranged wig on top of his head.
"No!" he said quickly, turning to point his index finger at him. "You stay." he commanded as a master does to its dog. "Its too dangerous if we go together. I fear for myself," he added as he said the last sentence under his breath. "I won't wander far off,"
"B-b-b-but Seeeraaaffiiiiiddd," he pleaded. "I don't want to be left alone, by myself, what if there are wild animals?" he exclaimed in his fake voice.
"Then good riddance. If you see a beast, go jump into its arms, they're as close as you could get to a loving embrace," he bit his lip. He couldn't help himself.
"Whaaaat?!" Doris asked, then turned to follow him. But he had already turned behind some thick tall bushes and was quickly out of her sight. She slumped to the sand. "So cold... always so cold to me... Ahhh... that's why... that's why I turned away... Oh Serafid if you only knew..." (play drama music here) She lifted up her sparkly eyes to the sky, "The truth is.... well the truth is that you were my first... love... yes, see I laid eyes on you first... and then I was captivated..." she raised her enclasped hand, as if to reach for something. "But you were always so cold... so far, your heart was so far.. oh and how I longed to warm you!! SE-RA-FID!!!!" she screamed, throwing both her arms into the air as if to embrace someone.
"But..." she said, looking down to the ground and gently bringing her arms with it. "Our love cannot be... you were engaged to my sister, and I love her so! That's why..." she paused and looked down. "I had turned to your brother who I worship with every fibre of my being still!!" she threw her arms out again. (halt drama music)
"But you will always have a place in my heart... my love... my first... Serafid... Ohhhhh!" she said as she got up to her feet. "And now that we have a chance to be together again I shall take it! I will find you my love! My first love! This island is small, I arranged it to be so... hohohohohohoho! And we shall return to the civilized world only after you've accepted me as your wife..... forever!!" then she laughed once again. "After all, if I can't have Seravi you're as good as him! Wait, even better! Hohohohohohoho!!" and with that, she jumped through the bushes and began her hunt.
Right after he was concealed by the bushes, Serafid started running for his life. At first he tried to use magic to get out of this place but the island seemed to have an anti-magic field. So he went as far away from Doris as possible and ended up on the other side of the island where there was another beach. He sat down for a while and watched the sun slowly sinking in the horizon. First time he comes back after so many years to his homeland and what does he get? A transexual for a welcoming party and the great outdoors for accomodations. He shook his head. He wouldn't have minded it if it was spent with someone else but...
Serafid frowned. He stopped himself from going down that road again... thinking about her once again... after so many years...
He got up. A chill was starting to creep up to his hands. Doris must be getting close, he thought. Its getting dark, he needs to build a fire for the night. So he walked further down to beach and started to pick up driftwoods.
He had covered a lot of shoreline and the sun was almost lost from view when something glittered against the whiteness of the beach further up ahead.
He cautiously walked towards it.
There was something that the water had just brought in on shore. Long, golden hair was laced with seaweed.
Serafid dropped all that he was holding. He ran to the person who was wearing tattered remains of what once used to be a simple violet dress. He caught the person in his arms and slowly removed the hair from her face.
It was pitch black, a calm without a color. There was a sound that came slowly, gently, calling her back.
And then she began to feel. There was a spreading cold around her body, she felt it within. A rush of cold inside.
The cold was all around her, it clung to her skin. The sound became clearer and clearer now. She opened her eyes.
The darkness was replaced by sudden explosion of white. The combination of colors danced in her eyes. She felt a warm hand gently brush away a tufts of blond hair that clung to her wet skin.
The colors converged to form images. She saw her beloved looking deeply in her eyes.
He smiled. Wake up...
What was that?
"Dorothy?" another voice called out.
Dorothy sat up and opened her eyes, coughing up water. When she lifted her eyes again, there were only white shore and blue waters as far as the eyes can see. She looked down on her wet wedding gown and frowned. Memories of what happened came rushing back to her.
She closed her eyes and suppressed a tear. "Seravi... its you isn't it?" she asked without turning to look back.
"Yes," he said. He got up and dusted the sand from his robe. "I don't know why we ended up here, but we might as well make the most out of it, I'll go look for a source of clean water and a nice place to build a shelter. This island isn't very big, but its still pretty easy to get lost in the thick jungle here. So..." Seravi trailed off, and then carefully looked at Dorothy who was staring off into the distance.
"Please stay here, I'll come back as soon as I can," after a pause, he turned to go.
"I want to go back Seravi," Dorothy said in a calm voice.
"No." Seravi said firmly. He paused and then turned back to her with a smile on his face, "My dearest Dorothy you have lost your memory, I want them to return," he walked back to her and sat down beside her. "And when it does, then we'll come back," he said as he took Dorothy's hands, "And everything would be just as it should be..." He looked at her with clear eyes, searched for true self within, then when he found something that he had searched for in eyes, he leaned in and kissed her.
beep beep beep
A white large bed.
There was only whiteness in the room, an illusion of immaculateness, of heaven.
Light was reflected everywhere... everywhere... only one color was there
g ...reen... h....a....i.....
