Oh my God... I am going to warn everyone right now that I have no idea where this came from, I have no idea how it got so strong, or how the hell it ended this way.
There is character death in it... but read it, I think it holds a lesson that everyone needs to learn...
Disclaimer: Don't own Harvest Moon...
The Professor's lovely assistant has quite the necklace on her creamy colored neck.
It shines in the moonlight-- such a perfect, pretty little gleam that it catches my eye immediately.
Truly, who can resist that gleam?
It calls to you, entices you to go ahead and take it for yourself. It's quite the sensation-- almost as if it is an itch that you cannot scratch, one that if you ignore becomes a sickness that plagues you. You sweat, you cannot stop thinking about the perfect little gleam of the gaudy little necklace until you give in.
After awhile of this, you get used to the fact that attempting to resist such a call is futile. It will only make you sick, so why do you resist?
I suppose you could say that the morals ingrained in all of us tell us to stop, but then again, morals have no bearing on my decisions whatsoever.
If you've ever seen the movies, men with morals never win. Hell, look at life and look around. Those too entrenched in their morals lose, whether it be losing a hard earned job to the cutthroat colleague that doesn't play fair or watching the maiden you live and breathe for be taken by another man that has no qualms about taking another man's woman.
Truly, when you look at it from that viewpoint, what side do you really want to be on?
Me? Well, I have long chosen the one that gets me what I need.
The Professor's lovely assistant finds my calling card the next morning.
I will be coming that night, it says.
They stay up all night watching for me, the lovely assistant's calloused hands gripping her gleaming necklace the whole night through as if her life depended on it.
A sound distracts them, the Professor goes to investigate.
The lovely assistant finds me, though, as I'm already inside the tent.
The second she meets my eyes with hers, she freezes stiff, her body trembling ever so slightly, violet tinted eyes widening in terror behind her wire-rimmed glasses.
I sigh ever so slightly; do I really repulse her so?
Still, with a slight smile I pry the necklace from her fingers.
By the time the Professor returns, I am lost in the night...
It is only when I am in the safety of my home that I discover that the assistant's necklace has lost its gleam.
It is gaudy, ugly, repulsive.
I throw it into the lake immediately because it reminds me of myself.
The rich pianist has quite the ring on her finger.
It gleams in the moonlight and I see it as I walk in the shadows of the night.
It gleams even when the blonde, tanned boy bends on one knee and casually asks her to marry him. I think that maybe I am the only one that can hear the panic and fear of rejection in his voice.
She squeals and accepts. It gleams even more beautifully on her finger.
Truly, how can I resist?
The gray-haired butler finds my calling card after dinner that night.
I will be coming that night, it warns.
Even though they immediately start calling people to help them guard the gleaming ring, I know that no one can stop me.
Once again, morals. They stagnate them while I am free of such constraints.
I sneak in through the rich pianist's window, successfully avoiding all the burl oafs the gray-haired butler called to help.
She is sleeping soundly, delicate, pale hands that skillfully craft melodies under her pillow. I cannot see the gleam, but I can still hear it calling me. How can I not? It rules me.
I carefully slide her hand out from under the pillow and slide the ring off her finger.
She does not awaken.
I slip out the window and lose myself in the night again...
A logical part of me tells me that this ring will not be enough.
It tells me that the moment I return to my home and gaze at it, wanting to see the perfect, beautiful gleam on it once more, it will turn dull and ordinary, and I will throw it away.
The same part of me tells me that it will never be enough.
And yet I choose to ignore it.
Beauty is fleeting-- the most beautiful maiden will eventually become an old, wrinkled widow.
It is when you accept that beauty is forever fleeting that you can truly appreciate it. The gleam of the rich pianist's ring is no different. It is beautiful tonight, but it will not be.
I accept that as well.
I am casually walking down the stairs of the beautiful Villa, the gleaming ring in my pocket when I see her.
She is not like other women, I can see. I can tell by the way she wears nothing that gleams, nothing material that she holds dear to her heart.
She is plain, I think. Her long, chocolate brown hair is swept up in a high ponytail, her common brown eyes gaze at me in surprise. Her figure is plain-- natural curves offset by barely perceptible muscle. Her skin is porcelain-- such an inexpensive material.
