Chapter 10: Culture Sucks
Murmuring, that's the first thing I hear when all my senses come back to me. I can also feel that I'm resting on something soft, I smell something sweet too. I wonder if I should move my hand to see what I'm laying on… no is shouldn't do that. If I move my body in any type of way the things that are making the murmuring sound could tell that I'm alive, and they could think that their food (me) is alive so it's time to kill me. I'm not feelin' so hot right now so it would be difficult for me to defend myself against the murmuring things… The murmuring stopped, I can hear them walking over to me. I wonder if I should just jump up and go all bad shit Mad on them… I'm too tired to do that. I leisurely crack my eyes open… I close them again. I must be dead. I must be dead because what I saw just can't be true, I should open my eyes again to see if what I saw was real or if my Mad mind is acting up again. I open my eyes open and I see three little round faces with honey gold eyes staring at me with auburn hair. I blink once… they blink once, I blink twice, they blink and then I blink thrice and they also blink… I guess my Mad mind isn't acting up. I look under me and I see that I'm resting on a small bed; I'm naturally a small person compared to others in height but I'm even longer than this bed because my legs are hanging off the bed. I look up again and the three little round faces, who are boys; I can tell because their hair is cut just above their ears. The three little boys are still staring at me with wide eyes that scream amazement and curiosity. I look at the boys and they all are dressed in similar clothes; they have sandals, shorts and tank tops. But each boy of the boys' outfits had different colors. The boy to my left, his outfit's color has different shades or red. The boy in-front of me, his outfit's color has different shades of yellow. And the boy to my right, his outfit has different shades of blue… all the boys are still staring at me. I try and sit up when I feel six little hands push me back down.
All three of the boys screeched at the top of their lungs in union, "NO!"
Their little outburst caused my head to throb in pain; I grabbed my head in both of my hands. I looked up and I see that the boys' faces are filled with shame; they look at each other then back at me. Then the boys ran away.
Crap. My head feels like someone's pounding a thousand nails into my skull and its throbbing… wait what? I finally notice that I feel something on my forehead. I pull my hands away from the side of my head and I lift my left and up and… it feels like bandages are around my head. I recoil my hand and I look at my hand and it has dry blood on it. I must have takin one hell of a fall if my head was bleeding. I slowly try and sit up again but I feel even light headed and dizzy, so I'm forced to lie down… again. Stupid injuries. Whenever I'm injured or sick I always feel like I'm not in control of any… and I HAVE to be in control of at least something. I brace my body and I place my hands as firmly as possible at the sides of my torso and I gently focus all my strength to my upper body. Slowly but surely I lifted my body up so that I'm sitting up and finally see where I am at. I'm in a room that looks like it's about… maybe 5 by 6 feet, the floors are scoffed up wood and the walls are a creamy color but they have nothing on them. The only things in this room are a few chairs scattered around the room, three little beds including the one I'm lying on and a nightstand to the right of each bed; the room is on the small side so it's very cramped with all these little beds and chairs in the room.
"I see you are feeling better."
I look up when I hear a gentle and soft voice from my left speak. The voice belongs to a woman in her early-thirties. She has honey brown eyes and auburn hair like the three boys. Her hair is tied up in a loose bun and she has deep and heavy dark circles under her eyes. She has a small face and a button nose with oval eyes… I bet without those circles she would look pretty. At her feet are the three small boys trying to hide behind her legs, I bet they are her kids. I look up at the gentle woman and her expression reveals that she's worried about me. I examine her and I notice that she's wearing a knee length dark green dress that has some patch work to it; she's wearing worn down sandals similar to the boys'. I also notice that she has a wooden bowl with a spoon sticking out of it in her hands. She walks over to me and she sits down at a chair that is to the right of me.
"I made some soup. It is not much but you are welcome to have some."
The gentle woman offers me the bowl; I gently grasp the bowl from her. I look at the soup and it has an orange tint to it and it smells very sweet; I bet this is where that sweet smell came from. I grasp the wooden spoon in my left and I take a spoonful of the soup and I eat it. It's extremely sweet but it taste like heaven… and a little bit of potato.
"It is sweet potato soup. It might not be very good so..." The gentle looking woman is fiddling with the hem of her dress and I can tell that she tried her hardest to make this soup. I flash her a gentle but bright smile.