There was a bed in the middle of the room, surrounded by a lot of machines that that was connected to the someone lying on the bed.
beep beep beep
The low humming sound of the heart monitor was the only one that disturbed the almost tangible silence in the room.
Then ever so often, you would even be able to hear the dextrose drops onto the tube that's injected directly to a vein in his body.
The blanket on the bed moved in time with the slow rising and falling of the patient's chest. A breathing apparatus covered most of his drained, pale face.
He was as still as death, as silent as death, and as peaceful as death. He had been like that for a while now.
He will be like that for a long time.
On one side of the room was a mirror, and from that stood Serafid's father. There were dark circles under his eyes, it seemed to take a lot of effort just for him to remain standing there.
This was the greatest test of his life, his wife had an attack and was on another room in this hospital that they owned, his first-born was in a coma and his other son had disappeared.
But he maintained sanity and chose to bear it all up and not give up.
An elderly man dressed in white approached him slowly.
"You must rest yourself," he advised him.
He didn't even look at the doctor. "How is he?" he asked urgently.
"I'm pleased to say that his condition is already stable, his breathing; normal, heart rate; normal, I think we can already remove most of the life-support soon," he reported in a light tone. "But we can't tell if and when he would wake up..." he continued on.
Serafid's father continued listening patiently to the other technical details of his son's condition. His arms were crossed in front of his chest closely, his head was lightly bowed and every now and then he looked at Serafid.
"...there is one unusual result out of the tests that I ran on him earlier..." the Doctor said, continuing their conversation.
"What is it?" he asked, his eyes focusing on the Doctor.
"It seems that his brain wave patterns are irregular..."
"Irregular...? What do you... mean...?" he frowned and turned to him. "Are you saying that he sustained brain damage?!"
"No. Well, we cannot verify that until he wakes up."
"Then, what is it...?" he asked in a barely audible voice.
"His brain activity is similar to that of a person in deep sleep, one who's, well this may sound absurd, but, a person who's...dreaming," the Doctor answered in an faltering voice.
Their eyes wandered back to Serafid whose position hasn't changed.
"I see. He's... searching for something..." Serafid's father said outloud as he gazed into peaceful face of his son.
"All we can do is wait... until maybe, when he finds her... once again,"
"I found the exit!" Serafid bellowed. He was small again. His hair was still cut straight across his forehead. He was standing on the other side of the lawn where the exit had led him to. "Seravi?! Do you hear me? Call out if you do!"
He heard a faint, "I'm coming brother!" from inside the hedgemaze. He sounded quite far off. He smiled a bit. A part of him was glad that his brother was coming with him. At least he won't be alone.
And he was glad, very, very, very glad, that he's not going to get married anytime soon.
He sat down and stretched out his hand and laid back on the grass. He stared at the bright blue sky and the clouds above. It was a beautiful day to run-away.
He closed his eyes and waited for his brother. He went through the plan in his mind again, he'd get out of here first, then go to the nearest town, get some supplies, go to the next town, and the next town after, until they get out of the kingdom and "disappear". Perhaps to reappear again to the place where he wanted to go.
"Crete..." he murmured dreamily.
What? a soft voice asked him
"Crete. The island where I want to go..." he answered half-dreamily.
I see... that's on the other side of the world... An island in the Medittareanean... off the coast of Greece...
"That's right, how did you know...?" he asked to the voice in his head.
"Because... that's where I planned to go too," the voice said, gaining clarity and concreteness. The voice wasn't in his head.
He opened his eyes.
Above him was another person, blocking the sun with her figure, placing herself in shadow.
He scampered to get up. Her image came into place.
The first thing he noticed was her blonde hair, gold-colored, soft as silk, bright as the sun, curled on the edges and topped off with a large red ribbon. Her eyes were mettalic gray, clear and focused on him. Her skin was fair and slightly freckled on the lighter parts. She was wearing a creme-colored cloth with lace-collars and loose long-sleeves and wide-bottom dress that covered up almost all of her body, save for her face and hands. She was carrying a large brown bag on her back that was more than half of her height. She was... over-all effect was... (details of her face were visible, but he couldn't remember how she really looked like)
"Who are you?!" he demanded, his defenses kicking in after a minutes of staring dumbfoundedly at her.
"Brother, I'm here!" Seravi cried out as he came out from the hedgemaze and hugged him.
"Oh so you're related?" the girl asked sarcastically, looking at the two boys who almost exactly looked like each other.
"Umm, umm, I saw her inside the hedgemaze!" Seravi said looking back and forth from Dorothy and Serafid, "She's runn---owww!!!" Seravi said as Dorothy pulled his ear to silence him.
"What are you doing to my brother?" Serafid asked, pulling Seravi away from her and placing him behind his body. Dorothy backed away and Serafid turned around to Seravi and checked him.
"Are you hurt?" he asked as he examined his ear closely.
"A little..." Seravi answered honestly.
"That doesn't look so good. Your left ear is all red. Let's make it fair," Serafid said as he pulled on the other ear as well.
