Naraku No Hana

Chapter 7: Paradise of Light and Shadow

"At the end of the desperate paradise
I seek the lost voice
I am fated to wander
From street to street, further and further away
In the shadow of the closed history
I long for the stolen days
The voice that echoes in the depth of my heart is agonized by suffering
My wish doesn't reach to the everlasting paradise
It is distorted with voices and keeps vanishing away"

-Vocaloid "Paradise of Light and Shadow"

Johnny and I continued to see each other over the course of the next month, making each day something special. I even almost forgot about Malice and her plan. Almost.

On October 21st, my birthday, something...Weird began to happen. I sat in my house, evening falling as I hummed to myself "Happy Birthday", reading Devi's new comic. Along with spending a lot of time with Nny, I did hang out with Devi too. She let me see her new comic early as a birthday present. I was just getting to the suspenseful part when I heard something that made me forget my good feelings for the moment, it was her.

'Ohhhh, Jennnnnnnnyyyyyyyyy~' she began in a sing-song like voice.

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?! SHOW YOURSELF!" I shouted angrily, tossing Devi's present onto the sofa.

'Did you forget about me already? I should have known how impolite you are, after all,' she started, her voice carrying all the bloodlust I knew her for, 'I am a part of you.'

"Go AWAY! I DON'T NEED YOU ANYMORE!" I said, stomping my foot.

'You want to pound me so badly, come get me. The key's under the bush.'

I ran out the door, getting to the key savagely from beneath the unkempt bush. It was old and rusted, and looked like it hadn't been used in years. I shrugged it off and ran back into the house, following her voice which was singing, 'Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Jenny, Happy death day to you! How dead are you now? How dead are you now? How dead, how dead, how dead are you now?' When I finally found the source, it was a locked door. I whipped out the key, and opened the door.

The room was very close to the rest of the house, painted white, cobwebby, and most importantly, empty.

I wasn't exactly right on that last detail; there was a large, flat, rectangle shape that was covered with white cloth in the far right corner propped up against the wall. I tore the cloth off in desperation, only to see a dirty and cracked mirror. I looked at curiously; she couldn't be coming from there... could she? I knelt down to the point where I was at eye level with my reflection.

I examined the other "me" for a good few minutes before I saw my reflection blur. I scooted back from my position nose to nose with the filthy glass. I watched, horrified, as it returned, long hair down and scraggly, eyes black, and a twisted smile on its face. She moved to stare crazily at me, beginning to laugh with Malice's voice, 'Surprised? I saved your best gift for last! Oh, I really hope you like it; I spent ever so long getting it together for my little prisoner!' she said mockingly.

I stared at her, awestruck. This didn't make any sense, the supernatural doesn't exist. I just continued to gawk at her as she danced around behind her glass entombment. She suddenly stopped her celebration and glared angrily at me, 'What's wrong, Jennifer?' she began tauntingly, 'I thought that you of all people would react better, you're the one who made this all possible after all.'

"But, what... How?" I said, completely Flabbergasted that she even was able to move around as she was.

'That isn't important, dear,' she started, a look of seriousness overtaking her face, 'how is our plan coming along?'

I gulped, I hadn't been thinking of her plan since Nny and I first went out. 'She's not in my head right now,'I thought nervously, 'she won't be able to know if I'm lying or not, so I should tell her what she wants to hear.' I cleared my throat, "It's great! It's been going so well, he's as good as dead!"

She gave me an unamused expression, 'Jenny, I don't like to be lied to,' she began, 'I know what you've been doing. Get a grip on your objective.'

"I- uh," I began nervously, 'CRAP I really suck at lying.' I thought numbly.

Her eyes widened the slightest bit, 'Hold on,' she began, 'you're not in LOVE with him, are you?'

I felt my face burn in a fierce blush, "NO!" I shouted a slight quiver in my tone. Was that true? Was I really in love with Johnny? Malice grinned even wider, 'YOU ARE!' she shrieked, 'I knew it! You're a slave now, a slave to love! That's just too funny!'
"SHUT UP!" I yelled, blushing even harder if that was possible, "SO WHAT IF I AM? IT'S NOT A CRIME TO HAVE FEELINGS! IF IT IS, ARREST ME! LOCK ME UP! DO WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT! I'M GOING TO GO TO NNY, I AM A SLAVE TO NO ONE, AND NOTHING YOU SAY CAN CHANGE MY MIND!"

I stomped out of the room, slamming the door, and I swear I heard her say faintly, 'How foolish, no matter what you do, you're always a slave to something.'

Johnny's POV

I paced around my house, Squee on the couch at the other end of the room. His new adoptive parents were going to be at a fancy evening, and his older "sister" was having a horror movie night with her boyfriend and nobody could count on the "brother" to stay awake and actually spend time with the child, so the job was left up to me. That part I was fine with, Squee and I get along quite well, but what I was really worried about was how it may put a damper on my date with Jenny.

I was brought out of my thoughts by a knock on the door. I looked over to it, "Stay there, buddy." I said, motioning to Squee to stay put. I walked over to it, grabbing a small knife on the way, just in case the intruder wasn't, like, a girl scout selling cookies or something like that.

