Yes, more gratuitous German. : |
Can I ask help from you, dear readers, what to do with our little people?
I'd be very grateful to all of you. Put anything that might happen, in your opinions.
And it probably will.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but the plot and the crappy pre-story poetry. But even that is contentious. You might own it too.
Perhaps, in times of quiet noise
Or days of cloudy cold,
I'd find a chest of treasures rich
Inlaid with ash and gold.
Inside there'd be the little things
that crept in people's dreams,
The fantasies that manifest
From all hearts, at their seams.
Act 10: Dimensions
Ahiru found herself treading the hallways long after the midnight oil had been burned.
"Come, Fakir," she would say, holding the plate and mug he used in her hand. "Authors greater than you needed to eat too. I have your dinner with me."
And a grunt would sound off behind the door, and she would step inside in her nightgown. She suspected that there would be unspoken words again, written and rewritten and drafted and revised and scratched out,
Einmal gab es ein Mädchen...Der Ritter kämpfte mit seinem sterblichen Feind...Sie alle lebten glücklich seit dieser Zeit...
again and again until fingers and throats go numb.
There she would see that the author's eye bags did not do justice to the peculiarly beautiful green of his irises.
Like the past few nights, she would pull him by the arms into his bed, and he did not resist (for he was so out of his waking mind that nothing else would spur him like this other than pain of death). The once-duck-girl would tuck him in, amidst slurred protests, and shut off his oil lamp in hopes that the darkness would seal his troubles into slumber.
It was the morning after, when Fakir came to breakfast a few hours late and still groggy, when Ahiru mentions something sitting at the dining table.
"You've been writing alot recently, haven't you? I always find you half-dead every evening."
And Fakir would go on as if he had not heard her, although this was more from sleep-deprivation than anything.
He knew, he was indeed quite aware that Ahiru was becoming suspicious of what he was writing - although he was sure that the contents of his papers were never divulged.
To be truthful he was afraid. Of actions and consequences. And he was working hard to make sure those consequences were taken care of. He only managed an irritable growl that day, which grated on Ahiru's nerves.
"...Well, talk to me when you feel better, you grouch," And the redhead snorted in a huffy, worried kind of way. "See you later then."
And she went out the door into the streets outside. The writer couldn't help but shrug, knowing full well that Ahiru's emotions would turn back and cool down later on. Unperturbed, he continued to eat.
The moment the door swung shut, a lively trilling promptly made Fakir's food intake do a U-turn.
It was Uzura again, and Fakir thought that the universe did not wish him to rest. He grunted and drank more water, forcing nutrition into him before whatever task needs to be done. "Alright, I think I'm really for whatever hell is next."
He leaned back on his chair and looked expectantly at the puppet, who trilled with her bright drum and said:
"What's next-zura? I don't know."
Ahiru was sitting at the Kinkan Town square's prominent fountain, visibly miffed at Fakir's morning grouchiness. Her simple pale-yellow dress was in danger of being soaked through - it was something Charon dug up at a thrift shop for her - but she didn't really care.
She was absorbed in thought, something that made her very pensive. Dwelling on things did not suit the girl's sunny disposition, and it showed.
She thought that she would get used to it, by now, but it was a different story living together. Her fingers crept into a pocket of the dress, touching the steadily deteriorating scrap of painting.
It seemed almost insignificant now, but a part of her wanted to believe that perhaps that painting was connected to her past. The tatters felt soft and weak against her fingertips.
A little boy of about six called to her, gesturing to the ball that had rolled towards her feet. Smiling faintly, Ahiru kicked the ball back and watched it bounce back to its owner.
The boy smiled and ran towards her, bright gold curls bobbing in the morning sun. He greeted her and clambered to sit on the fountain next to his newfound friend. "I've been playing all morning, and I'm quite tired." He turned to Ahiru to continue the banter, which she did gamely:
"Just poking around the house and taking care of those inside. I need fresh air in case I get all crusty."
"Don't you have things to do of your own? Something for yourself?"