"Brother!! Owww!!!" Seravi said as Serafid pulled his ear.
"That's what you get for following me, and also for talking with strangers! Did you forget the first rule in being a child?! You must never talk to strangers, much less go with one! Don't be fooled by her beauty brother! Girls are evil!" he scolded.
"Well excuse me!" Dorothy piped in, putting her arms on her waists and scowling. "I'm not some gardener's descendant! Who do you think you are?! I don't need this!" she exclaimed then started to walk off.
"W-wait!" Seravi called out. "Y-you're running away too aren't you? We're running away too see? So I, I think it would be better if we went together!" he declared.
Serafid turned to her. He stared at her for a while, she stared back at him, never blinking. He looked briefly at Seravi then turned back to her. He ran his eyes from her head to foot. Something...
"Brother, please!!" Seravi pleaded with him. "She's not evil..."
Serafid frowned, he turned his head on one corner and thought deeply.
"Don't bother!" she said as she continued walking away.
"Brother...! She's getting away!" Seravi cried out, pulling Serafid's arm and pleaded with him.
Impulsively, Serafid cried out the first words that came to his head, "Crete!"
The girl stopped walking.
"What did you say?" she asked, slightly turning her head into his direction.
"Crete," he said more calmly. "I was not lying. I'm heading there."
She turned around and looked at him.
There was a set passion in his green eyes.
She looked at her for a long time, then her eyes softened "Then, I suppose..."
"We'll go.....together," he finished for her. "What is your name?" he asked.
He saw her open her mouth, but instead of the words coming out, it was darkness, and it enveloped the memory and dropped away.
A pair of eyes opened, the dark spot contracted, giving way to the grey metallic color around it.
She was sitting down on the white sands of a beach. Her golden hair was making its own waves, going with the wind. "I'm Dorothy..." she bade to the wind.
She was wearing her old purple clothes as per Seravi's request.
"But who's Dorothy?" Her eyes were sad, her mind, wandering. "Whose thoughts are these...?"
Everything then faded to a single voice.
I wrote many letters once, and I sent them all to one boy.
I used to write many pages about everything. And then he would reply to me, usually with twice the page number that I had written to him originally. It was a letter-war, we liked competing with each other. We were young then.
He kept all the letters. But I... I had lost mine. I think I kept them for as long as I could... He said it wasn't my fault, that I could no longer read those letters... that I could no longer remember them...
He let me read all of the letters that I had sent to him. He had kept them all, his true world's treasure. Millions upon millions of letters and associations. Without a doubt, I had loved him then.
One morning too soon, I woke up to a room full of letters. He had tried to rewrite all of the letters he had ever given to me. Thousands upon thousands of pages. One of them stood out most from the rest, not in words, not paper, nor in handwriting. It had said:
Would you come with me to Crete... as my wife?
A tear escaped her eyes.
"Dorothy, there you are!" a male voice called out from behind her. She immediately wiped the tear away and turned her head to the one who spoke.
"Dinner's ready, come to the cottage or you'll catch a cold," he said, rubbing his arms and then he smiled. He was standing right beside her then, he offered his hand to help her up.
She looked up at his gentle, smiling eyes, and with a lot of hesitation, she took his hand, got up to her feet and let him lead the way.
Dorothy entered a replica of the cottage that Seravi owned back in the kingdom. An old picture of her as a child was hanging in the wall, forever frozen in a smile. She walked in and approached the roundtable where a crystal ball was placed in the center. Dorothy touched the crystal ball and it responded by emanating a weak light.
"Funny that you noticed that first, let me show you something," Seravi said as he went on the other side of the table.
"Show me Dorothy!" he commanded.
It blinked for a moment and showed her current state for a split-second.
"Show me the blond Dorothy!" he said. And then it blinked and she saw herself in the crystal ball.
"It won't show you if you just call out your name, see the crystal ball looks for the caller's mind picture of the person being searched for, and usually, the Dorothy that is in mind is the pink-haired Dorothy, that's why I didn't find you when you were missing, I was looking for the wrong one," Seravi explained to her. His eyes were shining.
Dorothy looked at him once, and then lowered her eyes on the floor.
"Well! Sit down there and I'll bring out the food," Seravi said as he trotted away humming.
Back in the world they left behind, Cha-cha, Shiine, and Riya were seated at the roundtable. Their heads bowed down, eyes closed and had solemn looks in their faces. Silence was everywhere.
Every now and then Riya would peek through and look at the other two, his brows knotted in confusion.
After his 500th peek, Riya's eyes closed in resignation. "Guys..." he said in serious tone.
Shiine and Cha-cha opened their eyes and looked at him curiously.
"...what are we doing again?" he asked in the same tone.
Cha-cha slumped to the table while Shiine took his chair and threw it at Riya's face.
"What's the matter with you?? Have you forgotten already? We're waiting for them to come back, that's what!" Shiine said after the chair made its impact in Riya's face. He had his back on Riya and was clenching his fists.
Riya took the table and threw it at the unsuspecting Shiine. He kissed the wall once again. "Well maybe I wouldn't have forgotten it if you gave us something to eat!!"
