Please, check out my first ORIGINAL NOVEL! The Breaking of Poisonwood by Paradise Avenger. (Summary: People were dead. When Skye Davis bought me at a slave auction as a birthday present for his brother, I had no idea what my new life was going to be like, but I had never expected this. It all started when Venus de Luna was killed and I was to take her place, to become the new savior… Then, bad things happened and some people died. In the heart of the earth, we discovered the ancient being that Frank Davis had found and created and used to his advantage. The Poisonwood—)
Inspired by the song "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. It's a great sad song. Give it a listen.
X: The Man Who Can't Be Moved :X
He didn't recognize his feet. But they had to be his… right? Honestly, they were attached to some unfamiliar legs and some unrecognizable hips leading to a torso that he touched with hands he didn't know. On the thin curve of unfamiliar shoulders, there was a neck with a head that seemed to belong to him. Nothing seemed to be severed or separate. It was all connected and he must have been connected to this body somehow, right?
He took a step forward, wobbling on weak legs. How did you walk again? He felt like a baby, but… what did a baby feel like? All these words and feelings whirled around his brain in a confused maelstrom. Things he felt that he should have known were disjointed and confused. Things he should have remembered felt lost and out of place. His mind was fuzzy and thick, helpless and muddled, and he felt as if an important part of himself was missing, but what?
He walked a little farther, leaning on the cold brick wall. The moonlight burned his eyes and he lifted a hand to shield his eyes. The moon… what was 'moon'? He staggered a few more steps into the amber glow beneath a streetlamp and noticed that his thin wrists were bruised and bloody beneath the black sleeves of his shirt. What had happened to those unfamiliar wrists?
He ran his hands over the unfamiliar body—searching for other injuries and strangeness. He was wearing black trousers and a black shirt, each dirty and torn and faintly bloody. He lifted his shirt, inspecting the skin beneath the fabric and found several bruises and small cuts. What had happened to him? To this body he was inhabiting? He was hurt, but what was… 'hurt'?
He tried to remember something—anything—but a tearing pain raged through his head. His skull was splitting apart and he doubled over, whimpering softly in agony. He clutched his head, feeling the soft unfamiliar hair between his fingers. That voice, his voice, keening softly in anguish… it sounded so unfamiliar. It was as if he had never heard it before. Crouched there on the sidewalk, he tried to remember something—anything—but nothing came to him except tearing pain. He couldn't remember anything.
Not his name.
Not about the bruises on his body.
Not where he came from or how he had gotten here.
Not what had happened.
He dug his hands into his pocket and found a wallet. He took it out, but it was empty—no cash, no ID, no driver's license, nothing—though the wallet was old and worn. He searched through the rest of his pockets and then felt something prickling against his chest inside his shirt. He unbuttoned it a little and stuck his hand inside a pocket he found stitched inside his shirt.
There, creased and faded, he found a photograph of a young girl with golden eyes and pale rosette hair. She was smiling, seemingly unaware that the photo was being taken. He turned the photograph over, homing to find a name or a date or something, but it was blank. He had no idea who she was, but then again, he had no idea who he was either.
He took a few more staggering steps, watching the shape of his shadow as he walked. Finally, he reached a large plate-glass window and looked into it. There, reflected on the backdrop of the star-speckled night, was the face he assumed to be his. It was a handsome face—smooth with pearly alabaster skin that glowed in the moonlight, defined aristocratic features, deep wine-dark sapphire eyes, and tousled night-black hair—but even his own face wasn't familiar to him.
What had happened to him? What had he done? What had been done to him?
He walked through the dark streets of the strange city, without destination, without a clue. All he had was the photograph of the young beautiful girl. Everything was… lost to him, wholly and completely. He didn't recognize what must have been his own face, he didn't know his own body, and he couldn't remember what had happened to him. He was lost.
The goons of Easter Corporation leered down at the alley below where they had dumped the shell of the body that used to belong to Tsukiyomi Ikuto. His step-father's latest plot had been one of the worst the young boy had been thrown into. Hoshina Kazuomi had decided that Ikuto was no longer an asset in any way, shape, or form. He was too unpredictable and too wild, uncaring for what he did, and it was becoming more and more apparent that if he did happen to find the Embryo, he wouldn't turn it over anyway.
Kazuomi didn't want to bother killing him since it was too troublesome to get rid of a body convincingly. Especially since Utau would be missing her brother and raise a stink if she thought he was dead, but everyone was used to Ikuto wandering off. They wouldn't question it if he was simply absent from the world around them. So, Kazuomi had arranged for Ikuto to wander off… permanently.
One of Easter's henchmen called the boss.
"Is it done?" Kazuomi asked immediately, eagerly and impatiently.
"It's done," the man confirmed.
