(Books are so intrinsically fascinating - they easily jump past any hierarchy. So wonderful and mysterious are they, that they can hold their own, dominate and vanquish any wonder of the world. “Books are the compasses, telescopes, sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.” To be able to hold so many ideas, so much information and so much power using mere ink and paper, brings anything in comparison crashing down to rock bottom. They are masters of time, wasting away the seconds as you read, going on journeys inside the realms of your mind, holding entire worlds, both created and destroyed simultaneously as the metal hands of the clock tick swiftly away. They inject feelings and new thoughts that would never have been thought of, ideas that are being passed down from paper to paper, book to book, person to person. They are like a lighthouse in the oceans of time. The knowledge gained from these extracts can shape any blank person, for the better or for worse, like an ancient palimpsest, being added to with every generation, changed but nevertheless wielding the primal works which were first engraved. Each and every one is still connected with the deepest emotions of the author, a fusion of the soul using a contract with no deadline. The infinite pages of humankind’s intellect can be dangerous, but can also be tranquil. A gateway to open up individuals minds and hearts, powerful enough to insinuate even the most darkened of hearts; able to change heroes to monsters, and monsters to heroes.
I really wish I had a book to distract me from my helpless hunger right now.)
It was one o’clock at night, the weather outside was storming viciously and rain was colliding forcefully onto the window. Cashew had failed to fall asleep and was staring up at the ceiling when a thought came to mind. He quietly looked over to Monsuta to make sure the other was asleep and reached down into his pocket. His fingers collided with a cool metal and once again he felt a burning feeling creep up from the touch. However this time he didn’t recoil, instead he forced himself to get used to the flame and then took out a ring which he had found when he was alone in this mansion. He flipped himself onto his side so as to face away from Monsuta and turned it in his hand to study it. Wonder filled him as the burning sensation increased and decreased in waves, yet it never really hurt him- it was just highly unusual feeling. All of a sudden, Cashew’s vision flashed and he opened his eyes to a slightly different part of the room. A vision? But he couldn’t control anything. He was still in Monsuta’s bedroom, except now he found that he was in Monsuta’s bed! Through blurred, stinging and slightly red eyes he watched as each muscle on his body seemed to move on its own, going against him on purpose. Then he saw blonde hair swoop in front. (I am in his body?!)
Cashew had never before felt a sensation as painful as this, where his senses where infinitely more awake, and where a hunger in his belly was that of a black hole. There was a demonic power in his body which had a primal urge to kill, and it was excruciatingly powerful. He could hear the blood pulsing uncontrollably through his ears, the drumming making his head hazy and unclear. Then Cashew watched as Monsuta’s shaky body got out of bed and was standing over his own body! (What is happening? Why can I see my self and what is wrong with Monsuta?) Cashew could only think with panic as he saw himself ignorantly playing with the ring, unknowing of the nightmare which was unfolding behind him. With his heightened senses, Cashew felt a monstrous pull toward his own living, breathing body which was somehow connected to the diabolically sweet scent that his blood emitted. Then, to his sheer horror, watched as a pair of mutated hands outstretched towards Cashew’s neck. Where Monsuta’s fingers and nails were supposed to be now grew ten monstrous, long, sharp claws, and a sickening green mist was oozing out of his hand’s pores. Cashew heard his breathing morph into a more dog-like snarling and a growl could be felt to resonate somewhere deep within his throat. His head began to ache as he tried to restrain this body with every step it took in order to try regain even a little bit of control, but no matter how much he mentally screamed at his muscles, they wouldn’t stop creeping closer... and closer towards Cashew’s soft, fragile flesh. Every second that passed made it harder for Cashew’s spirit to breathe, to see, to stay sane. The last of his sanity was beginning to melt away, like wax by a fire, and Monsuta’s body would be fully possessed by the devil. (Stop it! You have to re-gain control you moron!) Cashew internally wailed when, full of the intent to kill, the body’s hand finally made contact with Cashews neck, his heart was squeezed by an unknown force and he immediately recoiled and lost consciousness.
