Phoenix Feathers: Curator of the Dragon Gate

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The Phineas Files

“If you can’t tell the truth about yourself, then you can’t tell the truth about others.”

- Regina Wolfe

I was alone in the dark. I told Brandy to never let me out of my Seal again, unless the first thing that I’d see would be Terry, dead or alive. Brandy didn’t take me seriously. This wasn’t really something either one of us expected to happen. Even I wouldn’t take that request seriously… I just needed to be alone where people wouldn’t see me cry anymore.

I was alone in my Seal.

In the neutral space, I couldn’t feel the pain of my emotions, but I knew that they were still there. I understood the concept of my current reality. The doctors just refused to tell us about what happened to Terry. He was gone with no explanation as to what happened to him this time. I had to get over it just like I did with my Dad. That’s what my mind had concluded inside the Seal. I knew had to, sooner or later, but this Damn Phoenix body kept crying. I swear I wasn’t this emotional as a human.

~/So you’re awake this time…/~

~/Who said that?/~

~/Isn’t it obvious?/~

~/Yes. Yes, I suppose it is./~ I blankly said ~/But how is it possible that we can communicate like this?/~

~/I assume it’s because we exist in a different plane. However, does it really matter?/~

~/I suppose not. Is it always so dull in here?/~

~/I’d say, ‘no’, but most of the time it is./~ Phineas answered ~/Different Yokai respond to it differently./~

~/I see./~

~/Personally, I like to think back to my memories as a human/~

~/I can understand that. You were a hero, apparently./~

~/So you really are like me. Well, the Reborn part at least./~ I could sense the sarcasm he was trying to form with the statement.

~/I don’t think that it is wise to judge me just by how I died… It was as quick and painless as yours./~

~/Yet, I didn’t choose to die./~

~/Neither did I… or at least I don’t think that I did./~

Phineas stayed quiet for a long period of time. How long? I could never tell… ~/I saw what you did./~

~/Doesn’t matter what you saw. I wasn’t myself at the time/~

~/I realize that I did see your death earlier today, but I was referring about with Terry./~

~/You can see outside of these things?/~

~/No, but I can hear things, so I guess that “I saw” was a poor choice of words./~ Phineas said from the darkness, ~/My point is that I know that you only came in here to run away from your problems./~

~/I’m not running. I’m just strategically removing my emotions for a later date./~

~/And when exactly is this ‘later date’?/~

~/I scheduled for when Salamanders fall from the sky./~

~/Still sounds like running away to me./~

~/I just found out that my closest friend and my only connection to my old life might be gone forever. I can’t deal with another emotional breakdown./~ I explained, ~/Speaking of which… are you named after Brandy’s uncle or were you his uncle to start with?/~

~/A little of both. ‘I’ died the same day that ‘I’ was born, so Brandy decided to name ‘me’ in honor of ‘me’. I guess I was lucky that he didn’t have any second thoughts about it./~

~/I’m sure that Sigma planned it out just perfect for you./~

~/I wouldn’t say that./~ Phineas stopped for another moment ~/By the way, don’t tell anyone that I’m a Reborn. What was discussed in the Seals stays sealed in the Seals/~

~/That’s fine with me./~

‘Okay, come on out you two,’ I heard Brandy’s voice say as he tossed our Seal Bells into the air.

I shook a little bit after I finished materializing on the floor again.

“You cold?”

“(No, I just need to get the feeling of my body again.),” I continued to shiver a bit.

“Oh, so that’s why you called him Milkshake,” a bigger woman that was standing next to a tall skinny man were looking down on us.

“Actually, his name’s Tyler. He didn’t start doing that until after I sealed him today.”

“(Who’re they?),” I realized that we weren’t at Ms. Kay’s farm quite yet. Actually, we weren’t at the Yokai Center either, “(Where are we?)”

“Tyler, I’d like you to meet my parents,” Brandy introduced them.

“(Why are we here?),” I asked Phineas since Brandy wanted to keep his ‘understanding me’ a secret.

“(Brandy and I have jobs here, ‘Milkshake’),” Phineas snickered.

“(Call me ‘Milkshake’ again. I dare you!),” I screeched.

“(Or what?),” and with that statement, I was reminded that Phineas was an experienced Water Yokai. Yet for some reason, Phineas felt the need to remind me what a little bit of water can do to me. By some miracle, I dodged in time.

“Phineas! What did I tell you about doing that?”

“Face it son,” Brandy’s father shook his head, “that Ammit’s never going to learn.”

“(Sorry Pops!),” Phineas giggled a little bit, “(I can’t help it.)”

“(You attacked me!)”

“(Look, I said that I can’t help it!),” Phineas lowered his head in shame, yet still giggled, “(I really don’t have any control of when this happens.)”

