Author's Note: Well, this is kind of a bizarre little idea that popped into my head recently. I do actually own a "how-to" book on this kind of 'project' - it was a gift from my mother-in-law. Thanks much to Ithilwen and The Literary Dragon for offering suggestions for revisions.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Arts and Crafts
by Maia Serrelinda
Wearily, Higurashi Kagome stumbled to her next class of the day.
Dropping into her seat, she noted dimly that it was art class. The students chattered amongst themselves until the final bell rang. Quieting, the students waited patiently for the art teacher.
The door opened and Satsuki-sensei breezed in, her highlighted hair streaming behind her. Dropping her pile of papers and folders on her desk, she turned to face the class.
Kagome felt her attention begin to wander and her thoughts drift as Satsuki-sensei explained today's project.
"Class, today's assignment is a form of folk art practiced in America. Recently it has enjoyed somewhat of a revival with the current popularity of 'country chic'.."
Kagome thought back to the previous day's events. The group had been wandering for days without even a hint of Naraku's whereabouts. Zip, nada, nothing. Everyone had been cranky, even Shippou.
They'd stopped to camp for the night near a stream that didn't even have the decency of being warm. No, it was absolutely frigid, even though it was still only early fall. She'd bathed at almost inhuman speed, since the water was so cold she hadn't even managed to convince Sango to bathe with her.
She wasn't quick enough to miss catching a glimpse of something that chilled her even more.
Kikyou's soul-snatching shinidamachu. Kagome caught a brief flash of them through the trees off to the west. Stifling a groan, she dressed quickly and had just turned back in the direction of the campsite when she caught a brief sound of bare feet running swiftly to the west.
Inuyasha, her mind supplied. Of course he'd go see her.
Sighing, she trudged back to the campsite.
Just as she expected, Sango shot her an anxious glance as Miroku stood to take the small bag of bath items she carried with her. Shippou looked even more disgruntled than he had when they'd stopped - and that was saying a lot.
Sango shifted nervously and opened her mouth to speak. "Kagome-chan-"
"He's gone to see her. I know. I saw her soul snatching snake things."
"I'm sorry, Kagome-chan. I tried to stop him," the taijiya said miserably.
"It's okay, Sango-chan. You probably couldn't have stopped him," Kagome responded, plopping down to sit on her sleeping bag. Reaching for her comb, she began to comb out her freshly shampooed hair.
Working out some stubborn snarls, she thought, What does she have that I don't? I mean, yeah, she died for him and all that, but...
Well, okay, she's older than me, and taller, and more grown up, and she has more control over her miko power than I probably ever will over mine, but when it comes down to it, she's just a...
"Clay pot."What?? Kagome's gaze snapped to the art teacher. She was holding up an assortment of terra cotta flowerpots that were somehow connected to each other, making a crude, vaguely human shape. She couldn't have been reading my mind, could she?
"People would attach the pots together with glue, or, depending on how they were assembled, they would sometimes use bolts to hold them together. Then they would paint them to look like clothing and sometimes they would add twigs for hair, or pose them in their gardens."
"I've brought an assortment of sizes of pots, and there are paints over on this table, and since I didn't have time to gather enough twigs, I've brought some yarn for hair and some other supplies. You can pose them against a background, or just leave them alone."
Slowly, an evil plan began to form in Kagome's mind.
Humming tunelessly under her breath, Kagome finished assembling her clay pot person. Walking over to the table where the paints were located, she selected a small jar of white, a jar of red, and a jar of black. Thinking about it for a dew seconds, she also selected a jar of brown paint. Picking up a few brushes of different sizes, she went back to her desk and plopped down in her seat. Opening the red paint, she dipped one of the larger brushes into it and began to coat the bottom part of her clay pot person with the red paint. When she had finished, she paused a moment and drew a quick sketch on a piece of notebook paper. Satisfied, she rinsed the red brush and cleaned it before dipping into the pot of white paint.
Kagome made quick work of painting the basic colors of her person. Referring to her sketch, she used the smallest brush dipped into black paint to create garment seams, pausing here and there to add 'wrinkles' to the clothing.
Painting complete, she picked up her paint supplies and returned them to the table. The class was only halfway over, so she still had time to add detail to her project.
She grabbed a handful of black yarn, then, considering, she chose some white pipe cleaners, some string, and some small sticks.
Returning to her project, she grinned mischievously as she gathered the black yarn and glued it to her person's 'head'. Leaving a few strands in the front, she quickly trimmed the ends, forming bangs. Taking a small scrap of ribbon, she gathered the back portion and wrapped the ribbon around it, then pulled a few strands to hang looser at either side.
