Kingdom Fantasy Prologue
By The Madder Hatter
The sky was filled with dark clouds. Sora opened his eyes to this, as he fell ... down and down, never stopping. His brown hair blew in his face, the wind rippling through his baggy shorts.
"I've been having these weird thoughts lately. Like is any of this for real ... or not?"
Sora blinked in astonishment. He had just heard his own voice and he did not say anything! When his blink finished he opened his eyes to a beach. He knew this place well. It was his home. The sun was so bright that Sora shaded his face with his arm.
In the calm ocean water, Sora saw a boy with long, pale hair, staring into the horizon, down to his waste in seawater. Things looked back to normal now. The dream seemed to have ended; the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
"Hey, Riku!" Sora called to his friend. He was about to take a step into the ocean when the tide avoided his feet and headed toward the boy in the water.
Riku turned around, a sinister look on his face. Behind him a tidal wave was rolling in, so large that it would probably drown him. He stretched his hand out to Sora, grinning wickedly.
Without a moment of hesitation, Sora ran out to Riku with the motive of grabbing his hand and pull him to shore before the wave hit. However, at almost the moment Sora's feet touched the water he was completely submerged in the ocean. Squinting, he could still see Riku through all of the water, holding his hand extended as it always was. As Sora lunged for it, desperate to save his best friend, something was pulling him back. He swam as hard as his arms could take him, but he still could not get close enough to Riku's hand.
Without warning, the tidal wave finished passing and Sora burst out of the water, flicking the hair out of his face. Riku was nowhere in sight, but he noticed someone else on the shore. It was Kairi. Hesitating, because he wanted to find his friend, Sora waved back to her. She might be able to find some help. She was waving out to Sora, calling his name and smiling as if nothing happened.
Still quite confused, Sora ran to her, gasping for breath. He reached the shore and clutched his knees, bending over in exhaustion. Kairi studied him with her hands behind her back, smiling. Sora flashed his trademark toothy grin as a hello and she giggled.
Her laughter soon ceased as she noticed something in the sky behind Sora. He turned around in response, and what he saw made his jaw drop.
It was himself. Falling headfirst in the sky, along with some strange, small, green comets. Somehow Sora felt dizzy. Like his "clone", he fell backwards and now he was falling. Yet he felt no impact of hitting the ground. Instead he saw Kairi's face ripple away like a reflection in water as she reached down to him.
Sora broke through the surface of the water like glass. He was submerged now in a dark sea of nothingness. He struggled to keep his eyes open as he floated down to what looked like an ocean floor. This was a dream, Sora thought to himself. The ground and the water melted away like a bleached painting. He was now standing on what seemed like a round. fibreglass plate that was floating in a sky of nothing but grey. Birds--white doves--flew all around Sora, and then into the sky, soon disappearing from sight. The floor he stood on had a painting of a woman in jet-black hair and blue clothing. All around the portrait of her were the faces of other people: two more women and three men. They all looked very young--teenagers, most likely, around seventeen.
"So much to do," Sora heard echoing all around him; a toneless voice that he did not recognize. "So little time. Take your time, don't be afraid. The door is still shut. Now, step foreward. Can you do it?"
Needless to say, Sora was dumbfounded. This didn't feel like a dream ... and he dreamed all the time. He took a moment to collect himself. There was nowhere to go: the floor just floated in the air. If he was to fall off, it appeared to be a bottomless drop.
Out of the ground a stone pedestal appeared above the dark-haired woman's head. In the shine of hundreds of sparkles and shimmers, a sword appeared, plunged into the pedestal. It looked very much like the wooden sword Sora carried around (to have sword-fights with his friends), only made of metal, and sharp.
"Power sleeps within you," said the toneless voice. "If you give it form ... it will give you strength."
Sora was more confused now than he had ever been in his life, and that was saying something. Slowly, he stepped foreward, gradually approaching the pedestal.
What else was there to do? He wrapped his fingers around the hilt of the sword with both his hands and lifted upward. The blade slid away from the stone as if it was nothing more than a scabbard, and with this, the pedestal sank into the ground and was soon replaced once more by the strange fibreglass ground.
"The power of the warrior. Invincible courage. A sword of terrible destruction. Is this the power you seek?"
In a low, unsure whisper, Sora said, "Yes."
