Tragedy of the Raven Part 1, Chapter 5
By Prince Nightmare
Raven was backed against the far wall of the small cottage. He had meant to run away days before, but hed been so sick he knew he couldnt gather the strength to. It had been five days since Glenn had brought him here. He didnt trust the knight anymore now than he did the first time he had seen him. It didnt make sense... why did Glenn want to be so nice to him? Glenn must be a foolish type of person, Raven decided. Everyone knew that a boy born in October was bad luck... not to mention he couldnt make a sound beyond a snarl of fear or a whimper of pain. And then there was the fact of who his father was...
But Glenn didnt seem to care about any of this. He had brought the boy to his home and nursed him through his sickness. He made Raven new clothes and smiled at him every morning, even though Raven never smiled back. It didnt seem real to a boy who had always been kicked out of the way. Could someone actually be this kind? Or was he just stupid?
Raven watched Glenn warily as he whistled a cheery tune and swept the cottage with a handmade broom. He had said something about his friends from the future coming to visit. He seemed very excited. He swept the last of the dirt out of the cabin.
There! I believe that is all of it. Glenn turned towards Raven and grinned. Cant have my home looking like some sort of sty when Lucca, Marle, and Crono get here. Did I tell you how we met?
Raven shook his head before he could remember to pretend not to be interested.
Glenns smile grew wider. I used to be a frog, if you can believe that! I had a curse put on me for many years... It was when I was a frog that I met them. They had fallen out of the sky through a shining orb of light...
Ravens eyes got wider and he blinked. An orb of light? Were Glenns friends wizards like his father had been?
They had come to stop ... well, to stop Magus... Glenn looked around embarrased. Uh.. well... anyway, I met them while they were being attacked by some nasty creatures that used to live around here. I heard the fight from further down the path, so I ran to help. You can be sure I will never forget the look on Luccas face as she saw a frog man wielding a sword! And from then on we were all the best of friends. Some day I will tell you more about our adventures, and I will tell you about your father too.
Raven almost smiled then. He liked to hear fantastical stories. Maybe he should put off running away until Glenn told him more about the Adventure... and more about his father. Raven suddenly felt very sad. He wanted to ask Glenn about Magus, but he had no voice. He hated himself at that moment...why couldnt he even talk like normal people? Without looking at Glenn, he ran out the door and into the forest.
It was quiet in the forest. Raven liked it. The birds always sang sweetly and there were deer who lived in the meadow not far away. He liked to sneak up so close to them he could almost reach out and touch them before they bolted away.
The trees in the forest were huge and ancient, easy to climb up and hide unseen for hours. Sometimes he climbed at tree near the cottage and watched Glenn practice with his sword. There was an apple tree too, and blackberries, and a river down the path were fish swam. He felt happier thinking about all of the nice things around the forest.
He ran until his legs were tired. It was a good sort of tired and Raven was glad he wasnt sick anymore. He liked this spot most of all. There was an old tree that had fallen down and made a good hiding spot. He jumped up on its gnarled old trunk and began to see if he could walk the whole length of it without losing his balance. After a moment he heard Glenn come crashing through the bushes. The knight was breathing hard.
So there you are! Mother of Light, you run fast! Glenn wiped his forehead and looked around. This is a nice spot for a secret fort, isnt it? I remember playing here when I was a boy.
Raven ignored him and continued to try to balance on the old tree trunk. He could almost make it all the way to the end.
Glenn watched him for a moment, trying to think of the right words to say. The boy was not ordinary, he had never met a five year old who was so quick to pick up on things. It seemed Ravens eyes never missed a single movement, and his mind was sharp and fast to figure out a situation. Glenn didnt quite know what to say next.
You know... Raven... I would like it if you didnt run away like youre planning to...
Raven looked up, startled. How had he known?! He jumped down from the tree trunk and leaned against it, feeling the rough bark under his hands. He waited to see what Glenn would say next. Raven wondered if he was angry.
