[03.28.02] » by Silvyrwing
"No, nonono. That's WRONG!
Hey!" I threw one of the ten scripts I had at Seifer as he launched into
another one of his famous improvs. Scowling playfully, he threw up his arms in
defeat, one hand haphazardly fending off the launched protocol. "Look,
we've been here for..." I glanced at my watch. "Three hours! Do you
have any idea how HUNGRY I am?"
can't help it if the script sucks. Damn. Who ever heard of lines like, 'Oooh! I
wilt save thou, My Pretty Pretty Princess!" Seifer made a rude noise,
grabbing my script off the floor.
just as well as I do that line isn’t in the script. You’re just tired. Take
five everyone…” I sighed, collapsing into a heap on the stage floor, and
wishing for a brief moment that the Garden Festival was over. I leaned forward,
and my long cocoa-colored braid fell over my head and in front of my eyes. Cows
could act better than these people. There was no doubt in my mind that these
actors had been sent to me from Diablos himself.
not been kind to me thus far. I’d arrived several weeks ago, and had been
offered the job of “Garden Festival Coordinator.” That’s right. Fujin Mikayla
Arless was going to be the director. The star. I was going to be behind the
most glorious production ever in Balamb Garden!
the sentiment about three weeks ago. After trying the “bossy, tortured
director” approach, then the “I’m everyone’s friend!” approach, I had now
resorted to the “Please do something right… Once?” approach. No matter how much
begging occurred on my part, these students just didn’t know how to act. Of
course, it didn’t help that half the cast were men, and they all had their eyes
on me. They think I’m pretty, especially the one called Raijin. He’s an okay
guy, considering the fact that he’s just about as dumb as a toadstool. Strength
is definitely his biggest asset, though he’s funny in his own way. The truth at
hand, though, was that he and Seifer were an inseparable pair, and right now,
during our break, they were acting out a scene from the script. I’d have been
flattered if they were actually practicing, but no such luck. They were acting
out the scene where Prince Gerad kills the Medusa. Raijin was the Medusa, and
he’d somehow acquired the Medusa’s headdress prop.
vanquish thee…” Seifer squinted at the script. “What the hell… OH! “Evil
bringer of rocks! Wait… what?”
you skipped a line, ya know?” Raijin peered over Seifer’s shoulder at his
script. “Yeah, see? It’s ‘evil bringer of destruction. I shall dash thee
against the rocks.’ Ya know?” He smiled, satisfied with himself. Then he
dropped his script, and started dancing around Seifer, waving his arms and
Speak? I don’t know. Seifer dropped his script as well, and adlibbed some more.
This consisted of threats to ‘rip out one’s guts,’ and ‘Send the beast back to
hell, where it belonged.’ Actually, I was beginning to like Seifer’s rendition
more than what was written, but a script was a script…
I shouted, rising to my feet. “Raijin, give the headdress back to Mandy.
Seifer, pick up your script. Let’s take the scene from the top!”
Fujin, Fujin.” Seifer’s voice reached my ears amidst the groans of the cast
members. “Look, it’s late. We’re all tired and hungry. Let’s just call it
quits, okay? We’ll pick it up tomorrow.”
moment, I didn’t know what to say. I was livid.
what happens every damn day!!” My voice escalated with each word. By the end of
the sentence, the whole theatre was silent, everyone staring at one thing.
Seifer started, taking a step forward.
don’t give me any of your crap, Almasy. This rehearsal is over. Be back here
tomorrow at five o’ clock, PROMPTLY. We’re going to do that scene until we get
it right.” With that, I stormed off, throwing my own unbound director’s script
over my shoulder. I didn’t care as I listened to the papers flutter to the
floor. One of my many admirers would retrive them like the dogs they were.
through the communal area of Garden, around the front of the fountain, and
toward the dorms. Perhaps it was the scent of the flowers… Perhaps it was the
need to release my tension by beating up at Grat or two… but I found myself
walking the path toward the training center. Angrily, my mind called upon a
Firaga spell, which badly scorched an errant Grat to my left. I finished it off
The air was
heavy with humidity, so much so that even the leaves were dripping with
moisture. It had been known to rain in here from time to time, according to
some of the students, so advanced was the climate control. It had impressed me
since I transferred here. The training center at Galbadia garden was nothing
compared to this. Plus, the monsters here were predictable and much easier to
train against. They were tough enough so that I got a workout, but not so easy
that I was bored by the time I was done.
another onslaught of spells as the grove of trees in front of me rustled. For
several moments after the initial noise, all was silent again. Puzzled, I took
a step forward. Grats were predictable, brainless plant creatures. Stealth was
not in their repertoire. The leaves rustled again, and not three seconds later,
I saw the eyes. The yellow, cold, calculating, INTELLIGENT eyes. My mind had barely
grasped the fact that this was not a Grat before one huge talon darted forward,
and then all I saw were stars.
