Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 124,467,804 Issue: 251 | 4th day of Hiding, Y8
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Past Reflections: Part Five

by smurfafied1800


Broken Promise

I blinked. "A promise you couldn't keep...? What do you mean?"

      "Just that," MirrorEyes answered. "You've heard about Tyne, yes? She was like a sister to me. We grew up together, watched over by our old adopted mother. Unfortunately..." his voice once again took on a sad tone, "...we were separated. I promised to give her what she wanted when we met again, and she said she would hold me to that promise. When she came with a demand, I refused, and she killed me."

      "Was it... that sword...?"

      "No," MirrorEyes said, sounding indignant. "I would have given her a sword, I would have given her any weapon possible. I didn't care about those things... It must have been more. But I can't think of anything else... I've tried so many times to understand... what would she have done it for..."

      I was surprised to see MirrorEyes looking away sadly. Turning to catch a glimpse of his face, I was even more shocked to see that it was strained, as if he was holding off the urge to cry. I had never seen this side of MirrorEyes before.

      I looked away, and the scene suddenly changed again. The young Hisika was playing in the brook with MirrorEyes; Hisika looked as if she were enjoying herself immensely, but MirrorEyes played with a little reproach. Hisika urged him on playfully, splashing him and egging him on, while the young Draik fumbled around clumsily.

      "Come on, don't be shy!"

      "I don't like swimming..."

      "You don't like anything fun, do you?"

      The young Draik didn't reply, and the Zafara sighed, standing up from the water. "Oh well. I suppose it'll take a while for you to get used to us?"

      The Draik nodded quickly, and Hisika took him by the paw. "Let's go back to the village, then. The others will be waiting for us." While they walked back, the MirrorEyes standing next to me narrated.

      "Hisika always tried to become friends with me. She was a light user - when we first met, she healed my fatal wounds. After that, she didn't let me have a moment's piece, but eventually, I was thankful for that."

      "How were you wounded in the first place?" I asked, curious. MirrorEyes seemed to delve into his own mind for a second, finally coming up with an answer, "The village we lived in was raided. Tyne and I were separated from each other, and many were... well, you understand. I tried to fight, but being as young as I was, I wasn't very useful." He sounded spiteful of himself while saying this. "For all I know, that village is burned to the ground."

      "What happened to Tyne...?" I asked. MirrorEyes sighed. "She was kidnapped by the bandits raiding the village, but I didn't know then. I learned that later. But..." The scene changed again, this time back to the village. Yalina was scolding the young MirrorEyes (who had seemed to age slightly - maybe one or two years), who was holding a dead chicken in his paw.

      "That didn't belong to you. Why did you kill it?"

      "I was hungry."

      "You know what to do when you're hungry! You ask us for food, you don't steal from other people!"

      "But you would've refused it! You said that I wasn't allowed any more than my fair share! How am I to be condemned for a crime if I only took my fair share from other people?"

      His intelligence grew immensely over those few years, I observed. The two pets argued some more, and Yalina, looking unlike her ordinary, calm self, grabbed the young Draik and began spanking him ferociously. "Here's your fair share of punishment, then!"

      "Owowow, lemme go, you dumb witch!"

      "Dumb witch? Ha, that mouth of yours won't get you far in life, kid!" And with a final, loud spank, she finished punishing him. "Just because Hisika acts like you're her play doll doesn't mean you get to be a brat!"

      Stomping off, the Aisha glared back one last time, and the young MirrorEyes stuck out his tongue rudely. She ran back, looking enraged, and whipped out her chain-sickle. The deadly weapon struck the ground near the Draik with surprising force, and MirrorEyes was knocked down. The Aisha stomped on his back and spat on him. "Respect me, I'm your older sister!"

      "Why should I respect you when you treat me like dirt?"

      "Because," she said, sneering, and in that brief moment looking like a mirrored image of Yubioke, "it's a custom around here that girls are treated better than boys. If you have a problem with that, you can answer to my Eclipse Driver." Holding the sickle up to his nose and nicking it, she laughed. "And no one likes to answer to that, do they?"

      The transparent MirrorEyes talked again. "Yalina and I were never really good friends. We both grew up a little towards the end, though, and in that time we became close siblings. She was a witch of darkness, and her chain sickle, which she named Eclipse Driver, was famous for having defeated a great many foes. If there was ever a female warrior, it was Yalina; she was fearless and feared."

