Paths

by Kit Spooner

This is a brief one-shot that will eventually tie into the Eriol/Kaho story that I'm in the process of fleshing out. I suppose you can view this as a teaser for the forthcoming romance, "Drawn," which is still in the very early stages of organization. As usual, I own none of the characters here. Just don't steal the story. And don't post it anywhere without my permission. Commentary will be worshiped. Oh, and this is a diary entry, in case you couldn't tell.





June 18

Hi. My name is Mizuki Kaho. I'm eleven and a half years old. Since this is my first time writing in my new diary, I'll tell something about me. I live at the Tsukimine shrine, in Tomoeda, Japan. My grandpa is the priest and he takes care of me. My mom and daddy were killed in a car accident when I was really little, but grandpa tells me I have my daddy's hair and my mom's eyes. My hair is red and my eyes are kind of goldy-brown. Grandpa calls them amber. He also says I'm tall for my age. I have some freckles on my face too. I'm in fifth grade and I go to Tomoeda Elementary, with my cousins.

I got this diary from a boy I met when grandpa took me with him to Kyoto to visit his sister. Grandpa's very serious about the shrine, since our family has cared for it for more than one hundred years. He wants me to be priestess when he gets too old, but I don't really want to. I'd rather be a teacher like Shinohara-sensei.

But one good thing about being a priest is that grandpa gets to go visit other shrines, like his sister's in Kyoto. Kyoto was interesting, with lots of old buildings and a castle and stuff. Grandpa's sister's shrine celebrated a festival when we were there, and grandpa let me go to it. That's when I met Reed, the boy who gave me this diary. He was there for the festival and he bought me some takoyaki.

Reed is half-English, he says. He's a little taller than me, with black hair and glasses. I told him the glasses looked silly, because they make his big blue eyes look even bigger. He laughed and said I was right. Reed told me that he's also eleven, but he talks like a grown-up. Reed and I looked through the festival together, then went over to the moon pool to talk. Reed liked to talk, and also to listen to me.

He was surprised when I told him that I wanted to be a teacher, not a priestess. I told him that being a priestess was boring. Nothing ever happens at the shrine. My friends at school think it's cool that I live at the shrine, but we don't really have spooky stuff happen. There aren't any ghosts or kami or anything. But Reed said that I just wasn't looking hard enough.

"You have the Sight," he told me.

"Well, of course I do!" I said. I mean, I'm not blind, right?

But he meant the 'Second Sight,' which means I'm supposed to see strange stuff. So I told him that I didn't have it. I hadn't ever Seen stuff before. Then he gave me this funny look. He just stared at me for a long, long time, like he was looking into my brain.

"Oh, I see," he said with a smile. I really liked his smile. "You were blocked." Then he whispered something in a foreign language and sort of wiggled his fingers and said, "There. All better, Kaho-chan."

When he waved his hand in my face, I felt a little dizzy, and then I saw all the weird colors. At first I was scared, but Reed told me that I was supposed to see stuff like that. Eventually he explained everything to me. The colors were like these little streams of magic, some tiny like little trickles, some huge like big rivers, and the colors depended on the kind of magic. There was lots of pretty green magic around grandpa's sister's shrine, with a little red and blue mixed in. The blue ones made me sleepy, so Reed told me not to look at them too hard.

Then I took another look at Reed. He was glowing, all colors. It almost hurt my eyes to look at him straight on. He was so beautiful, and not a little boy at all. I asked him if he was a spirit, but he said no, he was human.

"I'm a magician," he said seriously. "Like you."

"I'm not a magician," I said, with a little laugh.

"But you will be," Reed told me, his eyes getting this funny look in them.

So I asked if he would teach me to do magic stuff. If I could see the colored rivers, then I figured I should be able to zap people and find ghosts and stuff.

"Your grandfather can teach you," he said.

"But I want you to teach me," I said. I think I was whining a bit, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to glow like he did. I wanted to be beautiful and tall and powerful.

"Your magic isn't like mine," he said carefully, like he was trying not to scare me. "Your grandfather knows more about it than I do."

For the rest of the festival, Reed and I played by the moon pool. He taught me how to hang upside-down from a tree-branch, and how to tickle the koi in the pool. Then we bought some shave ice and he showed me how to make a shield in my head to keep out the colors. I told him I liked the colors, but he said that there would be times when it would be dangerous.

"Your grandfather will be able to explain," he said.

I was getting tired of hearing that, and I told him. Instead of getting angry, he laughed at me. That should have made me mad, but I found myself laughing too. Reed's laugh is like that. Then the festival was over, and I had to go back to find my grandpa. Reed told me that he had a present for me, and that he'd mail it. Then grandpa and I went home.

Once we were back in Tomoeda, I got a package in the mail from Reed. Grandpa asked me who he was, and I told him I met him at the festival in Kyoto. I think it worried grandpa a little, but he was mostly just happy that I was interested in learning priestess stuff from him. When I opened the package, there was a letter and a book. The book was this diary, of course. Reed told me in the letter that I ought to start writing things down so I don't remember them. After a while, he said, all the memories get jumbled up in your head, and having a book of them helps sort things out.

Reed also told me to save his letter because I'd want it later. So it's taped to the next page. He wrote a lot of strange stuff there, things I don't understand, so maybe I should wait until I grow up a bit more to try and read it again. He talks about fate and magic and love and other stuff. He's a strange boy, but I miss him. When we were watching the fish by the moon pool, he gave me a look like my aunt gives my uncle when he's not watching her. It was like he had some kind of secret that he wanted to tell me, but couldn't. I thought he might kiss me, but he didn't. I thought about kissing him, since he was so beautiful, but I was too embarrassed.

In the letter, Reed said that we'll meet again when I'm older. He'll be older too, of course, though he didn't mention that in the letter. All he said in the letter was that he'll wait for me.

"I've waited for you for so long," he wrote, "That another decade is less than nothing. My soul will find yours. Your magic will seek mine."

I'm still not sure what that means, but I think it sounds pretty. I hope it doesn't take a whole decade, though. I miss him already. He should come and visit. He mentioned a little cousin of his who was just born here in Tomoeda, so maybe he'll show up again. Her name would be Sakura, he told me. Like the flower. She sounded terribly important to him, so I bet I'll see him again soon.

"Keep an eye out for Sakura's older brother," Reed wrote in the letter. "Teach him and be taught by him."

Reed's funny like that.

I guess that's all I have to say right now, diary. I'm going to try and write every day, but I imagine I'll forget sometimes. Especially since grandpa's going to start teaching me about making wards, which should be fun. I bet I'll get to see a real ghost. Or maybe an oni. That would be cool.

I think I'll end my entry the way Reed ended his letter.



In hopes,
In dreams,
In omens,

Mizuki Kaho