Phoenix Feathers: Curator of the Dragon Gate

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Dreams That Wake the Dead

The most sweet hearted people are the most mistreated people.

What’s going on?
I feel strange… Am I sick? I must be coming down with something.
Where am I? Why am I here? Who am I?

Come on think!

What’s my name…

Am I Tyrone Bondell…
Is that it?
I’m not even sure that’s true anymore.
It sounds right, though. Tyrone…
Aneki calls me that.

John called me that too.
But who’s John…?

Come on Think Straight!
What do I think of when I hear ‘John’.
My rival. Yes, that’s it. Rival.
The one person that I respect more than anyone else…
My friend? Yes… friend. Best friend. Even closer than my little brother Leo…
He’s my Aniki… But John’s gone. My Aniki is gone!

That man… Smith… I remember him… He told me something…
Before Aniki… did something… at that place… skool…
Smith told me something… about Aniki…
What did he say about Aniki?


What’s this sensation? My face is cold.
No, just my forehead… It’s cold and wet.

Heheha… funny…

“Tyrone… please wake up.”

Aneki?… I’m dreaming?… I have to open my eyes.

“Oh thank Sigma,” Aneki was there, “Tyrone can you hear me?”

I only nodded in response. I couldn’t quite see anything clearly just yet.

“How are you feeling?”

She looks… different somehow, but I can’t quite put my paw on it.
She doesn’t look much different.

“I- I don’t know… Aneki,” I said trying to sit up, “my head’s still spinning. Was I hit by a Tauros or something?”

“No, I yelled at you and you just collapsed.”

She has some of her fur curled up in a bun, just like always.

“I’m sorry Aniki,” I smiled wagging my tail, “I had the weirdest dream.”

Her fur’s a nice shade of reddish brown, just like always.

“Well, you don’t have to worry about me yelling at you anymore,” Aneki smiled.

Oh, I know!
She must have done something with her tails!
They look exceedingly beautiful today…
It’s almost like I’m seeing them for the first time.

“You don’t have to worry because I’m leaving you…”

“What,” I didn’t understand, “Leaving? Like for a day or two?”

“No, I’m saying that we aren’t meant to be together, Tyrone,” she started to circle me, “after all, we come from two entirely different worlds.”

“But Aneki…,” I whined, “…why? I’ve been loyal. I’ve stayed by you. I’ve always been a good boy.”

“And that’s precisely the problem,” Jade’s grin grew toothy, “I’m a Yokai and you’re not.”

I looked down at myself. She was right. I was Human!
My fur was gone. My nails were flat and my paws were hands.
My hind legs were much longer than my front legs.
Looking behind me I saw no tail, but I did see a bare bottom.
I was a naked human! I was turning red with embarrassment.

“I could never love a human,” Jade’s eyes started to grow red and her fur darkened, “I hate all of you filthy humans.”

“But I am an Inukami. I’m still me at heart. And you’re still my Aneki. I’d die for my Aneki.”

~“Isn’t that what you were supposed to do for me?“~

I turned around.

A white figure with dark outlines, black eyes,
black nails and black mark just past his left eye.
He was human too, but he wasn’t naked like I was.
It was almost like he was a bleached ghost.

“Who are you?”

~“I’m your Aniki.“~

“I don’t know you.”

~“Sure you do,“~ the ghost started to circle me, just like Jade already was, ~“You were supposed to protect me.“~

I whined again, ”Go away…"

~“But instead You killed me,“~ he pressed that spot over his eye. That human digit, um, a ‘thumb’ pointed straight up. Then he flicked it. I wasn’t sure what he was signing with that motion, but it frightened me.

"Get away!"

The ghost just smiled the same toothy grin that Jade did.
He crept down onto all fours and mirrored Jade’s motions.
They were circling me like a pair of piranha.
I had the feeling that they were going to eat me.
But I had nowhere to run to.

“What do you suppose we should do with him, John,” the nearly black Jade growled.

~“Let’s make him pay for what he did to me, Jade,“~ the white ghost laughed hysterically.

“Yes, but how? He’s already lost his entire purpose,“~ she leered.

~“And we can’t have him following you around,“~ he leered back.

"Aneki…,” I curled up in a tighter ball, they were getting closer and closer to me.

~“How can I trust you when you killed him,“~ Jade asked.

~“Yeah, how can she trust you when you killed me,“~ the white boy asked.

~“How can we trust you when you let your family down,“~ they said together.

"Stop it,” I screamed at them, but they wouldn’t…

~“How?” “How, Tyrone?” “How?” “Tell us, how?” “How”~
~“How?” “How? How? How?” “Why won't you answer us?” “How?“~
~“How?“”Tell us how Tyrone.” “Yeah, Tell us.” “How?~

~“How Tyrone?” “How?” “How? How Tyrone? How? How?“~

“Stop it! You’re not my Aniki and you’re not my Aneki. So just STOP!"

Then everything did. I was alone.

I could feel that cold sensation on my forehead again…

The darkness was taking me.

~’Tyrone… I’m here.’~ I could hear Jade’s voice. ~‘please be okay…’~

“Jade? Help me,” I tried to say to her as best as I could.

In an instant, there was a light.
The brightness of the light faded and there was this floating window.
I could see Jade. She was looking down on me.

She’s human now.
Wait, wasn’t she always human?
My mind must be slipping again.

“Tyrone,” Jade sounded like she was shouting, “Can you hear me?”

The wet rag seemed to be bringing down his temperature. The second time that I replaced it, his eyes opened up. Well, they were open but they looked like they were dead. They were unfocused.

“Tyrone,” I whispered at first, “Can you hear me?”

