Disclaimer: Escaflowne is the product of Bandai, Sunrise, etc.
Author’s Note: Another installment…enjoy the pseudo-action! Hmm…this chapter is a tad abstract. [PG]
“What did you do to Lord Van!”
I turned around at the sound of Merle’s angry voice. “What do you mean?” I asked her warily. She narrowed her eyes. “I mean what did you do to him last night? He’s upset because of you!” I was disconcerted by this…had I hurt Van’s feelings more than I had originally thought? I tried not to show my guilt.
“Well? Tell me what you said to him!” She demanded, small paws perched on slim hips. I bit my lower lip, “I can’t Merle, I’m sorry…it’s private. I’m really sorry to hear that Van’s not feeling well…but I have to go.” Quickly, I walked past her into the wide, marbled hallway.
“Wait! Hey Hitomi, wait!” Merle called after me, but I quickened my pace. I was not ready to explain to her what I’d said to Van the previous night, or why I said them. I was still a little in shock myself at how I’d gotten into an terrible argument with him…over his brother. Even after I had cleared the oppressive formal setting of the palace, and had picked my way through the crowds in the street, I remained gloomy and worried. ‘I’m in love with Folken.’ I told myself firmly. “I am.” I’m sure Van was alright. I hope…
The main street was alive with crowds of people: foreign merchants dressed in bright robes advertising their ware, young children laughing and playing, even black-robed University students carrying armloads of old books. How very lonely I felt just then. For the hundredth time, I asked myself why…why I was the one who was transported so many miles from home and deposited on Gaea. It could very well have been Yukari, or Amano for that matter...so why me? I wondered how Yukari would’ve handled Van, well, actually, I knew precisely how she would have reacted last night…being the natural fighter, she would have given His Highness the lecture of his life.
As I walked further away from the palace, I saw from the corner of my eye a noisy group of people gathered around in a circle. Curious, I strolled over to them to see what it was they were looking at. It was a puppet show, an entertaining one at that from the peoples’ reactions.
The actor cried dramatically, “…And then the prince leaped into the fiery flames of the of the underworld to save the soul of his beloved…”
Save me my love…
I faltered as a wave of dizziness swept through me. Abruptly, I sat down.
“And then what happened to the prince?” A little girl in the audience asked the puppet-master. The costumed man gave out a booming laugh and replied jauntily, “well, you see, what the prince didn’t know was that the Lord of the Underworld was also in love with his fair lady and he wanted her to stay with him for all eternity…”
Stay with me…
I clutched at my head and gasped. My vision began to blur wildly; the people around me lost their shape and melted into hazy darkness…oh God, not another vision, not here, not now…
The world was still. The world was black…or maybe it was I who was blind. I reached out a trembling hand to feel at my surroundings. My hand came back cold and clammy. I shivered as a thousand little goose bumps rose up from my skin. Black…cold. A feeling of pure dread spread through me: the last time I had a vision like this, I had witnessed Zhongi’s death…and had nearly died from the encounter…was I going to foresee another’s death again?
I don’t want to--
I can’t. I can’t see anything
See with your eyes closed
My eyelids fluttered shut at the command…and I “saw”…colours. Brilliant shades of red that swirled lazily around me, caressing my face, blanketing my limbs. The dream-like sensation was beautiful; like floating in a womb. My muscles began to relaxed and my heart slowed…
It’s not your time yet
Abruptly the red warmth was ripped away from me and I was dropped to the ground, landing painfully on my hands and knees. I felt anguished, abandoned by the warmth and comfort of the Red. Take me back! My mind cried to the voice.
One day, of course…
I gritted my teeth in frustration; the voice was mocking me, toying with me. Quickly, I rose to my feet and glanced at my surroundings: I was now in a room with blackened pillars jutting up from the floor to a ceiling that was higher than any I’d ever seen.
Watch him die
The fallen angel
Please no…but I couldn’t close my eyes. Against my will, I was saw him fall. He plummeted from the sky and crashed against the hard, cold ground…no one could’ve survived that impact. Oh Folken…tears sprang to my eyes with the awful realization that Folken…Folken was going to die. I buried my face in my hands and sank slowly to my knees. My chest constricted, painfully.
Your visions are never false
Yet, still, I refused to give up. I didn’t want him to die, not when I had just discovered him. I loved him…
It is his fate
Fate can be altered by the choices we make—
Little girl, little girl, you cannot deny destiny
I can. Just watch me.
My body jerked awake, and my eyes flew open. It was dark—the sun had set long ago. I saw again that endless moment when he was falling through the air, tumbling to his death…oh God no.
“I have to warn him, I have to warn Folken immediately. I can’t be late this time, not like the first time when I failed to save Zhongi.” Hastily, I sprinted down the street, running shoes barely making contact with the cobbled, windy road. I ran as if my life depended on it—no…I ran because Folken’s life depended on me.
…to be continued…