12-20-05

"Endsville is burning..."

Mamimi's book bag lay at the river's edge, papers slowly floating out from its soggy depths. They swirled gently in the sluggish tide and were borne away, never to be seen again. Mamimi hadn't turned in her homework for awhile. It didn't look like she'd turn it in anytime soon, either.

Mamimi smiled sadly, twirling her lighter in her fingers. She liked this one the best; it's silvery gun shape reminded her of playing paintball. Naota had liked playing paintball. She remembered that, but other things weren't so easy.

Without hurry, a tall, bluish robot made its way toward Mamimi. It was Lord Kanti, protector of the weak. He saw Mamimi lying in the grass and moved more quickly. Somewhere in his broken head, he remembered something about Mamimi and her fires. The thing she had in her hand looked like a firestarter. He'd best investigate.

Mamimi looked up, her wet hair falling in front of her eyes. Kanti saw something in those eyes, something empty that wasn't there before. It scared him. But robots don't feel fear, so he just got a warning symbol.

"Look, Lord Kanti..." Mamimi whispered, her voice raspy and unaccustomed to speaking. She gestured to the city, the city that was lit by hundreds of brilliant flames.

"Look, Kanti. Endsville is burning."

Naota went away, just like his brother. Nobody stayed. Mamimi knew that now. They just left like all the others. Left without saying goodbye. Even Kanti was gone. He just didn't know it yet. Mamimi was alone, and always would be.

Endsville would rebuild, she knew. And then the battle would begin anew. She was so weary of her fires. All to please the lord Kanti. Kanti, who was never all there to begin with.

Mamimi raised the lighter to her head. Her finger tightened on the trigger.

"Pow!" she rasped.

The stench of burning hair brought her back to her senses, or whatever was left of them. She quickly threw herself back in the river, and the water became clouded with mud and ash. And Mamimi smiled. And she stayed face-down.

Kanti waited, thinking Mamimi would comeback. She just kept floating down the river. Something flashed in his head, and he dove to fish her out. The girl stayed limp in his arms, even when he shook her.

Kanti let her fall back into the water. Now Mamimi was gone too.

Kanti wandered back up the riverbank, alone and silent. He turned his eyes toward the sky, a sky full of fire and ash.

"Look, Kanti...Endsville is burning..."