This maiden is not beautiful. She is not what I see in other women.
And that is why she gleams in the moonlight.
It is then that I realize that she is the most beautiful woman alive.
"W-who..." she starts, but I am already by her side, my long legs taking me there in mere seconds. She is even more beautiful up close...
"Why hello, beautiful maiden," I say as she turns to face me, shock on her face that I am so close to her, "You are aware that a maiden such as yourself shouldn't be out walking alone, are you not?"
Strange. Her eyes are not wide with terror, not filled with horror and repulsion. Instead, they are simply warily amused. "I can take care of myself," she assures me.
I smile. She flushes scarlet. "Is that so? May I ask your name then, beautiful maiden?"
Our eyes meet, but she does not stay frozen. Instead, she smiles. "It's Jill. I'm the new farmer in town..." she extends her hand to me and I take it, delighting in the feel of her skin on mine, "Who are you-,"
"There he is!" comes a cry from the Villa, "Jill! Stop him! He's the Phantom Thief!"
Her eyes widen in shock and I am already in motion, hurrying down the steps. "Farewell, beautiful maiden!" I call after her.
However, she's not done with me.
Somehow she had outrun me, and she is at my side. "Stop, thief!" she yells, and in one fluid motion she pulls a sickle from her rucksack and swings it at me.
The shock is almost too much that I am almost struck by it, but I manage to evade it and jump a few feet away from her.
Our eyes meet. Hers are angry orbs or overflowing brown. Mine are eyes narrowed in concentration.
She freezes and I take two steps back, wary of the other pursuers. "Nice try, Jill," I say, and with a wink I lose myself in the night...
Perhaps, I will admit, that I have some kind of moral.
I do not like harming women.
If there is anything that I cannot tolerate, it is a man that will hurt a woman.
It is strange. Even though their eyes shine with rejection ad disgust when they look at me in the dead of night, I cannot bring myself to even think of hurting them. Even if it will mean that they will never be able to look at me that way again.
It is this that I am thinking as I toss the rich pianist's ring into the lake, skin crawling at just having looked at it.
She has soured the night.
For it is only her that I can think of.
I continue in my stealing, and she continues to try and stop me.
I never before had a solid reason to steal, but now I believe I do. She is there when I try to steal, and even though her perfect, beautiful gleam only sickens me more when I realize that she is not something that I can steal, it is oddly amusing to face her.
"Why are you doing this?" she demands.
She is frozen and I have my prize in my hand-- the blonde barmaid's favorite bracelet. Its gleam is dull in comparison to Jill's, I note as I walk towards the door, almost sadly.
It will never be enough, I realize.
"There are many reasons," I lie.
"I'm sure there's only one," she accuses, trembling with exertion as she tries to break free from my spell.
I laugh weakly. "Maybe. Maybe not, I suppose."
She glares at me as I toss the bracelet up in the air and catch it again. I only now notice that I am sweating.
It seems that the bracelet isn't enough to restrain the sickness anymore.
"Why?" she spits.
My thoughts are a mess and I give her a sidelong look, only able to focus on her and that gleam that calls to me, sings to me, entices me to take her. "You," I say simply, and then I am gone, lost in the night...
I toss the blonde barmaid's bracelet into the lake.
It disgusts me. It reminds me of myself.
I tremble with a cold that is not real as the sweat makes my clothes stick to my back.
I cannot sleep that night.
Perhaps I am not worthy of its solace...
"Stop doing this," she almost begs.
I am holding the redheaded artist's paintbrush. Jill is frozen in the doorway to the redheaded painter's room.
The paintbrush does not gleam. Nothing gleams anymore.
Only she does.
"Why?" I ask, my voice not as confident as I would like it to be.
She gives me a caring look. "You're sick, Skye."
I know this. I know this and it disgusts me. I am weak, I can't. For the life of me, not even for her I cannot stop, even when she looks at me with eyes that do not hate, that care... that love.
I look away and she plows on. "Please. For me."
I shake my head. "I can't."
I jump out the window and lose myself in the night...
I am losing myself.
I scream and throw the brush against the hard rock of the lakeside. I look down and kick it into the water, and see my own reflection distorted by the ripples the paintbrush has caused.
It is oddly fitting.
I am so repulsive.
