Page Three: Change

            The memories started flashing back after Kara had died, as if reminding Gon of the better days, when he was still happy. The memories would invade without warning, taking him back to places he did not wish to visit, scenes he did not wish to see.

            This was one of those occasions, as he walked back home from a long day of classes, his backpack heavy with the weight of textbooks. An university fair was set up today, in the central park area of the University. It was on Gon’s way home, so he decided to check it out for a few minutes before he headed back home.

            The fair actually had a surprising amount of things he wanted to buy. Old videogame consoles, records and eight-track tapes, used laser discs and movies. Not to mention the expected tarot card readings and cotton candies, hot dog stands and ice cream vendors. It all felt familiar to Gon, yet it was a feeling from long ago.

            It was in the rare books booth that he saw it, the plastic cover barely holding the book together. It was the first volume of Crystal Ball, a book series Gon wrote a few years ago, before it was cancelled. The series was about a girl named Lynn Midori, whose boyfriend was killed during a shooting in a club named ‘Shooting Stars’, when they were both out on a date. Gon pretended to not see the book as he walked hastily past it, yet the book’s title never left his mind.

He had cried for some reason then, tears falling down as Kara hugged him, comforting him, the night falling outside. “I’m so stupid,” Gon had cried then, his voice muffled as he digged his nose into Kara’s chest. “I don’t know why I’m crying, I’m so stupid for crying.”

            “Shush, Gon.” Kara’s soft voice had reached him, comforting the sorrows of the heart. “Don’t talk any more, let it all out, cry all you want. I’ll always be here for you…”

            “I’m such a loser. I mean, what author cries when his characters are killed?… I mean, they’re just fictional creations, they’re not even real…”

            “Gon, don’t say anymore…”

            “Yet… They were my creations, my children, my world…”

            “And the three kings arrived at the house of God’s son,” the loud preachings of the nuns woke Gon out of his thoughts. The crowd of the University fair was growing larger and larger by the second. “They brought him the gifts that God told them to give…”

            Why did those memories come back? He wondered. Is it because he met someone named Lynn Midori, who looked exactly the same as the character he had wrote once for his series? Is that it? He didn’t know, as he walked through the little fair on his way home. “Hey, I can see you’re troubled!” A cry startled him, making him look around for the source of the voice. “Come over here, I’m over here!”

            The voice came from a man in a star-sprinkled coned hat, a dark blue cape hanging on his thin neck. ‘Wizard Ken Kuroimahou: He can give you the future you want’, a sign above the man’s stand said. Gon pretended that he didn’t hear the man, yet the man persisted, screaming at him loudly through the crowd. “You! Over here, I tell you! Hey!”

            Gon was a little irritated as he approached slowly the cheap stand that the so-called ‘wizard’ had set up. “What do you want?” Gon asked as he neared the stand, shifting his black back bag onto his left shoulder.

            “I can see that you’re confused, sir.” The Wizard smiled as he said this, showing him a deck of cards. Each surface had a different painting on it, and every painting was different for each card, some had animals and mythical creatures, while others of humans and fairies of many different kinds. “I can guide you through the darkness, if you let me…”

            “Nobody can help me now,” Gon interrupted, as he turned away from the man, getting ready to leave.

            “Why? Because only writers are able to understand writers?”

            Gon stopped as soon as he heard this, his head turning around to stare at the wizard. That was Nate’s personal quote, and only he knew about it. “How did you…”

            “I see that you have quit writing because you have lost your charm.” The Wizard continued to shuffle his cards. Then he pulled one out. This one had the painting of a beautiful girl on it, her long golden hairs covering the nakedness of the body. “For every writer needs a charm to draw their spiritual energy from, because the creation of life and worlds requires far more energy than the one self possess.”

            The Wizard flipped the card onto the small dusty table, the card sliding a little before setting down onto the surface. “Some writers have a favorite pen for charms, some a favorite notebook, pet, place, music.” The Wizard smiled as he continued, his index finger pointing at the card on the table. “The cards say that yours was a woman, and that in order for you to write again, you’ll need to find a newer charm, a newer girl…”

            Gon just looked at him silently, his eyes staring blankly at him. “How can you help me?” Gon said in a low voice, his dark eyes still staring at the wizard.

            “I can sell you a future that you can choose, sir.”

            “How much?”

            The wizard smiled. “The price is finishing the untitled. That is all I ask.”

            Gon grabbed angrily at the wizard’s cape. “Are you working with Danny?!” Gon cried out, as he pulled the wizard toward him.

            “I’m not…”

            “Tell him I’m not a writer anymore!” Gon yelled furiously at him. “Tell him that I can’t write anymore! And tell him to leave me alone!”

            He pushed the Wizard away from him, watching him fall down on the ground. Gon walked angrily away, yet he turned one last time to see what the Wizard was doing now. The Wizard was now sitting on the muddy grass, his brown eyes staring at Gon, not moving them from Gon’s figure. “Fate has already been predestined,” the Wizard smiled as he said this. “How can anyone change it?”

