Man... sorry It's so long, but I had to write it for english...
The city was cold, quiet and abandoned. It was the middle of winter, and while there was only frost coating the cobbled streets, a thick covering of clouds promised a blanket of fresh, white snow. A limp figure lay in a pool of his own blood – two wings, black with a leathery red membrane, were stretched out behind him. His golden hair, short at the back and long at the front, was matted and scruffy, his faded grey jumper was tattered, and the collar of his shirt was ripped slightly.
Two children, Rin and Len, ran through the streets of the city. Every so often one of them would slip on a frosty tile and fall to the floor with a giggle.
“We need to buy fish from the market, remember, so we can’t play forever!” Len, the older brother cried out to his sibling, who had disappeared around the corner. Soon, however, she returned, eyes wide with fear.
“Brother… Come quickly!”
Wings, blood and baskets
“Do you think he’ll be ok?”
“I don’t know. We should go and find mum.”
“I will, brother!”
My eyes slowly opened. The floor was cold beneath my head and my hair felt strangely damp – not with sweat, but with another substance. Blood. I tried to clear my head, to remember who I was, where I was, but my mind was fuzzy, as if clouded by mist. Only a few basic facts about myself were uncovered.
“Ah! You’re awake!” A young boy was leaning over me, an anxious look on his face. He gently helped me sit up.
“Are you alright?” His blonde hair was glistening with frost.
“I… Think so.” I managed to stutter. I had suddenly become all too aware of a sharp pain in the back of my skull. I ran my hand through my hair – when I pulled it away it was dyed red with blood.
I felt faint.
“My sister’s gone to get my mother.”
“So, what’s your name?”
Uh, what was my name? It began with a K, I think.
“K… Kaede.” I noticed two wings flapping behind me – I hadn’t even remembered them.
“We’ll take you to the hospital when my mother gets he-”
“Len! Get away from him!” The boy shot up. The shout had come from a stern-faced woman with cropped ginger hair. A girl, maybe ten years old, clutched her wrist firmly.
“He needs help!”
“He’s a demon! I’m sure of it!” I forced myself, through my weakness, to stand up.
“Len… I patted his hair. “I’ll fly there.” Pushing myself off the ground was a struggle, and when I was in the air it was ten times worse. I managed to reach maybe thirty feet; my wings strained to the limit, and then fell to the cold, hard ground below.
It’s funny what you notice, faced almost inevitably with death. I remember seeing the girl, Len’s sibling; whisper a silent “No!” under her breath while a single tear ran down her right cheek. Then, I blacked out.
Checking out of the hospital a lot of people gave me funny looks. I hadn’t recovered my memory at all from that night over a week ago. I still can’t believe how fast I healed – even the human doctors were in shock. I had decided, in thanks, to take Len and his family a present, so I had gathered up a large bunch of twigs and woven them into a basket. After my creation was complete, I filled it with fresh fruit from a market.
After a while of flying over the city, I spotted Len and his little sister chasing each other through the streets. I landed in front of them on one leg, slowly extending the other one.
“Kaede!” I handed Len the basket.
“Thank you for the other day.” I smiled a melancholy grin.
“No problem! This is Rin, by the way.”
“The little girl ran up to me and hugged me.
“We were so worried, Kaede-kun!” She unlatched herself from my legs, embarrassed.
“Where are you going to go?”
“I don’t know. I can’t remember much, so I think I’ll search for my lost memories.”
“Ok… Dragon Wings!”
“Every one of our friends has a nickname, Kaede!” Len smiled, and I couldn’t help smiling back.
“Thank you.” I ruffled their hair and took off.
“See you soon!” They cried out after me.
The necromancer and the exorcism
My wings had iced over by the time I reached the next town. It was late and it had started to snow. From the sky, the thatched roofs of the cottages below were glistening with snowflakes. I supposed I should land for a while, so I stopped at a bench outside of a cemetery. I noticed that there was a man inside. He must have heard my wings folding behind me – the ice layering the membrane breaking – because he turned, his stony glare piercing my eyes. A tattoo, made up of spiders and skulls, crawled up his face from his chin to his ear. There was a dagger clutched in his fist and I could see two small figures tied to a gravestone. They were twins, a girl and a boy, maybe six years old. He started muttering a short incantation, and I realised what he was.
“A… necromancer!” I don’t know how I remembered, but it came to my mind in a second. A psychotic grin came to his face.
“Die!” He cried, spinning his empty hand to face me. Out of it shot a beast; half spider, half man. Every time he moved his hand it followed – he must have been controlling it. It sprang forward, slashing the fence to pieces, and I leapt into the air.
“what are you doing to these children?”
“Experimenting.” The necromancer smirked.
“Not anymore.” I spread my wings wide, protecting them. Now, no matter what happened, I would guard them.
I was battered and bleeding, but I hadn’t moved from the spot in front of the children, who were absolutely bawling.
“Even if I die, I’m going to stop this man from hurting you.”
“Why?” The necromancer, now tired from his effort, spoke in a whisper.
“Because,” I smiled slightly “I have nothing to lose anymore.” And the spider-creature knocked my legs from underneath me.
I woke up in what seemed to be an iron-barred cage. I felt ok, considering what had happened. I could see the two children consorting with a police officer. The necromancer was nowhere to be seen.
