No Leaf Clover
Disclaimer: Don't Own A Thing
My arms tightened around the torn leather that hung loosely around the ancient book that I had so foolishly used. "Wh…What!" There wasn't any denial that I was truly scared, for my voice sounded like that of a pleading child. A blonde eyebrow arched upon my pursuers face, the corner of her lips tugged into a very devious grin, revealing her pearl white teeth. Golden hair flew through the air leaving a streak that almost illuminated the darkened street.
She tilted her head to the side as her mouth opened, letting out a voice that sounded too innocent to belong to someone so dark. "I asked you, if there was something that you really desire?" Her voice was childish yet somehow serious.
Although I was sure she could tell, my lungs had long since stopped putting oxygen through my body. "I…" it wouldn't come out, it couldn't. The now useless muscle that resided within my head didn't seem to work. Instead of actually helping me, my brain simply went back to when this whole mess started. To think this morning when I rose out of bed, nothing had been out of sync; all of it had been the same as it had been for as long as I could remember.
It was when…I met Paine for breakfast that this all started my longing for something different and exciting. We had met at the same restaurant as usual — the one across the street from my small apartment. A small little place called "The Hat." She ordered pancakes and I ordered a ham and cheese omelet as usual.
It had been going rather normally, until she told me something. "You know…"— her ruby eyes tore themselves away from mine, her left hand used the fork to poke numerous holes into her small pile of pancakes — "…Shelinda died yesterday." The piece of the omelet that I had been chewing on got caught within my mouth. My bi-colored eyes must've been as wide as the plate my food resided on for with one look at me Paine continued talking. "Her car rolled over in the highway yesterday afternoon." It seems that she was rather content with the amount of punctures that she had made so the white haired woman put down her fork.
"They say she swerved to avoid something on the road," she finished. I was speechless…it was truly a shame. Shelinda and I have been co-workers for the better part of three years. She had been the shy head of the student's newspaper at the high school where Paine and I teach. Although we weren't as close as friends like Paine was to me, it was still such a sad thing to see someone so pure hearted die so young. I truly did not know what to say…it wasn't a subject I was particularly good at. So looking back down to my plate, I decided to keep quiet.
However it seemed that Paine was not yet done. "When I heard it this morning, something hit me Yuna." My eyes lifted immediately, "She used my first name!" This was indeed a serious topic for my friend. She never called me by that. It was usually "Ms. Ishii" in a bit of a joking manner. She had started with that since I was a bit of a stickler when my students would blurt out my full name. For some unknown reason, my grip tightened upon my fork. "What was it?" I asked politely as I unconsciously tried to keep my voice void of any emotion.
Ruby eyes scorched into my bi-colored ones as she responded. "I'm quitting my job." It's a pretty good thing I was no longer bothering to eat or it would probably have resulted badly.
"What?" Although we were still within the restaurant, my voice had heightened a bit. "Why?"
My outburst didn't seem to surprise Paine; she simply avoided eye contact with me as her explanation came out. "Life is too short, Yuna…"—My eyebrows furrowed as she continued—"…and I have yet to accomplish any of my life goals." I was going to interject by saying something along the lines like "And quitting your job will help you how?" However, the clock mounted upon one of the restaurants wall caught my eye. 8:45…oh no! I was late for work! Glancing back at my longtime friend, it seemed she knew my predicament. So with a sigh and a nod she dismissed me.
Quickly reaching into my purse, I pulled out what I owed and set it on the table. Getting up from my chair, I made my way to leave when something had latched itself upon my arm. Turning around rather quickly I saw that it had been Paine. "Just remember this, Yuna," she spoke, "don't take life too seriously, or you'll never make it out alive." Once again my eyebrows furrowed as I opened my mouth to say something. However, Paine turned away from me and focused back on her long-since-forgotten breakfast.
Seeing that I had no particular say in this matter, I left the restaurant and walked towards my car. Spotting my red compact automobile, I walked up to it unlocking it quickly then plopped myself into the drivers seat. Putting the key into the ignition and turning my 'baby' (as I so fondly called it) on, I pulled out of the parking lot and into the main street, my mind starting to wonder about what Paine had told me. It was truly shocking that someone as dead serious as her would do something so rash and unplanned. This was literally on a whim.
I was so deep within my reverie that when I finally came out, my car was already parked and turned off in the staff parking lot within my workplace. Mentally, I slapped myself for being so senseless and grabbed my notebook along with my planner and grade book. Quickly exiting my car, I hurried across the parking lot and into the campus. My classroom was located in a building that was thankfully not too far from the entrance. Entering the building where my room was situated, I entered my destination…only to be greeted by the stares of twenty-five students. It would seem that they were let in by the janitor and since then had taken the liberty of sitting down and chatting.
