The Dog at the Dragon Gate
The pen is mightier than the sword, but can’t hold a candle to ignorance.
I never thought I’d have to introduce myself. But here goes… My name is not Leo. Leo is my Inukami. Since my friend Jade had somehow magically turned me into an Inukami, people just assumed that I was Leo. Of course, her doing so had somehow managed to take away my ability to speak like a normal human being. You can only imagine the look on my puppy dog face when I heard Eddie reply to me.
“Oh, so that’s where you went…” Eddie’s smile slowly disappeared. I almost wished that it would come back, “This is unfortunate.”
“Meugnip sepluv,” Kiki shrieked, “douq tse sumitlu rutnabad sibov eaelap! Non mus sipluv mepida!”
“Aduac itnahpele ati ebyam…”
The Unicorn neighed a little bit in the background as Eddie squatted down to just barely over my eye level.
“You are who I think you are, right?”
“(Well, I kind of hope not…)”
“Tyrone Bondell, Son of Gary and Jamie Bondell, Sixteen years old and works part time at his grandfather’s farm. Since Mr. George Bondell lost his leg, even simple labor is nearly impossible for him. After his second heart-attack, his health has turned for the worse. So now, you go by his farm once in a while to…”
“(How the hell did you know all that!?!)”
“I did my research.”
“(But no one knows about my grandad.)”
“You have to admit,” Eddie laughed, “the last names are a dead give away.”
“Oge mus non mepida,” Kiki went completely mental and started to chase after Tyler.
“(Hey! What are you doing!)” I barked, “(Leave Tyler alone!)”
“No time for that,” Eddie picked me up, “I have to talk to you more privately.”
“(What! Put me down!),” I yelled as Eddie stormed off with me struggling to get out of his Herculean grip. Seriously, he was strong for someone my age. I felt like I was a helpless little puppy.
“(Where the hell are you taking me?),” I yelled again as Eddie hid in a side hallway.
“What’s going on in there,” Brandy and Karen rushed past us. Eddie continued to run down in the opposite direction. He didn’t seem to care that the twins saw him kidnapping me.
Eddie kept on running despite all of the curses that I was yelling for him to let go of me. Eddie continued to run for another half an hour at most. Seriously, that kid should join a triathlon. It was completely unnatural how fast he was running too. He only stopped when we reached the old bell tower. He wasn’t even breaking a sweat.
“So where is it?”
“Don’t play dumb.”
“(I’m not! I don’t know what’s going on here!),” I barked, “(How is it that you know that I’m really Tyrone?)”
“I’ve seen Leo’s aura and I know that you are no Leo. More like a Cancer really,” Eddie smiled that stupid smile of his again, “Perhaps even a Virgo.”
“(How is it that you’re creeping me out more?)”
“Let’s just say that it’s one of my own little abilities, you know?”
“(No, I don’t! That’s what’s making me so confused!)”
“I want to know who did this to you.”
“(Why didn’t you ask that in the first place? It was…),” my throat closed up, I took another breath to try again, “(It was…)”
…your innate loyalty… Don’t tell anyone that I did this to you… Yokai and Humans alike…, Jade’s words echoed through my head. My body acting on its own, regardless.
“(Damn it! I can’t tell you!)”
“Can’t or won't?”
“(Can't! I want to tell you who. I really do, but I can’t! I literally can’t tell you who!)”
“(Because she told me not to tell anyone, Yokai and human alike. I can’t disobey my Aneki.)”
“Aneki, Hm…,” Eddie paused, “And I don’t suppose you can tell me who your Aneki is, can you?”
“(Why should I?)”
“Because I can only think of one thing that could do this and it’s dangerous to have in human hands.”
“(Well, if that’s the case then why should I let you know where it is? After all, you’re human.)”
“Because I’m one of the four Curators of the Four Perpetual Kimon.”
“(One of the who to the what now?)”
“Look… I’m one of the good guys here,” Eddie finally put me down, “You’ve got to trust me about that much.”
“(You kidnapped me and now you expect me to help you?)”
“I helped save your life long before you were ever beneficiary to me. And I even helped Leo find Milkshake for you guys. Shouldn’t that be proof enough that I’m a generally nice guy?”
“(No. You saved me so that I could be your debt slave.)”
“That was a joke.”
“Yeah, a joke,” Eddie’s smile suddenly got friendly again, “Geeze, can’t you guys take a joke? I was kidding about the whole servitude thing.”
“(I don’t know anyone who does research when they don’t intend to get something from them.),” I narrowed my eyes with that statement; watching as Eddie’s smile vanished again, “(I’m right, aren’t I?)”
“Unfortunately, yes… but not for the reasons that you think,” Eddie frowned, I didn’t think that it was possible for him to do so, “I didn’t want to do this…”
Eddie dug into his shirt and pulled out a ring tied to a chain. It was made of copper with silver engravings. A huge green and blue stone was planted in the middle of the ring. It softly radiated with a clean teal light, as he slipped it onto his finger.
“Do you know that this is,” Eddie said, showing me the ring, “this is what I used to help Leo find Milkshake for you. It’s quite the unique item. The only one of its kind in this or any universe.”
“(What are you going to do with that?)”
“Something that I’m not going to be proud of…,” Eddie pointed the ring at me. “So please don’t tell anyone. Dragon Gate, Open.”
The ring’s green light surrounded me much like the power that Jade used on me. The only difference was that it wasn’t a burning sensation. This light was more of a wet feeling. It spread over my body like I was being engulfed in a swimming pool. It was quite pleasant really. I felt stronger. Faster. Smarter even. Even the grass I stood on was growing greener and healthier. Honestly, I was wondering why he would regret doing this to me.