“It hurts!” Cashew screamed and lurched forward as tears of pain stung his eyes. Clutching at his chest he looked around in panic and saw Monsuta was staring at him in awe from his bed. After a few haggard breaths, Cashew realised that his heart no longer hurt and that he was once again in his own body. When the blonde saw that Cashew had calmed down, he shifted in his bed and lit up a candle, where the two men then stared at each other cautiously for a few long moments.
“So, tonight you have the nightmare?” Monsuta asked, “you were breathing so loudly it was inevitable that I woke up.”
Confused, Cashew wondered if the vision he saw was just a strange dream which occurred while he was holding the ring, and then at remembering the object which was still clutched in his hand he quickly placed it back in his pocket when Monsuta turned around to place the candle on a table. Was it his imagination, or did the blonde give a small sigh when he let go of the ring?
“Something like that..” Cashew mumbled. His head continued to spin but he once again had control over his muscles and flopped back down onto his bed. The awkward silence continued and the only sound that could be heard was the banging of wind on windows.
“Uhm, do you like bananas?”
More awkward silence followed this question, but it was apparent that this time it was due to the obscurity of the situation rather than the previous unease. Monsuta shyly laughed, “oh sorry, you see it’s just that I’m thinking if I should order a batch in London- oh right, that must mean you don’t know what they even are! They are yellow and moon shaped, my favourite fruit only because they smell quite refreshing, although the taste is as indistinct as any other food. Of course, we don’t have them in this land... oh my bad for talking so much about such a useless topic. Actually, I think I’ll just go back to sleep-“
“No it’s fine, I guess. I’ll look foreword to seeing the bananas.” Cashew murmured, still intently staring at Monsuta.
“Is... is there something on my face?”
“No, I was just wondering why your eyes are half black and half white right now.”
Monsuta gave an uneasy laugh, “What are you saying? They have always been like this...”
“Oh no you don’t, I won’t allow you to talk yourself out of this one!” Cashew took on a more serious and determined posture and attitude, telling Monsuta that he had no chance of escape. “Why is it that, when I look at your eyes every few weeks or even months, they are always different? Fully black, white, half and half, or... red.”
Monsuta became rigid at the last colour, but then gave a heavy sigh and took a few moments to gather his thoughts before he answered.
“You are correct. I only go into town when I absolutely need to and I never stay for long, so it’s no surprise that you question my eyes, as anyone who spends this much time around me would. As you already know, from Sasha and Alphy, there is magic in this world. Similar to my cats, I have magic surging through my blood, as do the descendants of my family. In truth, this might be shocking but, I am not of the human species.” Monsuta gave a brief pause for this to sink in, to which Cashew could only stare at in more shock, then he proceeded to answer the question. “ The change that I posses in my eyes is actually a characteristic that we have developed so that we can keep track of the moon. The shape and colour of our iris correlates exactly to that of the shadows on the moon and its cycles, but sometimes they turn red. The red overtakes as a dominant colour on the full moon every 10 years. Our eyes start to flash a few nights before as a sort of warning beacon and we start to get some strong... urges before and especially during the event. Anyway, you don’t have to worry about anything, your life is not in danger. My control over this dark force is absolute and you may even sleep downstairs or back at Shirley and Merl’s house if that would make you feel more secure.” Monsuta looked up with a reassuring expression, but through his enthusiastic and desperate speech, he failed to notice that Cashew had fallen back onto his bed and his eyes were already shut closed. Monsuta sat thinking for a while more, thoughts of what had commenced at one o’clock and even from the past few days filling his mind. (Wait a second.... why had I lost that much control? It’s never been that bad before?) One reason, Monsuta thought, could be because it had been twenty years since he last tasted ‘it’, but that seemed unlikely to cause such a high effect. (If that were the reason, I wouldn’t loose control to this extent, rather I’d just feel weak...) Then Monsuta remembered how he had, for the first time since meeting him, smelt Cashew’s blood! (How is this possible? I mean, that is most definitely the reason for my loss of will power, but I cannot smell it anymore... why? And my brain still won’t forget of the time he said he knew I was a killer... what on earth does that mean?) He scratched his head from overwhelming confusion, knowing that the longer he stayed sitting up the more questions he accumulated, and eventually decided to put the awkwardness of the night to the back of his mind. (Answers will come with time), blowing out the candle, he went back to sleep.
Unknown to each other, both had failed to doze off before morning.