I gave them all a nervous smile "I'm sorry class," was my immediate response. "Traffic was a bit harsh this morning." Of course I lived a good ten minutes away from the school but they needn't know that. So like that, my day of teaching Spiran History started once again. However, in moments when all my students were reading their textbooks, I would catch my thoughts slipping back to what Paine had told me earlier that day. What exactly had she meant to tell me?
If it were from my own viewpoint, I would not call myself someone who took life too seriously. I just thought it was a better idea to plan things like these out. It was how I was brought up and now it's the rule I live by. However all these thoughts didn't seem to sit very well with me for some particular reason. The day seemed to just keep going; it never seemed to end. And to think that students always say that teachers enjoy being at school. Finally, when the day ended and the final bell rang, my students ran towards the exit like a stampede of wildebeests.
When I finally managed to get out of school, I didn't head home. Instead, when I got into my car and turned on the engine an urge to see my father really captured me. It has been awhile since I'd gone to visit him and it wouldn't hurt to drop by for just a second. So, as my small car made its way towards its destination, I finally managed to get my mind off of Paine and onto more pressing manners such as…grading my students tests, and reviewing several topics. Driving to my father's took no more than a good twenty minutes. And luckily for me it was early enough in the day so no traffic was in the way. Sighing a bit, I drove to my father's house with my right hand on top of the wheel as my left arm held up my head.
When I finally made it to my father's I pulled up to the curb. Parking my vehicle I stepped out of the car and onto the luscious lawn. It seems that they had recently watered it for the grass was moist and stuck to my shoes. Giving the door a light knock I waited patiently for an answer. However after about five minutes, I gave it another knock and yet again no response. So grumbling lightly I had reached into my purse and pulled out my spare keys. I tend to only use it as a last resort for when my father didn't seem to answer.
So opening the door, I peeked into the house and instantly recognized the familiar atmosphere of the house I had grown up in. However there was no sign of my father anywhere. So stepping into the house, I began looking for him. Walking up the stairs to the second floor I saw the ladder to the attic pulled down and a hole leading into it open. My eyebrow quirked as I saw that, silently sighing to myself I made my way up the ladder and stuck my head through the hole.
This revealed my father hunched over a box of old belongings. His glasses set upon the tip of his nose as he peered into a book. "Dad?" I called out. He turned towards me, lips forming a smile as he saw me in his the reflection of his glasses. "Hello honey." He dropped the book immediately, its leather covers flopping against the ground as he made his way towards me. Pulling myself from the stairs, I was tugged into a tight hug by my father.
Finally, breaking away from me his smile did not diminish. Looking over his shoulder I asked, "What are you doing?" His expression became rather somber as he turned back to his work. "Ah…" he started, "…I'm just rummaging through some of your mother's old stuff."
My expression along with my mood dropped with those words. "What? Why?" I asked him. He merely shrugged at me as he made his way towards the pile. "Guess I'm just going through some old memories." He kneeled in front of the book he had been rummaging through as he once again picked it up. "I just can't seem to remember ever seeing this, though," he murmured more to himself rather than to me.
"What is it?" my curiosity had been peaked and slowly I made my way towards him.
My father handed me the book. Opening it to the first page I knew instantly it was in Al Bhed. "When did Mom ever get this?" I asked. My father gave a small laugh as his hand came up to scratch his scalp. "I don't know," he answered truthfully. "Thing is I can't read a darn thing in it."
Flipping through the pages, I looked at the strange passages, carefully running my fingers over the texts. "I can," I told him absently. It was true; in order to become a history teacher I had to learn most of the old Al Bhed language, and also had to learn their deep history in the paranormal.
Then my father gave the book to me, telling me that since I could read it, I must be destined to have it. I was simply just happy to have something that once belonged to my mother…
"Excuse me Miss…" I shock my head, dragging myself out of my reverie. I once again came back to what was presumably the present. And to my great dismay, it was painstakingly obvious that the blonde haired woman had yet to leave me alone. A smile was upon her face, one that looked almost vicious by nature. "You never answered my question," she prodded me once again. Vigorously, my I shook my head. "No…of course not," I stated. The blonde woman didn't look pleased with my answer; her facial expression hardened. "Don't lie to me, Yunie."
I know to many this may look rather strange, for the woman in front of me did not look very domineering at all. She was barely a good four feet tall. Her body was scrawny and developed to the point of a seemingly seventeen year old girl. A short green skirt adorned her bottom half while the top was a yellow bikini top. No, her appearance is not what frightens me; it is the way that this child appeared.
