In case you guys freak out at me, I AM Yumekaze117 from Deviantart. Helloz, don't believe me? Go and check my journal.
Oh and I was one of many fans who emailed fanfiction categories frantically about creating an Ib section. Yays~
Cobalt rose petals carpet the floor, torn from an emerald stalk with the force of jealousy and madness. A girl's elegant scream rips across the room as a painting blazes in a dozen hues of crimson and gold, crumbling into monochrome ashes.
As storm-colored eyes closed, scarlet eyes opened.
Where am I? It's so dark...Ib. Did she make it out?
In front of Garry's eyes, the darkness evaporated into a blank white space. He slowly rose to his feet, blinking. Before him stood a pale-haired man and an easel. Lifting his eyes from the canvas, the man looked at Garry and gave him a gentle smile.
Garry stared at him in shock. Those eyes, lips, cheekbones- in one glance Garry disassembled the man's face and reconstructed it again to make sure he was correct.
That was his face, Garry's face. But...he could only gaze numbly in shock as the man opened his mouth and said;
"I am Weiss Guertena."
"Ib, shall we begin?" Silently, the crimson-eyed girl nodded and opened the violin case with delicate musician's fingers. She took a second to lightly stroke the warmly gleaming wood, then lifted the instrument out of its velvet nest with an accustomed ease, mahogany-colored hair swishing to the side. Clasping the violin in her hands, she approached her teacher, who was standing a few feet away. Frowning, he turned his back to her and started pacing. "Ib, it's been ten years since I started teaching you. Do you remember? You were merely a little nine-year old girl, but you came up to me during that concert and asked if you could learn. Hmph, you did have some nerve." His tone softened. "But you were right. Of all the violinists I've taught, I've never met someone who could transfer such incredible passion and beauty into their music."
Ib stood there, her head bowed as she continued to listen.
"In a few days from now, there will be a small but very prestigious performance at an art gallery dedicated to the renowned artist Guertena-"
Guertena? Where did she hear that before? Why was it making her heart clench in such...pain?
"Ib? Ib, are you listening?"
"Y-yes, Professor!" She stuttered as he raised a bushy eyebrow.
"Very well. Let us begin."
"No way...it's impossible...you're Guertena? The creator of that MONSTROSITY THAT KILLED ME?" Garry's eyes blazed in rage as he glared at the man who could have been his twin.
"None of this was my intention, Garry. I had no idea my own artwork would turn against me when I placed my emotions into them." Guertena turned back to his easel, dabbing yellow onto the paint-streaked canvas. His voice cracked slightly as he spoke. "When you are in the darkest hellhole of despair- humans tend to find a way to deal with it. I thought that if I transferred my feelings into my art, I would feel better." Garry stepped closer, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"I don't get it. Why do you and I look so similar? How is this even possible?"
"Good questions. But I cannot answer some of them. I suppose you've heard about the cycle of souls and the concept of reincarnation?"
"That doesn't work out, your 'soul' is still here."
"You're only a physical reincarnation of me. Fate works in many strange ways; it is often guided by desire. You sacrificed yourself for someone- something I wish I could have done."
"Yes." Guertena's eyes darkened as he stared down at his paint-covered hands. "She looks incredibly like her."
"I'm confused..her? Ib sort of looks like the Lady in Red, but I read somewhere that the Lady in Red was only meant to represent the women who wanted your fame and money."
"The Lady in Red IS intended to represent those women. But her appearance is derived from someone I knew a long time ago, because they tried to take her place." He sighed and reached for a different paintbrush. "That person is long gone to me, but I have a feeling your Ib is going to return soon. You can't stay here much longer, it's already been years in the real world."
"Time works differently in these places. You're technically not dead, but you're not alive. I call it 'in suspension'. "
"..Then what about you?"
Most people noticed her these days. She really did long for the time when she was just a little girl, tiny and completely unnoticeable. Despite the multitude of compliments she received on her appearance, Ib never really felt as if they were talking about her- in her heart, she still felt like a child. A confused and lost child.
The gallery was completely bewildering to her. Everywhere she looked, she was immediately struck with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. She spent five minutes just staring at the fallen petals in Embodiment of Spirit and resisting the strange urge to pick them up and reattach them to the sculpture. As for the Lady in Red and Death of an Individual, she couldn't help but shudder and give them a wide berth. As she walked up the stairs, the lights flickered-
Footsteps. Letters on the walls and floors. A banging hand on the cloudy window, the feeling of dread as red liquid-no, blood oozed past the edge.
What was this?
She had definitely been here before. With her parents. Everyone disappeared.
Mechanically, Ib walked up the stairs and placed herself in front of the piece called Forgotten Portrait.
Surrounded by brilliant blue roses, a sleeping young man leaned against a wall in the dark, one eternal tear trickling down his cold cheek.
Something inside Ib snapped as cold realization washed over her.
They had traveled together...in a labyrinth of colors, chased by demented portraits of women and headless mannequins. His gentle voice reassuring her despite his own fears. The warmth of his coat draped over her, a sweet lemon-flavored surprise in the pocket. His hand returning her crimson rose;
"Don't lose it now, ok? Keep it safe, Ib." And with every step they took after that, another blue petal dropped.
"I don't want to lie to you...but I...don't want to tell the truth either... If you need help...I'll come running..."
Blue petals scattered all over the stairs and floor, the stark outline of an naked stalk lying forlornly on the ground. In rage and fear she told herself that he wasn't dead, he was only sleeping. And with that, the painting of a lonely, golden-haired girl went up in flames.
Ib's tears splattered on the floor, clouding her vision.
I left him. Ten years, oh god...
A strange grinding noise made Ib jump. She looked up in shock as Garry's portrait swung backwards into the wall to reveal a dark passageway. Ib stood there for a few seconds in silence, remembering the horrific hands that stretched out from the walls, the scrawled, random graffiti, the possibility of never returning, ever again...
Her hands clenched into fists as she stepped into the shadows without looking back.