Fool 1.05

Saturday, December 25th 2010

Time: Noon?

Weather: Strangely Warm

However, I felt like I had to do this, something within me telling me that I couldn't back down. I gripped the scarf around my neck a bit tighter and stepped forward.

All the while, if had looked behind me I would've noted that the shadows of the alleys behind me seemed to stir.

Stepping forward into the jungle, I felt an odd sensation as the world around me seemed to distort.

It was only for a second, but turning around I was relieved to see the familiar street still just a little bit behind me, however something worrying was the fact that it did seem just a bit further away than it should. From the knowledge I did have on cape powers, I could only make a guess that it had something to do with the space being bigger on the inside. I think the category would be Shaker? Was that right? I couldn't remember, but I made a mental note that this place was more than likely bigger than it seemed. Clutching the scarf around my neck a bit tighter, I made my way deeper into the strange jungle.

Taking just a few more steps forward, the temperature seemed to shift. Whilst it hadn't shot up tremendously, the previous almost still weather was replaced by a heat that made me uncomfortable. Unzipping the jacket I had worn out of the house, I kept Mom's scarf wrapped around my neck. I didn't want to take it off just yet, it wasn't unbearably hot yet and I... I felt a bit safer with it around me.

Trekking through the jungle, the sound of leaves crunching and what seemed to be a cacophony of bird sounds and such made up the noises I could hear in the background as I tried to make my way through the jungle as quickly as possible. It was the only thing that decisively stood out in this world I had somehow found myself in and it was more than likely my best chance of finding my way out of this mess to begin with. That thought made my strides just that bit more sure as I moved with caution, if this place was anything like a real jungle then getting caught by a big snake, fake or not, would be one of the things I'd want to avoid.


I stopped dead in my tracks at the sound, why did the world have to give me shit even when I was trying to be cautious? Looking around very slowly, I looked for where the source of the sound originated, trying to not move too much just in case that made whatever hiss attack me. It only took a few moments for me to lock on to the most likely source of the sound. Slithering around only a short distance from me was a jet black, shadowy, snake. It wasn't tremendously bigger than what a real snake could be, but it definitely was some sort of Boa. I noted that on its face was a weird blue mask, similar to the one that I had seen on the creature from earlier on.

Thinking of the odd mouse that I had met earlier, I couldn't help but make the connection that maybe the creatures in this world were defined by their shadowy body's and the mask. It was something to think about later when the damn huge snake in front of me went the hell away. It slithered back and forth in the grass for a moment, its mask covered face twisting this way and that as it scanned the area. I could feel my breath hitch as it turned it's attention towards me, the red eyes leering from behind the mask locking onto me and filling me with a sense of dread, like a knot had formed in the pit of my stomach as its gaze stared me down.

I stared at it, as calm as could be, trying to keep a strong front. My legs wobbled a bit despite myself as I tried to keep my feet planted firmly.

It stared back, its eyes staring straight through me.

The moment stretched on for what felt like several minutes, though truthfully only several seconds passed, until it looked away from me and began slithering away.

I let out a sigh of relief and made to walk away, only for the rapid crunch of leaves and twigs coming from behind me to make me turn my head in time to to catch the sudden blur of red that had leapt at me.

"Ah!" A startled shriek left my lips as I tried to stay standing, pinwheeling my arms to try and keep myself balanced with the sudden weight that had latched onto me out of nowhere. Whilst it was far from graceful, the fact that I remained standing upright, if only just so, made me let out a sigh of relief. Looking down at what exactly had just decided to tackle me, I felt my breath hitch when the face of Emma stared back up at me, a grin on her face as if she was the cat that had just caught the canary. Her eyes shone a vivid yellow, something that was clearly different than the Emma I knew. What the fuck was going on?

"Taylor~ It's so good to see you." The words that came out of the clearly fake Emma's mouth caused me to push her away, both in panic and in anger.

"What the fuck?" Vocalizing my confusion as I took a step back, I stared at the Emma in front of me.

"A weakling like you, in a Hero's jungle where she strikes down vermin? Pitiful, though I guess I shouldn't expect any different seeing as you've always been so weak." I took a step back at the vitriol in her voice, my hands shook as I tried to clench them and force them to stop. Even in this crazy world, Emma was still... she was still like this. What a cruel joke.

"Retreating, huh," She stepped forward, a smile on her face that sent a shiver down my spine, "Guess that's all a coward like you can do. All you can do is let those bigger and stronger than you step all on over and put you in the dirt where you belong. You're worthless, a waste of space, a loser, trash."

"I just want to leave why ar-" I tried to interject, but was cut-off as she took a step towards me.

"You're weaker than me Taylor." Her words seemed uncertain, but no less vile. "That's why I have to break you, I have to be stronger. I am stronger. I survived, I am a survivor, Taylor. She told me that. You're not Taylor, you should be, but you aren't. You're just a weakling, a scared little twig who's mother died because her daughter was a scared little bitch, who deserved it. Your mother would be rolling in her grave if she could see you now. Now runaway, and go cry yourself to sleep for a week." A saccharine smile stretched across her face as she stared at me with nothing but disgust in her eyes, the tone of mania in her voice. Even if she was fake, even if this world was just some sick creation of some Cape, this Emma's words work like bullets.

