Welcome to My Life
“Sometimes you can help a friend by just being there…”
“So you want a fight, huh,” Eddie laughed with that stupid grin on his face, “Then I accept. But with one exception.”
“And what’s that,” Karen snapped.
“If I win, then I get whatever I want from you.”
“Then if I win, you get out of our lives forever.”
“Then we have an understanding,” Eddie said as a soft glow came from his jacket’s hidden pocket, “then let the battle begin!”
Brandy had barely finished pedaling there when Eddie said those words. He was out of breath from trying to catch up to Karen. She had stolen his bike, so he had to borrow someone else’s himself.
“Kar*huff* ren, *huff*,” Brandy couldn’t finish his sentence, breathing too hard.
“Well, not yet,” she said.
“What,” Eddie was stunned. The glow had stopped.
“Kiki has an operation later, so she can’t fight today, and Andrew needs more time to heal at the Clinic,” Karen explained, “They’re my only Yokai.”
“You’re kidding,” Brandy was genuinely shocked. It was unheard of for someone of her status quo to have only two Yokai, “Don’t you have a whole batch of Yokai at your home?”
“Well, yeah, but…”
“Let’s see, Karen ‘the Knuckleballer’ Mackenzie, third daughter of Missy and Sebastian Mackenzie, the eighth richest family in Golnar. So rich, in fact, that they buy and import many Yokai of the highest quality. They currently own the largest collection of the finest Equine Yokai in all of the Region.”
“I know that. So, when my Yokai are ready for a fight, we’ll fight,” Karen threatened him, Eddie didn’t even bother to break his concentration.
“Why not use one of them,” Eddie asked mockingly, “or is the little princess like her dog, Tyrone. All bark and no bite.”
“What was that,” Karen sneered at Eddie, “Are you trying to make me pummel you myself?”
“Ah, more barking…,” Eddie slightly kicked Tyrone, “Just like your dog here.”
“Leave him alone,” Karen growled, “your fight’s with me.”
“Did I hit a nerve,” Eddie teased, “I know your little secrets.”
“Karen doesn’t keep secrets,” Brandy said.
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because she doesn’t wear a mask like you do,” Brandy had to say coldly.
“A mask,” Eddie laughed it off, “Don’t be silly! I’m not wearing a mask.”
“Then why are you still smiling,” Brandy asked.
“What’s wrong with smiling?”
“I’ve seen smiles just like that one every day for the past three years. It’s fake,” Brandy said, Eddie shut up, “I’ve been wondering why Karen wanted to hurt you so bad. Now I see why.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t mention the real reason why…,” Karen sighed to herself, “No sense embarrassing myself too…”
“Karen’s been a good friend to me. She’s loud, strong-willed, and sometimes a hot head,” Brandy yelled, Karen had to resist the urge to pummel him, “but least when Karen smiles, it’s because her heart’s in it.”
“What do you think this is? Some cruddy Saturday Morning cartoon,” Eddie said under his breath, “Say some fancy speech and then everything will be fine in the end. Well, if that’s the game that he wants to play… Alright, I give up.”
“You heard me. I give up. This is just not worth arguing over,” Eddie laughed, as he left, “See you guys later.”
“I can’t believe,” Karen groaned, with an eye twitch, “That actually worked.”
“(That was by far the weirdest thing that I have ever seen…),” Kiki hopped her way to the sleeping Inukami, “(Hey, Bootlicker. you still alive?)”
Kiki nudged his body, which woke him up.
“(Where am I?),” he growled as he flipped over, “(How did I get here? Kiki what did you do?)”
“(I didn’t do anything.),” Kiki smirked, “(You got yourself kidnapped.)”
Tyrone stared blankly at the Kitsune for a couple of seconds.
“(Eh, hehe… For a moment there, I thought I could understand you.),” Tyrone laughed.
“(Is that supposed to be an insult or are you just that stupid?)”
“(Go back to sleep.),” Tyrone laid his head back down.
“(What? No snappy comment? No insults? No arguments?),” Kiki asked, “(Don’t go to sleep when I’m trying to insult you!)”
“(Lalalala! I can’t hear you!),” Tyrone covered his ears, “(Lalalalalala!)”
“(Leo? W-what’s wrong with you!?!),” Kiki ran back to Karen.
Dancing leaves twirled in the wind. Peaceful music is being sung by birds throughout the area. The streets were empty and quiet. Ironically void of life, which only shows how busy everyone was with their own lives.
“Home…,” a small figure said before he slid down from the tree outside the Lawrence house.
Terry was not exactly young when he was stolen, but John was not exactly social either. So Kodama and his Trainer didn’t go out on the town very often. Yokai were not allowed outside of their Seals at school, so he honestly didn’t know how to get back home from there either. Instead, he followed the police to the Yokai Clinic.
He had better chances of getting to the house after dawn. He spent the whole night on the roof. It was a cold night outside and he didn’t get much sleep. Home was the one place that he wanted to be now. Jonathan had to be waiting for him there. His mom too… but something was off… He didn’t want to just walk in the front door.
‘What if John’s moved on?’
‘What if he didn’t want me anymore?’
‘Why didn’t he go try to find me?’
Then the things that that Phoenix had told him. They couldn’t be true, yet Terry couldn’t shake off the feeling that the Phoenix wasn’t lying. Crazy, but not lying.
Peeking through the window, Mom was there. She was talking to some other woman on the fold-out couch. Instantly attracted to the woman, Terry was made even more uneasy. The stranger was frightened about something. Mom was showing so much concern for this stranger.
Where’s John? He has to be in his room. right?
He’ll be so happy to see me again. I just know it.
