Chapter 47 = Making dreams come true
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention, the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
When Marcus awoke again, he found himself on a cold, granite floor, and was sure that he was once again meeting with one of the Yoshian gods, but after a few moments of lying there without hearing any voices, he opened his eyes and found that he was in fact in a prison cell. Four stone walls surrounded him, with a solid door set into one, and a window into another, the latter being far too high for him to look out of, and barred to stop him escaping. He found that his cloak had been thrown in a corner of the cell, and that most of his belongings were in his saddlebags, but his flail had been taken away from him lest he try to use it on any guards that showed up.
Looking over to his side, he saw a very poorly-looking Shiala lying on her back on a bed of straw, her soft cheeks a pale orange, her open eyes vacant, her breaths shallow and struggling. Marcus gently reached out to her and ran his hand along her skin, finding it cold to the touch, and knelt beside her with a sigh.
She coughed a couple of times and turned her head in his general direction, but did not appear to acknowledge his presence, and did not address him. Her other half clenched his fists tightly, swearing under his breath at the purple Yoshi, at Manny for betraying him, and himself for failing to keep her safe. He put both hands on her chest and knelt over her, wishing he could say a prayer for her, but he didn’t know any of them except the prayer of passing, which he sincerely hoped he wouldn’t have to say…
A thought crossed his mind that he immediately dismissed, but it came back again; why don’t you try and use your psionics to save her? The risk was high, but so was the potential payoff… was it worth it to take a chance? Surely only a little use wouldn’t hurt… and it wasn’t for destruction, but to save the life of someone he loved… and wasn’t that always a good thing?
He looked into her eyes again, seeing the hidden despair, and made a decision, looking back down to where his hands were. Attempting to recall his first use of the strange powers he supposedly had, he thought about how to use them and drew a blank. He hadn’t intended to use them… all he had done was raise his hand in a wave of anger, and something had happened that he had never expected.
“I… I’ve failed you again, Shiala.” He whispered softly in Yoshian. “I’m so sorry… I don’t know what’s wrong with you or how to fix it… I’m sorry…”
She gave no reply, and he closed his eyes, feeling tears slowly starting to well up in the corners of his eyes, but was reluctant to brush them away, not wanting to hide the depth of his feelings for her. “You don’t deserve this… you’re so young, you should live out your days with someone you love… you shouldn’t be here, dying in a prison cell, barely even able to breathe…”
He opened his eyes again, fully aware of the tears washing down his cheeks. “You mean so much to me… there is nothing I wouldn’t have done if you had asked… I would have gone to the ends of Chyrus for you, sailed out beyond the eastern isles, ventured into the mountains to the southwest, fought the Koopas in the desert to the north, if only it would have meant I could be with you…”
With a sigh, he sniffled and continued, “You remind me a little of Alziana, but not so much that I’m attempting to relive my memories through you. You’re a different person, but you still mean as much to me as she did, if not more… you’ve changed my life, or what I lived with you, at least, and things will never be the same without you if you leave me…”
He clenched his fists again, resting them on top of her chest. “Something I never told you… I… I’ve always wanted to quit this adventure, this quest for vengeance, but I kept going nonetheless… I wanted to stop and take you back to your home, and live with you for the rest of my life. I… I wanted a different future to the one I’d expected with Alziana… with her, I just wanted her to be my gentle, loving wife, to be with me always and bring me comfort when I needed it most, but you… you are different. You brought me a different kind of happiness, different pleasures, different feelings… unlike with Alziana, my feelings for you developed over time, ever deepening, ever intensifying… and that changed me. I have different dreams of the future, realities I’ll probably never live out… just you and me together in the feral village, chieftain and chieftainess, with the big, strong children you told me ferals prefer…”
He shook his head and looked into her blank eyes once more, spreading his hands out again. “But it will never happen… because of something I never expected would happen. I am Marcus Charris, the sixth saviour of the Octotheist religion, destined to fight until the end of my days and achieve fame at the end of it all. I wish I were able to choose my own life… choose between that, and a life with you, but the decision has been made for me… you’re going to be taken away.”
Marcus was so upset at first that he did not even notice the low buzzing sound that had started, nor the fact that the palms of his hands were glowing purple. When he finally did see it, it took him by surprise and he lifted his hands away from her, causing a great shock of purple energy to pass from his hands to her body, jolting it suddenly and making her cry out. Before his very eyes, the colour in her cheeks returned, and she slowly began to rise, sitting up slowly as she tried to clear her head.
