The Story of Tata Chapter 5
A Time for Death and Friendship
By The Man
The End of Time
Gaspar woke up, suddenly remembering an important task that needed doing. Adjusting his worn hat, he looked around the small court that was his. On the bridge that went nowhere, ( since Epoch was gone) stood Magus. He gazed out into the black void, his mind deep in thought. Gaspar smiled thinly at him, knowing perfectly well where the mage's mind was.
Looking back in the actual court, he spotted Ayla, and Robo, who wore depressed looks on their faces. They had lost their friend to the might of Lavos. At that moment, the other members were searching for him, but the duo were still held in doubt.
Gaspar, making sure no one saw him, slowly reached into one of his pockets. He fumbled for a second, before pulling his hand out, which now held a Chrono Trigger. Again, the Guru of Time looked about, then, taking a deep breath, slowly made his way to the pillars of light. They glowed brightly as he approached them, as if happy he was paying them a visit. Gaspar, didn't even slow his pace. Quietly he made his way through the numerous glowing stalks, until he finally came to a stop in front of the northwestern-most pillar.
Gaspar stared deeply into it, almost in a trance by it's dancing, swirling light. The bright glow reflected off his worn, tired face. Finally, he was able to pull himself out of the glow of the light. He had a task to do. Time was running out, and the task was most urgent. He held the Chrono Trigger in front of his face, causing it's shadow to fall across his face. He knelt down to the light pillar, still holding the small egg-like device. Using ever so much care, he placed it in the middle of the bright light circle. The was a small chime, indicating that it was ready to leave to it's chosen time and place.
"Yes." Said Gaspar, sighing. "Go."
With that, the Chrono Trigger floated directly upward, up, up, higher and higher, until it was gone. Gaspar looked back to where the others sat. They hadn't seen or heard a thing. Slowly, Gaspar made his way back to his lamppost, and lay back against it. He was just in time too, because at that moment, he heard the sound of Epoch docking. He quickly assumed his usual lazy stance, as the three heroes walked across the bridge, in between them, was Crono.
"Well." said Gaspar, happy to see the lad again. "It looks like you were successful."
"We really owe you one-" started Marle, who was hugging Crono's arm.
"No, don't thank me, I didn't do a thing." He said, cutting her off. "I just gave you a place to begin. If you really want to thank me, make me a member of your team!"
* * *
He was tired. Yawning, Tata got out of bed and made his way upstairs to his room. Up there, he saw Glenn snoozing on one of the bed posts, while Minka, slept calmly on the actual bed. Shaking his head, he walked over to his dresser. Pulling it open, he saw a pair of white trousers hanging from a rack. He grabbed them and put them on. Hastily, he tied the strings together and grabbed a long sleeved shirt that was also white. He tucked the bottom of it in the waist of the pants.
Looking around, he spotted his sword leaning up against some drawers. He walked over to grab it, but just as his hand came down on the sheath, he heard a small noise. He looked over to his bed, where Minka had obviously stirred.
But it was not a calm, serene girl that lay upon his bed, but one who's open sword wounds had almost completely covered the bed in dark red blood.
"GAAAAAAAH!!" shrieked Tata, throwing himself back against the drawers. Tata's sudden scream and the thump of his body slamming against the wood, caused the blood-soaked body to quickly jolt to a sitting position. Then it quickly turned its pulpy face in his direction.
That's when Tata knew he was having another illusion. He shut his eyes as tight as he could, muttering silent prayers. He did this for at least a minute, hardly taking time to breathe.
When he was almost sure it was gone, he slowly lifted his eyelids.
It was gone. So was everything else.
Now all Tata saw was blackness, which stretched on forever and ever. He couldn't even see his own hands, as he looked around frantically to find a clue as to where he was. Finally, as his eyes continued to search, he spotted something. It appeared to be a small flame that was steadily growing in size.
Fearful that it might consume him, Tata tried running from side to side. Yet though he could feel his feet pounding the ground, he found that the fire had remained constant in it's growth.
