Author's note: What inspired me to write this novel was from a film I had recently seen entitled "Spirited Away"... Show full author's note »
The Twilight TrainCHAPTER THREE
Yume looked at Karasu and sighed. For some reason he began to realize that this was becoming less and less a dream. The strange creatures that resided around him were becoming more real than ever.
“Hey kid, ya alright?” Karasu asked in concern seeing that Yume was a bit distant.
“My name is Yume,” Yume said standing there in silence.
“Nasty human, what business does he have in our world,” Muttered the fire spirit that Yume had seen a few moments ago as the conductor of the train stepped out and started taking tickets.
Yume gasps as he lurches out from his bed in pure panic, sweat rolling off his forehead. He looked around wondering where he was, his body was completely disoriented. He was still in his room at his Grandmother’s house, he sighed and laid back on his bed and stared up at the celing. It really was all a dream, he knew it! He did not really see all of those magical creatures and that beautiful train. He sighed and looked at his clock and his eyes nearly popped out of his skull, it was 6:55 AM in the morning. How long had he been asleep? He sniffed the air and smelt a fresh aroma of pancakes and rice balls, Grandmother’s specialties.
He was glad that the current events that had taken place were just a dream, and that none of it was real, Karasu did not exists, for now, their brief meetings for some reason felt real, but finding platform 13 and seeing those strange creatures, nah. But then something clicked inside of his head, this would be perfect for his assignment. He quickly grabbed his piece of paper and on top of it he wrote.
Well the hard part was done, now for the nightmare to commence. He reimagined all those creatures that he had seen the tree with the hand, the fire spirit, and the ghost people. It was kind of odd how all those memories were still fresh within his mind. He looked at his Calendar to validate that it was indeed Sunday and not Monday, thankfully the calendar told the truth and it was Sunday. He rushed down to the kitchen and began helping Grandmother with making breakfast.
He sat up the table in the living room and noticed that it was dark in the room so he took out a box of matches from a nearby drawer and flicked one of the matches and watched it ignite, then slowly and carefully he removed the glass and lit the wick then cautiously placed back the glass and watched the flame come to life as it was fuelled by the oil.
Soon Yume’s little brother and grandmother and himself sat at the table. Yume kept silent as he jabbed at his oatmeal, he was in deep thought about the dream last night.
“Grandmother, have you heard of a place called Platform 13?” He asked taking a bite of the oatmeal and a swig of his chocolate milk. Her fork had clattered on her plate, and she looked up and stared at Yume.
“What is wrong Grandmother?” Yume asked in a bit of shock to see the sudden mood change in his Grandmother’s expression. She rose up out of her chair and then walked off and walked towards her room, she motioned for Yume to follow. He did so and the two of them walked into her room, she closed the door silently behind her.
“Where have you heard of this place,” She asked looking at Yume straight into the eyes as if he had said a bad word and did not mean to.
“In class, a student was telling me about it,” Yume lied; he dared not bring up Karasu just in case it was a bad omen.
“A student should not know about this, tell the truth for once,’ Said his Grandmother. She was old for her age, but her skin looked slightly different then from what any other old woman would look like, she still had a bit of young left in her wrinkles and gray hair.
“I came across a man with white and black hair, and emerald green eyes, someone by the name of Karasu, he told me of the platform,” Yume said sighing slightly.
Her eyes grew slightly wider than they already were. Her pale green eyes shimmered in the sun’s light that flirted from the single window.
“It seems that the Seishin-Sekai realm is in danger once again,” Said his Grandmother sighing slightly shaking her head.
“What is that Grandmother?” Asked Yume puzzled at the words, he still was having trouble pronouncing these Japanese names.
“Walk with me,” She said opening her bedroom door and exiting. Yume hesitated but did the same and followed her. Yume’s little brother was still eating breakfast and watching the Sunday news report on the small television that he bought for his last birthday.
Yume followed his Grandmother out of the house and onto the path that led into the woods that were still covered in a thick layer of morning murkiness. Birds sang their morning melodies, and various creatures scurried in the bushes hunting for their own breakfast. The forest seemed to alive. As Yume followed his Grandmother, they remained silent and never spoke a word. After a few miles and when the house was out of sight, she softly spoke.
“The Seishin-Sekai realm is the realm of spirits and gods, there are five islands, the first four are the kingdoms, and the last is a forbidden island that belongs to darkness, according to ancient folklore Gods, Spirits and demons wonder this world, as well as wizards and witches, every generation a day comes when the world slowly begins to fade because of one thing, the lack of imagination from our own world, one specific human is chosen to venture into that world, and see things unclouded by truth and fact,” She said.
Yume did not respond as his Grandmother spoke, he looked at the tops of the trees and noticed a small blue jay jumping from branch to branch as if it were following them. Yume then looked up and saw a large iron fence, and then beyond the fence a shadowy graveyard hidden within the thick mist. Yume could see a large yew tree and near it was an old broken down church that seemed to be rotting from its foundation as if it had not been used for a very long time.