“Sir? If you don’t mind me asking, why am I in this cage?” I asked as politely as possible.
“Why do you think? You need exorcising!”
“Exorcising?” I was confused.
“You’re obviously a bad spirit, kid!”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand…” I rubbed my temple gently.
“Look, kid, you’ll understand soon enough.” Four priests approached the cage, my prison, and began carefully positioning paper talismans around the edges. Then they started muttering a long stream of incantations. Exorcism is the process of banishing an evil spirit, usually performed by monks or priests. I didn’t want to lose my wings, but I did want to find out if that’s what I was, an evil spirit.
“It’s not working!” A priest stated.
“Impossible!” The man I had spoken to said.
“If it’s not working, can I go, Father?” I asked the priest closest to me.
“Please father?! He saved us!” The little girl I had protected cried out.
“However do you mean, child?”
“He opened his wings out, like this,” she held her arms out beside her “and wouldn’t let the nasty man touch us!”
“He was a necromancer, Father.” I added.
“He must have run away before you came.”
“I see… well, the exorcism failed, and you did help the twins here, so I suppose you can go – you can’t be an evil spirit.”
“Thank you, Father!” The cage was opened and I shot up into the air, never once looking back. There hadn’t seemed to be anything there, so I flew on to the next town.
Uncle Daisuke and the Memories
I had flown to quite a few towns and cities in two weeks, but my mind was still clouded and I could find no place to call my home. I was starting to feel very depressed. I supposed I just wanted to be normal, to fit in, and most of all, to have a family that I could talk to. I decided to check in at a small town inn – I needed rest and hadn’t actually eaten for a few days. I didn’t know who gave me the money in my pocket, but I hoped to be united with them soon.
“One night, please.”
“Good thing, you look a lot smaller than I remember you!”
“Excuse me?” I was thoroughly confused. Did this man at the counter know me?
“What? You can’t remember your uncle Daisuke?”
“I don’t remember a lot of things.” I said bluntly, trying to remember anything about the short, skinny man with a shock of pure, ruby red, hair. There was nothing.
“Lets just say I hit my head.”
“I think so.”
“How about you tell me what happened to you, Kaede, and I’ll try and jog your memory a bit.” I perked up immediately.
“Sure!” And so I told him what happened from the minute I woke up and met Len.
“I see… so, you feel ok now?”
“Yes, I just have this fuzzy feeling in my head… Ah!” And suddenly an image flashed into my mind. In the memory, there was a little boy with wings running through a field full of crops. It was, quite obviously, me.
“Uncle Dai! Uncle Dai! Watch this!” The younger me started chanting.
“Hana wa, saki, haru no kitei seichou,
watashi no yubi kara,
kaika ga hyouji sa re masu!” And the miniature me threw his hands into the air. Flowers sprung from his fingertips – all different colours, ranging from black to white. As fast as it begun, the memory ended.
“Kaede, are you alright?”
“Uncle Daisuke… Did I know… Magic?”
“Yes! And you were amazing at it, too. It always used to make your mother –or should I say foster mother – smile!”
“Mother?” And a picture of a beautiful brunette woman with professor’s glasses and a white lab coat came to mind.
“She was a scientist?”
“Yes! She lived on a farm outside of town, and was a single mother to you and your stepsister.”
“Listen up, Kaede. There was a fire, after you went on holiday, and well, they passed away.”
“Let me tell you… about your past.”
I sat at the table in my dining room. The strange boy with wings was opposite me, swirling the fresh juice in his wine glass absentmindedly. He had told me that he knew who he was now, and he wanted me and my children, Rin and Len, to know. The children had just stormed into the room, pulled up chairs and sat facing the boy eagerly. He smiled a melancholy grin and began.
“I suppose I should start from the beginning. My name is Kaede Takahashi, and I come from the small town of Yanakoto. I’m 14 years old and was raised by Professor. Minami Takahashi, who also raised my stepsister, Hana. We owned a small farm on the outskirts of the town. I was not born, but hatched – my egg was found in one of the fields.” He stopped to sip his drink.
“ I was… on a bit of a holiday when I met you. I think mother wanted me to learn to care for myself; she had planned a business trip. Two days before she left – at least, that’s what I was told by my uncle Daisuke – there was an accident. It seems that a service engineer had come to check whether the boiler was functioning properly, and had not turned off the gas. There was… a fire, and both of them died. I don’t know exactly what happened the day we all me, but I’m still recovering my memories.” He flicked his golden hair back – It was a very human gesture, and I immediately regretted that time when I called him a demon.
“What are you going to do now?” I asked.
“Uncle Dai has invited me to stay with him.”
“Ok, good for you, I guess. I’m glad everything turned out alright.”
“Come see us, please, Kaede?” Len begged.
“Sure.” He smiled again, no longer melancholy.
“I had probably better go, thank you for your time.”
“No problem. Come and visit the kids when you get the chance.”
“Wait! Can’t you stay longer?” Rin cried.
“I’m sorry, but I’m visiting the graveyard this afternoon.” Silence settled upon us.
“Goodbye!” And he flew away; to mourn the mother and sister he knew, but hardly knows at all.