And now, Tata could make out a running figure running inside the flame. All Tata could do was stare in awe as the figure kept running towards him in a mad frenzy. The figure came closer, and closer, and closer, until it was no more than fifteen feet away. It was then that Tata could tell that the figure was no more than a skeleton. And it was screaming. Loudly.
Tata awoke with a jolt, still in his downstairs bed, and gasping desperately for air. It was early morning now. He breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that he was still alive.
A dream. Tata thought to himself. No, no, not a dream, but a horrid nightmare.
Tata lightly bumped his head with his fist in frustration. How long were these illusions, rather nightmares going to go on? What did they mean? Why were they attacking him?
These questions whirled around in Tata's head for a few minutes, until he heard a small noise right next to him. Tata started shaking uncontrollably in fear, for it was much like the noise he had heard in his dream. Slowly, with his head shaking in a large vibration, he looked to his left, where the noise had come from. But instead of another bloody corpse, he saw the girl he loved so much: Minka. She had stirred in her sleep.
Breathing a huge sigh of satisfaction, Tata realized he was truly awake. He stared long and hard at her slender form resting on his bed that they had moved down there the night before. Minka had said that she couldn't be content with being so far apart from him, knowing that he very well might have more illusions, and that she needed to be close by.
But he wasn't going to tell her about this one. Tata felt she didn't need to worry herself on this particular nightmare.
Tata quietly slipped out of the left side of his bed and quietly knelt down beside Minka's bed. She was sleeping with her back towards him, the right sleeve of her tank top hugging her shoulder tightly.
Tata lay his arms on the edge of the bed, giving with a deep sigh.
"Minka, I " Tata started, but drooped his head. "I really hope you're dreaming good dreams, about me, a happy life, and such.
Tata inhaled deeply, before releasing it. "Because I see nothing but your beauty every time I close my eyes." He lied, deferring to his latest dream.
"You are everything to me. You're the closest heaven that I'll ever feel*, and I want you to feel the same way about me. I don't want to lose you."
Tata let it hang on that note for a second, before another Minka's silky voice broke in.
"That was very sweet, Tata." She said, pushing her front body off of the bed and smiling warmly at Tata, who also now wore a slight smile.
"I, uh, well, you, you weren't really supposed to, uh " Tata nervously tried to respond.
Minka simply shook her head and leaned in and kissed him on the lips, which Tata accepted. Leaning back on her elbow, Minka smiled again.
"I simply never knew you cared." Joked Minka, clearly enjoying herself.
Tata could feel his face getting hotter by the second. He didn't know why he didn't want Minka to know he had such intimate feelings for her, save for the obvious stuff.
Chuckling, Minka rolled onto her feet and walked over to where Tata stood, red-faced and looking down in embarrassment. She held his hands, which caused him to look up into her eyes.
"You don't have to hide from me, Tata." She said, in a more-or-less normal tone. "I can practically read it on your face. It says it silently to me every time you look at me."
She kissed him again. "Besides," she said with a wide smile. It's not like you can hide it."
Finally, Tata smiled. But then Minka looked down. He looked down also to see that his white trousers were untied. They looked at each other, Minka once again grinning, Tata once again red-faced. He quickly turned away as Minka tried to refrain from laughing out loud.
"I'd, uh, better fix that." Tata said hastily tying the strings into knots and double knots. Once done, he turned back to see Minka grinning like an idiot, trying vainly to not laugh at the unusual predicament.
"It wasn't that funny." Tata said as Minka attempted to calm herself.
Finally, Minka had reached the point in which she could once again speak. "I, I guess I should be getting home around (hah hah) now!"
Minka reached up with her hand to straighten her shirt, and did the same to her pants.
"Walk me to the door?" she asked, giving Tata a smile.
"It's right there." Said Tata, motioning to it with his hand.
"I know, it's just a saying." Said Minka, walking over to the door, even as Tata met her there. He opened the door, just as Minka kissed him one more time.
