In Those Empty Glass Eyes
Disclaimer: Do not own the rights to the Marl Kingdom series.
Author's Note: "Ami" is the French word for friend, and I believe it is pronounced "Ah-mee". Also, this story is based on a short story from the Comic Anthology. Though I do not know Japanese, it was the only story that was easy to understand, and I found it extremely touching. I made up a lot of the events in here too, so a good deal of this is also my original work.
Odd One Out
They don't get to see what's hidden deep inside
So, I feel all alone
"You call that a fort?" Etoile sneered, looking down at the shabby collection of sticks and leaves that had been piled onto the large old log in Orange Village with obvious distaste. "I know you're poor, Cornet, but could at least put some effort into making a proper fort for us to play in. This one's so…dirty!"
"I think it's a pretty good fort." Cornet said, chewing on a few strands of her golden-blonde hair. "Maybe we should build another one." she suggested to Kururu, wanting to make Etoile happy. It was almost her friend's sixth birthday, and since she couldn't buy her anything, she was trying to compensate by making her a fort, since she was always saying how she preferred playing indoors.
"No way!" shrieked the little fairy puppet, flapping her pink wings so that she was level with Cornet's face. "You just said that it was a good fort. If pretty pretty princess over there doesn't like it, then she doesn't have to play in it!"
"But it's supposed to be her present…" Cornet responded, unsure how she could make both of her friends happy when they always seemed to disagree. Meanwhile, Etoile was fuming over the "pretty pretty princess" nickname Kurure had given her. She just could not stand that annoying little puppet! Things had been so much better when she couldn't move or talk to normal humans. Back when…
…Auntie Cherie was alive. Etoile finished sadly, remembering how different life was before Cornet's mother had gone away. There had been no Kururu then. She was still in that doll Cornet carried with her everywhere, but she couldn't speak or move around, and only Auntie Cherie could talk to her. Why did those days have to end so quickly?
"Etoile? Are you okay?"
Snapping out of her thoughts, the soon-to-be six-year-old scoffed. "Of course! Why on earth wouldn't I be?"
"Well, you looked real sad all of a sudden…" Cornet whispered, her olive-green eyes downcast. "Were you thinking about Mommy again?"
"That's none of your business!" the rich girl snapped. Why did stupid Cornet always have to know what she was thinking and how she was feeling? It was so annoying!
Kururu glared at Etoile. "She was just worried about you, though why she cares at all is beyond me! Why would anyone want to be friends with such a spoiled brat?!
"How dare you?!" Blue eyes blazing, Etoile flipped her blonde locks. "I was merely being kind enough to grace the two of you with my presence." she said arrogantly. "But if you're going to insult me, then I'll just go home and play by myself!"
"Good!" the puppet responded.
Cornet frantically looked between the two, then grabbed onto Etoile's pink frock. "Don't go, Etoile! She didn't mean it! Stay here and play with us!"
"Don't beg; it's pathetic." came the reply, as Etoile swatted her hands away.
"That does it!" Kururu started to say something, but was quickly silenced when Cornet clamped her hands over the little fairy's mouth-holding on tightly while she struggled to break free and go at the snobby girl.
Etoile shook her head. "If it means so much to you, I suppose I can stay."
Cornet beamed. "Thanks, Etoile!" She finally released Kururu, who immediately started gasping for the oxygen the child's firm grip had withheld from her. "Come on! Let's go and play in the fort!" She crawled in, followed by Kururu, who made sure to shoot the birthday girl a Look first.
Eyeing the branch-covered log with disgust, Etoile looked for a space for her to enter and saw that there was only enough room for one person, Kururu only fitting because of her small size. There was no way all three of them could be in there at the same time.
"I'll sit outside." Cornet offered, wanting Etoile to have a good time today. "You can take my place in the fort-I don't mind!" She smiled. Trying to solve problems just like her mother-by making sacrifices for the sake of others. But despite the resemblance the mother and daughter shared, it just made the differences more painfully clear.
If Auntie Cherie had been with them, she would have offered to sit outside with Etoile, even if there were room in the log for her. Or she would have suggested an alternative to whatever they were playing at the time.
"I'll sit outside too!" Kururu said, not wanting to leave Cornet's side or be stuck in a the fort with Etoile. "She can go in there alone and have it all to herself."
"Isn't that nice, Etoile?" Cornet asked with a smile, oblivious to the real reason behind the puppet's "kindness".
But Etoile wasn't smiling. Fists clenched tightly, she turned away from the pair and started to run. They both called after her, but she didn't respond and did not hear either of them chasing after her, which only increased the anger she felt, along with the images of the two shrugging her off and laughing as they played by themselves.
What's so great about being alone?
That thought echoing in her head, she ran towards her mansion at the edge of the small country village. It started to rain, drenching the child from head to foot, but she kept on running. Water ran from her eyes down her cheeks, and though she would swear it was just the rain when she got home, those drops had started falling long before the ones from the sky.