I let out another cry, this one of agony and run, run, run until I lose myself in the night... or at least whatever I am becoming...
Jill has a a beautiful blue feather.
It gleams. Nothing but a twinkle, but it gleams...
I am almost delirious with joy at this realization. I leave the calling card on her doorstep. I watch her pick it up and look around, brown eyes filled with an emotion I cannot place.
I will come for that feather, the card promises.
I will steal it away before another can use it to steal her from me.
I am reckless. Crazed, desperate.
I must steal the feather. Its gleam will save me. It'll help me find myself again...
I shatter a window and enter her house, the sweat drenching me, my eyes wildly looking for the feather.
I see her instead.
She gleams so brightly it burns my eyes. I look away.
"Skye," she whispers.
She is holding the blue feather close to her heart. My eyes widen with glee when I see the light twinkle against her gleam... no, her radiance.
I lunge at her and pry it away from her fingers.
She does not struggle.
I hold the feather close to my heart and give her something I hope looks like a smile. "You were going to give your heart away to another?" I rasp, my eyes wild with fury, "You cannot, you see. It's mine."
Jill is crying. The rational part of me tells me that Skye would cringe at the sight of a woman crying, that Skye would do anything to make her smile...
I choose not to listen.
Her crying makes me hate myself even more. My hands fly to my head and I let out a cry of agony. Jill steps forward, I jump back. "No!" I hiss, "Stay away from me."
"S-S-Skye!" she cries, and I jump out the window. She runs after me, "Skye! Stop! No! Please let me explain!"
I keep running. The only rational thought in my head telling me that I must regain myself, that this feather will help me remember who I am... I know this, it must, it must, it must, it must, it must-,
A crack of thunder. My body stops. I cannot move. I look down at my body. A blossom of crimson on my shirt... I look up... a tanned man with thick eyebrows glares at me, the protective fury of a father on his face.
There is a smoking gun in his hand...
Morals... my mind spits up at me.
I fall. I am smiling.
Jill is by my side, and she is radiating such a light that I am transfixed by it. She is crying so hard that I cannot understand why. Oddly, the rational part of me tells me, there is no pain.
"Skye! No!" Jill is screaming, and I can only smile at her, "No... Don't... I'm..." she glares at the man and screams, shrieks, "Get Dr. Hardy! Now!" the rustle of grass signals his departure, "Skye..." Jill murmurs, "Please..."
Oddly enough, it is here that I find Skye. On the wet grass of Jill's farm as a flower of the deepest red blooms on my chest. As I die. Yet all I can do is use the last of my strength to raise my hand, the blue feather, tainted by red in my trembling grasp.
"T-take i-i-it..." I whisper, my voice weak, my strength fading, "G-g-give y-your h-h-heart t-to someone... e-else..."
Jill shakes her head, tears falling down her face and onto me. "No!" she cries, gently pushing my hand away, "My heart is yours!" she screams it, but I can barely hear it, "It's yours... No, no, no. Please, don't go... I'm giving it to you..."
My hand falls back onto my chest. I hold the feather close to my heart... I have never had a gift before... it is the best feeling I have ever felt... it fills me, warms me, makes me whole...
I smile at Jill. Her radiance is all I see now... "I-I-I'll..." I whisper so low I cannot hear myself, "T-treasure... it... b-beautiful... m-maiden..."
Jill cries out again, but then she is gone. Her radiance disappears, and I close my eyes.
I lose myself in the darkness...
A/N: If you read the whole thing I love you as a reader... because this must have been the strongest thing I've written... yet it flowed so easily it was amazing how little trouble I had with this...
Well, this was brought on by a discussion on The Village Square forum about Skye and an analysis done by Artificially Intelligent Data Anomaly. Thank you so much A I D A, without you I would never have thought of this. You analysis helped me see Skye in a different light, not the confident, cocky womanizer so many people see him. Instead, I see him as a real human being... This story's dedicated to you.
And yes, I had to kill him. There was no way around it. Skye needed to die because he was gone and God, he just didn't want to live anymore. Addiction destroys us all so much until we lose ourselves, and even when something good comes along it may be too late to be saved...
Please check out A I D A's analysis on Skye on The Village Square. It will open your eyes to the possibilities.
If you don't hate me for killing Skye, then please review?