Monday, May 20, 2013

Kaleidoscope, Ch. 9

**Author's Note: As promised, whenever I get a chance to come back to this project and finish a chapter of Kaleidoscope, I'll post it on this blog.  Just keep in mind that I'm not trying for award-winning writing; I'm simply trying to finish the project for its own sake (do tell me what you think of it, though).  In the words of James Thurber (which I often reference when I'm writing a paper), "Don't get it right, just get it written."**

Serenity sat slumped over at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, blankly regarding her half-eaten bowl of cereal.  Botan was busy ferrying souls to Spirit World, and Amake hadn’t made an appearance yet, even though it was almost noon.  The morning had taken quite a bit out of all of them.
            Serenity fingered the necklace Ratoshi had given her, then the locket with her mother’s picture, which she had put on before going to bed the night before.  Struggling to put the morning into some sort of perspective, she recalled what Kurama had said about her newly discovered ability to teleport.  Following his logic, Serenity thought she might be able to add electricity to the growing list of anomalies.   She was beginning to doubt that merely “interacting with the Spirit World” could cause such a dynamic manifestation of power.
            “Your cereal’s getting soggy, you know,” said a voice to her right.  She turned to see Amake sitting on the stool next to her, reaching for jelly to put on a piece of toast.  The hair on his head was sticking out in various places, and he was shirtless.  Serenity couldn't help but glance briefly at his body before meeting his gaze.  Amake didn’t seem to notice.
            “Hey there, sleepyhead,” she said in greeting.  “I didn’t notice you come in.”
            Amake tried to suppress a yawn while he spoke.  “I just rolled off the couch a couple of minutes ago, actually.”
            Serenity nodded and poked at her cereal, spooning it into her mouth slowly.  The two friends sat in silence for a minute.  Then, she thought of something to ask.
            “Hey, Amake…right before the lightning stopped this morning and you and Botan came in…what happened?”
            He took a bite of toast before answering.  “Well, what do you remember?”
            Serenity pondered the question for some time before she replied.  “There were flashes of a nightmare I’d had…there was the lightning…but then I felt something inside my head.  I don’t know how to describe it exactly; it was only a voice, but it was also more than just a voice.  It kept whispering my name over and over, and I started to feel, I don’t know…at peace.  Then the lightning stopped and the nightmare didn’t haunt me anymore.  That’s when you and Botan came in.”  She finished her account and glanced up at Amake.  She noticed that he was smiling; her eyes turned brown with curiosity.
            Amake balled up the napkin that his toast had been resting on before he’d finished it.  Then he got up and walked over to the trashcan, threw the paper ball away, sat back down, and turned the stool so that his whole body faced Serenity.  The enigmatic smile had not left his face.  Serenity’s brow furrowed as she waited for an explanation. 
Amake remained silent for another couple of seconds before Serenity spoke again.  “Well?  What are you smiling about?”  Suddenly, Amake placed a hand on her shoulder and leaned closer to her, his eyes never leaving hers.
Amake moved his head to his right, Serenity’s left, once his face was no more than an inch from hers.  He stopped when his lips were at her ear; Serenity could feel his warm breath on her skin as he began to whisper to her.
The spoon she was still holding fell from her hands with a loud clatter as she pushed back from the breakfast bar and away from Amake’s hand.
“THAT VOICE WAS YOU?  YOU WENT INSIDE MY HEAD?” she exclaimed, her eyes turning red and gray.
Amake looked down and brushed stray crumbs from his pants before speaking again.  “Wasn’t expecting you to get so upset—”
“Upset!?  You invade my mind without my knowledge and expect me not to get angry!?  What kind of sense…” Serenity paused and lowered her voice.  “How?” she growled flatly.
“Well,” Amake replied, “it’s one of the many talents that Kaze and I realized we had, some months after your disappearance.  We can levitate, read minds, bend spoons, stop objects in mid-air—the list goes on.”  For emphasis, Amake lifted Serenity’s fallen eating utensil and placed it back in her cereal bowl without ever touching either object.  “Of course, my brother can do some of those things better than I can, and vice versa, but you get the idea.”
By this time, the rage had left Serenity’s eyes, replaced by timidity.  “Hey, Amake, I’m…really sorry for losing you guys.  I know ‘sorry’ doesn’t fix the fact that a lot has happened since the last time we were all together…”
Amake placed a reassuring hand on Serenity’s shoulder, causing her to fall silent.  “I suppose,” he said through a smile, “that we’ll simply have to make up for lost time.”