      "Yubioke doesn't care about getting any stronger than she already is," I said quietly, and MirrorEyes blinked at me.

      "That sister of yours?" I nodded, and he thought for a moment. Then he replied, "It's not a question of physical strength, more that of magical power. Your sister does strike a remarkable resemblance to mine, doesn't she? Maybe my legacy runs in your family..."

      "For my family's sake," I said somewhat rudely, "I hope not."

      MirrorEyes didn't answer, and the scene changed again. This time Mescasho was the one with MirrorEyes, but he was neither scolding him nor playing around with him. The two were standing on a hill, with bows in their paws, and arrows aimed. On the other side of the hill, two straw goal-posts with targets drawn on them were standing. From a mere moment's glance, I could tell that MirrorEyes had aged yet again - this time he was my age. He looked more calm and controlled, but I could still see the young child who had robbed chickens in his eyes. Mescasho looked a little younger than him, but you couldn't tell... not with the air of authority he carried over the Draik. He was almost as tall as MirrorEyes, but he looked far more serious.

      MirrorEyes fired - the arrow whizzed across the distance between them and the posts and landed a few inches away from the bull's-eye. He kicked the dirt angrily, and Mescasho fired. This arrow zoomed across the field and landed neatly into the center of the target. The two pets walked forward and examined their goal-posts. MirrorEyes then looked at Mescasho's mark and sighed. "I'm never going to be able to beat you at this, am I?"

      "I suppose you won't," Mescasho said, sounding humored. "But still... I have to admit you've gotten slightly better."

      MirrorEyes pulled the arrow from the target and walked back to the other side of the field. "Slightly better isn't good enough," he said, firing again and landing the arrow closer to the mark, but not as dead center as Mescasho's. "Not if I'm going to fight alongside you guys some day."

      "Who knows if we'll ever have to fight?" Mescasho replied, pulling his own arrow from the post and walking back. He pulled back and fired, once again hitting the dead center. "We're a pretty peaceful village, you know. We'll only have to fight if we're attacked."

      "But I get bored of living the ordinary civilian life!" the Draik exclaimed, firing the arrow. A breeze caught it, throwing it off and making it land closer to the top of the post and further away from the center. "I get bored... of living as if I were ordinary."

      "You are ordinary," Mescasho pointed out, firing another one and yet again sinking it into the middle. "But ordinary is a good thing."

      "No, it's not," MirrorEyes argued. "Not if you want to make your way in life. You have to be better at what you do than other people."

      "You only think that because you look at it the narrow way, MirrorEyes," Mescasho said, sounding disappointed. "We like you how you are - normal. We're grateful that you're like that."

      "But I'm not," MirrorEyes said, beginning to sound like he was envisioning a future for himself. "When I'm completely grown up, I'll be a... a warrior... or something like that..."

      "Then I hope you never grow up," the Acara answered. "We like you staying here, not running off and getting yourself killed."

      "You don't understand," MirrorEyes half-snapped. "I promised someone... a long time ago..." He was about to fire another arrow, but instead he lowered the bow and sat down. His brow was wrinkled in thoughtful confusion. "...I can't really remember, but I do know that it's important."

      "Then you should try to remember it," Mescasho said, "but you can do that later. For now, concentrate on staying with us until you're 'grown up'..." Firing one last arrow, he landed it neatly in MirrorEyes's bull's-eye. "...whenever that is."

      This time the MirrorEyes next to me said nothing, but it was easy enough to understand that Mescasho had played a good role at being the brother. Even though he was younger than MirrorEyes, he had been a good teacher. MirrorEyes seemed to read my thoughts, and he nodded. "He was the best of brothers."

      The scene changed yet again; this time it was loud and noisy. Pets ran to and fro, fighting each other violently with swords and other weapons. I felt a little nervous and instinctively wanted to defend myself, but MirrorEyes shook his head. "Remember, they can't see us."

      That still didn't make me feel much better when a spear ran right through my side, whizzing harmlessly through me. I felt my stomach turn just a little. MirrorEyes ignored my stunned expression, looking towards the battle with an expression of misery. He floated in a different direction, and I followed, swaying unsteadily.

