Author's Notes: . . . yessuh. ^_^ My first Kingdom Hearts ficcy, and it feels so good. ^_^ Anyway, as I played the game, I grew curious about one tiny fact. What about the parents? Sure, you heard Sora's mom's voice, but besides that, they were totally excluded. The one thing I grew curious about the most was Riku's parents, since he was my favorite character and all. And why didn't he worry about finding his parents along with Sora and Kairi? Well, looky here. I wrote a disturbing ficcy about it. Prepare thyself, for a Riku fic that is hopefully original.
This story is an acid-trip. ^_^ You have been warned.
"Mourn for the Plain Sea"
by: Rosalyn Angel
"Mama? Look. Look at what I made!" a tiny, boyish voice hopefully demands as he waves a tan-colored paper in the air. Splotches of paint drip from its edges and his fingers, staining the dark wooden floor surrounding his path from the small table (which had coconuts filled with mixed and grounded leaves to create color sitting on top of it) to the rocking chair where his mother was sitting. The picture resembles nothing but untidy spots and streaks, but to a three-year-old, it is a masterpiece.
She is a plain woman of her twenties, no real distinguishing features to her; except, perhaps, her piercing jades eyes of which she passed to her little boy. Otherwise, she does not stand out in the crowd but rather blends willingly. Then again, there is not much of a crowd to speak of on the little tropical island they call home.
Her strands of dark hair are messily pulled back with a string, the shorter ones falling about her thin face. Her hair reaches to her slim waist, but is tangled at the ends from a long weary day. One wonders, might she be groomed and fixed up, if she was to be titled as pretty. But she chooses to remain plain, and sits in her chair, rocking back and forth so that the wooden squeaks loom heavily over the square room.
His mother, fair-skinned despite the many sunny days, glances down from her place. Her action is sluggish yet smooth, almost forced, as if she has no will to do so. "Riku," she speaks in a quiet, timid voice, "you're getting it on the floor. The wood is not easy to maintain."
Riku, cherubic face suddenly switching from excited to apologetic, levels the damp paper on both of his arms so that the paint would stay on it. "Sorry, mama," he says. "But look. I worked hard."
Her eyes, which stand out from the rest of her even if her plain bangs go astray across them, travel across the artwork of her son. Her answer does not come until several moments later, as if her mind was striving to digest what he was trying to present to her. "It's very nice," she comments in her hollow tone. She rarely speaks with much emotion, merely saying this or that to get by. Although one could almost call her voice sad.
"I can make you another one, mama," he says, hesitantly venturing forth in his unsure speech. "If you want."
"That would be kind of you," she replies, her slender, ghostly hand stretching out to run through the short cut of his silver hair. When her hand is free from it, she pauses, as if mourning that it is not longer.
"Okay," Riku says, his cheeks being pressed up by a little smile and causing his hauntingly deep sea-green eyes to squint. "It'll be done soon, and then we can have one each. You can choose which one you like better, okay? You just sit here, mama, and I'll work real hard."
He bounds off to the table, sitting on his knees in front of it because of the absence of any more chairs. He immediately, after laying his finished piece to the side, begins to glob various hues of paint onto his fingers and, tongue sticking out, makes circles and lines on a new paper. He appears to be concentrating even though his art has no real form, and his mother watches silently, mourning, mourning, mourning for the child that works real hard.
The window has no glass; it is simply a vertical rectangle that was cut from the side of the small wooden house. The ocean breeze drifts through, cooling her and dancing around her senses. She still is rocking back and forth in her chair, hands calmly folded on her lap and knee-length white skirt a bit wrinkled. Even her clothes are plain, completely white and paling her skin more so, with her shirt sleeveless and loose, hanging around her form like a blanket.
She prefers to stay inside, protected from the harsher sun's rays. Palm leaves of towering trees shade her little square house, so she is safe from sunburns to her alabaster skin. Unlike her, Riku is active outside and then returns after a day of playing, reddened and sore, wincing as she applies a herb all over him to sooth the burns. A few days later, he is jumping out the door again to make sand castles to show her, his now four-year-old face grinning.
She stares out of the window, down at the sandy beach, the clear waters lapping against the shore. The sound eases her and she sighs, basking, as the breeze brushes her bangs and tickles her skin. The sun blazes in the blue sky, beating down on the children playing along the beach. Some parents walk with their daughter or son, keeping a watchful eye on them as they skip and splash in the waters, soaking their clothes and hair. The couples smile and hold hands, conversing about how cute their offspring look.
There is one child that has no close supervisor, but rather a distant one. He gazes up, sitting and dirtying his blue shorts on the sand. His eyes meet hers and sparkle, pointing both hands at the little, unimpressive sand castle he has managed to realize. She enjoys his sculptures enough for her to compliment him, but the castle's image itself only pains her. She cannot help but give an encouraging nod, for her son is so eager to please her, but he could not give her what she truly desires because it is lost to her forever.
The other children do not walk up to Riku and offer an invitation into their games. They find him odd and different because of his eyes. Whenever he looks at them, they always feel afraid of the sea-green depths which have such an intent gaze. The other boys and girls feel inferior in his presence so they instead skip together, leaving him behind with his sand castles and mother.
As Riku stands from the ground, not bothering to dust off his shorts, a newer boy to the island hops over to him. Riku blinks, startled at the sudden intrusion on his pleasing his mother, as the other boy (same age as the silver-haired child) grabs his hand and tugs it.