Still shocked, Marcus looked at his hands, but they looked the same as always, and he raised his gaze to meet with Shiala’s. She saw what he had been looking at, and cautiously enquired, “Did you… use psionics…?”
“I didn’t mean to!” Marcus protested. “Not that time… I had tried and failed, but I felt my sadness overwhelm me, and I was crying, and then you…”
“Hush.” She instructed, putting a finger to his lip. “What’s done is done…” Putting on a smile, she added, “I heard what you were saying to me… that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard you say.”
Marcus blushed, taken off guard. “I… it just came to me…”
“It’s okay.” She said, looking around. “The more urgent matter is how we get out of here…”
“Maybe I can blast the door-”
“No.” She commanded him. “Don’t use your powers if you can possibly help it…”
“But if I don’t, what’s going to happen to us?”
There was a long, unbroken silence, before Shiala dipped her head. “Okay then… you have a point. They’re probably going to execute us. Go ahead and see if you can do it…”
Marcus got up and stood facing the door, with both his arms outstretched and his fingers towards the door. He concentrated hard on the door, visualising in his mind him blasting it out into the corridor or whatever was on the other side, but nothing happened. He tried using his palms, but still, nothing happened, and for many minutes he tried different positions, different angles, different images in his head, but none of them produced an effect.
“I don’t understand…” he murmured softly as he gave up and headed back to Shiala. “I used it not too long ago. Why isn’t it working now?”
She consoled him with her gentle voice, “Maybe you don’t have to intend to use it… maybe there’s some secret technique you haven’t quite picked up on.”
“It’s no use anyway. Even if we do get out, I don’t have my flail, and I don’t fancy my chances trying to get through a prison armed only with my shaky psionics.”
He fell silent, and they sat down together on the straw, holding each other around the shoulders as the light inside the cell started to fade as the evening became night, indicating to them both just how long they’d been unconscious. Soon, the only light shining into the cell was that of the larger moon of Chyrus, softly illuminating the couple huddled up against each other.
“Marcus…” Shiala muttered after a long time, “What’s going to happen to us?”
“We’ll be okay…we’ll live, we’ll get out of here…”
“No, seriously… no dreams or wishes… what’s really going to happen to us?”
Marcus bit his lip before answering. “I think we’re going to die.”
“So do I.” Came the soft, saddened reply.
Separating from her, Marcus leant back and gazed deeply into her red-outlined eyes, and she stared back, before touching noses with him in a show of affection. “I have no regrets, though… you made my life so much better, you made me feel better than I ever have or ever would have. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but… you are certainly my saviour.”
Marcus chuckled, but she continued, “There is… one thing, though, before I give in… one thing that I want to do before our time on the mortal plane ends.”
“Tell me…” Marcus urged, holding her closer to him. “Tell me what it is.”
For a moment, she was silent, then she began to breathe heavily and looked away from him, standing up and walking away for a moment as she attempted to regain her composure. Taking Marcus’s cloak from the floor where it lay, she walked back over to him and sat down again, draping the cloak around the both of them as best she could.
“I… Marcus…” she started, but stopped again, and he held her close in an attempt to comfort her. She rubbed her head against his for a moment, before she kissed him gently on the lips; a soft, tender kiss that she savoured before breaking away and swallowing heavily in an attempt to calm her nerves. Gathering her courage, she took Marcus’s hands in hers and, with all of the determination she had, made her request in the darkened cell.
“Before we die… before it ends for us… will you… please… mate with me?”
Several seconds passed as Marcus thought deeply, whereupon she added, “If we don’t then we won’t meet up again in the afterlife… and… I love you so much, I… I want to express that in the greatest way that I can, while I still can…”
Marcus closed his eyes and let a long, slow exhalation of breath escape him, before looking back up to her and reaching out with one hand to stroke her soft cheeks. “I have nothing left to lose, except for you… anything that makes you happy will make me happy, too… and… since this is going to be our last night together before the end…”
He took his cloak from her and wrapped it loosely about himself, fastening it at the top with the brooch in his saddlebags, then bringing his arms around her and pushing her down onto the bed of straw.
“I accept.” He said softly, breathing heavily. “You told of your feral dreams… I want to make them come true.”
“Thank you…” she replied. “I never doubted you for a moment.”
Manny squatted in the corner of his cell. How long had he been here? Yasei-Yeiko hadn’t come back, so he could only assume she’d escaped… but was there any way for him to do the same?
“I have to get out of here and warn Marcus… just in case she didn’t manage it. But how can I do it when they have my sword?”
The answer came to him a moment later, and he remained awake most of the night, planning his escape from the prison, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late.
To be continued…