Okage Hearts

Chapter 1

Odd idea, but this idea came to me when I was tired, and I decided to go with it. I don't own Okage or Kingdom Hearts.

Ari was a quiet boy in the village of Tenel. He was so quiet, in fact, that he was constantly ignored by everyone, even his family. This day, like many others, had him wake up in the morning and find that everyone had already started their day without bothering to wake him. When he got to the kitchen, he saw a bottle in the middle of the table.

"What's the bottle for, Mom?" he asked quietly, his green eyes focusing on the bottle. It was black with yellow markings on the rim and a red seal on the front of the bottle in the shape of a heart with thorns forming an X across it.

His mother didn't respond, evidently having not heard him. Suddenly, Ari's younger sister Annie, in all her yellow-dressed "glory" burst into the room, like an avalanche of sound.

"Morning, Ari!" she shouted, showing that her voice had probably consumed Ari's louder tones of voice long ago.

"Good Morning, Annie," he responded, looking carefully at her. She had one of her planning faces. That was not good.

"Ari!" his mother suddenly said in surprise, "I didn't even hear you come downstairs."

"I'd just come down right before Annie came in," he lied. At this point it was easier for everybody when he lied about things like that. Otherwise he would get some sort of speech about how he should speak louder, and how he should be more assertive like Annie. Then, remembering that he had a question, he again asked, "What's in the bottle?"

"Oh, that?" his mother responded, "I don't know. It's one of your father's latest things. It can't open, though. Anyway, since you're here, Annie, why don't you go get the bread for tonight's dinner?"

"But Ari said he wanted to go to town today," Annie said, lying through her teeth. That explained the planning face, at least.

"No, I…" he began before being cut off by his mother.

"Oh, thank you Ari. Here's the money to pay for the bread," she said, handing some money to him and shoving him out the door.

Ari stood outside of the house for a few moments, letting exactly what happened to him sink in. Annie had made him go do her errand. His mother let her. There was a weird jar that his father brought home with him. He hadn't seen his grandparents at all.

"Well," he said to himself, as he put the coins in his pockets, "There goes my plans of relaxing today. I suppose I can wander before getting the bread."

He walked around quite a bit, enjoying the cool spring air, until he came across a tent that wasn't there before. It was a circus tent, red and white striped and large enough to hold the whole village and then some. Standing outside of the tent was a portly man in a black hat and a polka-dot vest. As Ari drew near, the man suddenly stood upright, and an oddly creepy grin spread across his face. Ari got only slightly closer, not wanting to get close to a man with a big mustache that had a grin that screamed things that were best left unscreamed.

"Oh, hello, lad," the man said in a booming voice, "Are you here for the show?"

"What show?" Ari asked cautiously.

"Why the circus, of course!" the man said, "I am the Ringmaster of this Circus, and I'm here to entertain your village tomorrow evening!"

"That's interesting…" Ari said noncommittally.

"My word!" the Ringmaster suddenly shouted, "You're horribly overshadowed, lad. Everyone has darkness, but you shouldn't have one that much more than you."

"More what?" Ari asked, confused by that statement.

"Just…more!" the Ringmaster shouted in frustration, causing Ari to step back a bit. Then, calming down, the Ringmaster pulled a trunk seemingly out of nowhere and said, "Still, I see there is quite a bit of light in you. So, since that might be good enough, I think the time is right. I found this on my travels, but only someone who's worthy can use it. Everyone else who's tried winds up with it back in this trunk. Still, maybe you're different. I feel like you are…"

Opening the trunk, the Ringmaster dug through it and then pulled out a rather large item wrapped in a light grey cloth. Handing the bundle to Ari, he whispered, "Alright, lad, try it. Go ahead."

Ari began to unwind the cord of the bundle carefully, until he saw part of it. The part he saw seemed to be a thick grey metal rod, but as he unwound more, he saw that it was a large key, with a yellow end with a chain on the end of that, which, in addition to the piece in the middle of the base of the key, made it look like a bizarre attempt at making a sword.

Ari hesitantly reached out to grab the "hilt", for lack of a better word. Expecting it to be heavy, he was surprised to find that it was rather light, and seemed to fit his hand as if it was made for him.

"It hasn't left you…" the Ringmaster noted, "Normally, by now, it would have returned to the box. It only let me wrap it when I don't touch it at all. Now, remember, lad, Darkness is evil, but the world needs it to exist. If there's no darkness, the universe wouldn't function properly, but if there's too much, then bad things happen. Whatever you do, don't destroy all evil. Keep the Key. I think it's been waiting for you."

"Okay…" Ari responded, and bid the Ringmaster farewell.

"Also, remember to tell your friends the Circus is coming soon!" the Ringmaster shouted, suddenly going back to his showman voice.

"Yes, sir," Ari responded as he turned to leave. Deciding that he had wasted enough time, he headed back to town holding his newfound treasure in his hand as he walked.

Little did he know, his life was going to change rather soon.