"Oh yeah doggie? You think that feeding can increase your cognitive skills?" Shiine said as he recovered and faced Riya, posing to materialize a hand mallet.
"What?! I'm not a dog!!" Riya yelled back.
"Stop it guys, please don't argue!" Cha-cha pleaded with them. "Teacher Seravi and Miss Dorothy might come back any minute and see you two like this..." she said.
The two boys relaxed their fighting stance.
"Or they may never..." Shiine said in resignation.
"How could you say that Shiine?! Are you saying that they could be..." Cha-cha objected.
"Think about it Cha-cha! How many shots did Doris fire? Serafid only took one shot and he's critical... What if they didn't get out of the way on time? What if they're somewhere out there, wounded, dying slowly, too weak to teleport back..." Shiine said tears pooling in his eyes. One drop fell down, followed by another... until he turned his back to them and began his silent sobbing.
There was a long silence.
Then Cha-cha spoke, "Won't you have faith in them Shiine?" she said in a calm tone. "If there's one thing that you could have learned from Miss Dorothy... its never to give up, even if the day seemed like night in the hopelessness of the situation... never give up. Have hope. Have faith. Its what she would have done. And then Teacher Seravi, would have said something like, they might just knock any minute and come right through that d--"
At that moment, they heard a faint knocking on the door.
Everybody held their breath and slowly turned their towards where the noise was coming from.
"C...could it be?" Cha-cha said.
"There's only one way to find out!" Riya declared as he marched up front and slowly opened the door.
The setting sun came directly to their eyes. The three of them peeked out, squinting at first, trying to adjust their sight. Riya was in center, Shiine and Cha-cha was on his either sides.
They brought their eyes down to see the one who knocked. There was a large black wolf that was at their doorstep. It had thick unruly fur that covered his body in black save for its red-orangish eyes.
"Aaaah! I know you!" Shiine exclaimed as he recognized the wolf that almost gave him a heart attack. "You're the wolf that tried to eat me!!!" he said as he jumped back into the house, clutching his heart.
The wolf shook his head, "I would do no such thing... I came here to... atone..." the wolf said in a deep rusty voice.
"Atone?! What? Stone?? Hah!" Riya exclaimed, then he turned back to his companions, "What does that word mean? Huh? Hey Shiine!" Riya said, tensing up for his fighting stance.
"I intend to..." he paused and shook his head. He looked back at the horizon behind him and then turned back to them. "I ask you to just wait a while longer..." behind him, the sun was almost out of sight.
"He might be planning something! Its dangerous you guys, close the door! He's going to eat us!!!!" Shiine cried out.
"Calm down Shiine!" Cha-cha advised him. "I think I remember him too. You had fainted then, when Teacher Seravi came and confronted this wolf... One look at Teacher Seravi and he ran away..."
"That is correct... When I saw Seravi I--uhhh," he stopped speaking. Something moved underneath his skin.
"Something's happening!" Riya exclaimed.
He groaned and twitched as if in a lot of pain. His shape started to wiggle as he struggled to pin down a form.
"Somebody do something!" Cha-cha exclaimed. They faced each other and started to argue.
"What do you want me to do?" Shiine asked her.
"Get... some... aspirin?" Riya suggested.
"No wait!" Shiine said. "I think I understand now, he's a werewolf!" He said then turned back to the shape-shifting animal.
"Correct young one," the werewolf had said. Now standing in place of the wolf before them was a handsome young man with raven black hair up to his chest and orangish eyes. He was dressed in a dark robe and stood slightly taller than Seravi.
"My name is Inos, I come from a family of werewolves, wolf by day, human by night," he paused and looked at them. "May I come in?"
"What do you want with us?" Cha-cha asked.
"As I had said earlier, I came here to atone... and to tell what I know of what happened to Dorothy..."
Cha-cha looked at the two boys, silently asking them what to do. They stared back at her dumbfounded, not knowing what to say. She looked back at him, and, since sensing no evil, started to go inside and make room for him.
On Seravi's new cottage, a great feast was laid out in the table. They were mostly culinary delights that were made from the fish that Seravi had caught earlier, and some wild plants that he had gathered around the place.
Despite the mouth-watering display, Dorothy couldn't bring herself to touch any of the food in front of her.
"What's the matter? Aren't you hungry?" Seravi asked carefully, pausing from his silent eating.
"I-I'm sorry, I just don't have the will to eat," she said almost silently.
"I see..." he said simply and looked down. "Would you be more comfortable if I leave you alone to eat?" he asked gently.
"Its not that..." Dorothy said in a faltering voice. "I... I would like to go back Seravi..."
Seravi gently brought down his bowl.
"I would like to know how my hus-," she stopped herself as she saw Seravi's wince. "How Serafid, is doing," she asked politely, a slight crease forming between her brows.
"Please eat your food, I prepared it just for you. Please eat it, I don't want you to get sick," he as if not hearing what Dorothy had just said.
Dorothy lowered her eyes. "I would like to go back," she pleaded once again.
There was a moment of silence.
