The Mirror of Memories: Part Eight
"What... what is that thing?!" Enzie demanded, pointing at the jewel in Malin's hands. "How is this possible?"
Malin shook her head. She didn't have the answers, and I felt sorry for her because Enzie was being such a jerk about the whole thing.
"Well, it's magical, that's for sure," said the blue Cybunny, rubbing the surface of the ruby. She shivered slightly, and I could see the hairs on her back stick up as her teeth chattered. "It's kind of scary..."
"Lemme see it!" Enzie demanded, reaching for the jewel once more.
"No!" I shouted, looking from Malin to Enzie and back again. "Who knows what'll happen if you try to take it from her again? You don't want to be blown up or something, do you? This jewel obviously has power... power that has to do with Malin."
"Humph," Enzie grunted, folding her arms across her chest and sticking her nose up in the air.
"I don't know what's up, but I think it's best if we leave the jewel alone for a while. Don't touch it or anything. Something bad might happen if we do," I told them, feeling my voice start to shake. I was a little afraid, and I was shaking like I always do when I get nervous or excited beyond reason. If I read Malin's journal then, I might know the secret behind the jewel. All I wanted was for Enzie to go away. She was just causing trouble, and I had no idea what might happen if she brought up the subject that she’d seen the copy of Malin's journal I'd brought from the future. If that happened, then Malin would know something was up. Enzie was already suspicious, and she clearly didn't like me.
Malin nodded her head. "I agree."
"Why are you listening to her?!" Enzie demanded, pointing a sharp claw right at my chest. "Is she just some poor person who came to your doorstep and asked for some shelter? Is that what she is? Because that's what she looks like!"
Malin narrowed her eyes. "No, she isn't! It is actually none of your business!" She sighed loudly and started to make her way to her bedroom, grasping the jewel tightly in her paw. "I'm going to put this away, and we can just forget all about this, okay?!"
Enzie glared at me, and I looked away, pretending I hadn't seen her do it. Her eyes burned through my head, and I sat down on the couch to try to get her to stop staring at me so evilly. The spotted Kougra went back to the front door and started to put on her rain boots.
"I'm leaving. Have a nice day," she muttered grumpily, sounding very much like she didn't want me to have a nice day. She then went out the door.
Malin came back into the front room, looking worried. "Sepra," she began in a soft voice, "I'm sorry... Enzie... she kind of gets upset easily. I apologize for her behavior. It was very uncalled for. But," she said, making her way to the kitchen and pulling a large bowl out of the cupboard, "I'm going to make us some dinner now, so you can go do whatever you want for a while. I know it's an early dinner and all, but I'm starving, and... I don't know what else to do." Malin spoke like she didn't even know what she was saying. Her voice was sad, and she just pulled all of the food out of the refrigerator like a robot, frowning as she chopped vegetables and turned on the oven.
I didn't reply, but I ran into the bathroom and locked myself in, then pulled the old journal out of the cupboard, and flipped it open to the twenty-sixth day of Gathering, which would be tomorrow.
Yesterday while I was waiting tables, one of the customers left a large red jewel on his seat and left. Sepra was there, and she told me to take it. Feeling daring, I slipped it into my pocket. Strange things have been happening ever since then. I saw the ghost of grandmother Avery in the bathroom mirror at work. I thought this was rather odd since I've been grieving her lately. I've missed her a whole lot. But that's not the point...
While I was taking plates into the kitchen, they spontaneously broke, right in my hands. There was no explanation for this, but I did have to pay for the plates out of my paycheck. Then, when I got home, Enzie was there, and Sepra seemed to be giving her company. We got into an argument about the jewel, and Enzie angrily tried to snatch it from my hands. But then a bright jet of light shot out of the ruby and hit Enzie, sending her flying across the room. I was so afraid she might be hurt, but she was all right. She then left in a hurry, without saying a word to me.
At dinner, everything was very quiet. Sepra didn't say two words, and the little Ogrin baby ate like he hadn't eaten in days. I wish I could have said something to make Sepra feel more at home, but I didn't know what to talk about. I was just feeling so depressed about the whole incident with Enzie. I do hope I haven't endangered our friendship in any way...