In truth she neither dreamed dreams nor aspired to be anything. She once did, she could vaguely feel. But not anymore, really.
"And you, little man? What dreams fill up your head?" She was treated to fantasies of sweets and worlds, as well as wishes to become good and famous and strong. It sounded nice, having a little ambition. "Sounds like quite a story to put to paper, your life."
"But I don't want to put my life on a paper!" And the small boy frowned at this. "It wouldn't fit!"
He waved his feathers and stared at his listener with bright beady eyes, warbling incessantly. "I mean, what would I do with my life on a paper?" He fluttered off, singing to himself aimlessly into the streets.
We don't know, Ahiru nodded. Her dress began to gray. And yet. And still.
"You don't know?"
Uzura remained quietly tapping, as innocent to the eyes as ever. She seemed normal in her poofy harlequin costume, frills and stripes. She seemed grayer than usual, frozen even. Her music mechanism must have bogged down, for no more sound came from the little doll.
"Well, look who it is."
A mass of clouded wash bleached the atmosphere of the world, and all the gaudy colors percolated into a figure of a man in a plum cape, with bright pomegranate eyes and an uncanny smile. Fakir moved to find a weapon - any weapon - for what other reaction would one use when the hellish creator came into your home?
"As sharp as always, dear boy."
"Why are you even here?"
"Tut-tut-tut, this is always a matter of consequences. Every story has consequences, and I happen to veer them into things I like best."
And Drosselmeyer chuckled, patting Uzura's immobile head. "However, it seems that more powerful magic is at work now. Men with powers like ours are helpless against this type of art."
"The art that had permeated existence for eons, Fakir! Creating universes that are three sides of one coin. You turn one way, another set of sides opens up until everything has and will occur."
He tapped his chin with a gloved finger, contemplating in an almost thoughtful manner.
"Quite chaotic - I quite like the idea."
Fakir blanched. "So this isn't your doing?"
"Yes and no. It's all our doing. Playing by rules we only feel."
"And these rules let you pull people back into your games? Forced into what you want them to be!"
"I gave them the option of 'purpose', you see. They will rejoin one of my darkest fairy tales yet, and I only have a few more people until my powers take full control of Kinkan and its world."
He flashed an even wider grin, wider than a clown could ever aspire to reach.
"And besides, I'm hardly the only one at fault. Look at you."
The young man froze, and he felt an inkling of doubt suddenly strangle his throat.
Drosselmeyer swept closer, sliding in circles around the movements reminded Fakir of a predator, waiting to devour when the prey was at its weakest.
"Why, yes! You were the one who decided to rewrite the history of this place! You've fabricated that duck's humanity and history, you've fabricated the circumstances of my death, why, you've gone above and beyond by trying to finish every 'opening' and 'flaw'! The clues, the tricklings and trickings-all attempts of your feeble mind to make sense of the world!"
"I have done no such thing!" The former knight roared, fists clenched.
"Oh yes you have!" And here the smoggy clouds flooded the plane they were in. Drosselmeyer swept his cape over his shoulder, imperious in tone. "Your inner self - your real self - wanted to 'resolve' anything and everything, and did so in the manner it saw fit. You have manipulated the world just as much as I!"
A stony choking sound came out of Fakir's lips as the realization gripped him.
It was true.
He looked up from his shocked, tearing gaze at the figure, who was surprisingly silent. Pleading green eyes looked at the countenance, begging, pleading...
"...How do I stop this? How should the story reach the truth?"
"Certainly I don't know," Drosselmeyer sniffed.
He seemed nonplussed about the whole affair, and dusted his hands. "Never tried to turn it back. Why should I, when all my plans are so much more fantastic than reality? It seems to be the same for you, really-see here!" He drew from his cape a long silver sword, with a strange purple feather on its hilt.
The metal tip moved to graze at Fakir's throat, who barely reacted to death aimed straight at him.
"You meant for this to happen - the chance to kill me. Or,"
and here the spectre jutted his wrist and flipped the sword, catching its tip with his hand.
"To kill yourself. Your move, Fakir!"