“Hey, so in the end, what species are you?” Cashew had been wondering about this question since their last conversation, among a lot of other things. It was the early morning when Monsuta had gone and come back from London with a huge crate of bananas. He placed them in the kitchen and went to lie down on the living room couch, immediately diving into yet another book. Meanwhile, Cashew was standing in the kitchen and was closely examining the strange, yellow fruit that were now lying on the counter.
“That is a good question indeed... as for me, I must find out how is our sick past connected to each other. Did I kill someone you loved for you to realise I was a murderer before I confessed you? Hey! Did you know that the moon cycle in this dimension in four times longer than that of London’s dimension?” Monsuta cried out suddenly, “It’s also very hot during the day and extremely cold at night. More specifically, temperature of the surface of the moon in the day is 107 degrees Celsius but at night it’s minus 153 degrees Celsius. The phases of the moon are New Moon, Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing, Gibbous, Full moon, Waning Gibbous, last quarter...”
Cashew decided to ignore Monsuta’s useless ramblings and instead proceeded to wander of what species he was. He also possessed a more recent question which was floating in his mind: what do I even know about him? Picking up a banana, he gave it an inquisitive smell and, deciding he enjoyed the scent, took a massive bight out of the top. Immediately he scrunched up his face in disgust and spat out whatever in the world he had eaten. (Is it actually possible for something that smells so nice, taste nearly as worse than Monsuta’s cooking?)
“Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that you should peel the banana before eating it!” Monsuta shouted out again from across the room, giggling clearly evident in his voice, “now where was I... oh yes, although research is still continuing, most scientists have agreed that the moon contains small amounts of water, personally I wish that that water would evaporate...”
“Now you tell me?” Cashew grumbled under his breath, but nevertheless took the blonde’s advice and started to peel the banana. (That’s right, I already know that he doesn’t know how to cook, nor can he differentiate between taste... he says he is lonely and something dark in his past gives him nightmares. He also mentioned something about smelling people... and he likes to carry a spoon, my family’s spoon at that, in his mouth for some sort of twisted repentance...) frustrated, Cashew realised he only gave himself more questions than answers, and aggressively ate the peeled banana in his hand. (Is he some sort of pervert or something?? He is such a weird guy, and oh my - this actually tastes quite good.)
Taking a closer look at the banana, Cashew was impressed by the contrast it possessed. To be so disgusting and misleading on the surface, it was in fact sweet and soft on the inside. Suddenly, an idea popped into his mind, so great did he think it was, immediately he forgot all about his thoughts and worries. He took to implementing his plan without a second to loose, starting from cutting the tips of some bananas into long triangles and putting them into the freezer, collecting a pile of banana peels in a bowl, and replacing the inside of bananas with tiny pebbles and rocks, and then stitching them up and stuffing them into his satchel. Although this looked extremely strange, Monsuta had no knowledge of any of what was happening in the kitchen due to him innocently reading his Moon book. Finally, at around eleven o’clock in the morning, Monsuta got up and went outside, still reading, to which Cashew secretly followed with a ready set of banana weapon.
(I’m going to closely keep my eye on him for today, and find out more clues about what species he is whilst also getting more chances to kill him with his favourite fruit! I’ll be killing two birds with one stone!)
The sun was already high up in the sky by the time the two men had gone outside, and for once there were no clouds to be seen. This let for dry wind and hot sun rays to cover the land, not even a single bird had felt like flying in the sky. It seemed as though Monsuta was going to go through the garden pathway first, so Cashew hastily made his way round some bushes and hid in the shadows, ready to strike as the blonde would pass by. He held a sharpened, frozen banana in a ready-to-stab position, but after a few moments, no footsteps came and he was beginning to worry that the blonde had taken a different path after all, or had gone back completely.
“Isn’t your banana-lolly going to melt if you keep staring at it like that?” A sudden voice from behind Cashew made his heart nearly stop. Monsuta had creeped up in the shadows, and was now munching on one of the frozen bananas Cashew kept in his satchel.
“Of course I know that, why do you think I’m in the shadows?” Cashew hastily retorted as he tried to cover up his startled state, “anyway, why are you here?”
“Like your banana-lolly, I don’t want to melt in the sun!” Monsuta laughed and then disappeared into the bushes once again to continue his walk.