"Good," Kazuomi said and hung up sharply, rubbing his hands together. He rotated in his desk chair and gazed out the window at the lights of the city below. Now, with Tsukiyomi Ikuto out of the way, Kazuomi was free to do as he pleased. No longer would that boy go running off to tell the Guardians of his plans. No longer would he interfere to save that Joker, Hinamori Amu. Free of Ikuto, Kazuomi would find the Embryo, he would grant Gozen's wish, and he was content with the knowledge that he had destroyed his worthless step-son once and for all. "Good," he said again.
The nameless youth made his way blindly through the dark streets. He wandered aimlessly, hopelessly, helplessly. He didn't know where to go or what to do. He didn't know who he was—whether he had friends or a family or a home to go to. He walked, his body exhausted and dragging, but still he walked. Something was driving him, the compass of his broken heart beating in his chest, urging him forward and onward. It urge him to turn here, to go under this bridge, to walk down this road, to climb this fence.
Then, he found himself standing in a darkened amusement park. Uncertain, he walked through the darkness.
The shapes and shadows cast by the rides looked like monsters. The merry-go-round was an army of skeleton horses, the roller coaster like a giant snake, and the Ferris wheel like a frightening cage in the sky. Each sight sent stab of chilling fear into his hollow chest, chasing him through the park until he came to a shape that wasn't frightening.
It was like a table set for giants.
Teacups on small saucers, all so brightly colored that he could even make out some vague colors in the darkness. The compass pulled at him again and he let himself in through a small gate and walked among the teacups. Now that he was beside them, they were smaller than they looked. His long-limbed body probably wouldn't even fit inside it. He rested his hand on the rim of one of the cups, the icy metal numbing his raw skin.
He shuddered and pulled his hand back, rubbing it against his shirt. He winced as he felt pain beneath his clothes—what wound lurked there under his hand? He retreated from the teacup and the backs of his knees hit the low fence. Thrown off balance, he toppled over the fence and wound up flat on his back, winded.
For a moment he stared up at the sky. There were stars and the moon, waiting there, watching him. But what was 'moon'? What were 'stars'? What was 'teacup' and 'amusement park'? He felt as if he should know these things, as if all these words meant something to him, but he couldn't remember.
He couldn't remember anything.
His mind was empty and aching.
His heart was hollow and broken.
He was nothing, just like his mind.
From the secret pocket he discovered inside his shirt, he pulled out that creased picture of the beautiful rose-haired golden-eyed girl. In the darkness, he stared at it, trying to remember her and why he carried her picture so close to his heart. But nothing came back to him. His mind remained blank and empty, only a throbbing pain began to develop in the back of his skull. He curled in on himself, whimpering in anguish, clutching the picture of the girl to his chest. There, curled up on the cold hard ground in the amusement park, he collapsed into exhaustion.
The unknown boy woke the next morning, cold and damp, but he had been gifted with a dream. He knew he had to do something to find out who he was. It would be nearly impossible with only a photograph and nothing else, but he wasn't afraid. Honestly, he had nothing left to lose in this forgotten life. With all he had left, he would try to find out something about himself and if he didn't… well, he would remain this shade of a person—remembering nothing, alone, and lost.
There was only one thing he could do. He might have known nothing about himself, but somewhere out there… there must have been someone who knew him. At the very least, the rose-haired girl whose' picture he carried must have known him.
If only he could find her…
He exited the amusement park, climbing back over the wall as he had the night before, and walked for a while, hoping that something would strike him. He walked beneath bridges and through alleyways, down city streets and through the gutters, around malls and apartment complexes. Finally, the idea came to him.
Sitting on the corner was a homeless man dressed in rags. He was holding a cardboard sign that read simply, 'Please help. God bless.' As people passed, some slowed to read his sign and others even gave him loose change. Most ignored him, looking sharply away, but the seed had been planted in the nameless boy's head.
He approached and old man and the man looked up, taking in the boy's haggard beaten appearance. For a moment, they only stared at each other. The boy looked to be in worse shape than the old man. The kid was rail-thin, filthy, his wrists battered and bloody, his skin as pale as parchment and stretched over his bones. Worse yet was the expression on his face—purely and wholly lost, as if he had nothing left in the world. Somehow though, he was stunningly beautiful with his dark hair and blue eyes. The old man wished someone had given him money so he could give some of it to this boy.
Silence spread between them and the old man finally broke it. "Son," he said softly.
The boy crouched down and ran his fingers over the sign. "This?" he asked.
For some reason, the old man whispered, "A sign for the rest of the world to read."
"The whole world?" the boy asked, a faint smiling pulling his lips.
The old man nodded, unwilling to crush what was left of the boy's spirit. "Yeah."
"I need something like that," the boy murmured.
"You can get some cardboard out of the dumpster around back. Get a piece and I'll let you use my marker," the old man told him.
The boy nodded. Then, he asked the strangest thing. "What's a dumpster?"
The old man stared at him. "You don't…?"
He shook his head.
"Like a big trash can," the old man said.