My left eye
was a blur of red, and the vision was fading. I’d be okay, right? Staggering to
my feet, I launched that pre-readied volley of spells I had - Two Firagas and
an Ultima. The monster didn’t seemed to be phased, as a hoarse growl issued
from deep within its throat. Then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, it
stood up, shook off the leaves, and revealed the fact that it was actually a
monstrosity; it was a creature that shouldn’t even be living in this time. I’d
heard about their existence in my Monsters 3010 class, but had conveniently
packed that little bit of information away in the far corner of my memory.
huge, standing tall at nearly seven times my height, and fifteen times my
height in length. Gaping mouth was filled with sharp, pearly daggers, and a
foul, carrion-like scent wafted from it to fill the immediate area. I gagged,
and that gave the Tyrannosaurus another chance to attack. I didn’t even have
time to recover, then T-Rexaur’s whiplike tail knocked me clear across the
charging at me, ready to finish me off, when the white trench coat and the blue
shirt arrested its path. My head hurt… I couldn’t… hear… what was going on… I
remember a sleep spell being cast, then someone lifted me off the ground.
Gratefully, I slipped into unconsciousness, where it just didn’t hurt anymore…
gonna be okay, right?”
sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. I opened my eyes and instantly
noted that something just didn’t seem right.
her eye, but other than that, she’s doing well. We were able to heal the
bruises and broken bones with some low-level cure spells, but the eye… Oh, It
looks like she’s coming to. She’ll probably want to talk to you first. After
all, you saved her.”
eye?! I recognized the voice of Dr. Kadowaki. Panicked, my head turned to look
at her, and I noticed that my left eye saw only a thick, gray haze.
began, trying to blink it away. “Oh, no! Make it stop! Dr. K? You can do that,
Raijin was at my side, kneeling down, and hugging me before the Doctor
responded. “Oh, my god, ya know?? Don’t ever do that again!” I didn’t pull
away, so thankful was I for his closeness, but somehow I felt a distance. A
some air, man,” Seifer said. He had been the one who spoke first, and now he
placed a hand on Raijin’s shoulder and guided him to the side. “Fujin, you had
me scared, and I don’t ever get scared.”
“So am I,”
Kadowaki said, her motherly voice full of remourse. “I could not save your
sight, Fujin, but I did manage to… shall I say… save the eye itself.”
I stumbled out of the blankets
and shook my head to attempt to clear the dizziness away. My eye fell on the
reflective surface of the tinted infirmary windows, and stared back at me with
the normal, warm caramel brown color. The other eye, the left one, was swollen
shut. So why did I still see grayness?
the eye open, only to discover that it had become as pale as the sky on a
cloudy day. It was a dead, inanimate gray color, and a short gash ran from my
eyebrow to the top of my cheekbone. I still saw that blank gray color.
began. I had to clear my throat because my voice was trembling. “I… see gray.
That’s all I can see…”
Fujin. What you’re seeing is residual light. The light is reaching your retina
through your eye, but it’s not making any pictures.” Doctor Kadowaki paused and
looked at the clipboard she was holding. “The grey light will go away after the
retina stops functioning.”
I stared at
the reflection of my dead eye until I could no longer hold it open. It snapped
shut, and as pain filled my consciousness, I started to collapse. Seifer
reached forward to catch me, but I waved him away.
fine…” I said, steadying myself on the bed. Painstakingly, I rolled up the
bandage on the nightstand and wrapped it around my head and over the injured
eye. There was already light coming through the windows, meaning the night had
asked. Seifer held his watch up to my level, and I looked. “Three o’clock? We
have… a rehearsal to do! Meet me at the stage in a couple hours.”
better rest, ya know? You ain’t gonna get any better if you’re up n’ about like
y’are.” Raijin reached out to drag me back to bed, but I wouldn’t have it.
fine,” I said, managing a smile. “And if I can’t handle it today, I’ll step
said, looking at Seifer for support. Neither of them seemed convinced.
managed to say, ragged breathing and fatigue threatening to undo what had
otherwise been a very successful rehearsal. Everyone seemed to feel sorry for
me, and I hated it. I found myself frowning more than usual.
looked at me, I wondered if they were looking at my eye.
Raijin seemed to get the hint that I was down. They were much more composed
than usual; a big help, to say the least. Seifer even got a smile out of me
when he said that Raijin had very efficiently and systematically distributed
the wrong props to every single person in the play. It was interesting to watch
the guy playing Gerad’s escort attempting to use a piece of the scenery as a
sword, but he didn’t complain. Nobody did. In fact, it was awfully quiet for
this normally outspoken group. Everyone seemed… afraid.
afraid? Of me?
everyone,” I said, absently trading one of the cast’s fishing poles with the
spear that he should have been holding. The grayness was closing in on my
vision. I needed to lie down… I needed to…
Fujin, your bandage too tight? I asked you if you wanted me to start it from
the top.” Seifer.
along with the others, good-naturedly, of course. “Maybe it is,” I said, and
now that the though crossed my mind, it DID seem like I’d wrapped my injury too
tight. I started to unwrap it, and eighteen pairs of eyes glanced my way. Some
lingered, others turned quickly away. They all wanted to see what happened. Of
course! I smiled to myself. That’s why they’d been so quiet. They were
concerned. After the bandage was removed, the lightheaded feeling dissipated.