"Not yet, Dorothy," he answered in resignation.
"Then when...? How long do you intend to keep me here?" she asked in a subdued voice, frowning visibly now.
"As long as it takes," he said looking at her eyes directly. "As long as it takes for your memory to come back. I want you to remember me, Dorothy. And I want you to remember who you are. How can we go back if you don't even know who I am?"
"It's you who don't know who I am!" she said intensely. Tears were at the edge of her eyes, she gripped the edge of the table in an effort to calm down. "You speak of memories," she said in a softer tone, "but what of them? You don't know what I want, Seravi, no, you don't know how I feel. Why are you imposing yourself on me? Why do you think that you have a right to me?!"
The question was left resounding on the table. Even the night creatures outside fell silent in anticipation of the answer.
They were seated around the roundtable. Inos closed his eyes, and then began to tell his story.
"I have known Dorothy and Seravi from way back to our days at the Urara school of magic. Dorothy always had my interest ever since I first saw her. I could never get close to her because Seravi was always hanging around her, like a little lost slave fawning about the beauty of her golden hair and I... I'd have none of that," he declard with a wave of his hand.
Shiine was listened closely, while Cha-cha and Riya blinked blankly.
"I was always a wolf by day, and so made not so many friends. But she was one who looked past physical appearances and had made an effort to befriend me. I knew of her intention, she wanted to use me to fend Seravi away, but I was alright with that, I never did like much that regal fool," then he dismissed the thought and proceeded into telling what happened next.
"One day she stopped going to school. I was very sad for a while, and tried to visit her house but they would not let me because of my...apperance. After a while, my family also pulled me out of school to bring me to our ancestral land. I could not do anything else but to assent to their wishes. And so on the day that I was to leave, I was walking by the port, saying goodbye to this land where I was born and to the memories I had here, when I saw her again. She had changed greatly over the short period of time that we spent apart. She had a differently colored hair then, what color do you call it?"
"Pink. Does this story lead anywhere?" Riya asked unabashedly.
"Of course it does. Shut up young wolf, or else I'll tell your grandfather how rude you are,"
"You know my grandfather?" Riya asked, ears perking up.
"It gravely pains me in my heart to acknowledge the fact that we're related,"
"Wow! So we're related huh? huh? That's so cool, I've never met any other family aside from my brothers and my grandfather and...."
"Would you stop this and let me continue with my story?" he cut short.
"Sure, yeah, but you're going to be telling me other stories later... heh!"
"Alright," he said, dismissing it. "As I had said, she had pink hair then..." he shuddered as if dreading the word. "And I found her more beautiful than when she had that sunny hair... it was more... attractive see... it approaches the color of blood..." he raised an eyebrow.
Shiine made an effort to inch away from him.
"So... I approached her... She was walking around the port looking for a ship that was bound to Europe. She was determined to get a ride through whatever means, she had found one ship that was going to sail out in the night, but the captain was old-fashioned and wouldn't have a woman go on board. I caught her attempting to sneak into the cargo hold.. she almost fell to the sea had I not caught her by her skirt and pulled her back into the ground," he frowned at the memory.
"We talked then, it was the last time that we would talk in a long time. She had said something about someone meeting her in a place somewhere, though she refused to disclose any information further than that. When I asked her if she had confirmed with this person where exactly to meet, she couldn't reply to me. Apparently, she hadn't received a word in months from the person who she sent the letter to, fearing the worse, of being disconnected to her once and for all, of her unforeseen fate in a foreign land, I urged her to stay here and wait for a message from the one who she was supposed to meet,"
"And I suppose one thing led to the other and she was never really able to leave after that. Years later she told me of you, her young student. Shiine, you were a big reason why she had stayed behind instead of leaving this land,"
Shiine lowered his eyes. He had no idea that he had been so influential in his teacher's life. "So that was the last time that you saw Miss Dorothy?" he asked.
"No, it was not the last time that I saw her. I recently came back after years of being in my ancestral land learning ancient werewolf magic. I first sought her the moment I stepped off the ship. She had told me years ago that she had built a palace in Urizuri mountain, but when I went there and no one was home. Walking around the place, waiting for the sun to set I picked up her trail around the forest, I followed it until I found her wounded at the place where you had thought was her grave..."
[flashback, that afternoon in Chapter 1]
Dorothy was bleeding, sitting on the rock and resting her aggravated heeled feet. She was dangerously close to the edge. She had half-taken off her heels and was pulling back her skirt to inspect the wound that was done to her legs by the spiny bush that she had passed through earlier.
The cut was deep and dark red blood was oozing out of the wound. She tore off a part of her skirt and wrapped it around the cut. All the while, she was lamenting.
"Ohh, why is everything wrong in this day?" she asked outloud, almost to the verge of tears.
It was more of her cries, than her scent that had lead Inos to locate her finally.
"Everytime I visit that cottage, I come out with twice the amount of psychological damage than I had before, and yet I keep on coming back to that... that... insane dimwit!!" another rip was heard as she pulled and tore at her own dress.