            Gon ignored the Wizard’s comments, as he disappeared in the crowd of faces, still not believing that Danny was low enough to hire a total stranger to fool Gon, to lie to him and make him start writing again. Gon wished that Danny would just die, then he wouldn’t be able to bother Gon anymore about his decision to quit writing. 

*   *   *   *   *   * 

            Gon felt more puzzled than surprised when he saw Lynn’s figure, her hips swaying under the lights of an afternoon sun, as she stood in front of his dark-green door. He didn’t know why she was here, or how she had found his address, for it was unlisted. “Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked as he approached her, his hands once again reaching for his keys.

            “Thought we’d study together,” she said simply, as her long dark hair waved in the autumn breeze.

            “How did you find my address?” he asked as his key slid into the lock of the door.

            “It’s printed in the student directory.”

            “Oh, really?” Gon replied as he opened the door, the tiny screech of the ungreased door-turn greeting him as he walked in. “Come in. Do you want anything to drink? Coke? Sprite?”

            “Coke will be okay,” she replied as she shyly came inside, her eyes looking around the dim-lighted hallways, now painted gold by the setting sun.

            Gon settled his book bag under his desk, and walked casually to his kitchen. He wasn’t sure if he’d forgotten that his address was printed on the student directory, or if she was lying and had found his address some other way. “Make yourself at home,” Gon yelled from the kitchen, as he pulled out two cans of Coke from the fridge.

            He almost gasped when he saw that Lynn was reading the untitled, the pages in her hands. She seemed to have sensed him in the room, for her eyes shifted quickly up toward him, her hands still holding the papers. “Sorry for reading it without asking,” she smiled as she said this, “but this is really great.”

            “No, the story’s just okay.” Gon replied quietly, as he handed her the soda.

            “Did you write this?”

            “Don’t know.” Gon sat down near the desk, his dark eyes looking at her.

            “I think this really is great. You should continue this until you finish it.”

            “Don’t know if I can.”

            She looked at him in silence for a minute or two, as if thinking of a thought that she could not figure out. Then she grabbed the notebook that contained the last phrase of the untitled, and placed a black pen into his hands.

“What are you…” Before Gon could finish his question, she put the notebook in front of him, and held his right hand in hers, touching the tip of the pen onto the blank surface of the paper.

            “I’ll help you start writing again.” She whispered this quietly into his ear, as he felt the pen move with its own motivation, the words once again recorded on the white page. His hand was once again writing involuntarily without control, without stop, just as it had before Kara died, before she had walked out of his life. 

*   *   *   *   *   * 

            Danny was the one who stopped the series. Danny was the one who had cancelled it all. “I just want you to be able to concentrate on your novels, that’s all,” that was all he said to Gon, and the monthly book series ceased to exist. Gon knew that the only reason the monthly series had been cancelled was because they weren’t selling as well as his novels had. None of them had ever reached the top twenty best-selling books of the nation.

            “Nobody is romantic anymore.” That was all Gon could say to explain the failure of the series. The series was named Crystal Ball, Gon’s only attempt into the romance genre, Gon’s only attempt to be like Nate, to honor what his best friend had written best before his death. The stories dealt with Lynn trying to recover from her boyfriend’s death, and then learning how to love again after she meets a guy named Ron McKiiroison, at a university fair that her school was having. Even though Ron never appeared in the series, because it was cancelled after the release of its second book, just a little before he was to appear.

            “I don’t know why I’m crying,” he had said when he cried in Kara’s arms, only a few days after the series had been cancelled, only a few days after the series’ world was destroyed, its characters no longer existing. “I’m so stupid for crying.”

            “Shush, Gon.” Kara had tried to comfort him, her hands petting his dark black hair. He never told her about it, he didn’t know how or why, that Lynn was the personification of the girl of his dreams, that Lynn was how he had pictured the most beautiful girl in the world.

            Gon thought about all this as he walked through the university fair, the crowds were now smaller than the last time he had visited here. It was the last day of the fair, and almost all the presenters were preparing to close down their stands. Yet that little stand was still there, its handmade sign still hanging in the same place: “Wizard Ken Kuroimahou: He can give you the future you want”.

            As Gon approached the stand, the wizard noticed him and produced a smile on his face. “Hi,” Gon said weakly, trying to act as normal as he could.

            “Goodbye,” the wizard replied, as he pulled out his picture cards and shuffled them in front of Gon again. “The future is sold out.”

            “What?” Gon was surprised when he heard this. A little chill ran down his back.

            “The cards revealed to me that you have found a new charm, and that the changes she has afflicted onto you have also afflicted the ways of your heart and mind. You figured that one part of my sayings were true, so that the other part might be too, right?”

            Gon didn’t know what to say, as he stared silently at the Wizard, who pulled out a little card from under his cape. “This is the only future your fate has reserved for you,” he said, as he handed the card to Gon.

            It was the picture of the Grim Reaper, his dark hood covering the red eyes that shined in the dark. The caption of the card read ‘Death’.


Page 3


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