"Hey," the new one says in a light tone, "come on. We're short one person. Selphie doesn't wanna play boy games and I need a partner, or else Tidus and Wakka will beat me."
The two other boys, standing a distance away, stare in amazement as their new friend tugs on Riku's hand, wondering how he could not be afraid of the sea-green eyes. Riku does not move, uncertain of how to react to this uncommon event. The new boy is persistent and pulls on his hand again, causing Riku to stumble forward a little. The boy's blue eyes laugh at him and he jumps up and down, urging his chosen partner to join in. Riku reluctantly lets himself be pulled to his feet, dazed and confused. But when he sees his mother nodding for him to go on, he clumsily allows the blue-eyed boy to lead him to the others.
And still she mourns for the child that imagines castles and has too intent of a gaze.
The new boy's name is Sora. Riku and he have become fast friends, although awkward on Riku's side. The green-eyed child, now six years old, still has trouble speaking to anyone except his mother, and everyone besides she and Sora still has trouble being comfortable under his gaze. Tidus, Wakka, and Selphie all become silent whenever Sora speaks highly of Riku, about how good he is at exploring and how neat and wild his imagination is. They could not see anything past those eyes, and the sea-green orbs frightened them so, thus they remain wary. They do not comment on Sora's praises and demands to let Riku play with them, and whenever this occurs, Sora usually decides to go play with Riku alone.
His mother is pleased with him and his friend. Riku sees this, how pleased his mother is, and tries to spend a lot of time with Sora, traveling through tunnels in the cliffs of the island. Riku says to her one day that he and Sora found a special place in one of the caves, and that it is only for the two boys to know of. But he loves her too much to keep it a secret for long, and he tells her where it is and what it is like with all the excitement he could muster up. The Secret Place, he calls it, behind the thick layer of vines near the small waterfall. There is a passage there, large enough for him but probably small for her, that leads into a circular cavern.
As he tells his story, she rocks back and forth in her chair, nodding slowly as she always does. She feels weak and does not say much, even less than usual, but still listens of the discovered passage that she already knows of too well.
"Mama," Riku says, sitting in front of her. His silver hair is longer now, to his chin and clumped together into downward spikes, but still not long enough, she thinks. "Mama," he repeats, pulling on the edge of her skirt as she reaches forward to fix the collar of his yellow shirt. "Sora was talking about his parents a while ago, and I was wondering . . ." He pauses, biting his lip. ". . . do I have a dad?"
Her hands freeze and the collar wilts under them, forgotten as she begins to shake. Riku crawls closer on all fours, curiously looking at her for an answer. She does not see him or feel his hands patting her lap. Soon she curls into herself and sobs loudly, hands covering her face as she shakes her head, droplets of tears seeping through her fingers. Her wails cut through the air, pained and hitched, as she cries. Riku worriedly stands next to her and hugs her for all he is worth, trying to speak over her sobs, but his small voice cannot be heard to her.
"It's all right, mama . . . I'm sorry. I'm still here, mama. I'm sorry. I'm still here."
And she mourns for the child who thirsts for knowledge.
For once she is not in her rocking chair, and instead stands bare-footed on the shore. The wet sand squishes between her toes as the cold tide runs across her ankles. The breeze pulls her loose dark hair back, waving it away from her sullen face as she stares out across the vast expanse of water. Above her is the night sky, bathing the island in black with finger-painted clusters of stars. She smiles faintly at the memory, her eyes wettening as she holds the paper of a three-year-old's artwork to the wind. The gust changes direction, whipping about her now combed hair, and at that moment, she lets go. The paper flutters, its paint and memory dry, tossing and tumbling as fate carries it away, over the ocean, until it falls onto waters far away.
She turns, her movements flowing and ghostly, never seeming to jerk. She walks along the beach, sand sticking to her feet as she moves by imaginary sand castles. She then leaves the sand and steps onto a walkway, passing a small waterfall and coming before a thick layer of vines. She stops, glancing at her small square house where her boy with sea-green eyes sleeps. She looks away before she changes her mind, her chest constricting with everlasting pain, and pushes aside the many vines to squeeze into the dark passageway that would take her to the Secret Place.
Soon she arrives and stands before a plain door, plain like her, her hands and forehead resting on its surface. She cries for all the years past, how she hurt and mourned everyday, for her son reminded her too much of her love. Every aspect, besides the color of his eyes and skin, constantly told her the father of her child, and how he was lost to her, and how she had been forced to run away and escape to live on the island with her son.
"Why?" she whispers to the door, pleading for a response. "Ansem . . ."
She is never seen again after that day. She vanished without a trace. Some say she was finally whisked away by her long-lost lover, who then took her to his castle she often murmured of in her sleep. Some say she wandered out into the ocean and drowned in her sorrow, while others insist that she simply was never real, that she had only been a ghost.
Her chair is now empty and never rocks; the palm trees no longer have anyone to shade; no more finger-painted stars or sand castles; no one to rub an herb when his skin is burnt; no nod to look up to as he dirties his shorts in the sand; no one to please anymore. Suddenly the world seems all too plain, for she was his radiance and beauty.
The child with sea-green eyes sobs, curled up on his bed, as he clutches his old artwork. He looked for the other one, but when he could not find it, he hoped that his mother had taken it with her, wherever she had disappeared to. His wails are loud, pain and hitched, as his blue-eyed friend next to him tries to offer comfort, but the words are not heard.
And the child mourns, mourns, mourns for the sea that now seems all too plain.