The ground shook. Pieces of the floor were falling apart, now, to Sora's horror. It was not long before he fell, still clutching his weapon with all his strength.
Again he floated softly to the ground. The floor he was now on looked not unlike the last, only the paintings were different. The woman this time looked about the same age as the other, this time with light brown hair down to her shoulders.
She, too, was surrounded by portraits: two young men, one old man, two young women and what appeared to be some kind of blue lion-person with a white mane and a stubby horn.
"You have gained the power to fight." Sora frowned, looking at his sword. What if he didn't want to fight at all? It seemed, though, he didn't have a chance, anyway.
"There will be times you have to fight," the strange voice confirmed.
Then, a sight that took the breath clean out of his lungs, began to grow from shadows in the ground. Creatures, black as pitch, about half Sora's size. They had zig-zag antennae and glowing eyes, scampering about menacingly with two small legs, slashing with clawed hands. A strange noise came out of their mouths--if hey had mouths--that sounded not unlike a door creaking.
Altogether there were four of them that rose from black patches on the floor and began advancing on Sora, claws slashing away at the air. One of these creatures was getting awefully close ...
"Keep your light burning strong."
Stuck in another uncontrollable situation. It was a big change from Sora's usual (well, not usual for most people) lucid dreaming, but he had never had a more eventful time.
Gripping his sword fiercely, he swung at the black creature. The sword passed through its body like a knife through butter. With a squeal, the creature split into two, and its remaining body parts turned into white light and dissolved into thin air.
In a mix of amazement and fear, he slashed at another black monster, this time killing it in two slashes. As he did so, he got scratched on the arm by one of the remaining beasts. It hurt, but he wasn't bleeding. He killed the last two in rage.
His rage turned to excitement when he realized that he has just did what he dreamed of doing his whole life. Or was this just another dream? Is it for real?
"Behind you!" came the strange voice again. Sora whipped around to the sight of even more of the black monsters. He killed them with nothing worse than a few red scrapes left on his arm. That is, he killed a few, and got the rest to go back into the blackness in which they came from in the floor. He did it! Or did he?
The black patches on the ground began to grow. They grew wider and wider, until there was a purple-black haze stretching below Sora's yellow boots. A haze twirled around his legs and soon around his torso, pulling him into darkness. He screamed one last time before it devoured him.
* * *
Glorious air soon filled his mouth, and Sora's scream was no longer silent. He panted loudly, completely out of breath. His eyes peeled apart, revealing black nothingness to him. But this was not the haze ... it was the sky.
Sora noticed that he was laying on his back and he got right up. Once again he stood on a round floor (this time with no pictures, just many designs and colours) with nothing around him. There was, however, a semi-transparent door--or at least what looked like a door, for it was flat and Sora could see behind it. There was no knob, either.
Picking up the sword (which was flat on the ground), Sora started toward the door. With his weapon leaning on his shoulder he moved his hand over the doorway and touched it. The colours on it suddenly seemed to spread like paint from where Sora's hand was to all over the front of the oval-shaped door. He pulled his hand away quickly.
Now the door began to open. This was getting weirder and weirder ... Light shone from the opening into Sora's face, causing him to squint. The only thing left to do now was enter. And so he did.
"Hold on. The Door won't open just yet. First tell me more about yourself."
Blinking in the sunlight, Sora looked around. He was back home, on a deck in front of the beach. There he saw three familiar faces.
Ambit, Bade and Socia were all Sora's friends, and here they were. This couldn't be a dream! It was too real to be, now.
"Hi," he said, walking up to Socia, who was leaning against the railing. He noticed the sword was no longer with him anymore.
Socia grinned at him in reply. "What's most important to you?" she asked.
"Being number one," Sora laughed. "I would think you'd know that by now."
"Is being number one such a big deal?" Socia said.
"It is for me!" Sora replied. "Listen, I was having some kind of dream a second ago; I ... Socia?" She didn't seem to be paying attention to him anymore.
"What are you so afraid of?" Ambit asked. Sora turned around and looked at him. He seemed serious.
"Getting old I guess," Sora answered in confusion.
"Gettin' old?" Ambit continued. "Is that really so scary?"
Before Sora could reply, Bade asked, "What do you want outta life?" He asked this question often.
"What do I want?" Sora repeated, annoyed. "I want you guys to stop questioning me!" Bade stared at him blankly. "To see rare sights," Sora then said quietly. "You should know that."
