So Far Untitled - Chapter 9: Donnabel's Reading
Donnabel didn't know what to think about dinner. She didn't like formal settings to begin with, but her friend Harona looked like she had been beaten severely, and kept staring into space. And while Harajuku and her assistant were very silent, they kept staring at Donnabel like a lion watching prey. Lady Sarcastia and Lord Coalpitch seemed oblivious, they chatted and laughed like old friends.
"Donnabel," said a voice from an open door. It was Marideath's room. She hadn't been present at the dinner, and Donnabel wondered why. "Donnabel, please come in and close the door behind you."
Donnabel entered Marideath's room. It had once been a storage area for several arcane objects, and a few of them still existed on a set of shelves in a dark corner, covered with a large plastic blue tarp. Marideath was sitting at a table next to her small bed.
"Close the door behind you..." Marideath said urgently.
Donnabel made an apologetic look, and closed the door.
"Lock it, please."
Donnabel thought this was unusual, but complied. The lock was a very large and old tumble-bolt with a huge brass key. As she pulled out the key, Marideath said, "Leave the key in the door."
"It's like you're not blind at all," Donnabel said.
"No. And I am seeing far more than I'd like to. Please..." Marideath gestured in front of the table. "... sit."
"Um... there's no... chair."
"Oh," said Marideath in confusion. "I suppose Lady Sarcastia needed it for the dinner. No matter. Have my chair and I will sit on the edge of the bed."
Marideath groped around, her dark blue eyes staring uselessly at nothing in front of her. Donnabel helped her scoot the huge table closer to the bed, and then seated herself in Marideath's chair. Then both of them sat in silence and Marideath fondled her deck of cards.
"Um... what do you want?" asked Donnabel finally.
"I am trying to find the right display to show you... please try and keep your loud voice down."
"Oh..." said Donnabel, covering her mouth and whispering. "Sorry."
"You are in great danger."
Donnabel found this a bit surprising. "Um... why?"
"I don't know. I needed you here to see if I could clarify this reading. I skipped dinner because I was trying to get a fix on the danger that has suddenly been presented. I got a reading a week ago that told me that you were in danger, but it was unclear as to why. After Harona's encounter with the Soot Man at the obelisk, I thought that was it, but a few hours ago, it got so strong, Lady Sarcastia wanted me to meditate on it. But the cards are unclear, and I need a missing piece of the puzzle. I need you."
Donnabel wasn't sure what this meant, but her caring instinct kicked in. "Sorry you missed dinner, would you like something from the larder? We have some chocolate bars and sugared cereal..."
"I did not call you here to fetch and fill my belly."
Already she's talking like Lady Sarcastia, thought Donnabel.
"Please place your hands on mine," said Marideath, placing the deck between her outstretched arms.
Donnabel had been read like this before, a long time ago by the elder wyrm, Jason. She gingerly placed her hands on Marideath's wrists, and flinched only a little, because she expected the vice-like grip. A hot feeling traveled up her arms, and her vision clouded with a thick red fog and gold dots of light.
"Why did you never become Lady Sarcastia's eyes?" asked Marideath.
"I... I don't know--"
"LIAR. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!"
Donnabel hadn't thought about that date in a long time. She sensed her mind being probed in clumsy trusts by Marideath's powerful presence. She struggled a little under her grip, but Marideath held on tight. Donnabel closed her mind. By instinct, she started to talk.
"I don't know. Sad Fairy is trapped in stone, and I am afraid. I think that Harajuku is the same one Harona trained with--"
"You can't avoid me forever!!!" shouted Marideath in a harsh whisper. "Who do you really work for?"
SHIT thought Donnabel, and started to panic. She kept talking.
"I-I cannot look back, I have no regrets! I have no regrets! I was at the mall. Sad Fairy was caught because we left her whiskers. Nathan could be a good cat candidate for crossing. Lady Sarcastia does not like felines the Harajuku dark walking in the night but might have had a love interest with Lord Coalpitch and I was the one who released Misabel!! OH MY GOD, I AM SORRY!! I felt so bad for cats her. THEY BLAME ME CHASING MICE BECAUSE I PLEADED HER CASE!!! I DIDN'T KNOW SHE WOULD TURN AGAINST US I LOVED HER LIKE CAT MY BEST FRIEND!!!"
"STOP TRYING TO BLOCK ME!!" Marideath's grip on her was now so tight, her thumbs pierced the skin and dark blue blood started to pool in the divots.
Another voice came into her head. "No," it said softly.
Marideath was blown backwards as if she had been hit with a large club. She flipped and tumbled over the bed, sending the cards scurrying into all the corners of the room. Donnabel kicked the table aside and collapsed to the floor, pounding the stone in anguished fury. "LEAVE ME ALONE!! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!! I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS ABOUT HER!! SHE LOVED US ALL!! I DON'T CARE IS SHE WAS A FUCKING HALF DEMON, SHE HAD A HUMAN SOUL AND A HUMAN CONSCIENCE YOU FUCKERS!!! SHE SAVED OUR LIVES!!"
The room went quiet, and faded with the soft moans of Donnabel weeping.
Marideath pulled herself up onto the bed. "I'm sorry... that didn't go as I planned."
"Leave me alone."
"No no, Misa--I mean Donnabel, please. I didn't mean to go that far. I-I... didn't mean to hurt you."
"I have to go."
"Please, come back. You're in terrible danger."
Donnabel stopped. "I feel I am always in terrible danger. That's how I survive." She rubbed her wrists, and noticed the dark smears.
Marideath crawled up to the bed. "Please, you have to know... you have to leave. The Harajuku thinks you are responsible for the death of Fu Lin's daughter. Lady Sarcastia has been alerted. Until thinks settle down here... you'll have to go to your second master."
"W-what? Lady Sarcastia is my Lady in Consciousness--"
"NO! Listen. There is a... place. A place you can go to. You know. Go now. Go home."
"You mean back to the power st--"
"NO. The OTHER home. Warm. Soft. Sunlight."
"Sunlight hurts my eyes..."
"DONNABEL EVERY MINUTE YOU STAY HERE YOU RISK BEING CUT APART!"
Donnabel paused, and looked at Marideath's eyes. Marideath blinked very slowly. Donnabel let out a slight gasp.
"Don't ask how I know. I know why you never became Lady Sarcastia's eyes now. Go home. She does not know, and I don't think it's wise for her to know why you could not be fully loyal to you."
"B-but... wait. H--? No, wait. I haven't been--"
"Yes, I am lady Sarcastia's eyes, but I am also Marideath. I don't tell her everything. I just had to make sure. Things are about to become chaotic, and it's important that you three stay together. And to do that, you must all hide. Sad Fairy is safe. You have to be safe. You have to save Harona, but it's not the right time now. Harona has to make a tough decision, and you can't be with her until she makes that choice. Now go home. Time means nothing, she's waiting for you. Go hhhome..."
Donnabel backed out of the room. Her mind raced with thoughts. She suppressed some memories for so long, she didn't know how to deal with them so close to the surface of her consciousness. But she knew she had to leave before anyone else found out. She raced down the hallway. She started to run faster and faster. She raced past the kitchen, where Scarabina and Purginia were washing dishes in a large stone sink that was once a sarcophagus.
"What was that?" asked Scarabina.
"The Harajuku, probably" said Purginia with a shrug.
But Donnabel did not hear them, as she shot out an exit with such force, it sucked a vortex of dead leaves behind her. They followed her form across a highway, through some woods, and finally thinned out a mile away.
Home again, home again... jiggity jog.
All text copyright 2005 Grig Larson, all rights reserved. No reprinting without permission