I quit reading, after skimming the rest of the page and deciding that there was nothing interesting left to read. I rested my head against the door, thinking hard about the jewel. So, strange things seemed to happen when the jewel was in her possession. She said that she saw her grandmother's ghost in the bathroom, and that she had been grieving her grandma lately. And when the jet shot out of the jewel at Enzie, Malin must have been feeling very angry, like she wanted to hit Enzie or something.
My eyes widened as I continued to think about it. So, Malin must have had control of the jewel somehow. Maybe it did things when her emotions were really wild, or when she wanted something badly.
Maybe it could make anything happen.
"Hey Malin, dinner almost ready? Have you read the new issue of the Neopian Times? It's a good one, isn't it?" I asked the blue Cybunny, smiling brightly. She was setting the table, and I sat down in one of the seats. Since I knew she wasn't in a very good mood, I wanted to cheer her up. The blue Cybunny nodded, her face showing no emotion as she set a plate of vegetable soup down on the table. She took a pan of baked potatoes out of the oven and waved her hand through the steam.
"So, uhh... I'm really hungry, actually. Hey, Kin!" I hollered, looking behind my shoulder at the baby Ogrin, who perked up once he heard his name. He bounded over to the table and jumped up on one of the chairs, licking his chops excitedly as he marveled over all of the delicious food. Malin set some toast on the table and then sat down, taking a napkin from the center of the table and straightening it out on her lap.
"Well, this looks great. Thanks a lot for making dinner, Malin. Mmm, soup. Delicious. Carrots... YUMMY!" I said, throwing up a little in my mouth as I looked at the gross orange food swimming in my soup. I took a baked potato and smeared a huge square of butter over it, watching it dissolve into the potato. Kin stuck his whole face in his soup, making a ruckus of slurping noises as he inhaled it all. I looked at Malin, trying to think of something to say.
"I'm glad you like carrots," she said. "I actually don't really like them."
"Oh... yeah, they're great," I lied, eating around them all. "But Kin seems to like them a little more."
Malin giggled softly, taking a bite out of a piece of toast.
"So... sorry about Enzie. She just kind of stormed off, didn't she?"
"Err... that jewel is pretty weird. Magical... scary." I didn't really know what I was even talking about. I just made words come out of my mouth. "So what's your favorite color?"
"Oh... green, I guess," Malin said uninterestedly, swishing her spoon back and forth in her soup. "What about you? Orange?"
"NO!" I almost yelled. Malin looked startled, and she dropped the piece of toast she has been holding into her soup. "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to yell. Orange is actually my least favorite color," I told her, looking guilty as she fished her toast out of her soup bowl.
"Oh, really? Why is an orange Bori's least favorite color orange?" She grinned, taking a bite out of her soupy toast.
"Well, it's a long story, actually," I told her, diving into the tale about how I was accidentally painted. She seemed quite interested, and thought it was a pity how I couldn't afford to buy a Paint Brush to paint myself back to the blue color I used to be.
"Lawne seems like a good friend," she told me, looking up at the ceiling, probably just to have something to be looking at other than my ugly orange face.
I nodded. "Yeah, she is." I didn't know what else to say, really, so I kept quiet for a little while, staring at Kin, who had now moved on to his potato. He mashed it up with his fork and scooped up a large amount of potato on his silverware, then licked it off as if it were a giant lollypop. I rolled my eyes.
"So tell me again how you... know this Ogrin?" Malin asked, giving Kin a weird look.
"Oh, he's... my cousin," I made believe. "Yeah, my cousin." Man, I must have sounded really unconvincing. "Both of our parents just abandoned us, so... We were left all alone. It's pretty sad, actually. I've been roaming the streets for a while, trying to get some money. The best I can do for dinner is usually a bag of leftovers I find in the trash. That's why he's eating so much. He loves food, actually. Obsessed with it, really. Just look at him."
Malin snorted, covering her mouth as she watched Kin, who was now smearing the potatoes on his toast. He poured a little soup on top and ate took a bite of his creation, spilling the toppings all over his plate.