You probably wonder how I figured that out. Well, Ill tell you. When I was your age I ran away from my home... my father wasnt fit to be called a human being. He was always in the bottle, so to speak... you know what that is?
Raven nodded but didnt look up. He had seen plenty of drunks in Lenstahn.
I thought you might. Well... I ran away from home. I wandered around for a long time until finally I was , hungry, cold, and sick. Finally, I had to go back home. It was terrible. My father was very angry when he found out and he punished me severely. Well... I didnt know what to do or where to go. For a long time I hated everything, most of all myself. But then I met a boy named Cyrus... he was older than me and I was afraid he was trying to trick me when he said he wanted to be my friend. At first I didnt like him because I was so bitter about my father and how bad my life at home was... but then I realized that Cyrus really cared about me. He taught me how to use a sword, and how to fish, and all sorts of things. Most of all he always tried to help me feel better when I was angry at my father. You know what happened then, Raven?
Raven shook his head, wondering what he was getting at.
My life didnt seem so lonely and terrible anymore. Do you know what I am saying?
Raven thought he understood but didnt want to let on that he did. He wanted Glenn to come out and say exactly what he meant. Raven had learned that hidden meanings sometimes meant lies, and he didnt want to fall into some sort of trap.
What I am saying is, I know youve had a bad life so far. It couldnt have been easy fending for yourself... but you have a home now, if you want it. Would you give it up just to run away to another village that would treat you like a mongrel dog? You have someone here whod like to be your friend.
Raven saw the folly of running away, and he badly wanted to believe Glenn... silently, he decided to stick around a little longer. Not only for the stories. Maybe it wouldnt be so bad here... and Glenn didnt steal his food away or make him sleep on the floor. He didnt have to worry about other children chasing him with sticks either. He looked up at the knight, who was smiling. Raven nodded a little, his eyes stinging with tears. Please dont let this be a lie too... he thought desperately.
Glenn offered Raven his hand. Then we have a deal? Ill be like a big brother to you and you wont run away and leave me here alone?
Raven looked at his hand for a moment, and then suddenly grasped it with his own small fingers. He nodded solemnly. A heavy weight seemed magically lifted from him.
Glenn nodded back and shook Ravens hand. Good. Im glad we got that all cleared up. I am going to always be honest with you, Raven. You might not believe me now, but Ill earn your trust. Glenn grinned happily. I was thinking of going fishing today... I really dont want to go alone. Do you want to come and help me catch some fish?
Raven nodded quickly. He suddenly felt excited. Hed never been fishing before and he wondered what it was like. A strange sensation of something Raven had rarely felt before filled him...and he realized that he was almost happy.
Raven decided he wanted to watch Glenns friends for a while before he met them. If they werent too mean or ugly he might let them see him.
He climbed his favorite tree next to the cottage early that morning right after breakfast. He watched Glenn frantically try to straighten the small house out one last time.
Not long after noon, Raven heard a strange sound from above the tree tops. It was like a high pitched whistling noise. He almost fell from his hiding spot as a moment later a strange, glittering bird landed in the small yard, making the ground shake for a second. The top of the bird opened, and three strangely dressed figures jumped out. Raven just stared in amazement.
Raven watched the two women and the young man greet Glenn. He couldnt quite make out what they were saying, but Raven guessed from their tones that Glenn was telling his friends about him.
After they went inside, Raven slowly crept down from the tree and approached the weird thing the visitors had jumped out of. He touched it... it was hard, like steel, but it didnt feel the same. It was an unnatural yellow color. He pushed it and jumped back, waiting to see what it would do. It didnt budge. He looked at the small cockpit where Glenns friends had been sitting when they arrived. The seats were made of some soft, smooth material. There were strange knobs and buttons of all shapes and sizes. There were things in the machine he couldnt begin to describe. Finally, after looking at everything for a long time and not understanding any of it What kind of magic was this? How did they come out of the air? Where did they come from? He sorely wanted to know.
