“Surprise! I’m back from the dead! Isn’t that exciting?”
Staring at the man that stood there, his arms outspread, there was a slight disappointment that filled the air of the cathedral. Everyone hadn’t bothered to wear the formal black this time, so used to these circumstances that it would have been out of the ordinary for this to have not happened.
“Oh, come on, no screams of surprise? What a disappointment.” The man, after brushing off his suit, walked up to the coffin where he also presided.
An audible click was heard in the air, and a flame quickly lit the body in the coffin, and it disappeared almost instantly. The man turned back to his audience of about ten people, raising his arms in a showman’s display.
One of the people at this ‘funeral’ stood up; a younger man with dark, slicked-back hair, his eyes as dark as night - both figuratively and literally, stars sparkling in his eyes, a man of general darkness, a kind shadow. “Truly, we tire of this ‘game’, Crow. Your insolent tricks have left me weary. Now, if you all may excuse me, I wish to leave.”
The first (and presumably undead) man - Crow - gasped in a feigned offence. “But Amun, what are you leaving for? The fun has just begun!”
Amun was weary. Being in this city was difficult for him. He did not like cities. He preferred wide open places with the sun in the sky and where there were so little of humanity that the stars at night were unobstructed and you could see as far as you wished. Pairing this with Crow’s ‘death’, surely just a ruse, took him far out of his way. He drew his midnight-coloured cloak closer around him, hiding his other clothes in their varying shades of the sky - personal choice, he’d say, nothing to do with duty. His swirling eyes of stars stared beyond Crow’s, and Crow sighed.
“Fine, fine. You can go. You can all go!” The funeral-goers began to stand, all bar one at the back. “But don’t blame me when you all don’t get to know what I found out about the Fragments!”
Everyone froze. Amun, his coat wrapped around him, gazed into what seemed to be Crow’s soul or at least the window to it. It was unsettling for Crow, the stars moving in Amun’s eyes dizzying him, and repulsive for Amun, Crow’s black, bloodshot eyes twinkling with a dark amusement.
A woman hissed, a vintage outfit upon her petite, underweight frame. A dangerous, feline glare pinpointed on Crow, the gazer’s tail behind her swishing lowly. Her bright, short hair was spiked and starkly contrasted against her grey attire, her lips were drawn back in a snarl.
“You lie, Crow. I eat birds that lie.” Bas hissed.
Crow raised his hand in surrender. “No, I don’t! If you’ll just sit down, you’ll see what I mean! Or, well, hear what I mean.”
To his relief, everyone sat down. He cleared his throat and began, carefully keeping an eye on the woman as he spoke.
“So, I was on my way back from the Afterworld - horrible place, really - and I heard something that sounded like a kid, right? Anyhow, the noise did turn out to be a kid! And this kid was talking to some… some chic - apologising or something. And I tried to get a good look at him, ‘coz I was pretty darn curious what a kid was doing in the Afterworld. He just seemed interesting. So, I’m looking at this kid, right, and I’m getting bored, so I start to annoy him. Doing the usual stuff, you know?”
『はい、わかっています。急いで、クロウ。』 A strange girl growled, wings fluttering annoyedly, fox eyes and ears showing her mistrust.
“Right. Sorry, Kit. So, this kid turns to look at me, right? He stares at me, and his eyes… Woah, they were bright blue - I swear they glowed, I do. But one of them looked almost shattered, like… like a broken mirror or something. Creepy, right? And this kid, he says, ‘Hey. You shouldn’t mess with a Close Fragment. Leave me be.’” Crow emphasised his story, walking around the cathedral, arms wheeling. “Freaky, huh?
“This is strange. How can we know this is true?” Amun asked, suspicious of the whole ordeal.
Someone stood up, the one from earlier who had not stood. They wore a blue poncho, their hair was dark, their skin olive, and their eyes a striking blue, one shattered like a mirror would be shattered, the other glowing with an eerie light.
“Because I’m here.”
That is all that needed to be said. The cathedral’s tenants exploded into an uproar, which was much more… underwhelming than it sounds, considering the eight or so other people in the room beside Blue. Blue stood there, watching.
“Also, I’m not a boy. Or a girl.”
Nobody heard this, nor did they care. Blue silently cursed their subdued nature but ignored this.
Bas hissed loudly. “Child! How are you one of the Fragments? The higher?”
“What are you? What do you and your kind wish from us?”
“Ha-HA! I told you guys that I was telling the truth! Now you have to believe me!”
I sighed, growing tired of watching the scene, dispelling it with a thought. My eyes were overwhelmed with unborn tears, tears that didn’t even exist.
The scene had always interested me, but I found myself unable to continue it, unable to find out what happened next.
I sat in the place of clocks and strings, each tick of the clock bringing me forward in an endless cycle of rhythm and writing, unable to continue stories I knew would haunt me.
Such was my fate.
Amongst the ticking of the clocks, I almost failed to notice the footfalls behind me.
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