Phoenix Feathers: Curator of the Dragon Gate

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More than a River

The one thing we all have in common, someone very special gave us life.

Tyrone hated the fact that he had to sneak out of the back like he was some kind of thief, but he hated wearing that hood and extra jacket even more. It was embarrassing to walk down the streets looking like he was going to rob a bank or something. He could feel everyone’s eyes staring at him following the rich Jade and Lou. And the extra Jacket around his waist was tied funny on the base of his tail. Despite being healed that particular body part was still sensitive from his earlier encounter with the Tesso.

“Here we are,” Jade said as we got to the Silver Shrine, “Can I trust you to be careful from here on out?”

“You’re not coming?”

“No, I have something that I need to do first.”

“So you’re letting me go alone,” Tyrone asked happily.

“Of course not,” she pointed at Louis, “That’s why he’s here.”

“Yippie! I get to play with the puppy,” Lou bounced on top of Tyrone, followed by most of his Jinmenju.

“(Play! Play! Play!),” they kept crying.

“Get off of me, all of you,” Tyrone shouted, “I’m not a Puppy!”

When Tyrone and Lou finally began their ascent to Miss Kay’s house, Jade got down on the ground and removed the contents of her bag. She had forgotten to do this for a while, so she felt like her mother had missed her. Which in the long run was quite silly since we all know that her mother wasn’t even there. She set up the incense, not even caring if people saw her today or not.

“Hi mom, it’s me again,” Jade smiled, “Sorry I wasn’t here for the past couple of days. You won't believe what’s been happening lately…”

“(Who you talking to?)”

Jade looked down to see one of the four Jinmenju stayed behind. Now Jinmenju don’t possess the ability to look cute or innocent, but Jade could see how immature this one was.

“I’m talking to Mom.”

“(Your mommy’s a shiny wock?)”

“No, she’s not,” Jade smiled at the young stone Yokai. It was hard for her to believe that this creature used to be (at least part of) that psychotic human, Tarsa, just a few days prior.

“(Hi miss Jade’s mom! I’m Sue!),” he/she/it said to the Shrine, “(You’re weally pwetty!)”

“She can’t hear you, Sue.”

“(Oh…),” Sue frowned, then looked up at the shrine again, “(HELLO, MISS JADE’S MOM! YOU’RE WEALLY PWETTY!!)”

“That’s not what I meant, Sue,” Jade couldn’t help, but laugh just a little.

“(Oh, you meant that… she’s gone.),” Sue got quiet again, “(Like my Mommy.)”

“Yes,” Jade nodded, “I miss her and this is the only time that I get to… Wait, your mommy?”

A very well known fact about the Yokai, Jinmenju… They literally don’t have mothers or fathers. While no one knows exactly how they’re born, people do know that they pop out of the ground like truffles. Then they gather together and stay as a group of seven for the rest of their lives. Which, in all honesty, is just weird in itself. Don’t go blaming me if that doesn’t make sense. Blame the Creator for designing them like that.

“(Yeah, my Mommy.),” Sue frowned, “(She died a welly long time ago. I can’t wemember her good now, but I wemember saying some weally mean things to her, before she died.)”

“I said some really mean things to my mother too,” Jade sighed, then laughed to herself, “I can’t believe I’m relating to you.”

“(Can you hold me? I don’t feel so good.),” Sue was shaking, Jade felt sorry for the poor thing despite who it used to be, “(Well… If your mommy can hear you, then can she tell my Mommy that I’m sorry, wight?)”

Jade stayed quiet for a minute, “Why don’t you ask my mom yourself?”

Sue hopped off of Jade and bowed in prayer, “(Miss Jade’s mom, Please let her know how I feel.)”

Jade picked up Sue and placed it on her lap again, “See what I have to deal with, Mom. Please guide me somehow.”

“Jade? Hey, Jade is that you?” Jade turned around to see a dark-haired girl running up to her.

“Oh, you’re…”

When it was finally over the fire didn’t go away, but the rush in it growing was fading away. She saddened again as the light faded, but was shocked at what happened. The observers could barely tell that the light had faded from her body. All the while, the figure that stood before her was that of a midnight black Kyuubi. It closed its eyes in disappointment.

“I don’t believe it…,” I stood in awe.

“It can’t be…,” Brandy was stunned as I was, “Did they switch places or something?”

To understand our confusion, one must go back five minutes and know that we were watching a black Kitsune and a white Kitsune transcend into their mature Kyuubi forms. Both of them changed at the exact same time, but not into what anyone expected. Well… they did, but yet they didn’t. They turned into a black Kyuubi and a silver Kyuubi. And yet I can tell you that the white Kitsune was not the silver Kyuubi that stood before us in that instant.

“It’s Kubbi,” I said.

As hard as it was for us to believe, it was true. The black Kitsune that I’ve been dreaming the memories of was The Legendary Silver Kyuubi, Kubbi. I’d know her anywhere. Well, anyone should be able to. Her aura is too beautiful, too attractive, too pure to be anything else.

“Kubbi was the Yin,” Brandy was gawking, “That can’t be right, she was good, completely good.”

“(Brother? What’s happened? Where have you’ve gone?),” despite her evolution, Kubbi’s personality didn’t change that much at all.

“(I’m right here, sister…),” Brother said out of grief, but with a smile, “(You look amazing.)”

“(Brother, you’re…),” Kubbi stared at her twin’s new coat. He was as dark as she used to be, if not darker.

“(I know.),” he opened his blue eyes, “(Let’s hurry to save the humans from Mother.)”

The dreamworld blacked out again, but unlike before I knew it was because we were waking up.

“No, not again,” I cried as we literally fell awake.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Good morning you two,” Mom had noticed that we were moving.

