Unlucky to be Lucky

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Volcano

6. Volcano

How had he not noticed the difference in Monsuta’s eyes until now? Cashew thought while slowly following Monsuta as he looked closely at a selfie they had taken whilst eating Maltesers. He did not understand what kind of witchcraft this was, but after he got used to the unnatural light shining from the ‘phone’ (as he found out), he noticed that Monsuta’s irises were coloured fully white except for a little strip of black pigment on the right, which is the opposite from when they first met...

They continued to walk to a destination known only to Monsuta. He had warned that they were quite far from where he wants to go, but kept on persisting that it would be worth it. The sun eventually fully disappeared and the sky was covered with the black blanket of the night. Too much pollution from the restless city meant that there would be no stars shining overhead. Although all seemed calm as the two walked along the sidewalk, Cashew was having yet another mental meltdown. (I don’t actually know anything about this man. His innocence and happiness drives me crazy, how can he be that way after his tainted family history? Is it witchcraft which keeps me by his side for so long? Is it the same magic that he has in his eyes? That’s it, I can stand this any longer! If I can’t even avenge my parents death, I will just leave him to die alone!) he thought as he turned off the phone and slowed to a stop. Cashew angrily looked up to call out to Monsuta, but at the exact same moment, Monsuta cut him off as he yelled a “We’re nearly here!” and excitedly spun around to face Cashew. Yet, as soon as the blonde saw the other’s face, a look of surprise quickly overcame him and they just stared at each other for a few seconds that felt too long, both trying to figure out thoughts in their head. As cars drove past, waves of light sent lights and shadows to flicker over their faces. It seems that even though no words were exchanged, Cashews feelings of hatred and confusion were never before more understood and expressed. Monsuta no longer had a smile on his face; a cloudy look, much like the pollution in the sky, overcame his, now, mostly white eyes. He eventually shook his head, as if to get rid of something, then slowly took a step back, turned around and continued walking to the place he had originally wanted to go to.

“We should keep going,” Monsuta murmured, “it will shut down soon if we don’t hurry.”

“No!” Cashew cried out, “I can’t stand this... I don’t ever want to see your stupid face ever again!” his voice was thick and hard to use, as if a stone were stuck in his throat.

Then, Cashew ran. He didn’t know where he was going, but he knew he had to get as far away from the blonde as he could for now.

“He is so selfish,” Cashew hisser through clenched teeth, “he dares not tell me where we are headed? That disgusting smile on his face... Thinking it will all turn out alright even though I’ve spent nearly a month with the person I hate the most in the world? He would never understand how difficult it is to stay next to the son of the murders of my parents. My own mother and father, who I cared for dearly and who brought me up for the first five years of my life... and were prepared to continue to raise me until the end of eternity!”

As Cashew continued to run, his face grew hotter and his eyes stung from the threat of salty tears. Being alone only riled him up more and with no one around, he felt as though he was about to explode from the feelings he was trying so hard to hide inside. However, a sudden rain came crashing upon him, and Cashews legs gave way as he slipped on the wet pavement. He dropped down to his knees, and only stared as the drops splattered against the concrete. Something about the rhythmic sound of heaven’s tears brought a feeling of tranquility to settle in his soul, and he managed to get a hold of himself. He sat in the puddle and let his thoughts wonder free within his mind as he watched the city’s lights flash around him. He ignored all the cars and people that passed him by, and did not care for the coldness and the dampness that had seeped up to his bones. Eventually, the rain stopped hitting his skin and cashew looked up to find that someone had stopped and held an umbrella above his head. Blinking his eyes a few times, Cashew realised that it was the same man he had bumped into when he first flue out of Monsuta’s mansion.

“It will not be good for you to catch a cold. Don’t you know a meal tastes disgusting when it is wet?”

“What? Oh thank you.” Cashew’s raw, unused voice barely sounded against the booming of the storm, but he managed to shakily stand up. The man motioned for them to stand under the roof of a street vendor, then he proceeded to buy a hot dog from the seller and handed it to Cashew.

“Wait, you cant do that! I don’t have any money to pay you back!” Cashew bashfully protested, but his grumbling stomach at that moment gave him away.

“I insist that you eat that.” The man insisted with an unyielding, stern voice,”if something were to happen to you, I’d have to deal with him...”

Cashew was about to ask about who he was and who he meant by ‘him’, but then w hotdog was suddenly shoved into his mouth and all his worries immediately started to ebb away.

“Wow,” Cashew tried to shout joyfully through his mouthful, “the food from this world is truly amazing!”

The stranger looked at him with the same monotone expression which revealed nothing. “This world... you say...”

Panic momentarily replaced Cashew’s pleasure as he realised his mistake. He desperately tried to think of something to change the topic with.

“Ah nothing! I’m a little crazy, you know, sitting in the middle of the street, running into strangers, haha... oh by the way, do you know of any effective ways of killing someone in this wo- city?”

Cashew heard something resonating a laugh and then the stranger replied coldly, “definitely a question someone as strange as you would ask, and of course, I do. But something tells me you don’t want to actually kill them.”

At this comment Cashew’s old annoyance rose up once again and he protested bitterly.

“Don’t you worry about that, sir, I have never been so sure of something before.”

The stranger examined him for a while longer before finally turning around and buying something else from the street vendor.

“Well, if you feed that person a handfuls of mentos and then make them drink coke, it should set their stomach on fire and an explosion will erupt out from their mouth!” The stranger handed him the two items and at the same moment the rain stopped outside. Giving a somewhat stiff smile, the stranger turned round and began walking down to his original destination.

