My mother had died, it seemed, just a little over five years ago—or maybe longer—when I was still a timid, naïvely trusting little boy with wide (wide like the sea, mommy had said...) green eyes and unkempt, wild black hair whose rebellious ferocity could only be tamed by a gentle touch from my mother's hand.
But they all held me (they took you from me...they took you!) and told me that it would all be okay while they whispered behind my slumped back how silent and mature I had been these past two days since Mother had passed. (only two days? it felt like an eternity...)
I raged at them, silently, within my aging heart. They did not understand. I wanted to scream and cry and pound my fists against Mother's coffin, demanding why she had gone away while I was still a child, nothing more, like my aunt. It seemed as if all of her maturity had left and entered me while my childish longings possessed her, causing her to weep and choke on half-audible (but i heard them...) pleas for Mother—her twin sister—to return to her.
Selfish. Selfish of my aunt to want Mother back for herself—and selfish of me to want Mother back for myself. (was it?)
There hadn't even been a Sending for Mother (mommy, mommy, i want you back...); our village had no Summoner, and none was passing through on a pilgrimage. It was murmured among the winds of gossip that the Lady Summoner Yuna, daughter of the High Summoner, had begun a pilgrimage of her own; but there was high doubt that she would deign to pass through our little, forsaken dwelling that did not even rate a Summoner, and at that, barely the title of "village". I had heard of what happened to the dead people who didn't receive a Sending; the high amounts of Fiends lurking just outside the perimeter of our homes were more than enough to prove that. But the thought of my mother as a monster...
(mommy, don't become a monster! please don't!)
They had started to talk again. I was sitting in a corner of the room, barely attached to the rest of the square enclosing by a loose weaving of gossamer shadows and cobwebs; my ears could not help hearing what they spoke of. It was of Mother and me, as it had usually been for the past stretch of eternity.
"...such a shame..."
"...the poor child..."
"...only twelve, is he?"
"...too young to live without a mother..."
One voice, louder and more definitive than the rest, rose above the pity-laden clamor of the others.
"She never did much anyway. Just spent her entire time with that kid, and look at what came of it. He's a lousy, lazy, sullen little brat; he'll never amount to anything besides moping around the house like his good-for-nothing father. At least he's dead, too; bet he's made one hell of a lousy Fiend."
I rose and fled the claustrophobia of the house dressed in a shroud of shadows and cobwebs while the other voices shushed the loud one. (he never even knew my mommy! i hate him! i hate him!) My feet that seemed too small for the grief and anger swelling inside of me pattered against the well-worn ground, flattened and smoothed by the hundreds of feet that stomped against it daily. The shadows around my mind and me fluttered and led me to a clearing in the forest surrounding our tiny ant dwelling of a village, filled with grass and rocks. My body flung itself against a large stone as if unconsciously attempting to dash the emotions from my heart, and when it failed, instead gathered itself in shaking child-arms that quickly darkened with tears and shadows.
(i want you back! it's not fair! why did you go away?!)
I was not aware of the shadows of the nighttime sky gathering around me until the voices came looking for me. I was roughly pulled to my feet (it hurts, mommy! But i won't cry...) while the stars illuminated my face that was made slick from spates of bitter weeping and the voices demanded to know where I had been and what I had been thinking, leaving in the middle of everything like that with my poor mother dead only two days, and did I want to give them a heart attack like that, going off alone in the middle of a Fiend-infested forest? I could have died, the voices scolded, rising in tempo and fervor when they saw my impassive visage. I could have died, and then where would I be? Just another Fiend, like my mother.
"No!" I burst out, surprising the voices into a silence I had much longed for. "Mother is not a Fiend! She would never become one!"
No sooner had the words left my trembling lips than the forest seemed to shake with the tremor of approaching footsteps that belonged to no human. A low, almost purring roar preceded the Fiend that forcibly shoved its way through foliage and low-hanging branches, shrouded in shadows that only parted to reveal glinting claws and fangs that dripped with salivation. The voices froze before dropping me, leaving me to lie stunned against a rock while they fled, wailing and yammering for Yevon to save them.
(yevon didn't even save mommy! why would he save them?!)
For a moment, I fervently wished for the Fiend to leap over me and attack the voices as they fled for safety in their closely clustered homes—a savior sent by Yevon, perhaps, as punishment for what they had put me through. But it didn't. As I sat frozen on the rock, it lunged forward, lashing out with a claw and putting it through my stomach, ripping it open to
reveal my insides as they fell and landed on the rock beside me with wet pattering noises. Something soft and warm landing cross my face, wet but still comfortingly warm and close, like my mother's hand after I had wept my heart out over something childish and silly. My mouth opened in a silent gape of error and pain, admitting into it the hot, bitterly salty liquid that was spreading over my face and below my body.
It tasted like tears.
I blinked up at vicious green eyes narrowed with intense hunger and victory over the easy kill it had made—green, like my mother's eyes and my own, I thought below fuzzy waves of nauseous pain. (it hurts, it hurts, mommy...) So this was why the voices had left me; it was just an easier way to get rid of me.
The eyes were approaching, drowning me in their wide ocean of green. For a bare moment, I thought I saw my mother inside of them, stretching her arms out to receive me as the Fiend's jaws stretched open to receive my mortal form.
I raised my hand that wasn't resting against my shredded stomach and lifted it into the maw of the Fiend, feeling the hot breath on my hand and the sharp prickle of teeth as the jaws seemed to close gently around it, almost as if it was a tender embrace.
"Mommy," I breathed. "Mommy, take me away, too. It hurts..."
The jaws closed firmly and took my hand.
I think I shall be forever fascinated by the faceless characters, or better yet the ones who never existed. Call it a perverse obsession to create backgrounds for characters
who never had had much of one, or those who never really existed inside of existing stories; but that's why I love fanfiction so much. The Final Fantasy series in particular
tends to have dynamic main characters (whether it be in terms of physical appearance or just personality), but it is especially the supporting characters that lure me to
them and stimulate stories and wild yarns to no end. I don't often write shorts from the point of view of a main character/villain; I find that it's usually the minor characters
that create the best tales from me anyway. This piece of mine gets slightly sadistic in the end, but I like it mostly because of the symbolism and connections that are
stuffed in it. In short, while it's my most recent it's also my current favorite. This too-old boy character isn't going to leave my brain very soon. And no, I have no clue what
type of Fiend was it that appeared at the end; it came up off of the top of my head. ~_^