Terry crawled up to the upper floors. John’s room was past the window facing the backyard. Looking through it. Terry could see the room was a mess. A week’s worth of clothes were scattered across the floor. Papers, books, and other documents were scattered on John’s desk. Frightening pictures were drawn on the some of the pages. Terry couldn’t believe the images that lay on them. John wasn’t that kind of person. He just wasn’t.
Looking beyond the desk Terry could see something else. There was a lump under the covers of the bed.
Terry tapped on the window.
The lump didn’t stir.
Terry tapped again.
Still no movement…
Terry pulled open the window and slipped inside. He reached to the floor with his front paws. After placing all four to the ground, he stood to his feet. Terry crept across the floor, not having to worry about any creeks or whines from it. Closer to the lump, Terry didn’t hesitate to run and jump straight onto the bed. To his dismay, the lump in the bed was nothing more than that. A lump. Covers over an empty space.
John’s scent was still fresh, but the bed was very cold.
“I still don’t understand,” that woman downstairs cried, “How can I not remember them?”
“You don’t even seem to be able to remember yourself,” Mom said to her as Terry slipped his way to the bedroom door.
“I have to meet them,” that woman slowly stopped crying, “maybe if I speak to them directly, I can remember something about them besides what they look like.”
“That’s not possible now,” Mom said again, “They’re gone.”
Terry’s heart nearly stopped.
…They’re… what does she mean by “they’re” gone?…
“Where are they,” after a long pause the woman asked again, “Where did they go, Cathy?”
“They’re gone,” Mom started crying, “Tyler died years ago, and John…”
Mom couldn’t say any more to her guest. Not that Terry bothered to hear any more. He had already raced his way back out the window.
“I’m sorry Cathy,” Miss Kay tried her best to comfort my mother.
“It’s not your fault,” Mom cried softer, “I just wish that you’d remember. It was so much more bearable when you could.”
“What do you mean,” Miss Kay asked, but mom only cried harder again, “I’m sorry. Please, help me to remember.”
“I’ll try…,” Mom reached for another tissue, but she was out, “But we’re going to need more oth theze.”
“I’ll get some,” Miss Kay offered, “There should be some in the bathroom, right?”
Miss Kay left for the tissues. They were not hard to find, she could see them before she entered the room, but something else caught her eye.
The face of a silver fox.
Miss Kay found herself staring in the ruby eyes of a majestic Kyuubi. Miss Kay couldn’t help, but watch the beast in front of her. It was a lovely creature. The image was not alien to her, yet somehow not so familiar either. Like a long lost mother
She wanted to touch it. Her hand reached out for the head of the Creature before her, only to find that a silver paw blocked her path. It was as if the creature didn’t want to be touched. Yet its, no… her eyes told Miss Kay that she longed to be touched. “Reach me,” they begged.
The door bell rang, “I’ve got it!”
Miss Kay came out of her trance.
Inside the mirror, only her image remained.
Mom left the living room to get the door. She opened it to another friend of hers.
“Oh, it’s you,” Mom said to the unexpected guest.
“Mrs. Lawrence? Are you alright,” the man at the door asked her, “I could come again later.”
“I’m sorry,” Mom apologized, “I’m fine really.”
“I don’t like to see you cry,” so the man said, “May I?”
“Oh, yes. Please, come inside,” Mom invited him inside.
The bathroom mirror now sat before her. The foreign image had vanished. All that Miss Kay could see was her face. Her normal human face, but it perplexed her beyond no end. There was nothing significant about the image. Not like she’s seen the image every day, but more as if she were seeing an old relative that doesn’t visit more than once a year.
Yet, there was nothing unusual about her. She didn’t wear her hair any differently. Her face had no unusual scars. She was not as attractive as the fox from before at all. She was nothing special to Miss Kay. Nothing special until her lips moved on their own. Her image was trying to say something. Miss Kay could barely make out the words…
Please wake up.
That’s what the mirror kept repeating. But Miss Kay could not wake up. She couldn’t remember that she was in a dream. Her reflection then turned her head to the door and looked back at Miss Kay. It spoke new words.
Stop looking at me and run!
Miss Kay did as the mirror had told her. She scrambled out of the bathroom. She stopped when she reached the living room again. The image that she saw was not the same as what everyone else could see. Violet flames were consuming the room with a frigid heat. She witnessed her friend, her only friend under an evil Black Being. Cathy’s aura was being drained.
“Stop,” Miss Kay shouted out of fear.
The monster looked at her with its cold blue eyes.
They widened in surprise at what they saw.
“You!” the Darkness shrieked, “But that’s impossible! How can you still be alive!”
It was more scared of her than she was of him.
“Leave Cathy alone,” Miss Kay swiped signs in the air and started chanting, “Obscurum Everto audite mihi, Ego, in nomen Validus Unus, impero vos, Genitus!”
The Black Beast shifted into a shadow and dashed away like a mad bull. Miss Kay shouted out her chant louder as the creature crashed through the back door. She chased it as far as the fence, before losing sight of it. She rushed back into the house, relieved that the room was unscathed by the black flames she had witnessed. But there on the floor was…
“Cathy, are you alright!”
“I’m fine, Miss Kay,” my mother was astounded, “what was that?”
“I don’t know,” Miss Kay shuttered, “I could sense a terrible aura coming from him.”
“You saved my life.”
“I don’t think that it was your life that he was after…,” Miss Kay said as she picked up the photo album, “Does this photo look different to you?”
“No… why,” Mom asked, looking at the first picture. The same farm. The same Luighseach, nuzzling up to the same younger Cathy. Everything about it looked the same, but there were a couple of people missing in the picture.
“Oh God… what has that thing done…”