Kagome eyed her project critically. The main portion of her project was completed - if she stopped now, she would still get credit for completing the project. Glancing at the clock, she saw that she still had time to create some additional detail.
Taking one of the small pieces of wood, she tied string to one end, then slowly bent the wood until it formed a gentle arc, and tied the string to the bottom. Carefully, she attached the object to the 'arms' of her pot-person.
Rummaging around in her bookbag for a moment, she fished out a red felt-tip pen. Picking up the pipe cleaners, she placed two small red dots on one end of each pipe cleaner.
Kagome tried to figure out how to position her pipe cleaners. Really, they should be in mid-air, but since the pipe cleaners didn't fly on their own, she'd need to attach them to her pot-person somewhere. Decision made, she glued the end of one to the bottom of the pot-person in the back, then another one at the point where the 'bottom' met the 'top'. Carefully, she wound the pipe cleaners loosely around her pot-person, so that they weren't exactly confining the pot-person, but appeared to be surrounding it in the air... sort of.
Grinning, she sat back to assess her work. Looking at the small creation, she debated whether or not she wanted to add some more touches, then decided not to. An odd sense of deja vu washed over her as she looked at the lifeless clay representation of her rival. Kikyou, she scowled, sticking her tongue out at it. Kagome felt an almost infinitesimal spark of power and it almost seemed like her project glowed faintly pink. The illusion faded almost instantaneously. Shrugging it off, she picked up the leftover supplies and walked to the front of the room to return them so others could use them.
Turning, she saw Houjou start towards her and mentally smothered a sigh. As he reached her desk, she noticed with dismay that she'd placed her pot-person really close to the edge of her desk. Cringing slightly, she watched as the inevitable occurred - the edge of Houjou's sleeve brushed one of the pipe cleaners, and the entire project fell over.
"Oh, no! I'm so sorry, Higurashi!" Houjou bleated, as Kagome rushed over to inspect the damage.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Kagome noted that it hadn't been harmed, but had merely fallen over onto its back. Righting the small figure, she flashed a smile at Houjou.
"No harm done, Houjou-kun. It's fine."
Satsuki-sensei clapped her hands to get the class' attention. "OK, class, time to hand in your projects. Please place them on this table. Write your name on a piece of paper and set your project on top."
The class shuffled over to the table, and just as Kagome had placed "Kikyou" on a sheet of paper with her name on it, the bell rang. She rushed to grab her books and head to her next class.
Kikyou wandered the forest silently, as usual. Her shinidamachu frolicked, well, as much as demon soul-eaters were capable of frolicking, among the trees in the dark black forest.
She could sense that the end was near, both for herself and for Naraku, and since she planned to drag Inuyasha to hell with her, the end was near for him, too. Reaching a small clearing, she paused to contemplate which direction to go next. Inuyasha was at her sister's village, and her reincarnation was probably there, too.
Suddenly, she sneezed. Someone's talking about me, she thought, just as she felt a small surge of power. Her vision filled with a faint tinge of pink, but even as she shook her head to clear it, the light faded.
She watched, perplexed, as two of her soul-snatchers suddenly shot to her side, as one of them attached itself to the hem of her hakama, and the other one attached itself...
To her rear end. They floated around her weirdly, their hind ends firmly attached to her in some odd fashion. She tried to swat them away, but could only watch as first one, then the other slowly wound itself loosely around her.
Suddenly, she found that she couldn't move. Is this one of Naraku's tricks? It can't be - I would have sensed him before, she thought. Motionless, all sorts of thoughts ran through her mind. She felt one arm lift awkwardly as her bow floated itself from its current position in her hand to prop itself at her shoulder.
Kikyou felt something brush against her....
And fell flat on her ass.
She didn't just fall, either - she toppled completely over without bending at all. Almost before she could get over her shock, she felt herself being lifted, then carried a short distance, before she was set down again.
Still motionless, she considered her possible courses of action, not knowing that it would be the next morning before she would be able to move again.
Coincidentally, (or not), her motion returned just as Inuyasha and Kagome were finishing the argument they'd begun when she went back to her own time, and even more unusual, it was when Kagome had said "Kikyou" out loud.
Back in Kagome's time, a small assortment of clay pots painted in red and white and armed with a small bow flashed pink. No one was there to see it.
Five hundred years in the past, the undead miko blinked as that same pink light bathed her, then dissipated almost instantly as her ability to move returned.
Kikyou was never to know this, and would eventually just write it off as a weird side-effect of having been brought back to life..
as a clay pot.