25th January 2003, 02:04 PM #1
Like the Memory of a Kiss
"Müto": Ditto (PG-16)
Darkness haunted this depressing and unwholesome day. It was overcast, and it had rained heavily earlier in the town of Timpor. The unpaved streets became cementlike to travelers, be they on foot or by carriage, and proved to be the death of the smaller creatures which tread into the once sandy bowels of the town's paths.
Timpor was a small town, just east of Goldenrod. It didn't have much more than houses and a central cluster of shops where the locals obtained their food and other necessities. Few people from more recognised cities even knew that the place existed.
On this particular day, a traveler might have described his stay as horribly solemn, and might even stretch as far to say that it had frightened him. With due cause fear would come to this traveler, for the birds of ancient lore—the ravens, the Murkrow—had come to town on that day, come to rest upon the rooftop of the chapel of Timpor, come to cast their veil of despair.
On the hour that this traveler, this cloaked, mysterious individual, appeared before the chapel in his journey, the bell pealed thrice, and, with each tinnination, a cloud of Murkrow fluttered up from its domination over the church roof, only to come down over this person.
He folded his shadowlike cloak down from his head, revealing hair in dark, youthful ringlets which fell just past his shoulders. With his glittering blue eyes he glared up at the flock of dark and evil birds, horrified beyond belief at such a sight.
"Never before have I seen such a terrible yet fantastic sight!" he uttered to himself.
In response the Murkrow simply cawed in garbled unison, making themselves comfortable in a nearby mulberry tree.
"There must be at least a hundred of them," he continued in awe, still watching them. "Whatever could they be doing in such a mass?"
"Someone's death is marked today," a figure replied from behind him.
He whirled around to find an old woman, short but obviously not frail and incapable of defending herself should the need arise, standing there. She arrayed in pale yet obviously many—layered attire, and seemed as though she had already met Death, but she had not. Her gaze was piercing, possessing the flame of awful knowledge; anguish and anger crinkled her sharp face. A sturdy, stout cane supported her step.
"Of whose death do you service today?"
"One named Müto," she replied, her gaze stinging the boy's heart with a blaze of such horror that he cried out.
"Stop, surely, witch! Your icy blaze has frozen me!" He glared at her, in denial of the name she had spoken. "You must cease in your terrible falsities, for I am called Müto!"
"Forgive me," she mumbled, weary. "But I could not resist that I mourn in such a way the loss of such a beautiful young man."
Then in an instant, both looked to the chapel a distance away from them, noticing the double wooden doors open wide. As did come forth from the holy place a funeral procession.
Müto merely stood there in pain that this woman rack his mind and heart in such a way. "Tell me, demon which torments me, why, then, does this dredge carry a coffin?"
"The coffin does not carry its contents," she told him, not turning away from watching the black mass. The Murkrow followed the mourning.
Suddenly the pallbearers came to a region of the street where the rain had created an abhorrent thickness of mud. None of the six could pull themselves from its grasps, and soon in their struggle they dropped the coffin open in the mud. Spilling from the bone-box came forth a mort. Its pallid complexion was foiled by its dark, beautiful hair. The body lay face-down in the mud, sinking slowly to the bottom.
Müto rushed instinctively to save it, jumping into the pit and wrenching it from the mud's attraction. Now also covered in mud like all the others, the boy turned the corpse over cautiously, fearing dearly that his precognitions would be correct. And they were.
Staring into his own gaze, a mirror albeit one dead, one alive. In an instant the corpse strangled both pale hands around the boy's neck, seeming to hiss as it slowly choked the life from him. The pallbearers did nothing to help him as he struggled with his wraith, his duplicate, his doppelganger.
Müto fought hard against the being, unable to break its grips upon him. He grappled in his sash to withdraw a dagger, and thus proceeded to disarm the corpse. The appendage laying bloodied in the mud, Müto cried out in pure pain and shock as he saw that the assault had only severed his right arm, not the undead's. Clasping what remained of the arm by the elbow in attempt to stop the blood from escaping him, he cried out, "What horrible curse have you cast upon me, witch?" He glared at her from where she stood, which was not far from where the coffin had fallen.
"I have done nothing," she replied. "I merely see the truths of Fate. The servants of Fate, they come to me; they tell me what shall become of the future. These servants, the Ditto, they only do as are told. They are the cursed ones, forever to give nothing but Death to the world."
Not an instant after the old woman had uttered the last word, the doppelganger corpse lashed out at Müto with its other arm. The boy leapt back in exclamation, kicking the creature back.
"But why? Why me, old woman?" he asked her.
"You will know all soon enough," she stated. At this point, she and the six pallbearers encircled Müto and plucked him up from the mud by what of his arms they could get hold of. The doppelganger picked up the dagger and ceremoniously proceeded to slowly cut a shallow path from its forehead to its breast, and drew but one deep breath before it ran its heart through. This action wrenched the boy into throes, and, as the seven let him fall to his knees in the mud, he clutched at his heart in agony, blood staining his hand and clothes. Breathing scarce, he proceeded to glare up at the old woman.
The woman motioned to the again lifeless body. "The Ditto's effect is what has cursed their race: any wound they inflict upon themselves is also inflicted upon their essence-mates. Death is Change, my boy. I am sorry that Change has come so soon to so beautiful and young a boy, Müto, but it is Fate."
With his final moment of life, Müto once more set his eyes upon the Ditto. "Müto: 'I Change'...." Then he died.
The pallbearers set him in the coffin, dagger in his left hand, left arm crossed over his chest. The doppelganger reverted to its true form—an amorphous being with no shape of its own—and was placed in this way at the foot of the coffin.
The Murkrow and the procession marked upon that day where Müto—Change—would pass.
Last edited by Evil Figment; 5th February 2003 at 02:49 AM.