Then I started to realize what was happening to me. My senses were going insane. I could hear a wind pick up, even though one wasn’t blowing. It was roaring in my ears. The sunlight intensified until I was blinded in a white haze. The soft grass on the ground felt like blades, despite my paws weren’t being cut. My nose was the worst of all. My nose was blasted with every scent that was within a ten mile radius. It burned! Everything burned!
I tried covering them up, but even the slightest bit of light stung at my eyes. My own heartbeat was pounding at my eardrums as if it was a jackhammer. And I could smell the inside of my nose. Even when I covered it up, I started to taste what I smelled.
“(NOW TELL ME WHO YOUR ANEKI IS, OR THIS WILL NEVER STOP.),” Eddie whispered, but to my ears it was like he was a blow horn. I couldn’t hear what he said correctly, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what he wanted to know.
I tried to shout my answer. Which was a bad idea, it was even louder than even Eddie’s voice. The intensity of my own voice made me pass out.
“Shoot,” I huffed, and took back the strength I gave him, “I went too far. I almost killed him with that.”
I flipped Tyrone over onto his back and checked his vital signs. He was still alive.
“Thank God,” I sighed, staring at the Dragon Gate on my ring finger, “I still don’t have proper control over this thing.”
“You’re lucky,” I said slipping the ring back into its hiding place, “Not many people get to experience this particular Gate’s Ability to that degree and live. Even I have to be careful when…”
“Eddie, you little creep!”
I looked over my shoulder. A dark cloud was speeding towards the old bell tower. I could make out two figures. One was Karen was speeding on a bicycle with her Kitsune in the front basket. The much smaller one was Brandy pedaling slowly behind her on some little girl’s bike. She looked ticked. She either she finally remembered who I was or she was here to save… Tyrone…
“Looks like you don’t have to tell me who your Aneki is,” I laughed to myself, “ Ooh, and she looks mad. Whatever shall I do?”
“Eddie, I’m going to kill you for what you did to me and Tyrone,” she screeched as her bike did the same to stop. That Kitsune of hers almost fell out of the basket.
“Oh, so now you’ve come to save your dog,” I chuckled with my usual smile.
“I challenge you to a fight,” Karen pointed at me for dramatic effect.
“Figured you would,” I smiled, “I’m ready to have some fun.”
Meanwhile, back at the Yokai Clinic.
“I like the pink one better than the blue one,” Christen blushed, as she tied the Pink Ribbon around my neck, “It makes him look cute.”
“Yeah, but see how beautiful he is with the blue one,” Kayla laughed switching the Ribbons.
“But I like the pink one,” Christen put it back.
“Yes, but he looks really pretty in this one.”
“He likes Pink!”
“He likes Blue!”
“He wants to be Cute!”
“He wants to be Pretty!”
“(I want to be Dead!)”
“Missing,” the Doctor screamed, “all the Yokai are missing!”
“Oh, they’re not missing,” Kayla explained to her, “Karen and Brandy took their Yokai a while ago.”
“And the Inukami is with Eddie,” Christen said.
“What about the baby Phoenix?”
“What are you talking about? He’s right…,” Kayla said as they both looked.
I was gone.
“Hm,” Christen laughed nervously, “Guess we should have seen this coming.”
“Yeah, it’s been happening a lot lately,” her sister agreed.
While those two were still arguing about what Ribbon I’d look best in, I ran for my manhood. (Or at least what little bit I had left.) I quietly hid in a closet. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this.
“Why,” you ask?
They put me in a dress, for Pete’s sake!
“(They both know that I’m a male, so why are they doing this to me?),” I groaned, trying to reach the zipper, “(Now how do I get this thing off?)”
“(Here let me help you with that.),” somebody grabbed onto the zipper.
“(Sure. No problem.),” the shadow octopus somehow smiled as my eyes locked with his own blank eyes.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A man was surfing having the time of his life. He wasn’t surfing to compete, but just for the gnarly vives that he got from shooting the tube. All the other cats were cheering him on. He was one with the universe here. Nothing could go wrong today.
Or so he thought before something jumped out of the wave behind him and dragged him under. The surfer’s breath didn’t last for as long as it could have before he was swallowing the seawater through his lungs. His vision slowly blacked out, as the flow of white bubbles rose to the surface.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“(Dude, you’re, like, a Reborn!),” the sparkling shadow exclaimed.
“(What! How did you know that?)”
“(Radical Dude, so am I!),” the ghostly octopus backed up and presented himself a little more wholly, “(The name’s Dylan! Oldest surfer who eva lived.)”
“(Um, Tyler… Uh, I don’t really have a title…),” I reached out as if to shake his hand, er tenticle. I was still not used to my body, “(How can you be the oldest surfer if you died when you were like 20.)”
“(Twenty-eight when I died, dude, but I haven’t stopped riding the waves.),” Dylan did a surfer pose, “(Maybe you could come with me some day.)”
“(Sorry, can’t. I’m kind of allergic to water.)”
“(Really? Since when, dude?)”
“(Um, since I… Oh, I don’t know… Died!)”
“(Bummer man. Speaking of, that was one whacked up death you had.),” he pointed at me like he was completely out of it, “(Your mojo was seriously messed with Bro. Not cool.)”
“(What the hell are you saying.)” I couldn’t understand him if I had a ‘Surfer Bum to English Dictionary for Dummies’. Of course, I’d have to relearn how to read first.
“(I’m guessing you’re new at this right?),” the Octopus Yokai sat himself onto of a paint can, “(See, Bro, when a pair of reborn dudes meet, they’ll be bound to have a vision of the other dude’s past to help understand dat other dude’s siteation.)”