"To see rare sights, huh?" Bade mumbled.
"You want to be number one," Sora heard the strange voice say from nowhere. "You're afraid of getting old. You want to see rare sights." This was getting weird again. "Your adventure begins at dawn," the voice continued. "As long as the sun is shining, your journey should be a pleasant one. The day you will open the door is both faar off and very near."
In a quick blink, the island became another round painting for a floor instead of a deck, and an empty sky instead of a bright blue one with the sun and the clouds floating in it peacefully. This time there was another young woman painted beneath his feet. She lad long, fiery red hair, dressed in pink, and holding to her chest a red rose. The portraits of a young man, a dark-skinned, heavy-set man, two girls around the same age as the first (give or take a few years), two middle-aged men, a red tiger thing and a skinny, black, squint-eyed cat all surrounded her.
A ray of light shone from the endless sky to the face of the red-haired woman. Sighing, for things seemed almost normal for a second on the island, Sora stepped into the spotlight. He still had no sword.
The round patch of light he stood in moved from under his feet to the ege of the round floor, creating multicoloured, flat, square platforms that floated off into the distance.
Man, this was getting old. Sora lazily stepped on one of the platforms without fear of him falling, and walked along it.
What a damn wonderful surprise, Sora thought, as he learned that the platforms lead to yet another circular floor. This time the painting was of a very royal-looking girl, slightly younger than the others, with very dark brown hair. On her face was a sorrowful expression. The sculptures around her were of a boy her age, a younger, purple-haired girl with a small horn on her forehead, a black ... thing, with glowing yellow eyes and a pointed hat, a thinkheaded man wearing a metal cap, a long-tongued creature with a chef's hat on, and a mouse-person with long, white hair. What did all these paintings mean?
There was another light on this area, just like the last. Sora stepped toward it.
"The closer you get to the light," he heard, "the greater your shadow becomes."
He turned and looked being him. Yeah, his shadow was much larger now. So what? Just as he was about to turn back, he caught something in the corner of his eye. With a small double-take, he saw that his own shadow was moving ... no, it was arising from the ground, just like the black creatures before! It slowly took three-dimensional shape, at first resembling Sora, but soon taking on a completely different form. It grew and grew; no longer Sora's shadow now, but a being of its own.
By the end of its growth, it stood forty feet tall, its hair in dreadlocks that moved as if with a life of their own. Its eyes gleamed a golden light; but the rest of its body was pitch black. It had very long arms and large hands, with two below-average sized (that is, compared to its body size) leg's and feet. Within its chest and stomach was a heart-shaped hole, clean through the body.
"But don't be afraid," the voice said, "and don't forget ..."
The creature roared like the other, smaller ones like it.
Why the hell shouldn't he be scared? He had to fight a giant monster alone. Man, he didn't even have a ...
He wondered how it got into his hands for a second before thinking that he really had to concentrate on using it now and not where it came from. Judging by the monster's claws, Sora figured its hands were the first target.
Lunging foreward, Sora slashed furiously at the menacing nails, though the strange apparition showed no signs of using them. It just stood roaring while its right hand was being chopped up. Black gobs spat out from it with every swing, turning into white gobs before dissolving into the air.
Sora continued attacking, until the monster pulled its hands up, too far for him to reach. It seemed to form a ball of some purple-black gas in its free hand. Keeping no eye off the beast's fist, Sora watched as it punched the ground, causing it to shake, and spreading the gas it held all along the ground in a big puddle. From it emerged four of those smaller black creatures Sora fought earlier.
They were easily dealt with, but the giant monster still remained. Again, Sora attacked its hands as it pulled them away, the purple-black haze melting away.
With a high-pitched squeal that nearly deafened Sora, the creature was nearing defeat. However, the strange shadowy ball of gas was forming now from the fiend's "heart-hole". From it came a beam of the haze that shot out straight and was about to do a U-turn.
Getting prepared, Sora got in position to jump out of the way in case th ebeam headed for him. Suddenly, he felt the monster's claws wrap around his body. In a surge of fear, he rose his sword, and was about to strike the creature's arm, when the weapon disappeared from his hand as misteriously as it came.