"Stay in touch." She said, walking out.
"I will." Said Tata.
They waved good-bye, and Tata shut the door.
For some reason, Tata started to think about his nightmares again. They had vexed him so thoroughly, he felt like a lunatic.
For hours on end, that was all Tata thought about. The minutes seemed like seconds, and hours seemed like minutes. The all ran by Tata at top speed, and never gave them word on their being there.
Tata began to question if these were the first steps in going mad. But Tata didn't want to be a madman. He desperately tried to think of different things, better things. But he simply couldn't.
Finally, after four hours of pondering and brooding, Tata decided he was hungry. Rubbing his eyes he stood up from the desk he had been sitting at and slowly trudged downstairs. It was mid afternoon and the yellow glow of the sun shot in the windows. They streaked Tata as he opened the door and walked outside for the first time that day. He was still thinking about the nightmares, but he knew that if he continued to do so, he surely would turn insane.
He had to think about better things, like the future, his friends, Minka he was happy to have her as a friend. But what an embarrassing moment! His fly untied in front of her! Tata couldn't help but chuckling, remembering the unusual situation.
Tata realized he had been dawdling. He looked up to see where he was, finding himself in the middle of town already. He spotted the café in the distance, and headed towards it.
He went back to his thoughts, this time keeping an eye on the road. He felt slightly guilty for making Minka worry about him so, even though she didn't seem to mind. He felt also embarrassed now when he ripped her shirt after having that nightmare. So, so weird. The figure had intended to kill her, but he had stopped it. He had appeared in her room, dived into her wardrobe. He saw her enter, with her left shirt shoulder
Tata's mind snapped to attention. Her left sleeve! Torn!! Could the image he had seen been a prophecy?!
Tata didn't even think it through. Spotting a horse being held by a boy, Tata rushed towards it. He leaped onto the dark brown steed, and without a word, spanked it on the rear, and the two were off. Paying no heed to the boys failing protests, Tata urged the horse along at blinding speeds, praying that he was wrong, that he would find her snug in her bed
At his speed, it was not long before he reached her secluded house that was hidden in the western trees of The Cursed Woods. Upon her house, he dismounted quickly and bolted for the door. His red cape billowing, he barely took time to turn the knob before bursting into the two-story house.
"MINKA!" he shouted, crossing the living room and making his way to the stairs leading up to his friend's room.
He reached the foot of the stairs to find a small pool of blood. Heart racing and breath blowing, he dashed up the stairs and slammed open the door.
Tata saw the worst sight he ever in his life. Blood, everywhere, on everything. Dripping from the ceiling, pouring down the walls, oozing on the floor. It had splattered the windows, drenched the bed, stained the wood. And on the floor, was the source. Two mutilated forms lay on the floor. The one nearest to him, Minka's mother, stared blankly up at the ceiling with clouded eyes. He mouth oozed dark red blood that seeped down her expressionless face. He chest had been ripped open by a massive sword slice. Her innards were clearly visible, and the blood that flowed freely around her body was an inch deep. In addition, her left arm and her left foot had been carved off.
The other body lay facedown on the floor. Tata weakly sauntered over to the form and knelt down beside it. He gently rolled it onto its back, and let out a weak gasp.
It was Minka. She had suffered massive blade injuries all over her torso. Her eyes were closed and, like her mother, had streaks of blood running down her face. He lifted her head into his arms and rested them on his knees. He began to let the tears flow freely.
The moment was cut in half as a loud crash echoed from the downstairs room. Tata instinctively jumped clean over Minka's blood soaked bed, dripping blood himself, and hid behind it. Perhaps the killer had spotted Tata and had returned. Tata sat still, tense, and prepared to spring into action.