Her words stung, and I could feel my cheeks burn as tears ran down them. Why was I so powerless? Why even in this bizarre world did Emma have to betray me! Why did I have to deal with this? What the fuck was I supposed to do? I could run, but as far as I knew she could just run after me, and worse than that I didn't know if there was an exit to this world. So. what the hell could I do?

As tears ran down my face and my vision became blurry, I looked at Emma. She stood there staring me down with joy in her eyes, Emma was bad in real life, but this one... she was even worse. They both had the same look in there eyes, that same glee at tearing me down where I stood. I couldn't stand that look. Here and now with it just being me and her... that rage in me... that rage that signified all of my anger and frustration at having lost my best friend welled up from inside. I didn't know where the hell I was, but I was tired of being stepped on. I took a step forward as my hands shook.

"Oh, you still don't know your place? I gue-"

Her words were interrupted as my fist crashed into her face, the force sending a tremor up my arm as my knuckles began to sting immediately, but more importantly knocking the Emma flat on her ass.

"Shut the hell up!" I roared at the Emma as I glared at her as she stared back up with me disbelieving eyes. "I'm sick and tired of this Emma, I'm tired of you telling me I'm worthless, I'm tired of this constant abuse you and your cronies put me through, I'm tired of wondering if maybe one day you'll stop this shit, and I'm tired of hoping that one day you'll get over all of this and that maybe, just maybe, things will go back to normal!" Tears ran down my eyes freely as I yelled at her, letting out all the build-up from the prolonged campaign of terror that I had underwent until recently they had let up.

"I'm tired of wanting to understand why you put me through hell, but most importantly, I'm sick of waiting to see if I can my best friend back. I don't know if you're some simulation, some sort of copy, or a fake of Emma, but, whoever you are you're not Ems! Neither you or the other Emma are!" I screamed, my words seeming to echo in my ears.

She stared up at me with a confused look, her eyes the seemingly losing a bit of that yellow-gold gleam and becoming closer to that airy grey that I remembered. She stayed like that for a moment before standing up, I noted with a put-out look on her face.

"What would you know?" Emma's voice was weak as she stared at the ground. "The "Ems" you want is a fucked up mess, I've treated you like trash, I've done horrible things to those weaker than me because... that's all I have!" Her voice became manic as her eyes focused on me, tears streamed from her eyes. "I have to be strong, I can't let myself be weak! Not again! Never again!"

Before my eyes the Emma before me changed, her lower form shifted, elongating and stretching behind her. Her legs conjoined, thickening into one solid structure and paling rapidly as scales formed up and down the sides of what could only be a tail. Her face remained largely the same, however a horn grew from each side of her head and as she stared down at me with a crazed look in her eyes, I could feel my surroundings heat up.

"Taylor! You're so strong! But, I'm stronger! I have to be! I'm a survivor! I'll prove it. I'll prove that I'm stronger by killing you!"

Before I could react, I felt myself soaring through the air, her tail having lashed out at me in the blink of an eye and sending me flying backwards. Skidding and tumbling across the ground, I let out a harsh cry as I felt my ankle twist against a root on the ground and a pain that felt like needles shooting up and down my left arm flare up as I finally skidded to a stop. My glasses were cracked in one lens and I could just see make out her looming over me with a devilish look in her eye. She exhaled and I could only stand there locked in place as fire streamed from her mouth and formed into a circle around us.

This was crazy, no this was fucking insane.

The manic look in her eyes let me knew she was serious, deadly serious.

Was I going to... die?

It is okay to be afraid.

So long as you take a step forward that is all that matters.

If you do not do so your tale will end here.

You don't wish for that to happen, do you?

I was terrified, but I didn't want to die.

I placed my good arm underneath me, and as more pain made itself, I pushed passed it and propped myself up.

It didn't matter if she had become some sort of weird beast now, I had meant everything that I had said.

Your words were not meaningless were they?

Then stand for what you believe in.

Do not tolerate this injustice before your eyes any longer.

I acknowledge your worth, so stand now.

Call my name, and take thy stand against the for before thee.

Blue flames erupted off of me, my wounds numbing as I found it easier and easier to stand and as I got my feet, I could see Emma backing away.

As I glared at her in defiance, a name seemed to come to my mind in that moment. One that I knew would change everything.

"Jeanne D'Arc!"

As if on signal the flames twisted around me and faded away to reveal a figure in armour that covered all of her body, leaving only her face revealed, standing in-front of me. She stood at least a head taller than me, putting her at six feet easily if not much taller, with long flowing blonde hair that splayed across the flag that served as a cape on her back. In her hands was a was a sword that was half her size.

Standing there between Emma and I, I could see a hint of a smile on the woman's face.

Despite her looking at the beast before her, I could almost feel her eyes on me.

"I am the one thou, and thou art I, speak your desires and together we shall see them done." Her voice was calm and collected as she spoke, a hint of warmth leaking through.

I couldn't help but laugh a bit. "Kick her ass."

"As you wish."