"Oh, where is my wand? I must have dropped it along the way... Man, stress, stress, everytime, that, that pathetic excuse for a man always does this to me. Why can't he grow up?!?! Argh! Does he have an inexhaustible source for insanity?! Is this punishment for indecision?! How can I escape this tragic fate?! I want to escaaaaaapee!!!" and then she screamed and screamed incomprehensible worlds to let out her fury for him. All the birds took flight from the forest.
"I hate you Seeeraaaaviiiii!!!" she screamed with the sea gulls taking flight.
After screaming continously, Dorothy took a deep breath. "That felt good, works everytime but always in a lesser and lesser degree..." then she paused for a while and then continued sobbing. "Ohh, why is my life like this? Why is it so cruel to me? What have I done to deserve this? Uh-huhuhuhuhuhuh..." she lamented.
Inos, who had been hiding in the bushes, decided that it was time to come forward.
There was some rumbling in the bushes, Dorothy turned to the source of the sound, "Who... who's there?" she asked bewildered.
Inos came out into the clearing. A big black wolf with reddish eyes. The sun's last rays amplified its eye's color, now it seemed as if it was burning with a demonic flame.
Dorothy let out a scream and fell back from the rock, one of her shoes falling loose.
"Dorothy its me," he said in his deep voice.
Dorothy struggled to get up. "W-w-wha-what? How do you know my name? And how can you speak?"
Inos tried to approach her, and Dorothy crawled backwards in time with his steps.
"Its Inos, how could you forget me?" he had said.
"Oh Inos!" she had said, then fumbled to get up on one shoed foot. "I didn't realize it was y--ohhhh!" she said as she placed the heeled foot into a rock that eroded down to the ocean below.
Seravi sat there stunned. "But I love you Dorothy..." he had said silently, almost inaudibly. He had cast his eyes down.
"I may not have been clear about it, in fact my way of showing affection to you drove you to the edge time and time again..." he winced, as his own tears made its way up to his eyes.
"You used to have pink hair. I hated it. I hated it so much because its a constant reminder for me of how I faltered, of how I had damaged the very beauty I tried to protect. Of how I failed... I never failed before Dorothy... And now I failed with the only thing that truly meant something to me..." he lifted his eyes and looked at her. One tear drop after another ran down his face.
"Liar. The only thing that you loved about me was my blond hair,"
"That's not true Dorothy!" he paused, clenching his hands. When he found his voice, he spoke again, "I would rather have you with pink hair, rather than you being blond and belonging to someone else, even if it is my own brother..." he choked on his last words.
"Dorothy!" Inos cried out and bit what he could to hold her. Still, she fell back-first at the edge of the cliff. But then a pull reassured him of his grip, he opened his eyes to see that he had bitten Dorothy's skirt, but Dorothy herself had already fallen down the cliff.
He heard her pathetically crying once again. "What cruel fate allows this to happen to me?" there was tugging at the cloth as hands struggled to keep the sheet from suffocating her face. Her grip found a stable spot, she hung on.
"Uurrmmmhphyy?" Inos called out between gritted teeth. He can't see her directly, but the weight of the thing that hanged from his mouth was no doubt the weight of the person.
"Don't look, please, don't you dare look down here and see me at my disgrace. Oh uh-huhuhuhuhuhuh," she wailed. "Why do you have to bite at my skirt of all places? Now I'm exposed... oh huhuhuhuhuh, its cold,"
"Hmphhhnnn," Inos said as he tried to pull the cloth up. There was a resounding rrrrrrriiiiiiiiiippppppp the broke the silence. Dorothy screamed a little then resumed to laughing.
"Urrmmhhhphhyyyy!" Inos cried out to her, wanting to ask her if she was alright. His eyes looked around for some form of stable anchor, but there was none, the rock that she was sitting on earlier seemed so far away.
Dorothy's laughter turned into sobs. "I can't take it anymore... Really... my life is a joke..." she said as one after another drops wet her violet clothing. "And here comes my death, but life doesn't even give me a fair departure. Maybe this is a fitting end, headline tomorrow : Woman Dies Suffocated by Own Skirt as She Dangles in a Cliff for Her Life," she burst out crying once again. "Well I won't let them have that satisfaction!" she resolved. She brought her tear-brimmed eyes up to look at Inos, even though she couldn't see him, she knew that he was fighting hard not to let her go, racking his mind as to how to lift her up there, but she's made up her mind, she'd have none of that. "Inos... I thank you for the friendship that you've given to me... Please tell Shiine to be brave... And to Seravi that I hate his guts, and to Serafid that I... I'm sorry..."
"Unnhffffff," Inos let out a closed-teeth growl, he shook his head and started pulling. Tears brimmed in his eyes.
"No, see stop," Dorothy said as she felt his tug again. "I'm tired of all of this, pretend that you never saw me today ok?"
Inos growled once again, louder this time. He pulled harder, and harder, blood dripped out of his mouth.
"Please stop it!" Dorothy commanded. "I know Inos, I know that you have things left unsaid to me... I know, you don't have to say them outloud. I've always known. I ask you now, please, if you love me... let me go..."