“Wait!” Cashew yelled after him, “i need to somehow repay you for this!”

“Worry not,” called back the stranger not turning around, “our paths will cross yet again. I finally understood why he chose you... for the smell you posses when you lower your guard is truly... one of a kind.”

The man disappeared around the corner before Cashew could question what he had said, with which Cashew then decided that he should probably go back to Monsuta. Surely enough, the blonde was sat reading something on a bench, with a spoon in his mouth, not far from where he had last parted with Cashew. At the sound of approaching footsteps, he looked up and happily skipped up to greet him, only to change to a disturbed look when he saw Cashew’s drenched clothes.

“Did you stand out in the open when the rain came down?”

“Who cares about that? Were you just going to sit here forever even though I had said that I will never see you again?” Despite not wanting to admit it, Cashew’s usual annoyance was slowly melting away the longer he stared at the hopeless guy.

“Yes, I would wait because I had a feeling you would come back.”

“Hmph, don’t say something so strange, I came back because you are so air headed that you might get run over by one of those monste- no, cars. Actually, I met someone who reminds me of you just now...” Monsuta looked at Cashew quizzically but Cashew still hadn’t forgiven Monsuta for making him feel so retched today and didn’t expand his point, “ok then it’s decided! I don’t care if you sit here a thousand years, but repay me for walking all the way back by eating these mentos and drinking this can of coke.”

A look of interest flashed through the blonde’s eyes, but all he did was take the can and gulp it all away. Then, he grabbed Cashew’s hand and started pulling him back in the direction they had originally been heading to.

“Thanks for the refreshment, I really needed that! It’s definitely past the time that they close, but I have an idea of how to still make it worth while!”

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing? Eat the -“

“It’s fine I’ll do that later! It will still be in my stomach when we arrive alright?”

They weaved through narrow streets, past late night bars and smelly dumpsters. The whole time they were approaching a large structure that could be seen past the gaps in the buildings; Monsuta also never stopped talking about his brand new book he had read when Cashew was away.

“It’s called London for Dummies! Oh yeah, I read that over 300 languages are spoken in London, did you know? As one of the most diverse cities in the world, London houses over 8 million residents, who collectively speak over 300 languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien and of course English... oh were here!”

Cashew nearly bumped into Monsuta from the sudden stop. Looking up, his eyes widened at the sight of a gigantic wheel that loomed taller than any building and more magnificent than any statue they have passed.

“This is called the London Eye,” Monsuta proudly presented, “follow me, I know how to get to the top even though it’s shut down for the night.”

They then proceeded to slip past guards in the shadows and made sure no one from the people walking on the street saw them from behind various scaffolding’s and boxes, which Monsuta suspiciously knew very well on how to bypass.

“You’ve done this before, haven’t you?”

“Oh many times!” Monsuta half whispered, half laughed as they had now made it onto a long ladder. By the time they reached the top, Cashew was huffing heavily but did not dare to loose to the other by showing he was tired, so they ended up reaching the top quite quickly.

“We’re finally here” Monsuta called out from above without breaking a sweat. Cashew shakily joined him on top of a thick piece of metal which connected to the ladder. He did not have a phobia of heights, but he was sure that anyone would be even a little worried to be standing where he was right now.

“Hey we finally made it, now eat the mentos.”

Monsuta once again quizzically looked over to Cashew and then shrugged and took the packet. He dropped all of them into his mouth and swallowed them all in one gulp. Astonished, Cashew stared to see what would happen next. A few moments passed when Monsuta’s face scrunched up and he hit his chest a couple of times with his fist. (Is it happening?) Cashew thought excitedly, (will he actually explode?). To Cashew’s horror, Monsuta, instead of becoming a living volcano, burped the most massive and smelly of burps that could top any sewer or any cooking that Monsuta had created. Cashew nearly fainted and had to be held up by Monsuta in order not to fall off the piece of metal.

“Oh man,” groaned Monsuta after making sure Cashew was alright, “I seriously thought that I could make a volcano erupt from my mouth... I guess the acid in my stomach is just too strong.”

(He was planning this the whole time?! Did he actually see through my scheme? Is that also why I never saw that bamboo shoot grow from within him?) Cashew dejectedly slid down a pole and sat on the piece of metal. Monsuta joined him and together they dangled their legs into the air for a while.

“Cheer up, Cashew. Look over there, that’s Big Ben,” Monsuta suddenly pointed out, and as Cashew followed his finger, all of his thoughts got swept away as he set his eyes on the painting before him. Beautifully lit buildings of all colours had decorated the ground for endless miles. A river sparkled from their reflection, and the air up here was cool and fresh from the recent rain.

“Big Ben is not actually called Big Ben” Cashew looked to the side and saw that Monsuta was back to reading his book. The blonde momentarily stopped to glance up at him, but then just as quickly went back to flip a page.

“What? I’m just letting you enjoy the view for a while.... anyway, Big Ben is arguably London’s most famous landmark. Surprisingly, it is actually meant to go by the name ‘The Clock Tower’, while ‘Big Ben’ is the name of the bell...”

They continued to sit on the top until Monsuta finished reading his book. Only by the time that they were close to Monsuta’s home again did Cashew realise that he was actually shivering from his wet clothes.

“Does it... usually... rain so suddenly in.... London?” Cashew asked through clicking teeth.

“It’s quite normal this time of year.” Monsuta laughed as he replied.

(Well then, let’s hope your luck runs out and you slip in a puddle and break your neck or something!) Cashew pitifully thought to himself as he shut the door behind him and started slowly making his way to the fireplace.

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