“(You attacked me!)”

“(I’ll do more than spray water if you don’t shut your mouth.),” he warned, a stupid grin spreading across his face, “(Scratch that… meh hehe… you may want to run ~hehe!~ for your life now. I’mgoingto-)”

And with that Phineas let loose a torrent of water. This time against both of Brandy’s parents.

“Phineas,” they shouted together.

“(Heheha! Ha!),” Phineas laughed, “(You’re all wet!)”

“(What’s wrong with you?),” I shouted at him.

“(It’s playtime!),” Phineas ran around the room then banged his head into a wall, “(Owww… Oh, thank God!)”

“(So what the heck happened?),” I asked again despite I got the same answer every time I did.

“(Whenever I’ve been cooped up inside my Seal for long periods of time, or when I feel threatened, I get these sudden bursts of energy and go into an episode.),” Phineas sighed, “(It just starts off with a few spurts of water, then comes the laughter, and then I sort of black out. I don’t know much of what happens next.)”

“(So did something that Kiki and Leo say threatened you back at Ms. Kay’s?)”

“(Nah, I did that for fun!),” Phineas snickered, “(Every time that I spout out water, doesn’t mean that I’m having an episode.)”

“(So what do you think causes these episodes?)”

“(I was never a doctor, so I wouldn’t know.),” Phineas shrugged, “(But I’d think that it’s the original Ammit that I was Reborn into trying to wake up or something.)”

“(So in other words, Sigma messed up your brainwaves when you were Reborn.)”

“Okay, I found it,” Brandy announced before he realized what I said, “Phineas was Reborn too?”

“(Oops…),” I sunk down low as Phineas glared at me, “(Sorry Phineas…)”

“(‘Sorry’ doesn’t cut it…),” he growled, then paused, “(Wait a minute… Brandy doesn’t know the combination of monster speech for ‘Reborn’, so why can he understand you?)”

“(Let’s just say that Sigma messed with both of our brainwaves too.)”

“Was I not supposed to know?”

“(It’s just that being a Reborn is one of those personal things, you know.),” I had to explain for Brandy.

“I guess so,” Brandy thought for a minute, “but hey, Phineas, how about you tell me your real name?”

“(Don’t you dare tell him!),” he snapped, but then started pounding his chest, obviously to keep water from spouting up. But I was too dense to figure that out right away.

“(Why not?)”

“(I don’t think that it’s right to tell my nephew that the little baby that he cared for like a son was his heroic uncle that died in last summer’s fire.)”

“(In other words, You’re embarrassed about being babied and don’t want it to spoil the image that people have of you.),” I whispered.

“(Man, were you always this annoying?)”

“(Apparently… yes.),” I laughed.

“So who was he?”

“(Oh, right… Phineas’s real name is ‘Nonaver’.)”

“Nonaver? Phineas’s real name is Nonaver?”

“(Yeah, As in “None of our” business.)”

“(Good one.),” Phineas laughed at the clichéd joke.

“Okay, whoever you really are, I guess that this means that you get to play with the other baby Yokai all on your own tonight.”

“(You wouldn’t dare…)”

“I hear that some of the babies are even teething…,” Brandy chuckled.

“(Brandy, if he doesn’t want to tell you then I don’t think he should have to.)”

“You know I don’t like being out of the loop.”

“(You’re not out of the loop, but Phineas is happy with just being your Ammit, Phineas. He doesn’t want you to treat him any differently than before you found out he was a Reborn.)”

“You’re really okay with being me treating you like…”

“(I’m happy with the way things are, Pops.),” Phineas hopped up and hugged Brandy.

“(Yuck! You’re such a Daddy’s Boy…)”

“Like you’re one to speak,” Brandy laughed.

“(What’s that supposed to mean?),” I snapped.

“Oh, nothing,” Brandy smiled, then remembered the book he was carrying, “Speaking of Dads… Remember when I told you about the Chicago Incident?”

“(I recall you accusing my dad of starting the fire.)”

“I did no such thing,” Brandy groaned, “Anyways, this is my Uncle’s Journal.”

“(Do you have permission to do that?),” I slightly snickered at my own personal joke. Brandy didn’t react positively.

“My Uncle’s dead…,” Brandy said sadly, but quickly shook it off to smile, “But I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”

“(And he doesn’t),” Phineas glared at me.

“(I’m sorry.),” I shivered, “(You were saying?)”

“Uncle Phineas kept a record of every fire that he was involved with,” Brandy tried his best to look perky, “He was especially interested in Wildfire Chicago. He told me about someone, that he was an associate with. He actually ran into the fire himself, along with a few others. Most people thought that they were crazy fools with death wishes, but Uncle Phineas thought differently about it. He had this entire theory that maybe we were saved because of these people.”