The boy nodded, straightened up, and was gone around the corner. After a moment, he returned with a strip of torn cardboard and crouched beside the old man again. The man took a marker from his duffel bag and handed it to the boy, momentarily feeling his cold fingers as they brushed against him. The boy stared at the cardboard for a moment and then took a photograph from inside his shirt. He stared at it as if trying to glean some knowledge from the face there.
The old man craned his neck to see the photograph. It was a young girl, pretty and pale, with hair like roses and eyes like sunlight. Was she special to this boy? Was she his love? The photograph seemed taken without the girl's knowledge, so maybe this boy was simply a stalker—insane and violent. But the old man didn't think that was the case. "Who is she?" he asked the boy.
The boy looked at the old man and then his shoulders sagged. "I don't… know."
"You don't know?"
He shook his head. "No. I don't… remember… anything…"
"Nothing?" the old man repeated.
He nodded. "Nothing," he whispered.
"Then, what are you writing?" the old man asked the boy.
The boy held up the sign, his handwriting jagged as if he had been unable to remember how to write. The sign said simply, desperately, 'If you see this girl, can you tell her where I am?' The boy stared at the old man with tragic blue eyes. "Do you think… I'll find her?"
The old man touched the boy's shoulder softly. "I don't know," he said gently. "But how about you sit here with me for a while?"
The boy nodded. "Thank you," he whispered. Then a tear rolled down his face and he wiped it away, confused.
It was then that the old man saw it. There was a hideous gash at the boy's temple, bloody and raw, but scabbed over and already beginning to heal at the edges. It had been stitched up so whoever had hurt him hadn't intended to kill him. This wound… it was something to destroy this boy's mind, his memories. It was a wound that took everything away from him, but still let him live. In a way, it would have been crueler than a slow death.
The old man's heart went out to this boy, broke for him.
The old man had been through wars. His son's heart had given out under the influence of cocaine. His daughter had been shot in the face for the paper in her wallet. His wife had died of an illness nothing could cure. Now, he was homeless, fallen to rock-bottom. He had lived too long, seen too much, been hurt badly, but this boy… This boy had lost everything and there was probably nothing he could do to get it back, either. Everything had been stolen from him by whoever had left that gash in the side of his head.
Hinamori Amu was walking around town absently, her mind on another world. She knew she should have been thinking of Hotori Tadase, who had taken her on a date the night before. Technically, she should have still been on cloud nine since Tadase was her dream, her crush, her everything, but she wasn't. Actaully, since the date the night before, she had only been melancholy.
Tadase had taken her to an amusement park, but… her only thought was of Tsukiyomi Ikuto. Once, a long time ago,Ikuto had taken her his secret amusement park, something that was closed and broken down and only for them. Her date with Tadase had been at a normal park, packed with people and in perfect working condition, but it was somehow not enjoyable, even though she had been with Tadase and he was a perfect gentleman.
She hadn't seen Ikuto in a while, she realized. He hadn't been at the last showdown with Easter, he hadn't been hiding in her bed, he hadn't come to annoy the hell out of Tadase, and he hadn't shown up in any of the random places he usually did.
Where was he?
She liked to say to his face that she disliked him and there was a time when she had hated him, but Ikuto was someone she couldn't hate. It seemed a waste to hate him since he came around anyway like a stray cat begging to be petted and fed. Honestly, that was what Amu thought of him as—a pet, troublesome but lovable.
She shook herself, blushing.
She didn't love Ikuto.
She loved Tadase.
She continued walking, angling her head back to look at the sunny blue sky. She stuffed her hands in her pockets, inhaling deeply, and trying to think of something else. She was willing to accept at this point that she loved more than one person and there was nothing wrong with that. Tadase was her prince (ahem, her king), but Ikuto was her knight. In her own way, she loved them both.
"I wonder where Ikuto's been lately," Amu remarked to no one.
Ikuto was just… special. While Amu loved Tadase, she wouldn't call him up in the middle of the night because she had a nightmare. She wouldn't laugh and show her real character with him. Ikuto, though, she didn't have to put up a front for and she sensed that he was the same way around her as well. They were close friends, closer than friends.
She smiled. "Maybe he's traveling with Utau's concert. That would be nice for them."
But Tadase was so wonderful. He cared for her and he was so adorable, like a little puppy. She loved him, honestly, she did. But he was… Why was Ikuto so special to her and Tadase was just someone she liked? With a jolt, Amu realized it was because… Ikuto needed her and she needed him. They needed each other, but Tadase was… Tadase didn't need her.
"Ikuto," she whispered and tilted her head to look up at the sky. "Where have you been?"
No one answered her.
X: The Man Who Can't Be Moved :X
I was really reminded of the song "Moments" by Emerson Drive while I was writing the scene with the old man. And this came out so long. It was supposed to be a one shot, but it got so long that I had to break it up into parts.
I edited this because I was rereading it on FF and I noticed there were a lot of little errors, but they actually aren't. FanFiction removed some of the words from my chapters! I have no idea why…
Questions, comments, concerns, blah?
REVIEW! And I update sooner.