His lips were moving, but he didn’t say anything.

“Speak up.”

Tyrone responded by yipping and then sticking out his tongue.
I could have sworn that he was laughing too.
He closed his eyes and smiled again. I took it as a joke as he fell asleep.

“Jade, come back,” I shouted banging on the window that wasn’t there. It had closed up almost as quickly as it opened, “Jade, come back! Help!”

"She-ee c-can’t hear y-you."

“Who said that?”

In the fog, I looked around the darkness of my mind. I saw another creature. Another human. Unlike me, he was fully clothed in an old tuxedo. His ice covered body was curled up in a ball. At first glance, you’d think that the man was suffering from hypothermia. His skin was pale, but not completely white. He kept scratching at the side of his face. His black hair was messy and long. I recognized his face.

“Tenma Smith?”

The man continued to shake as he stuttered only two words repetitively, ”n-not me. n-n-not m-me…"

“Then who are you?”

"n-Not t-Te-enma… D-Der-r-rick s-ss-on of s-s-ss-Pseu-do Fa-fabulist,” he stuttered, ”It-ti’s so wa-warm e-innnn he-here."

“Where is here? Where am I?”

"n-not death… Not e-in cold hell,” the man slowly stood up, ”B-but t-too co-cold to-be-ha hot hell… I-eh em out. I esss-cape, when he, put T-ttantibus in head."

“What’s a Tantibus?”

N-n-nightttmar-rrr… ma-magic…

“Are you going to be okay?”

"I’m d-dead… I n-know d-that,” he reached out to touch me.

“Ke-ep away from-”

"It was sss-so c-cold,” his fingers stuck to my cheek, ”but you… You’re so warm."

“Get off of me,” I tried to hit his hand away, but my skin stuck to his suit, his fingers were glued to my cheek, ”Let me go!"

"P-please… ju-just a little longer…,” he almost sounded like he was begging me. He pulled me close and took hold of my entire torso with a frozen hug. He stroked my bare back with his freezing cold hands, ”please, let me stay here. Just a little longer…"

“You're… hurting me,” I muttered as I heard the crackle of ice forming. He was encasing me with a thin layer of ice.

"Just a little longer," the ghost kept his grip on me, "boy, tell me. How long was I dormant? How long was I in the cold? Do you know?"

I couldn’t answer him.

"The answer is Far too long,” he answered for me.

My body was becoming stiff.

"Now that I’ve escaped I want to live."

I couldn’t move…

"Rest for a while. Let me stay."

I couldn’t think more that a few thoughts about anything.

"Let me take over… just a little while. I want to feel, again."

Tyrone stirred in his sleep. He turned around for a moment, then slowly sat up.

“Everyone Tyrone’s awake,” I shouted, as Tyrone rubbed his eyes.

“T-tyrone…,” he almost asked, “how long…?”

“You’ve been asleep for hours, but we’re at your grandparent’s place,” I reassured him by placing my hand on his shoulder. He responded by being shocked, at first. Then just up and grabbed hold of me around the waist, “Tyrone, what are you?”

“Don’t let me go,” he asked me like a little child, “Please, just a little while.”

“Tyrone…,” I was reluctant at first, but then I granted his request.

“I was so cold. It was such a nightmare.”

“It’s okay, you’re safe now.”

“Thank you. This is all I wanted,” he squeezed me harder and whispered, ”Even if you are just a monster like Tenma."

"What,” I shouted as the Bondell’s came in.

“I’m sorry, Kitsune,” he forgot to whisper that time.

“What did you call me?”

“I’m not Tyrone, Kitsune,” Tyrone whispered so the Bondell’s couldn’t hear him, “I’m just borrowing his body for a little while.”

“Who ar-,” I shouted before he pecked me one on the lips.

“Tyrone,” Sarah shouted, she was genuinely shocked that her grandson had just stolen a kiss from me. Personally, I was genuinely pissed that he stole my first kiss from me.

“Say a word, and I’ll reveal us both,” he muttered as he backed away from my personal space. I took a second to recover.

"How dare you,” I was about to slap him when he looked at me with Tyrone’s innocent eyes. I couldn’t do it.

“Please… just for a little while,” he quietly begged me with Tyrone’s eyes, “I swear, I’ll give him back. Just let me live for a little while. Let me remember what it’s like to live on my own two feet, even if it’s his feet.”

“You promise…”

“I swear on…,” he stopped, and went into deep thought about what his choice of words should be, but only came up with, “what do I have to swear on…?”

“Swear on this…,” I pointed to the Phoenix Gate around my neck, “ought to be as good as anything to swear on.”

“Fine. I swear,” Not Tyrone quietly pledged, “I solemnly swear, on the Phoenix Gate and on my name, that I, Derrick Fabulist, will only borrow Tyrone’s body, for as long as I’m allowed… or so soil my family’s name.”

“You better,” I warned him, “Or else I’ll exorcise your ass so fast that your mind will take a week to realize it happened.”

“What are you two whispering about,” Bonny spoke up.

“Nothing,” I reassured him, “Tyrone’s just a bit confused right now, Bonny.”

“Bonny,” the possessed Tyrone looked at the cripple in surprise, “You’re so old."

“Excuse me?”

“I mean…,” Not Tyrone absentmindedly scratched at the side of his face, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”

“You better not have,” Bonny was riled up, “I’ll have you know that I’m at a ripe young age of seventy-two. I may be crippled, But I’m still able to whoop your butt, young man.”

“Please do… I haven’t felt pain for decades,” ‘Tyrone’ asked quietly, “By the way, Kit-, I mean, ‘Jade’… What year is it?”

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