“(Why’s Pops telling you about this?)”

Brandy took out a photograph from the journal, “Is this your dad?”

I looked at the faded photograph of two men. One of them was obviously Phineas when he was alive. I don’t know how I knew, but I just instantly knew it was him. Whereas the other man… The way that he was smiling, that hairstyle, and that Yokai that was on his shoulder… That firebird…

“(That’s not him.),” I sighed, “(That’s not my dad.)”

“Are you sure?”

“(Yeah, I’m sure.),” I nodded pointing to the man in the picture, “(My dad looks nothing like him.)”

Phineas just stared at me, he seemed to be disappointed.

“Well, Karin’s going get here soon,” Brandy stood up with Phineas in his arms, “I expect you to behave when you’re with her.”

“(Why are you leaving me with her?)”

“I can’t take care of you when we’re here. We’re already overcrowded with Yokai,” Brandy explained.

“(I may only be two days old, but you know I can take care of myself.)”

“Not from what I’ve seen,” Brand stated rolling his eyes, “Plus Karen said that she wants her turn with you.”

“(I’m not a toy that was made to be shared either.)”

“No, but you are her ‘child’ too and she demanded custody.”

“Brandy,” Karen squealed happily from the other room, “Where is my little Milkshake?"

“Speak of the devil,” Brandy said as he took hold of my bell, “We’re in here.”

“(Don’t you dare…),”

“Tyler Return.”

“(Jerk…!),” I said before the light enveloped me

“Okay, Milkshake. Come on out,” Karen said as she let me back out.

“(I’m never going to get used to that, am I?),” I shook my feathers out.

“(I got used to it in the first week.),” Fia peeped.

“(Fia? What are you doing here?),” A quick look around would tell anyone that we were in the barn behind Ms. Kay’s house. Luighseach and Andrew were both asleep, and I was surrounded by most of the Phoenixes and Kiki.

“(We live here, remember?),” Fia laughed.

“(Well, We still do, but it seems that Tyler’s not going to be living here much longer, Fia.),” Kiki just stared at us.

“(Good riddance!),” Adian spat.

“How’s my baby boy been,” Karen smiled,

“(Oh, god. You’re not going to act like that are you?)”

“That’s good to hear.”

“(If only I could say that you’re not very bright, but that would be an insult to broken lightbulbs everywhere.)”

“Okay, so go and play with your friends, while I take care of your big brother, Andrew,” Karen smiled, stroking the sleeping Unicorn’s sparkling mane, “But don’t stay up too late, we have school tomorrow.”

That’s right…
…I don’t have to live here anymore…
…At least there is some plus side to becoming the school’s new-…

“(Auntie Kiki, what’s a lightbulb?),” Fia interrupted my thoughts as we exited the barn.

“(What is a lightbulb? Well, um, it’s this plant. Yeah plant. It glows in the dark.)”

“(No, a lightbulb is an electrical device made so that we can see in the dark.),” I corrected her.

“(Boy, Tyler, if you didn’t know, you don’t have make something up.),” Fia laughed.

“(I didn’t make up squat. Kiki’s the one who didn’t know!)”

“(Never say anything like that!),” Enya shouted, “(Auntie Kiki knows more about human things than anyone on this farm.)”

“(You know pride come before a fall, Enya),” Siggy stood by my side, “(Tyler is corect. Lightbulbs are made by humans.)”

“(See Siggy knows that I’m right and she’s a wild Yokai.)”

“(Well, you’re younger than any of us. So how would you know you’re right?)”

“(Well, because… Brandy showed me.),” I lied, “(He showed me a ton of human things. He even says that he’s going to help me learn how to read.)”

“(Liar! No human in their right mind would try to do that!),” Enya yelled.

“(What? No speech about how unPhoenix-like it is to read?),” Siggy commented, “(Sounds to me like you’re just jealous, Enya.)”

“(Jealous? Me? I can’t be jealous of Milkshake, because Milkshake is lying.)”

“(Who care if I am or not?),” I laughed happily, “(Because I’m going to be going to human school and you aren’t. So nah!)”

But my “victory” over the other chicks was only short lived. That is, if it had lived at all…

“(Big whoop.)”

“(Big deal.)”

“(We’ve all been to human school, Tyler.),” Idris shrugged, “(It’s not really that special.)”

“(Wait, you’ve all been? How? I thought all of you grew up here?)”

“(We don’t start out here. We’ve all been with humans before.)”

“(But one by one, we just wound up here.)”

“(Sometimes humans come by and adopt us for a little while but then they just drop us off when the day is done.)”

“(So don’t think that we’ll never see you again, Tyler.)”

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