-Shot 6: A Story from Painter's Delight -
Snow drifted down on the small city of paper and the citizens quickly rushed back to their houses, paper skirts ruffling and cardboard umbrellas being pulled out here and there. Markets closed up and all around the city streets were emptying as doors of houses slammed shut. The only residence that wasn't locked up tight was the Painter's Manor, a large estate that looked over the whole city. On this day the owner of the Painter's Manor; a mysterious man known as Painter, was holding a ball for all people of rank. In the warm dance hall, the high ceiling and balconies made of marble gleamed with the reflections of the guests. Among the guests a dark haired young girl with a scarlet dress and mask danced. Her partner; a dark haired young man wearing a suit and a red cravat smiled.
"You look nice in a gown, Kami." he commented as he twirled his partner. She grimaced as he pulled her back into his arms.
"You never mentioned a ball Jing," Kami growled at the King of Bandits. He smirked and drew so near to the Queen of Bandits that his nose brushed against hers.
"Really Kami, the city of paper, of course there'd be a ball involved." Before Kami could retort, the mysterious man known as the Painter stepped up to a balcony and clapped his hands for attention. Everyone turned their attention to the high placed balcony and the music faded to a stop.
"Everyone, I'm so glad that you could make it to my little gathering."
"He calls this little?" Kami muttered and Jing smiled,
"Hush now dear, the target's owner is speaking," Kami glared at him for calling her 'dear' but she could not do anything to him at the moment, there were too many witnesses. She let out a deep breath and pulled on her stoic face.
"Now, you must be wondering why I have called you all to my manor," the Painter continued after no one responded. "Well, it is to present my newest piece-," he stepped aside as a large canvas covered in a white cloth was reeled forward. "The-," he turned to pull off the cloth and in that instant a mutter came from Jing's lips,
"Kir Royale," the balcony collapsed from below the Painter's feet and the guests screamed in shock. Many stumbled back to escape the falling rubble and among them two flashes of black and red dashed forward. They dodged each rubble and if not they kicked it aside with professional ease. As they approached the fallen Painter they both saw their target, a small golden key hanging from the man's neck.
"Mary," Kami whispered and instantly a small albatross swung in from the ceiling and clipped the key from the man's neck. The Queen of Bandits dashed forward and grabbed the albatross' feet and they soared up. Jing craned his neck to look up at the disappearing Kami. Another albatross swept down in an angry fit,
"Jing! What are you doing just standing there, let's go after them!"
"Can't do that without your wings now can I?"
"What, all the way up there, on my wings?"
"Yep that's right Kir,"
"Too late," Jing cut off his partner in crime by plucking a feather from the albatross' wings. The bird screamed in pain and soared up with the King of Bandits clinging on to his feet. Jing tumbled and landed on the fourth floor of the manor and chased after the receding back of Kami. Kir lay moaning in pain behind him. Jing ran faster and swept around a corner as he saw a flash of scarlet disappear behind a large door. He slid on the floor and slipped into the room. The door closed with a loud bang.
Everything was dark and the air had a certain chill to it. Jing got on to his feet and felt around until he heard a loud smash and the room was suddenly flooded in light. He blinked until his eyes focused and he saw that all around him were mirrors. Kami was no where in site. He walked into the labyrinth of mirrors until he reached a mirror with a glass door knob. Jing reached out and turned the knob. It squeaked loudly and didn't stop until the door was completely open, even though Jing had stopped turning the knob. He glanced inside the room and found himself being sucked in. Struggling to release the rooms grip on himself, he came upon a large button on a mirror nearby. He slammed a fist against it and he was flung out of the room. With a slam the door shut and the shattered glass fell from the door. As the glass fell from the wooden door Jing saw that the door was not wooden but instead a painting. Jing grinned and let his knife fall out from under his sleeve.
"So this is how it has to be huh? It's a shame," he whispered to no one in particular and then jumped up. His blade collided with the mirrors and everywhere shattered glass fell, revealing painting after painting. The King of Bandits smashed through another set of mirrors and he quickly scanned the paintings until his eyes fell on a blank canvas. The Queen of Bandits looked out at him in shock; she turned quickly with her albatross trailing after her. Jing slashed the painting open and a whirl of paint sucked him into the painting. He tumbled onto a blank canvas and saw Kami running in the distance.