He stood back from the machine, a little scared. He didnt know what sort of power made the thing fly in the air, but he didnt want to be standing on it next time in decided to shoot upward towards the sky. Raven was just about to climb back into the tree and see if the big yellow bird thing was going to move, when he felt someone starring at him. He wheeled around to see the visitors watching him. Glenn stood behind them, smiling a little.
Raven studied the strangers intently. The young man had wild red hair that looked like a bolt of lightning hit it. He was grinning widely, his eyes were honest looking, and he waved a little at Raven. The blonde woman looked at him with a sadness in her green eyes. She looked like she was remembering some one else from a long time ago. Her smile was soft and her face pretty.
The brown haired woman with the strange things on her face seemed to be carefully calculating his every detail. Her smile was not unfriendly though, and Raven thought the things on her face were fascinating. He wondered what they were for.
The blonde woman spoke up first. ...he looks just like him, doesnt he? The only difference is the color of his eyes and hair... she began to walk towards him a little. Raven crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow at her, waiting to see what she was doing.
Suddenly the young man laughed. Oh no! Where have I seen THAT look before!! Just like Janus, right down to the scowl!
The blonde woman kneeled down and smiled. She was very pretty and her green eyes were bright as a cats. Hi there! Arent you a cute little boy? She looked back at Glenn over her shoulder, Oh, Glenn, he is soooo adorable! Have you ever seen eyes that blue before? Look at how pretty his hair is too!! I just want to give him a big kiss!
Raven almost rolled his eyes at her. She was talking to him in a tone that suggested he was not only mute, but mentally defeceint as well. He sighed.
Marle blinked for a moment as the young man continued to laugh. Glenn himself was chuckling too now, and the brown haired woman rolled her eyes and groaned.
Marle! the young man called out to her Just because he cant talk doesnt mean he cant think too! he came striding up. Marle glared at him angrily. He ignored her and winked at Raven. Youll have to forgive her bud. You know how girls are about the whole cute thing. You should have seen her when she first saw me!! It was terrible. My names Crono by the way. I heard your name was Raven.
If looks could kill, Marle would have murdered Crono a thousand times over. She scowled at him and put her hands on her hips. Raven wondered if they always acted so strange. They didnt seem to be mean or anything... but they were certainly odd.
Marle smiled at him. Im sorry Raven... I guess I should have known better than to make such a fuss over you. But you are cute you know. Without warning she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Raven almost fell over trying to get away from her. He angrily wiped the kiss from his face, thinking he should just go someplace else until she went away. He glared at her as she giggled.
The brown haired woman beckoned to him then. Raven hesitated for a moment. People still made him nervous. She smiled at him kindly. I wont kiss you I promise. I just want to shake your hand in a nice, civillized way. Raven decided that didnt sound too bad.
Im Lucca, she said after they shook hands. Im glad to meet you Raven. I saw that you were interested in the Epoch... she motioned towards the yellow flying machine. Do you want me to show you how it works? I could take you for a ride tomorrow, if you want.
Raven decided right then and there that he liked her a lot better than he liked Marle. He couldnt help but smile when she said she could show him how the Epoch worked. He heard Marle squeal from behind him.
Ohhhh he is just too sweet when he smiles like that!
Glenn seemed almost as flustered as Raven. Well... err... Crono! I see that you and Marle finally got married! Congratulations!!
Crono beamed. Thats not all!! Im going to be a father in a few months! He reached over and gently patted Marles stomach. She blushed like a school girl.
Glenn felt time slipping away from them all so fast. He thought back to when they were all just sassy teenagers, half unaware of the dangers they faced. And now Crono was going to be a father and Marle a mother. He wondered if Lucca had found someone... he hoped she hadnt.
Lucca nodded and said in a droll tone. Yeah, Ill be Auntie Lucca soon... and God help that poor kid! If Cronos them some silly joke, Marles going to be fussing about how cute they are! Im the only one that will keep the poor child sane!
Raven smirked at that.
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