"This taste amazing. I can tell that you made this with all of your heart." The woman searches my face for any trace of any lies… and when she sees that I'm not lying, she releases a heavy sigh and she places her right hand over her heart. "Thank you for the compliment." Then the gentle woman seems to have remembered something, she places both of her hands over her mouth in astonishment. "Oh! I'm so terribly sorry! I completely forgot to tell you my name. I really am truly so-"
The gentle woman stopped mid breath when she heard me giggle. In my giggle fit I look up and the gentle woman seems very flustered and her face just tells me that she thinks that I'm laughing at her. Crap, she's a pedestrian and I just offended her. This is a good example of the difference between a pirate and a normal civilian, a pirate would curse my me out and try and attack me, while a civilian would keep their mouth shut and cower away from fear of angering me. I quickly subside my giggling fit and I clear my throat. "I'm sorry if I offended you. You just remind me of someone who I knew when I was little. He used to apologize a lot over the most trivial of matters." It appeared as if a lightbulb flashed on in the gentle woman's face, "Is that so? I bet that man was a very nice. If you don't mind me asking, how is that man doing today?" I stop in mid bite of a spoon full of the sweet potato soup when the gentle woman asked me how the man who I remembered was doing. I set the half eaten bowl of soup in my lap and I put the spoon in the bowl, I look down at my lap. No matter how much time passes I just can't get that memory out of my head. In a soft and barely audible voice I answer the gentle woman's question, "the man's name was Mr. Simmons. I never knew his first name, all I remember ever calling him was Mr. Simmons. 10 years ago he died…" I hear a gasp from my right. "I'm so terribly so-" I look up and I paint a fake cheerful smile on my face, "its fine. It was a very long time ago, sometimes things happen. I wasn't really close to him or anything, he was just a man who lived in my home village and he always flashed me a nice smile whenever I walked passed him in the village."
An uncomfortable silence filled the small room after I spoke about Mr. Simmons.
In a hushed whisper I can hear, "Willow…"
I look over to my right and I see that the gentle woman has her head down and a sorrowful face is painted on her face. "Is your name Willow?" I get a slow nod as a response. A smile appears on my face. That's a beautiful name, my name is Madeline Hatter." I out stretch my right hand to the gentle woman now known as Willow, "It's a pleasure to meet you Willow." Willow looks at my hand and then she straightens her posture. She then tenderly takes my hand in both of her hands and she shakes it. Okay… I've never known someone who shakes a person's hand with both of their hands… this island's weirdness must have rubbed off on the natives.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Hatter-san."
"My name isn't Hatter, it Madeline. But you can call me Maddie."
Willow looks into my face with confusion written all over her face. "You are Madeline Hatter. Your fist name is Hatter and your last name is Madeline." Now I'm the one who has confusion splattered all over my face. "What the hell are you talking about? My first name is Madeline and my last name is Hatter. You say your first name first then you say your last name last." Willow recoils from me and she is visibly shaken with my response. Ughh... civilians are fragile. "Um, all of my life people have spoken their last name first then their first name. I have met people from all of the seas and people on the Grand Line, and all of them spoke their last name first then their first name." "That's stupid. Your first name is su-Oooohhhhhh…" Realization hit me, when realization smacked me in the face I could make out that Willow was looking into my face with worry. Then I zoned out.
Stupid Motherfucking Culture… Culture is to blame for all my problems. 96% of the whole world goes by this stupid Culture where when you pronounce and write a person's name you say their last name first and their first name last… so Whitebeard's first name is Newgate… not Edward; Newgate Edward. Then His name first name is Mihawk… not Dracule.Mihawk Dracule… Ooohhh, that's why Garrett called Him Mihawk not Dracule… so when I tell people that my name is Madeline Hatter then… they think my first name, is Hatter. That's so wrong and stupid… I wonder why Marco and that Captain Dickhead knew my first name is Madeline. I know that Whitebeard learned from Mom that our Culture is different than everyone else. When I see Marco later I'll ask him, but what should I do… I can start calling myself Hatter Madeline… Blah, that sounds so stupid and not catchy. Madeline Hatter has such a nice right to and it also sounds lovely. But it's going to be a bitch to tell everyone I meet for the rest of my life that my first name is Madeline; I guess Garrett has the same problem too. Garrett doesn't really like his last name, I bet once he becomes a pirate he's going leave off his last name. I bet Garrett is gonna get a super-duper awesome pirate name too, like Marco 'The Phoenix', that's a good pirate name. What was I thinking about…? Oh, it's all stupid Cultures fault. You know what! Culture can go and fuck etiquette and they can make… I don't know traditions? I'm a pirate I don't care about stupid shit like Culture, manners and other crap like that… I think I need a cup of tea… what was I thinkin' about again? ...Culture! So how should I tell people my name? I can do it like how I have been… I can explain to people that I think this way because of my Mad mind… this is all Dad's fault. Dad's the one who taught me that you say your first name first and then last name. I wonder why Garrett never learned it that way. I bet it's because He taught Garrett all of those fucked up rules about etiquette and other bull shit. I would have learned about those stupid goddamned rules but all I listened to were how to treat civilians, and how you have to treat them differently from Pirates and Marines. When He started to talk about other bullshit stuff I zoned out or I ran away… good times… So how should I tell people my name? Wait a sec, I think that woman… what was her name… Willow. I think Willow's trying to say somethin' to me. Guess I have to zone back into the real fucked up world… yep-e-do-de-le-do…
After my little revelation about stupid Culture, I zoned back into the real world and I saw that Willow was trying to speak to me. I shook my head violently and I slapped my checks a little. "Sorry about that, I just zoned out. You see I grew up knowin' that when you tell someone your name you tell them you first name then your last name. That was the Culture that I grew up with."