After I had left my father's house, the drive home was uneventful and dull as it always was. However, when I reached my apartment I sat myself down on my couch that was situated a good distance away from my small television and opened the ancient book, looking through the passages I noticed a recurring theme within all of them: "The Devil." It seemed to be the most prominent factor that linked all the texts…
"Vnus Frahla Oui Lysa Oui Crymm Nasyeh Ihdem Oui yna Lusbmada Ykyeh!"
It just about slipped right out of my mouth. These words that were almost separated from the rest of the text, and had no explanation before or after seeped through the air in my empty apartment, echoing all across my rooms in an almost eerie manner. My eyes scanned the room as if I had really expected something to happen, however nothing seemed to happen within the dark apartment. I remember sighing slightly in relief.
That was until a small sound hit my ear drums; reverberating through the air was a low guitar riff. Most likely acoustic since it had no pitch to it, however I seemed to know this for reasons I'm not sure of myself. The two organs that were called my legs started to motion towards my door, walking me out of my humble apartment into the hallway where I exited the building. Turning my head within the darkened street, I saw what looked like a small figure perched upon a brick wall to the left of the complex. In her hand was an average looking acoustic guitar. As if on cue, the shadow stopped playing the instrument, moving what looked like its head, the sounds of many beads rustling cascaded upon the air when, as to my horror, the figure slipped off the wall.
A bit of a scream exited my throat as I rushed forward. The wall was incredibly tall and if one were to fall off it would no doubt result in a broken leg. However, to my shock when the shape hit the ground it made no sound or any indication that it even felt the impact. That alone was more than enough to stop me within my tracks. The moonlight suddenly shifted, illuminating the figure and revealing what looked like a young blonde individual. A guitar strap slung over her shoulder and a smirk on her face.
Her eyes were green gems that had a deep spiral within them. A red and orange scarf swayed within the wind as a dark chuckle came between the two of us. "Hiya," she called to me. Her voice was squeaky, high-pitched and a bit immature. However, I could tell she was hiding something just under the surface. "Nice to meet you," she finished. The book which I had forgotten that was still in my right hand rustled a bit, making her eyes shift towards it.
"Allow me to introduce myself," she gave me a mocking bow, her hair falling over her shoulders. "I am…"— once again it felt like my heart had stopped completely and the words had not even been spoken. However, they were uttered within my head in a sadistic manner. "Lucifer," she finally purred.
"It's…it's not possible!" I hissed. My eyes must've widened a considerable amount, for her smirk grew to an all out grin. Not wanting to be in the presence of this strange woman, I quickly turned and was about to run for the entrance when something interrupted my route. It must have been the most horrifying thing in all my years of living. Standing before my door was the same blonde woman, leaning against the glass frame in a rather bored manner. Giving a quick glance over my shoulder I found that the girl still stood behind me as well.
"What's the matter Yunie?" the one leaning against the door asked, "Seeing things?" she snickered.
My blood turned cold as something tapped my shoulder. Hesitantly, I turned my head a bit to see what it was. Golden hair filled my vision and I let out a screech as my legs jumped back. "What do you want?" my voice boomed through the night air. With that question asked, the woman's copies disappeared, leaving the sole remainder standing not much more than a foot in front of me. "Just what you desire most," she whispered slyly against my ear.
Ah yes, that would be where you came in…
One could only imagine what they would do if the being that was the embodiment of evil itself showed up on their doorstep. Yet as I looked upon this girl in panic and horror, I couldn't help but think that this was not what one would picture Satan to look like. The girl must've known what thoughts were in my mind for she bent her body forwards, a grin placed upon her face as her red scarf brushed against the floor. She stated, "Evil has always been attractive, Yunie."
Her spiraled eyes looked as if they were scanning me before she spoke once again. "So what will it be?" I blinked in confusion; a frown came across her face. "You did call me up here for a wish, right?"
"No!" To emphasize the point I shook my head rapidly. "There must be some kind of mistake!" A blonde eyebrow raised in what looked like interest as she gave me a skeptical look. "I never make mistakes." Her voice held arrogance as she turned away from me. "You desire something or else I wouldn't have been summoned." There was no way I could answer…at least, there was nothing my mind could possibly come up with.
"Why are you here?" it was out of my mouth before I could stop it. Her laughter was the first response that was given to me. Afterwards, she turned her back and tossed a braid over her shoulder.
"I am here to grant you a single wish in exchange for…"—spiral eyes darted towards me over her left shoulder —"…your Fayth."
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