The pounding of feet on the stair reached Tata's ears, and the youth prepared to lunge. Suddenly, the door flew open, and a slender figure rushed in, stopping short after spotting the slaughter. Tata could see out from under the bed the being's full figure and head. Tata noted with great surprise that the figure bore a striking resemblance to Minka, only she was older. She wore dark brown tights that were cut off at the hips by a small red skirt. She had on white boots that folded down to cover a black toe. She also wore a white vest, and some white gloves that lacked the ends of the fingers. The final item was a long white cape that had a red stripe crossing the bottom.
Tata recognized her as Minka's sister: Flea. And the look of horror that crossed her face was astonishing for a hardened general of Magus' army.
Tata felt one of his own tears drop off his face and splatter soundlessly on the hard wood. Flea covered her mouth with both hands even as tears flowed down her face and hands. Her sobbing was loud and clear, echoing off of the bloodied walls.
"No." she said between cries. "It can't be."
Then, almost instantly, her expression turned from profuse mourning to extreme fury. She turned and grabbed a hold of the door and without hesitation, ripped it clean off. Throwing it down on the ground, she stormed off down the stairs.
Tata waited until he heard her leave, then crawled out from under the bed. Apparently, the blood hadn't made its way under the bed, and Tata kept his shirt white. He walked silently over to where Minka still lay. Once again, from a kneeling position, brought Minka's front up in his arms. He continued to cry as he gently stroked her silky hair. His hand started trembling, and he realized that he was about to break down completely. He brought Minka's head closer and gently kissed her. Then, setting her back down and folding her arms across her chest, Tata stood up. He turned to the window.
He eyed it wearily, knowing that there was only one way to be truly happy. He took a deep breath, contemplating the action he was about to commit. He would see Minka soon, and this was how he would do so.
Letting out a cry of rage, he ran all-out towards the bed. He hurtled the bed at the last second and crashed through the window. Tata fell, and fell, and fell. He felt himself let go, relieving his mind of any worries as the ground rose to meet him.
But then, at the last second, there was a bright rainbow-colored flash bellow and he stopped. Tata looked down and saw the ground inches in front of him. Suddenly, he dropped the small distance and landed on the soft ground.
Realizing he wasn't dead, Tata pounded the ground with his fist, making large dents in the dirt. He rolled over onto his back and stared blankly up at the sky. His life was completely screwed up, and his attempt to end it all had somehow failed. He sighed, a deep, heavy sigh, then slowly stood up to his full height. He looked back in the direction of Porre and spotted an orange sunset casting sleepy shadows over the town. He couldn't stay here. Not after all the carnage he had witnessed. He looked north. Then, without further ado, turned in that direction and started walking up to Zenan Bridge.
* * *
Magus stepped out of the blue glow of the gate and looked on at the scene before him. Spotting Guardia Castle, or at least a larger version, he realized he was in 1000 A.D. He was weary from his journey and wanted nothing more now than to find a place to rest. He was upset, too. Upset, because he had failed. He had really been searching for over a year for Shala, even though here, almost now time had passed. He had searched every time, every place, at that. But Shala was indeed lost for good.
Now Magus didn't know what to with his life. He began to walk forward, but halted as he sensed another being coming through the gate. He quickly turned to face the gate, drawing his scythe and readying some shadow magic.
Yet the figure that came through was small, rather short, and its black silhouette walked foreword, towards Magus, who was calm and ready.
Finally, the figure dived through the gate and landed neatly on its feet as the gate shut behind him. Seeing who it was, Magus sighed and put away his weapon.
"Of all of the people I had to run into, I would have to find you." Said Frog, with an angry look on his frog face.
Magus retained his cool, and returned fire. "No one said you had to fall through that gate." Said Magus derisively.
"I didn't fall through, rather cameth through to this era to seek sanctuary in the arms of my old comrades."
For a minute, neither said anything more. Magus was still upset about his inability to find Shala.
Magus Turned back to the frog.
"'Tis that a tear?"
Magus touched his right cheek. Pulling his hand back, he found that a tear had indeed fallen from his eye. "It's nothing." He said sternly.