I grabbed the handle and opened the door just wide enough to see who it was. To my surprise, it wasn't Jenny, it wasn't Sarah, it wasn't even some girl scouts. On my front porch was someone I had hoped had forgotten where I lived, even more, who I was. Standing right there was Devi.

"Hi, Johnny." she said simply, "may I come in?"

"No," I replied, remembering how she'd hurt me, "we can talk about this outside."

She stepped back a little as I slid out from the house and joined her outside. "What do you want exactly?" I asked shortly.

She looked taken aback at my abruptness, but smoothed herself out, "I wanted to tell you that I've been going to therapy and I've decided to forgive you." she said, then she paused for a little.

"Ok..." I began," Thank you?"

"I 'd like to know if you'd be feeling up to going on a date with Me." she said curiously.

I looked down, then back to her, "Look, Devi, I can't go out with you." I started, trying to keep calm, "Not tonight, not tomorrow... Not ever. I liked you, but because of one small mistake, you didn't like me anymore. I don't really care how much you've changed but the fact remains, you had your chance. We blew it. I've moved on, I'm in love with someone else now. I suggest you move on too."

I turned and was beginning to open the door, as she said, "BUT I WANT YOU!". I whipped around and looked at her furiously, "Shut your freakin' mouth! I can't take it! Just leave me alone! Move on, Devi, I'm a poison to you! Goodbye." I said, going back inside and watching her run away though a crack in one of the window's boarding. "What happened out there, mister Nny?" Squee asked timidly.

"I was just saying goodbye to someone that I used to know." I replied, moving away from the window to stand next to the couch.

"So, what's Miss Jenny like?" He asked, trying to change the subject.

I smiled, "She's smart, funny, and beautiful." I said happily, "All around, she's wonderful!"

"That's great!" Squee clapped, "I can't wait to meet her, then!"

Ding-dong went the doorbell, 'You may not have to." I said.

I rushed back to the door and, sure enough, there she was, "Hey!" I said, opening the door for her, "Hi!' she said back, walking in.

"So what did you have to say about complications with our date?" she asked.

"I was asked to baby-sit for my therapist tonight so I didn't know if you would mind or not!" I said hastily.

She giggled to herself, "It's fine," She began, "I love kids." We walked in, and Squee quickly hopped off the couch to greet her, "Hello, ma'am," he began politely, "my name is Todd C. Wharton, but you may call me 'Squee' if you like."( D'awww! I made him such a little gentleman!)

"It's very nice to meet you, 'Squee'," she said smiling and shaking his hand, "My name is Jennifer Giles, but you may call me- in fact- I insist you call me 'Jenny'."

"Ok, you two have been introduced so now we can get to our movie," I said.

"What did you pick?" she asked. "Coraline." I said, smiling still.

"Let's get started!" Squee exclaimed.

During the movie I basically was mostly watching how Jenny behaved with Squee. She let him hug her if he was scared, laughed with him if he found something funny, and explained some things that were confusing to him. It made me think of what would happen if she and I were to ever settle down and have children of our own. When the movie ended and Sarah got Squee, I sat there alone with her for a good ten minutes before she yawned and stretched, "It's getting late, so I'd better go home." She said, starting to get up.

I grabbed her wrist, and she looked down at me, her green eyes looking at me with curiosity, "What?" she asked.

"I wanted to say something." I replied.

She sat back down and held my hand in hers, "You can tell me." she said comfortingly.

"You'd laugh at me." I said simply.

"Try me." she said, smiling. I smiled back, "The thing is...well, I-" I began nervously trying to find the right words. I'd never told somebody something as life-changing as this, just three words, three small words that every ear longs to hear. I wanted to say it, but I couldn't force myself... But, this is my one chance to do it, "I...I love you, Jenny, I really do." I said.

She looked at me with shock for a minute then smiled again, before we kissed, when we parted again, she whispered, "I love you too, Nny. I always will."

Meanwhile...At Jenny's house

Malice felt a sharp pain pierce her though, it made her feel like she had been shot. She knew. She knew that their actions were powerful enough to destroy her.

No. No, this would not do. Jenny was being disobedient, and she would have to be punished. The mirror began to ripple and become distorted as part of it began to drip down onto the floor in folds like cloth. It began to pile up until it reached human adult height.

The mirror's creation molded itself into the shape of the condemned and finally, the silvery covering over the body melted away to reveal the copy of Jenny Malice had claimed as her own, She stood up and went to go hide in the back of the house. How fitting that she was brought into the world by the very person she would destroy. 'I'm coming for you pet,' she crooned menacingly, 'you've been oh-so-very naughty. Re-education is in order, and the first thing I'll teach you is misery brought to you by the death of your lover.'

OOOOOOOO! Cliff-hanger! Love it, thank you for your patience, this chapter was delayed due to having to read the rules of the road for me to get my learner's permit, which I have succeeded in doing. Yay! Anyway, review and favorite if you enjoyed this, thank you and I'll see you when I get the next chapter on any story done. School starts tomorrow for me, so I will have less time to write, so just be patient with me. Ok, BYE!