After dinner, I went back into the bathroom and opened the journal again. On the entry I had read before dinner, I noticed that something about it had changed.
Dinner was very nice. Sepra and I had a wonderful conversation, and we giggled about Kin, who was eating like a total Moehog! Oh well, I guess you can't blame babies... they don't know any better...
I grinned, closing the journal again. I had made the entry change. It no longer said that everything was quiet at dinner. I had changed the past!
I flipped to the next entry, and began to read.
Twenty-seventh day of Gathering
Sepra, Enzie and I don't know what to do. Should we keep the jewel? Or should we give it up? But we have no idea what could possibly happen if we gave it up. I must go; I don't have any time to write in you right now. I'm getting tired... more details will come later.
I closed the journal, my eyes widening. What did she mean by that? I skimmed the next entry, but it gave no clues. It said basically the same thing. Why didn't Malin write more descriptive entries in her journal? It'd make my life a whole lot easier.
I stood up, huffing, and flushed the toilet to make it look like I had been in the bathroom for a non-suspicious reason.
The next couple of hours I spent reading an old book Malin had in her bookcase, which was incidentally called When the Wind Blows. Since it was the book I was assigned for school I thought I might as well read it instead of doing absolutely nothing. As usual, I fell asleep trying to read one page.
When I awoke, it was dark outside, the exact time I was unaware of. Malin had probably gone to bed by then, as all of the lights except for the one in the kitchen were turned off. I got to my feet and made my way to the guest room, after turning off the kitchen light. I found Kin curled up in his ball of blankets on the floor, and I patted him on the head before sliding into my own bed, facing away from the freaky glass Cybunny figure with red eyes on the nightstand.
The next morning when I opened my eyes, I was staring at the ceiling. I thought it was weird, since I hardly ever slept on my back. I yawned loudly, but then stopped myself, remembering that Kin was in the room. I hoped I hadn’t woken him. "Kin?" I whispered.
When I didn't hear an answer, I rolled onto my side and looked down at his pile of blankets on the ground. I didn't see him, so I stood up and moved the blankets out of the way so I could get a look at him.
That wasn't possible, I discovered, because he wasn’t there.
"Malin!" I yelled, scampering out of my room, looking around the hallway. Kin couldn't have escaped, because when I went to bed, I closed the door, and he wasn’t tall enough to open doors. I burst into her bedroom, and the blue Cybunny shot up in bed, looking like I had just given her a heart attack.
"What?!" she breathed. "What?"
"Kin's gone! He's not in my room!"
Malin got out of bed and followed me into the front room. We looked under the couch, in the kitchen cupboards, in the coat closet, everywhere. No Kin.
Malin and I continued to look for Kin. We went outside, calling his name until our throats were sore. We spent about twenty minutes looking for the little guy, and we finally came inside to get warmed up after searching for a while. Malin sighed, sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter. "What could have happened to him?"
I shrugged, trying not to look worried. Great, I was dead meat if we couldn't find Kin. His parents would surely kill me and get away with it since they were so rich.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door, and Malin practically jumped out of her seat, running to answer it. I was expecting it to be Enzie, coming to apologize or something, or maybe even Kin. I followed Malin to the door, but when she opened it, nobody was there. The cold wind rushed in, chilling our faces. Malin stepped outside, looking around.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" she called, hoping for an answer. I spotted a piece of paper underneath the doormat, so I bent over to pick it up. It was folded in half, and I opened it. It was a note, written in sloppy hard-to-read handwriting.
IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE THE BABY AGAIN, BRING THE JEWEL TO ME TOMORROW AT NOON. I WILL BE WAITING AT THE FOUNTAIN AT THE SQUARE.
I gave it to Malin, looking straight ahead of me at the rainy streets, though I wasn't really seeing what I was looking at. What would become of Kin? I remembered Cel from Malin's journal entries. He was the one who could cause all of the trouble. He seemed to be the bad-guy, anyway. And his name sounded evil, too.
I stared into the streets with hatred in my eyes.
To be continued...