“(Good morning!),” I felt strangely perky today, despite my freakish dreams. Maybe it was the smell of Mom’s cooking.

“Good morning Mrs. Lawrence,” Brandy stretched the aches from his body, “You won't believe the dream I just had.”

“You both even wake up together,” Mom laughed, “how cute…”

“How’s Andrew?”

“He’s recovering faster that we thought he would,” Mom smiled getting back to cooking, “Karen’s back there, brushing his coat down.”

“That’s great to hear,” Brandy said, walking over to her. I followed foot and hopped up to a higher place. More specifically, on the counter next to where Mom was cooking.

“(What’s cooking, Mama?),” I asked. Despite she couldn’t understand what I said, she smiled at my comment.

“By the way,” she turned to Brandy, “Principal Bisha called for you several times this morning.”

“Really how many times?”

“Hard to say,” Mom laughed, she was strangely happy today too, “He really wants to talk to you today.”

“Are you okay Mrs. Lawrence,” Brandy asked, he must have noticed her strange attitude too.

“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be,” she smiled again, “But please call me Cathy, I’m not your teacher anymore.”

…I should be happy to see my mother happy right?…

…So why am I so depressed to see her like this?…

“What’s wrong Tyler,” Mom pet me, “You want some food too?”

“(You’re happy…),” I was hungry, but I was too depressed to show it.

“Okay, then I’ll make something nice and sweet just for you,” she was completely oblivious.

…Doesn’t she miss me at all?…

“Won't that be nice, Tyler,” Brandy asked as he put his hand on my ‘shoulder.’ Needless to say, he gave me quite a scare. I released small embers out of shock. Mom got out of the way and saved her cooking.

“(I’m so sorry!),” I apologized, then turned to Brandy , “(Please tell her. I’m sorry.)”

“I’m so sorry Mrs. Cathy,” Brandy apologized for me again, “He’s not used to his firepower yet.”

“Then you shouldn’t sneak up on him,” Mom laughed again, she was so happy. She just shook off what had happened like it was nothing and got back to cooking. This just wasn’t like her.

“(Dad, can I talk to you?),” I chirped.

“Maybe I should make something out of Honeydew,” Mom suggested.

“No, melons tend to make Phoenixes sick.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Mom gasped, “I’ll make him something else then.”

“(Um, Hello? I need to talk to you. Like right now!)”

“Thank you,” Brandy said lifting me off the counter, “We’re going to go see about Andrew.”

“That’s fine with me, dear.”

“And you better remember that you can't eat mellons, Tyler,” Brandy warned me as we exited the back door, “Now what is it you need to talk about?”

“(So you really can understand me…),” I sort of asked, hoping the answer would be ‘no’. Or at least, ‘Um, sorry. Uh, I don’t know that combination yet. Durrr.’

“Yeah, and it seems to only be with you,” Brandy made absolutely sure that he was out of Mom’s earshot, “I tried talking to Leo last night, but no luck.”

“(How’s this possible?)”

“Maybe Sigma gave us some kind of mental link or something.”

“(That Sigma… The next time that I see him, I’m gonna…)”

“Is that all you wanted to talk about?”

“(No… I wanted to…)," I paused, "(Did anything about Mom seem weird to you?)”

“Your mom’s making us something to eat? Is that weird to you?”

“(No, I mean my mother’s attitude…)”

“What about it?”

“(She seems too sincerely happy.),” I looked back at the door, “(I noticed that last time she was faking, but this time…)”

“It’s as if she doesn’t have a care in the world.”

“(Right… she’s so happy that she’s cooking.),” I groaned.

“So? Isn’t that what you wanted from Kubbi?”

“(Yeah, but it… It’s as if I never existed. That’s not what I wanted.)”

“Well, we can’t always get what we want.”

“(No, you don’t get it.),” I tried to hold back my tears, “(I want Kubbi to change ’how’ I died, not ’that’ I never existed. This just makes her look like she’s never cared about me.)”

“Well, maybe she’s in the denial stage,” Brandy suggested.

“(Denial stage?)”

“You know, one of the five stages of mourning,” Brandy tried to explain, despite I already know what he was talking about, “She’s just not acknowledging that you’re dead yet.”


“Next comes anger,” Brandy said, “When you see her get mad, then you’ll know that she’s in stage two.”

“(If that’s true, then we’ll see her angry come lunch time.)”

“Why’s that?”

“(Have you tried my mother’s cooking?),” I joked so that I could laugh, it didn’t work, “(I miss it…)”

“Well, lucky you! You get to try it again today.”

“(Okay, so long as you avoid it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.),” I kind of laughed, “(By the way, you do realize that I can walk on my own right? I don’t need to be carried everywhere.)”

“Sorry. Force of habit,” Brandy shrugged putting me back down on the ground, “I’m going to go see about Andrew. Do you want to come too?”

“(No, but I’ve got nothing better to do.)”


That voice…!

“(Oh shit! Pick me back up please! I’m begging you!),” I climbed his pants leg, “(Keep her away from me!)”

“Her who?”

“(No time to expla-Gag!),” Fia caught me.

“So, is she your girlfriend,” Brandy laughed.

“(No! Don’t say things like that!),” I begged.

“What? Are you embarrassed? Because she is a cutie.”

“(No, because every time someone says something like that then…)”

“(Milkshake!),” Adian roared, “(How dare you canoodle with my Fia!)”

“(Oh God! SAVE ME!!!!!),” I screamed. Apparently, he was listening because three large rocks fell out of the sky. One of them landed on Adian and one of them bonked Fia on the head, “(Thank you…)”

“(Weeeee!!!!),” the last rock squealed as is landed on my head.

Wait, rocks don’t squeal…

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