The door of the graveyard slowly creaked open and they both entered. Walking slowly through the labyrinth of tomb stones they walked in silence. Yume wondered to himself why they were in a graveyard until his Grandmother stopped at a particular stone.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
1993 – 2009
Yume remembered now that the year was 2019, so that meant Emma has been dead for a very long time.
“She was a dear friend of mine I met in school in 97,” Said Grandmother.
“I was rather young at that age, when she first told me of what she began to see,” She said breathing softly as if in grief.
“Seeing things, what do you mean?” Yume asked as he knelt down beside the tomb stone, Yume notices that his Grandmother was handing him a rose to lay upon the stone for recognition of her soul.
“She was seeing strange spirits and ghosts that wonder this earth, you might inharite these same powers since I have seen them, as well s your mother,” She said looking down.
“In fact…” She looked around the graveyard sighing softly.
“It is the reason your parents are dead,” She said looking down, a silver tear falling from her right eye.
“Your parents were not murdered, they died of an unknown cause, you were spellbound to see a fire for they were afraid of you seeing what really happened, what really happened to them is beyond description,” She began to weep.
Yume stared at the tomb stone for the longest of moments. His breath was slow and easy, and a lump had formed in his throat. He did not know what to believe anymore.
“Karasu, he is a dear friend of mine, an old friend,” Said his Grandmother taking slow breaths. The man bowed slightly and smiled slightly rising.
“My lady, I believe that it is time for the boy to aboard the train, and return to where he rightfully belongs,” Said Karasu with a smile winking slightly at Yume.
Yume looked at his Grandmother in bewilderment.
“There is one other thing that your parents had not told of you yet Yume, you are in fact the surviving male hair to the throne of his realm,” His Grandmother said falling into silence lowering her head once more, her gray hair absorbing the moisture within the cold damp air.
“Your parents protected you and your brother by hiding in this world as humans when a dark force had arisen within the realm, but now you most return Yume to restore peace and fertility,” Said Karasu.
Yume froze for a long moment, as if something had stopped him from breathing, as if an unknown spirit had grabbed him. He sighed and looked up at the clouded sky, rain began to fall from the sky, as if it were crying for him.
“Your parents did not want you to know this, but now that you have seen Karasu, and had the dream last night, it is time,” His Grandmother said.
“How did you know I had the dream of the train?” Yume asked looking towards Karasu’s direction as if he knew that answer already.
“Karasu can see dreams, all spirits can see human’s dreams, which are one way that keeps them alive,” She said. Karasu seemed to be nodding in agreement.
“Your mother was indeed the Queen, however your father, he was a normal human whom met her along the way, he was one of the few rare humans that ever stayed in Karasu’s world, they fell in love, and decided to move into the human world together when the queen had announced of your arrival,” She said whispering the words very softly.
Yume had to be dreaming, he had to. Just like the dream when he was on the platform, it’s just a dream within a dream. His Grandmother really wasn’t saying the words that she was saying, and Karasu really wasn’t there. His body trembled slightly; cold tears began to fall from his eyes.
“Something feels different,” Karasu said suddenly breaking the long lingering silence as he looked up at the sky, in fact the bird song that had been going all morning had stopped, as if the forest had been muted. Karasu grabbed hold of his staff and took a deep breath.
“Something is wrong, I’ll go check it out,” He added taking hold of his staff and leaped into the air and was out of sight, he swore that he could have seen Karasu leap one of the very tall forest trees, though it was very difficult to see through the thick fog.
A few moments later Karasu reappears, his breath is seen in front of him for he was panting trying to catch his breath.
“There is a nightmare beast abroad in the village, its causing large cracks in the sidewalks and biting out large chunks in buildings, everyone is freaked out, it’s a good thing the beast is invisible, let us pray we get to it before it shows itself,” Karasu said taking hold of his staff.
“What happens if the humans see it?” Yume questioned as he rose up to his feet looking around the mist suspecting that the creature or maybe another creature might be watching them at this moment.
“If a human sees a nightmare beast, they’ll imagine more and more horrific beasts and they shall come forth in our world,” Said Karasu.
“So basically, what the humans see from your world, they picture another vision of that creature within their minds and it becomes reality within your own world?” Yume asked looking at Karasu with a puzzled expression.
“Yea, that is right,” He replied still catching his breath.
“Okay, since I’m part human from my dad’s side, I can imagine a cute fluffy creature with white fur, large eyes that are colored green, and it has purple markings on its fur, it’ll come to be?” He asked.
Suddenly a small layer of fog began to swirl around in circles, strange blue light began to submerge out of nowhere and a round ball began to take shape. Before Yume knew it, his exact image of the creature stood before him looking right at him and made a small peep noise.
“Keep your mind open though Yume, for if a negative thought were to occur, a more semester creature might come out as a result,” She said.
“Let’s go back to the house, we need to make sure that your brother is okay and I believe your Grandmother has something to give to you Yume,” Said Karasu looking in her eyes and nodding slightly.
“Right,” Said Yume and they all left the tomb stone and wondered into the forest.
Suddenly two eyes peered through the mist. A figure was hiding within the mist, a strange monk with strange colored robes, earth brown hair and dark eyes. On his shoulder rested a snake that had dark purple scales, its tongue flickered in and out of its mouth, tasting the air.