"Oh! I had no idea! I'm so terribly so-"
I wave my hand at Willow, "its fine, you don't need to apologize so much." Then I look around the room… "Hey where did your boys go off to?"
Willow stays in the chair for a few seconds puzzled then realization hits her, she skyrockets out of the chair and she looks around the room. "Boys, where are you! It's not time to play games!"
I sluggishly take the bowl of soup from my lap and I set it on the nightstand, man I really need to have some tea. I reach up to the scalp of my head expecting to fell my hat… Ooohhh. That bitch stole my hat and Dorothy.
I skyrocket out of the bed, not a very good reaction for someone who has some kind of head trauma because when I skyrocket out of bed I forgot that my legs are hanging off the bed and when I hastily stood up I toppled to the ground from having loss of balance and having head trauma. When you combine those two things you don't land on your feet on the ground… no, you fumble around in the bed then when you stand up you see that your feet are on the edge of the bed and since my Mad brain isn't 100% working and I have some loss of balance I land face first on the floor. My face hurts like a bitch but I just can't find the strength to pull up my body. Stupid brain injury… or do I have a head injury? What's the difference? I really need a cup of tea… no, I need a pot of tea. Now that I think about it how long was I asleep for? I probably should have asked Willow… wait what's that sound. I hear rushed footsteps enter into the room and…
"Oh my! Are you alright?!" Oh it's just Willow.
Willow helps me pick myself off the ground. Now I am perfectly vertical to the world like any other human being.
"Hey Willow how long was I asleep for? Do you know what happened to my head too?"
After dusting off my clothes Willow straightens her posture and I can see that even Willow is a couple of inches taller than me. Stupid genetics.
"You were asleep for about a full cycle. My boys found you outside and they carried you here. I'm not sure how you hit your head but you had a slight gash mark on your forehead so I cleaned it up and I wrapped it up."
A full cycle? What the hell is that?
I touch my forehead and I feel the bandage is a little bit looser now. I bet it's loose from all my crazy attempts of trying to get out of the bed and from slapping myself.
"What do you mean by- wait did you find your boys?"
Willow stays frozen a few second then she's all panicked again… I guess this would be called déjà vu…
"Mommy! The elder is here." One of the boys, the one dressed in red appears in the doorway of the room Willow and I am in. Willow runs over to the boy and she hugs him. Behind the boy stands his two brothers, the one dressed in yellow and blue. Willow notices them too so she goes over to hug each of them too. Then realization hits her too; and I thought I had a bad memory. "Boys this is…"
"You can call me Maddie."
"Boys this is Maddie-san. Please introduce yourselves."
The boys gather around me like how they did when I woke up; the one dressed in red is to my left, the one in yellow is in-front of me and the boy who's in blue is to my left.
In counter-clock style the boys said their names to me, "I am Wye." Aka the red one. "I am Mingo." Aka the yellow one. "I am Mercer." Aka the blue one.
I crouch down so that I am eye-to-eye to the three boys and I give them a smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you; Wye, Mingo and Mercer. As your Mom already told you, I'm Madeline Hatter, but you all you can just call me Maddie."
The boys stare at me then at each other, then in unison they announce, "It's a pleasure to meet you Maddie-sama." Then the boys all bowed to me.
…What the hell?
Then an old wrinkly man who looks like he's a thousand years old stands in the doorway of this cramped little room that the five of are in. The man has this… dress on? Its green with flowers on it and it touches the ground… that's totally not weird, he has this long beard that reaches to his knees. He also has on this big pointy hat. I must say that I am a fan of all hats… expect for his. He has onyx grey eyes and he has sun kissed skin. There is only one thing that I like about this old Geezer… he's shorter than me. While I was evaluating this short Geezer, I saw that Willow and her boys are bowing to this Geezer. The Geezer walks to me with his cane in this left hand, the cane looks like it's a branch from a huge tree, and the cane is almost as tall as him. The old Geezer bows his head to me, "Hello I am Kayano Ōsugi. I am the elder of this island."
"Whatcha talking about? I thought it's supposed to be the village elder, not the elder of the island. What is the elder of the island?"
Willow quickly rushes to my side and she whispers in my ear, "Kayano-sama is the… how do I say it… he is the ruler of our island. Our island decides who our leader is by how old he or she is. Right now Kayano-sama is the oldest person on our island who is a native so he is the ruler of our island."
"Hmmm." After hearing what Willow said to me I walk up to the old Geezer. "Hey old Geezer, how old are ya?"
The room entered a phase which I like to call the 'Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up' phase. The 'Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up' phase is when I or someone else… mostly me said or did something very bad and stupid, and everyone gives me this look which says 'Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up'. When I mean everyone, I mean Dracule.
It felt like the 'Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up' phase would last all day when, "I am 2,300 years old. It is a pleasure to meet you Savior-sama."
I can feel my eyes widen from bewilderment… I can't believe what he just said.
"Holy Motherfucking shit, your 2,300 years old and your still alive!"
… The 'Sit-Down-and-Shut-Up' phase started again.
… Wait, did he just call me 'Savior-sama'? These people are as weird as their island.