"Dorothy..." Seravi said, as he continued to tear. He tried to meet her eyes but she looked away, he frowned turned his head to the side. The last of his resolutions left him as he stood up from his seat, went around the table to her. She got up and backed away from him, but Seravi went on ahead and engulfed her in a tight embrace.
Dorothy tried to push him away, "Let me go... Let me go, Seravi!" she said as she tried to get away from his clasp.
"No!" he said as he held her more tightly, wanting to calm her down, wanting her to let his warmth take her... Let him take her...
"I said let me go! Inos! Stop this..." she cried out to him. "Don't you understand? I want to die! I want to end everything! I want to die!"
The sun set from the horizon, the crawling under his skin began, his skin twitched. 'NO!' he screamed inside his mind. If he were to transform now he would loose his grip on her skirt. 'No!!'
He broke the silence as he let out suppressed wails of fury as his transformation began. He bit down as hard as he could to the piece of cloth that held her.
After a while of silence, Dorothy said in a calm voice, "You're transforming aren't you? Its such a shame Inos, that I never saw you in your human form... You must be very good-looking..." On the ground, Inos fought the insane pain that was now squeezing his brain. He was almost a human now, most parts of his body were losing its fur. "But its alright... Inos... I go in peace... Don't worry now, this will be your declaration of love that I accept..." his jaw was now turning into a human's... "Inos please also tell Serafid..." Dorothy said hurriedly, panic now setting in her heart, "that I will be with him in the next life," she said finally.
And then she pulled the cloth, his jaw gave way and Dorothy plummeted down without a scream into the waves below.
"Dorothy..." Seravi said as he stroked her blond hair. Dorothy had broken down into silent sobs in his arms. He looked at her blond hair for the last time.
"I almost lost you once... but I'll never let that happen again. I won't let you die, never while I'm still alive. I'll never let you go... never again..." he hushed. Then he slowly eased his grip and looked into her face.
Dorothy looked at him with tear-stricken face, her blonde locks were gone, replaced by the old pink ones. She looked at her side, "M-my hair?" she croaked.
"Everything just as it should be..." he said as he leaned in and kissed her. And then for the first time, she did not turn away.
Shiine sat there silent. Cha-cha and Riya had woken up somewhere in the middle and was able to hear the tragic tale.
"Dorothy..." Riya said. "I guess Seravi drove her up the wall once and for all..."
"Its my fault..." Inos said weakly.
"No its not your fault Mr. Inos!" Cha-cha replied immediately. "You had no control over the events, you're not to blame!"
After the comment had been made, silence returned once again.
Then Shiine spoke. "She got her wish," he said plainly.
"What?" they asked, turning to him.
"She wanted to be with Serafid on her next life, and this was it, her second shot... We never should have gone to their mansion and intervened..."
"Shiine..." Cha-cha said.
"We had no right to be in the way of her happiness! And now, because of our meddling, she's unhappy again, the two of them are parted... She's confused once again... we had to ruin it for her..." Shiine said and then burst into tears.
And then silently, the rest of them also wept, in atonement, in pity, in guilt, and in love.
"Serafid! A letter for you!" a voice called out. Serafid was going down the stairs in his emerald green robe and his friend was waving a small white envelop on the landing. "Ooooh, its from your girlfriend, oh excuse me, fiancee again!" he teased as Serafid acknowledged his voice.
"Give me that!" he ordered as he hastened his descent. "How do you know its from her?" he asked as he took it.
"Because it came from the same address silly!" he said and then patted him on the back. "Invite me on your wedding ok? And if she has a sister, you have to introduce me!"
"Oh believe me, you don't want to meet her 'sister'," he said and waved at his friend as he darted across the hall and out of his sight.
Serafid smiled as he read the words written in the envelope. Its from her mansion alright, still smiling, he held the letter close to his heart and ascended the stairwell into his room.
He immediately headed to his desk after opening the door and fished out his letter opener. There, in all neatness, he sliced open the top of the envelop and gently pulled out the letter inside. It was a thin letter, he frowned.
He read the few lines that were neatly embedded into the letter.
We regret to be the one to tell you that our only daughter has runaway. We have reason to believe that she has eloped with your brother.
We currently do not know of her whereabouts and since she did this out of her own will we have no intention of looking for her either.
We hope you understand.
The world trailed off... he fainted. But even in his sleep, he found no peace.
She's gone... and not a word, not a message for me?
He screamed out, WHERE ARE YOU?!
WHERE ARE YOU?!?!
and then in a much smaller voice
who are you.....?
And back in reality, the rhythmic beeping of his heart monitor suddenly became monotonous.
Where are you?
Who are you?
And this is the truth.
The truth is, I had loved you too.
Because you were there and he wasn't
because your presence had filled his absence.
And that was the true reason why I ran away then...
because if I had stayed there much longer, I would have completely fallen for you.. there would be no more turning back.
But then you followed me,
you continued to love me... even from a distance.
Even when you say that you hated me for what I had done to myself, for choosing my path of life away from you... For choosing to only be normal with you.. for choosing to hate you...
and you hating me back... you blaming me, I blaming you, we were loving each other but was too afraid.