"Oh, I think not." Said Frog, taking a step toward the mage. "I've been around ye long enough to know that thou hardly ever shows any emotion."
He took another step. "What 'tis it?"
"Not to be of your concern, that's for certain." Magus said a little louder than normal.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say thou art turning more into a normal human." Responded Frog coolly. Then it clicked in his head. "It's Shala, 'tisn't it?"
"It I " but Magus turned away to hide another that came down from his watering eyes.
"You've hath no doubt been looking for the dear lass, perhaps to find a way to bring her back to the living world."
Frog was just a foot away from Magus now. "Ye know, Magus, perhaps I've been wrong about thee this whole time. Thou art not as hard on the inside as thine is on the outside. Thou'rt hides his pain underneath the hard shell. Because that is what the world hast crafted thee to be."
Frog took yet another step. "Thou has always felt alone and abandoned. Ye are to be pitied, Magus, not feared. Thou leads one of the most tragic and depressing lives I've ever heard of. Even worse then mine."
This last comment caused Magus to turn around. He wasn't crying. "You think your life is tough? Even after what I did to you? Hah! My life is an infinite space ahead of yours as far as 'tough lives' are concerned! You found sanctuary in the world. I didn't!! Your misery may one day end, but mine will last forever!! And I will never find comfort!"
Frog sighed and hung his head. When he looked back up at Magus, he was still calm.
"Magus, mine life may not surpass thine own in misery, but it still reeks of sorrow. My sorrow.
And I am alone, too, Magus. That is probably the only thing that we have in common: that we are both loners, outcasts of society."
Frog now was not acting as hard as he had been. "But death is not the answer. Life is not the answer. We reside in between both of those realms. At least, for now. But you don't have to be alone, Magus, nor I. That 'tis why I chose to befriend the other's; so I wouldn't be alone. Thou can do the same thing, through me."
"You are honestly trying to form a friendship, Frog-man." Magus said incredulously.
"Yae." Said Frog, ignoring the remark. "To the end."
He held out his open hand in Magus' direction. "Friends?"
Magus sighed and looked down, considering his choices. He looked at the frog that wanted to be his first real friend. Finally, Magus spoke.
"To the end." He said and grabbed his hand and shook it.
Suddenly, everything went completely black. Even though it had been the pitch black of night before, now absolutely nothing was visible. Magus and Frog kept their hands held, for fear that they might get lost. But then, Magus felt Frog's hand grow, and enlarge, until he felt like he was holding a normal person's hand, instead of a humanoid frog. And he wasn't far off his guess, either, for the void-like blackness lifted, and standing in front of Magus was Glenn.
Magus' mouthed dropped so fast, that he felt he nearly broke it. Glenn, realizing he was now at eye level with the wizard, looked himself over, finally looking back at Magus with a look of equal astonishment. Then he smiled. But Magus needed answers.
"But why?" he said in a voice just above a whisper.
"I think I know." Said Glenn in a more human voice. "The 'Entity,' I feel he found great happiness in the bonding of two enemies. Bitter enemies, even. An invaluable was in order."
"Yeah? Then why didn't he give me Shala back?" asked Magus, releasing his grip on Glenn's hand. He turned away. "Why can't she come back?"
Glenn walked over and put his hand on his shoulder. "It's always good to hope." He responded.
Magus quickly turned about, shaking off Glenn's hand. He sighed and lowered his head. "I suppose." He said quietly. Then he looked up at Glenn and cocked a small smile.
Glenn stretched out his arms slightly and made a small shrug. "What?" he asked.
"Your clothes." Magus said, pointing to Glenn's attire, which from the sudden growth, clung to his figure like spandex. "You just might want to change into something more your size."
"Aye, yes indeed." Said Glenn, just as a loud ripping was heard. Looking down, he saw his knee had torn through.
"Let us set our sights on meeting our company." Glenn said. With that, they began to walk towards Guaria Castle, Glenn'' clothing getting ripped up with every step.
End of Chapter 5
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