It really wasn’t so bad, this seeing out of only one eye. My balance had been a
bit off all day, but that was normal. I was only seeing in two dimensions now.
people!” I shouted, feeling renewed and making my way to the edge of the stage.
There, everything was in my line of sight and necessary movement for me was all
but eliminated. “Go to Act two, Scene four. This is when Medusa first appears.
Props ready? Places…! Action!”
Seifer flipped to the proper page and puzzled over it for a few seconds. After
practice, I’d tell him to get his eyes checked.
you’ve come to this world, spawn of Diablos?” Seifer took the written cue and
shilded his eyes from “Medusa.” The girl playing her was hidden in the fake
plants next to our prop of a boat that had run aground. Just as I was thinking
about how familiar that was, I was hit by a flashback. The rustling in the
Man!” Medusa countered in a hissing voice. The leaves rustled…
rustled. I saw the yellow eyes. The intelligent yellow eyes. I tried to cry
Sir Gerad, peered forward into the rustling ferns, perplexed. Confused.
leaped out and attacked! One talon, that was the last thing that my eye saw…
Don’ look at her!” The plucky trainee/Gerad worshipper ran in from stage left
and warned her hero that one look at the medusa would turn them to stone
forever. While they were distracted, a powerful arm whipped out from the
tree-trunk sized tail hit me square in the chest. I went flying… Flying
orchestra pit. I landed headfirst in a tangle of trumpets, trombones, and
flutes. My own flashbacks had gotten the better of me.
ringing in my ears stopped, I heard the laughter. Everyone was there, staring
down at me… Laughing… I saw Raijin’s face through the mob. Only he looked
concerned. Only he reached down a hand to help me up. Seifer was at the back of
the crowd, trying to get everyone back in order. We were like a posse, us
three, even though we’d only known each other for a short time.
others. They had laughed at me.
OVER,” I snapped, surprised at cold force in my voice. The others looked at me
with a mixture of pity and humor. I hated it. I loathed it. I was not some kind
Fujin, ya know?” Raijin pushed me off toward the stage. “Let’s take ya to see
Dr. K. You ain’t ready for this yet.”
hell was that about, Fu?” Seifer asked, coming up on my right side, the side
with the working eye.
I said, still with that precise coldness, though not as loudly. I couldn’t make
myself say anything else…
Kadowaki was in her office as she always was, sitting at her desk. There was a
boy there, just about a year younger than me, playing cards with her. Squall
was his name. I didn’t like him much, as he’d always been somewhat indifferent
to me since I’d arrived. Now, though, his blue eyes showed concern, and as
Seifer and Raijin dragged me through the door, he ran back to prepare the bed
so I could rest. He leaned against the doorframe to the cubicle that served as
a patient’s room while I was deposited onto the bed.
Seifer…” Raijin whispered to Seifer, and the latter looked over to Squall. From
what I could gather, they didn’t like each other much. Seifer was older and
stronger, but Squall was wiser and had more skill. Rivals though they were,
Seifer would often comment to me about how “Little Squally” was still besting
him in combat. It wouldn’t be derogatory, either. His voice was almost
completed the private conversation with Raijin, Seifer picked his way across
the room to where Squall was leaning, and nodded toward the outside. Squall
nodded back, and they left. I had the feeling that Seifer was telling Squall
what had happened.
entered as the two students left, shaking her head. “Fujin,” She began, her
warm smile easing my worries. “I heard you had a little fall.”
I said. Confused, I tried again. “FALL.”
seemed as confused as I was. “It seems you’ve suffered more Trauma than I
thought, hun. It’s catching up with you now.”
an exclamation from my left, and I looked over to him. He pointed to my hair.
“It’s comin’ in white, Dr. K!”
quite a scare, I wager,” Doctor said, smoothing a hand over my braided hair.
“Turning your hair white, so it is.”
I sat for
the longest time. It seemed I could only speak one word at a time now. I had to
make the best of it.
Kadowaki’s face broke into the most pitiful, defeated look I’d ever seen.
“Fujin Arless, don’t you EVER let me hear you say that about yourself again, do
you understand?” She drew me into an embrace, and I accepted it, gladly. She
believed in me…
ever, ya know, gonna get better, Doc?” Raijin asked. I looked over at him, my
mind asking the same question.
that’s up to Raijin,” the doctor said, looking at me and smiling. With friends
that care about her…”
always care for Fujin!” Raijin spouted, his rough hand resting on my shoulder.
I smiled. He believed in me.
double for me,” Seifer said, returning with Squall. Squall looked at Seifer,
then nodded to me as well. They believed in me.
ya gonna be okay?” Raijin asked. I tried to think of a word that was stronger
than just a simple ‘yes.’ Something positive. Something strong and forceful to
convey the closeness that I couldn’t seem to physically express.
I finally responded.