“So he doesn’t prefer the sun, could this be a hint... or just a sign that he’s a book nerd which likes to stay indoors for a living?”
Later that day, Cashew decided he was going to stick to the thick undergrowth to perform any further attacks. He stealthily made his way in front of Monsuta, who had continued his stroll into the forest, and placed banana peels into little dips of rock which were heavily covered in further shadow. The place was a long, flat rock which was not far from the spot where Cashew and Monsuta had once gone hunting together, and the long, easy path made Cashew almost certain Monsuta was about to walk here. To his upmost delight, he began to hear approaching footsteps and ran behind a dense pile of leaves and twigs to hide in. Shortly after, Monsuta indeed appeared and was walking straight through the rock path and towards the hidden banana peels. (Any moment now, he will slip on the yellow skin and crack his good-for-nothing head and -)
Incredibly, Cashews thoughts were halted as he saw, with widening eyes, how Monsuta stepped onto a banana peel but instead of falling, he gracefully slid across the surface of the flat rock, and simply shortened his walking distance whilst still reading a book! It was as if he were a professional ice skater and this was a mundane task he performed every day. Although Cashew was absolutely bewildered by the comical scene, he didn’t have a moment to spare as he had one more plan that he could use in order to kill Monsuta. He just had to make it back in time to set up and be ready for when Monsuta was going to return.
The sun was beginning to set by the time Cashew ran back towards the mansion and had managed to climb onto the top of the mansion’s roof above the main entrance, where he now sat patiently waiting for Monsuta to come back. His final plan was to throw his rock-filled bananas and end Monsuta’s miserable life. However, he did not expect to be sweating up there for so long. He was ironically almost worried by how long it took Monsuta to appear, constantly imagining Monsuta had fallen somewhere in a hole and was crawling slowly back to the mansion. (Don’t you dare die somewhere in the woods, I’d never forgive you because that was supposed to be my job.) Finally though, the blonde appeared and was slowly walking back, right into the trap! (Is it my imagination, or does he look worse than usual? Ah, never mind, it will be easier to get him with my banana grenades...)
The next few moments stretched out painfully long, but Cashew was determined to get his revenge. Waiting on the top of the roof, he could barely contain his excitement as Monsuta was about to walk right under where he was sitting, but then Cashew felt some sort of unease take over him. Deep down in his heart, a sort of bitterness started to spread, and he had no idea what it was.
Approaching closer and closer, Cashew tried to push away the dark and mysterious feeling, and was about to let go of the heavy bananas he was holding, when suddenly Monsuta stumbled and collapsed a few meters before. Annoyance and worry surprisingly surged through Cashews head and he immediately discarded of the bananas he was holding and immediately climbed down towards the unconscious blonde. Cashew kept thinking (I will not let you die of natural causes; don’t you dare betray me like this or I’ll kill you!), but he himself was strangely not convinced of his own words. As he approached Monsuta, he saw that the other had regained consciousness but was regardless sweating and pale. His book lay sprawled not far in front of him and a page or two had been accidentally ripped out.
“Oh Cashew! Did... you know that the surface.... of the Moon features a huge number of impact craters from comets and asteroids that... have collided with the surface over time.” Cashew saw that Monsuta was making a large effort to seem fine, but his desperation made him look pathetic in Cashew’s eyes. A voice deep in his heart made Cashew decide to help him stand up, “It’s because the Moon lacks an atmosphere or weather that these crates remain well preserved.”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it, cracks and stuff; just come on inside already and get better you idiot.”
Monsuta gave a little chuckle and followed Cashew in. “Honestly though,” Monsuta said in an already seemingly better tone, “you don’t have to worry about me, it’s just because it’s the last half moon before the blood moon day... a last checkpoint of sorts.”
“Why would I ever be worried of you,” Cashew grumbled. He didn’t understand a lot of what the blonde was saying to him, but he honestly didn’t really care as long as he eventually still had the chance to kill him and take revenge for his parents. Cashew helped Monsuta up the stairs and dropped the guy into his bed. He quickly discarded of all the banana weapons, deciding that they were all useless and that he has had enough of this fruit for one day, and went to bed himself.
“I hope you eat so many bananas that you get your self sick, you lucky monster!”