"Kami," Jing yelled and ran after her. She glanced back and smirked as she pulled open a door with her golden key and disappeared into it. He ran frustrated after her but stopped when he saw a small hole in the white canvas. Carefully Jing poked at it with his blade and it expanded. He smiled and jumped through the hole.
"Ha, no sight of him since I locked him up in that empty canvas," Kami smirked after two hours of running through different paintings.
"Yes, yes, but when will we reach the main prize Kami?"
"Soon Mary," the Queen of Bandits responded and just at that moment burst into another painting. This certain painting was of a field of flowers with a small tree in the middle. Wind blew through the field and the grass ruffled.
"This is the one," Kami whispered.
"Correct you are," Jing said, popping out from behind the tree.
"Jing," Kami exclaimed in surprise and anger. Her eyes filled with even more anger when she saw what he was holding in his arms.
"The Painter's Delight," Kami exclaimed again. Jing nodded and opened the storybook. The blank sheets began to fill with colour and words. Jing looked up at Kami,
"You know what's so unique about this book don't you?"
"Every time it's opened a new story is shown. There will never be the same story on those pages, ever,"
"Correct, do you know what story we're about to enjoy this time?" Jing asked while raising the book slightly so Kami could see the changing colours of the blank title page. Across the front the words, 'The Tale of The Wind Bandits' spelled out. Kami frowned and stumbled backwards onto the grass. Jing walked over and sat down next to her, he cleared his throat and began reading,
"Once upon a time there were two bandits, the Wind Bandits, who were famous around the world for their quick thieving style. One day the Wind Bandits were blessed with a small child, Kamikaze." Kami continued to sit paralyzed next to Jing. Although her body was motionless, her face was searing with pain and regret.
"They called her Kami," Jing continued, "She was a bright little girl that was mischievous and curious, much like her parents. Although untameable during day she would settle down at night for her parents daily night time story. Of course there were only so many stories they could tell her. Soon Kami was asking for more interesting and new stories. The Wind Bandits could think of no new stories to entertain their daughter. Until Kami's father remembered an old bandit tale about the mysterious Painter's Delight, a storybook with a new story every time it was opened." Kami's eyes filled with tears, she reached out and grabbed Jing's arm,
"Stop reading Jing," the King of Bandit's ignored her request and continued to read,
"So one night the Wind Bandits set out to find and bring back the Painter's Delight for their daughter. As Kami waved to her parents, she would have never have known that that would be the last time she ever saw them. Her parents di-,"
"I said stop it." Kami said in a stern voice and Jing closed his mouth. Her fingers loosened and she let go of Jing's arm. He closed the Painter's Delight and instantly the cover cleared to a white, then he placed it in Kami's arms. Kami looked up in surprise,
"It should be yours," Kami frowned in confusion but muttered a soft 'thank you'. The King of Bandits smiled and he raised his arms up in the air, "I still win though," he stretched and then sauntered off.
"What- how do you still win?" Mary demanded to know. He glanced back and grinned,
"Open the book to see," then he disappeared into the dawning sky of the painting. Mary scowled and pestered Kami to open the book quickly. She nodded and opened the Painter's Delight. Black letters scribbled across the surface to form the sentence,
'I hold not the Painter's Delight in my hands but instead the Queen of Bandit's heart,' Mary scoffed,
"As if he's stolen your heart, Kami-," she stopped when she realized that Kami wasn't laughing. The albatross fluttered frantically around Kami's reddening face.
"You can't be serious; he really stole your heart?" Mary screeched. Kami lowered her head and fingered the words on the pages before her. Mary fluttered around Kami shouting complaints but Kami ignored her. Instead the Queen of Bandits smiled and pulled the book up to her chest,
"So you have King of Bandits, but it doesn't mean our little game is over." Mary stopped fluttering and swept down on Kami's shoulder,
"So you're still in the thieving business?"
"Alright!" the albatross whooped, "So what's the target?" Kami answered Mary's question with a determined grin,
"The King of Bandit's heart,"
-End of Shot 6: A Story from Painter's Delight-
Well that was the final chapter. I sort of don't like the fact that Kami's gonna chase after Jing now but it makes for a good ending. Might rewrite the ending, I'll publish it as a separate chapter if I do. From here on they just continue to compete by stealing things, up to you whether or not they end up together in the end. Ah- I didn't get to write in Postino more, sorry. That's it then; hope you enjoyed it, farewell!