He felt his feet lift from the ground as he furiously pounded on the shadowy finger around him. It was all obviously not even being felt, as the apparition threw Sora into the beam of gas. Though, it didn't feel like gas at all. It felt the same as the haze in the ground before; like some kind of quicksand with a life of its own.
Sora hit the ground, knocking the wind out of him. The mist inveloped over his body, twisting around his feet and legs.
"--But don't be afraid," he heard within his head. The smog was now surrounding his torso.
"You hold the mightiest weapon of all." He was so scared ... he longed for breath, sticking his hand into the air in hopes that he would be pulled from the quicksand. But the only thing he saw was the gigantic shadow-monster. The haze twisted around his outstretched arm.
"So don't forget:" Sora's face was now being covered. He squeezed his eyes shut.
"You are the one who will open the door."
* * *
Seagulls ... damn loud seagulls ... the sounds of the tides were relaxing, though. What the hell was that light?
Sora squinted in the bright sunlight when he opened his eyes. There were few clouds in the sky. What just happened? Was this still a dream? Was that a dream?
He looked down at the sea and yawned. If it was a dream, he'd never had one like it. Whatever ... he'd think about it later. It's time to sleep. Killing monsters really wears a guy out. If, in fact, he was killing monsters.
Laying back down, he saw a face in front of him.
"Whoa!" he jumped back up and turned around. Geez, black apparitions don't scare him, and yet his friend's face does. She then laughed at him. "Gimme a break, Kairi," Sora laughed back.
Kairi was the same age as Sora (seventeen), and he had much the same personality; being childish and upbeat. She had auburn hair down to her shoulders, royal blue eyes, and wore a white shirt with a purple skirt.
As for Sora, he had spiky brown hair and the same blue eyes. He wore a red shirt and shorts, with a black and white vest that had a black hood. He also wore blue and white gloves and yellow shoes.
Standing straight up, Kairi said, "Sora, you lazy bum. I knew that I'd find you snoozing down here."
"No!" Sora replied, remembering what happened. "This huge, black, THING swallowed me up! I couldn't breathe I couldn't--" Kairi knocked on his head. "Ow!"
"Are you still dreaming?" she asked.
"It wasn't a dream!" said Sora. "Or was it? I don't know. What was that place? So bizarre ..."
"Yeah sure," Kairi said sarcastically.
"Say, Kairi," Sora said as she walked to the coast and stared out to sea, "what was your hometown like? You know, where you grew up?"
"I've told you before," Kairi giggled, "I don't remember."
"Nothing at all?"
"You ever want to go back?"
"Hm ... Well, I'm happy here."
Sora rolled his eyes and said in a dull voice, "Really ..."
"But you know," Kairi continued, "I wouldn't mind going to see it."
"I'd like to see it, too," Sora agreed, happy that the conversation was getting a bit more interesting. "Along with any other worlds out there. I want to see 'em all!"
Kairi looked at him and smiled. "So what're we waiting for?" she asked.
"Hey, aren't you guys forgetting about me?" came a familiar voice.
They both looked to the side to see Riku, holding a log in his muscular arm. He had icy-blue eyes and long, pointed, pale hair. Being eighteen years old, he was the oldest of the three of them, and the most mature. He wore a yellow and black shirt, with blue jeans and black gloves. His build was slender, but solid, for he worked the hardest every day--his parents made sure of it. They needed him to be the best, and for the most part, it worked.
"So, I guess I'm the only one working on the raft." He tossed the log he was carrying to Sora, whose arms wobbled as he caught it. Riku stepped up to Kairi and said, "And you're just as lazy as he is!"
She scratched the back of her head. "So you noticed," she giggled. "Okay, we'll finish it together. I'll race you!"
Riku sat down beside Sora.
"Huh?" Sora said, dropping the log down beside him.
"What?" Riku muttered. "Are you kidding?"
Kairi giggled again. "Ready?" she called. "Go!"
With this, Sora and Riku looked at each other for half a second before springing to their feet and running. They made toward the log pile to get supplies for a raft they were building. Kairi followed behind them as best she could, laughing all the way.
Sora always strived to beat Riku in anything he could, but most of the time he lost. Unfortunately, the race was no exception. But, oh, well. He'd never heard of Rilu killing giant shadow monsters before.
(Author's note: I know the prologue is almost exactly like the game but it gets better, trust me. It also steers extremely far away from the game in later chapters.)
The Madder Hatter's Fanfiction