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Madi's Moving Castle

By Mad_Ink

Fantasy / Adventure

In Which the World Begins to Turn

“This isn’t working!” The woman seethed, pacing the small room, looking into the crystal ball before her. She pulled off her various brightly colored robes and bandannas, her body rising from that wrinkled, broken form of that silly fortune teller, and into a tall Amazonian beauty. She made quick work of flipping her long, straight black hair, reveling in her form. She did so hate to be that cripple.

Shadows slithered along the dim walls, empty eyes looking on, watching the shimmering crystal ball as it filled with images obviously unhelpful to the woman.

She let out a feral snarl, shoving the ball off of its pedestal and allowed it to roll off the table and hit the floor. A loud shattering erupted, bright light illuminating the room. The shadows gave mournful groans, though not more. They did not want to upset her.

The bright light then dimmed, an image – much like there had been a window cut in the air – was before the woman. She narrowed her eyes and looked in.

A girl stood, smirking, her hands on her hips with a haughty smile fixed to her lips. Auburn hair fluttered this way and that in a breeze, smoky gray eyes – looking so much like a storm unleashing its rage upon a sea, always churning in some turmoil – flickering with the analytical gaze that of a seasoned warrior. Yet she seemed to have the heart and spirit of a child. She was small compared to most the woman had seen, clad in black gear and swords on her back.

Then the images turned to see the girl fighting with her strange swords that glowed at the call of their names, the girl leaping through a small hole in the wall, the girl’s arms being wrenched behind her back as she shouted something that made them release her, the girl doing some sort of jig, the girl looking incredibly cocky, the girl speaking to a strange young man in black with strange silverfish hair. He was, supposedly, the girl’s benefactor, as the Mother had said.

It seemed that the girl didn’t respect the young man for that fact.

All in all, the woman mused, she would not go as far as to call the girl beautiful, but she certainly would set clear of the term ugly to describe her. Watching her, the woman could say she was pretty in an adorable, naïve, innocent sort of way – though the girl’s actions spoke and apparent history of anything but. Maybe she was handsome, in the way some women were.

The woman supposed her master would despise the girl. That old crone was always an envious sort.

The image then flickered back to the girl sitting upon a rooftop, smoking a cigarette, her eyes curled into a beautiful turmoil, her gaze fixed on something that did not exist. That expression voiced one of thought and fatigue. She then fell back and lay on the rooftop, looking up into a starless sky.

That was when the woman saw it, and finally understood how this girl could be the counterweight.

The girl seemed to hold the spirit of a child, that much was apparent. But when there was that frown, that loss of narcissism (and a typical arrogance the woman had learned to be that of Americans), the woman could see it. There was an ancient weariness surrounding her. Just as the Mother had said.

“She must be worn.” The woman spat at the shadows slithering along the walls. “Crushed, beaten, broken. Do anything, but remember the rules. She mustn’t know! We must have the counterweight.”

The shadows let out howling snarls, much like the wind cutting through the air during a storm, flying through windows and leaving the room not as dim as before.

The woman curled her fingers into fists, her knuckles cracking. She glared into the window ahead at her target. The girl with the queer spiraling jet black tattoos, traveling lands not even of her own, and dubbing herself as the Rogue. She was the Mother’s prize.

The woman snapped her fingers in front of the window, showing off a surprisingly different image of a tall, beautiful man with platinum blonde hair and jade green eyes, wearing an elaborate suit only described with words such as ‘ostentatious’ and ‘ridiculous’, smiling at an elder lady before rushing out of a door.

The woman glowered and grimaced. She would have him. The Rogue would lead her to her prize.

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