      The noise of battle seemed to fade away, and two small voices penetrated the dim roar. "Remember to come back for me!"

      Another one answered, this one being vaguely familiar. "I promise I will! Take the women and run - I'm gonna fight with my dad!"

      "You're just a kid, MirrorEyes. You can't expect to fight..."

      "I'm gonna make the whole village proud of me! Now go!"

      I finally saw them - two small children, one the very young form of MirrorEyes, and one, a small, fragile black Zafara. MirrorEyes hugged the girl, then ran in my direction. I got a flash of her face as she looked at his retreating figure... her eyes were blood-red. I felt the urge to flinch back, but when I got a closer look, I saw shine glistening in her eyes. She was... crying? I looked at MirrorEyes, catching his gaze, and my expression must have asked him the question. He nodded. "That child... that's Tyne."

      I couldn't read the expression on his face. It looked pained, spiteful, guilty, miserable, and hateful all at the same time. His voice held a bittersweet sound to it: "She was... my best friend." I stared at the child, sitting amidst the terrible battle that was raging around her, tears falling from her blank eyes. She sat still, as if she were still shocked. Then she limply sank downwards, pressing her face into the ground. I could hear a few sobs echoing in the distance. "Don't leave me alone..."

      Then the girl screamed. I gasped as the figure of a Wocky scooped her up, ignoring her screams for a moment, then getting fed up with it and smacking her roughly over the skull. The cries of battle rang on, and no one seemed to notice that the young Zafara was being carried away by the Wocky. I wanted to bolt after him. She was just a child... maybe if this happened, she wouldn't end up like... Starting after her, I was stopped by MirrorEyes. He shook his head. "It's already happened. You can't change that."

      "But, I..."

      "If I could change it, I already would have. Don't anticipate me for a fool." Listening to him, I could hear a little sadness in his voice. He disliked this just as much as I did, if not more. He deserved to dislike it more. The girl who was being carried away would soon return and put a dagger in his side. As the battle scene faded from my vision, I could only feel empty... something bad was going to happen...

      The noise once again ringing through my ears, but this time the setting was different. Pets were crying out frantically as a fire blazed through the scene. It was... MirrorEyes's new home village. I watched in horror as the fire blazed about rapidly, destroying things at an unusual rate. Pets threw water at it, but the liquid evaporated upon getting close to the blazing flames. Many were already treating others who had acquired terrible burns.

      I looked to MirrorEyes for any narration, but I found that he wasn't there. I looked around fervently - I couldn't lose my way here! Where was he? "MirrorEyes!" I called out. "Where are..."


      I whirled in the direction of the voice... one so familiar that I had to jump at the sound. It had mutated since moments ago... what had once been an innocent child's voice was now cold and malicious. I saw her... Tyne. She was standing in the clearing, her rage fixed on something only yards away from her. I looked to see MirrorEyes - he had only caught on and wasn't prepared for her. A bow was slung over his back, and arrows were in a quiver, but he hadn't drawn the bow. The dagger was suddenly flying through the air, creating a deadly hum...

      I tried to run in the way. It had to work, it had to work... I hardly knew anything about this situation, but after just watching all these things happen, I knew that it couldn't happen. "Wait, don't!" I cried, running in the way of the dagger. Please stop it... I begged to no one in particular. Please, this shouldn't have happened...

      The dagger flew harmlessly through me and struck MirrorEyes in the side. I heard him gasp out, then I heard his breath quicken. I was stunned; I couldn't turn around and see him in his last moments. Tyne sauntered over to him, passing through me without a second look, and interrogated MirrorEyes. I couldn't see it, but I could hear her every word... it was the exact same from the dream I had experienced only nights before. I couldn't look. I didn't want to see MirrorEyes as weak... I had always imagined him as the dominating form, but this, I couldn't understand.

      Something strange had happened to Tyne during those years of being separated from MirrorEyes. I didn't know what, but I needed to find out. Although the first thing I would need to do would be to get out of this nightmare... MirrorEyes's nightmare.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Past Reflections: Part One
» Past Reflections: Part Two
» Past Reflections: Part Three
» Past Reflections: Part Four
» Past Reflections: Part Six

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