Too afraid of our own feelings.. our conflicting feelings.... our love for Serafid, our love for each other...
And we couldn't get past this hurdle. We continued our parade of violence, our way of showing affection for each other... for so long, so constantly that I began to doubt, if you had ever truly loved me and if I had only been kidding myself of your feelings for me... my feelings for you...
and what could have been... what could have been my life if only you two weren't brothers... if I had only known Serafid, if I could only come back to him... if I hadn't let go.. if he would only come...
So I wanted to die. I ripped my skirt and chose to fall down to the cliffs below. I thought I had died. I thought I had ended it all. But I opened my eyes once again, and I saw you... I thought you had found me... I thought you hadn't given up, just as I had.
But it wasn't you, it was Serafid. The gods must have heard my dying wish then, because I lost my memories. So with my new life, I fell in love all over again with Serafid. He treated me as if none of it had ever happened, that our love was safe in time, that it was truly meant to be... and so it was my chance to forget, it was another chance in life... I took it.
I had chosen to die. And at my wish, I had forgotten it all.
Seravi... Serafid understood why I had dyed my hair, he even told me that, if I had wanted to I can dye it back to pink. But I felt no more need to pretend around him. He gave me back my memories, you know? All of them. On the night before our wedding, he told me everything. And so I knew that he truly loved me, nothing else mattered.
I had said once that I wanted to learn about Magic... but the truth was I wanted to learn about love. And it took two attempts to runaway to finally be able to understand it, and to learn that it was with me all along.
Now that I know what Love really is, now that I have received both your love and his, I think I can finally ascend to that higher level of Magic and finally be able to do what I want... to be free.
I write this letter now, because I don't want either of you to come after me. This is the end now...
So... goodbye... Seravi.
In the darkness of the room, a shadow rose and parted itself from the (one who was embracing). She floated silently to one corner of the room, and then, a weak light illuminated the shadow to be an angel, and then with a final flash of light she was gone.
There was a lady dressed in white, holding a rosary in her right hand who came inside Serafid's hospital room. It was almost dawn, but it was still night time in the room. She walked to the person lying in the bed and took his hand gently. Then she bowed her head as if to pray.
"Serafid, your condition now is the least of my sins to you," she began. "I came here... not to ask for your forgiveness.. but to give to you what was truly yours, one of my greatest sins in life," she paused as another presence was felt in the room. She didn't bother to turn, but she slowly took out of her pocket a wrinkled envelope, brown from its age and gently opened it.
"I held on to it, I'm sorry it took for so long. It was not meant for me, it was for you... from Dorothy, when she ran away for the first time. She gave me this letter to give to you, but I never did..." she opened the folds of the paper, and then began to speak.
I am sorry but I cannot wait for you until you finish your studies to take me away from here. I'm leaving tonight.
She paused and eyed Serafid as if to assess whether he could hear it or not. She looked at the other pair of eyes in the room and found her reassurance. She went on, the heaviness started to lift as she began to read once again.
Please don't think that I'm abandoning all that there is between us. Think of it as a preparation for our meeting again. I want to learn, Serafid, not of the things that they teach me, but something more than that! I can't quite describe it, but I am sure that the greatest magician in the world would be able to tell me what it is. I am planning to enter apprenticeship under him. It would take about 6 years, the same course of time that you would take with your current course. And then after we graduate, will you not meet me at the place that we have planned to go? As you have told me so many years ago...
If I receive no response to this letter, I will assume that you do not agree with my plan and have chosen to forget me. I give you the choice Serafid. But know that whatever your decision is, I will wait for you there. I will never forget you.
She stopped reading the letter, and gently put it down.
(I love you)
Serafid stirred a little and slowly opened his eyes. He saw blurred pictures. There were two golden blurs that were on his right side.
"D-Dorothy...? She went where..?" he murmured weakly.
"Shhh..." the closest one beside him said. "Go back to sleep..." she gently stroked his hair. There was a plain gold band in her left ringfinger.
Serafid slowly closed his eyes, relaxed and fell asleep.
"Are you going to be alright?" the one who had read the letter asked the other presence in the room.
She drew a deep breath. And then nodded. "Yes... Long ago I hesitated and it cost me dearly. I will go before I change my mind," she turned and went to the corner southeast of the bed. She paused for a moment, then slightly turned her body to where the white-dressed lady was. "Goodbye..." she said gently. "I will never see you again,"
"Goodbye Sister... I love you... I'm sorry..." she bid.
"I love you too... brother..." and after she had said those words, there was a gentle flash of light, and then she was gone. She had left no mark whatsoever, as if she had never been there.
The white-dressed nun turned one last lingering look at the figure on the bed. Color has returned to his complexion, soon, she guessed, he will be up and running again, following the dream that she had given him. But she will not be a part of it anymore... She will live in peace from now on, far behind monastery walls, far from the world and its madness.
Then, the sun finally came, and all the darkness of the night faded away.
¿¿ end ??
Question : Will I post an epilogue or not?