Tale of Souls Chapter Sixteen
There’s something to be said about triggering a near meltdown in Ryan at this stage in our lives. The fact that there’s something that Kristoff’s been hiding is enough to throw me into some strange vibes. The problem is, there’s suddenly more to it than that. I have no clue what’s throwing this at us.
“Please, l-let me go. I was trying to find out where she was and this… this is what I found. OK? I’m not trying to lie.” Kristoff looked a lot more fearful than he usually does. If it weren’t for the hair and the eyes and the ears – I’d assume that was Rana. Even though Rana himself was in the doorway on his knees.
“DADDEH I FOUND THE STICKY POO IN YOUR DRAWER!” Luke bounced up and down, he wasn’t much more than four year old in stature at this point. Though due to the nature of him and Matt, they were not entirely children. They’re a quasi mix of being children of Rana and Kristoff somehow – yet clones, and it wasn’t incest either – not that really you could call it incest – i mean is it more masturbation? Don’t quote me on that, I still can’t think about that with a straight face.
“Lucas, put it back there’s…” Kristoff tried to reach for Luke and get him to give him the USB stick.
“He’s given it to me already. That’s why I’m here, to question you and ask you why you’d hide such a thing from us?” Rana stared at all of us in the face and grabbed the USB drive from Luke’s hand and tried to stand up and began to walk over to us. “Ryan, settle.”
“Mate, he’s long gone after this – you won’t see him for days, you wanna take another guess? Maybe stop losing at Jeopardy and you’ll get ahead in life.” Ryan’s voice was his own, but his mind had obviously cracked under something.
“Noah?!?” Rana pouted at Ryan for a moment and hung his head.
“Mate, no no – don’t get sad, I’m not holding the poor kid like a savage beast – he’s been cracking at the seams for weeks now. Me from this time doesn’t exist anymore, so he called favors and had his younger self backseat so I could help out. “ Ryan nodded, though at this stage you could say it was Noah, but it was Ryan’s body and Ryan’s voice. “I’m not trying to kill anyone – but I’m just as attached to you all as each other – I’ve been here with you so long it’s making me angry.”
“I’m aware you’re mad, but I was planning on telling everyone when I got my head around it. I barely can understand everything going on, let alone this.” Kristoff waved to be let back down, and with a small modicum of success sat back down on the couch – moving closer to me to let Ryan sit down by us.
“I haven’t seen what’s on the stick, and I refuse to watch it so I don’t screw it up for us in the past. “
“You’re gonna want to watch it regardless, because she’s been possibly gone longer than we know. I’m only assuming a few small years because I know what’s on the records. But that’s only the recent iteration of time. “ Kristoff hung his head.
I watched as Rana put the stick on the TV across from the couch we’d been sitting on. A hefty QLED that Sai’d gotten in the last couple years. With everything going on the only one using it is Psilas when he’s over playing on the game consoles. He turned the TV on, finagled with the remote to get the TV to recognize the drive – and hovered over the video.
“There’s nothing we can do, we have to watch this.”
“But the boys are here.”
“PAPA PUT IT ON, I SAW IT ALREADY” Matt ran and jumped on the couch and sat on my lap. “Uncle, I SIT HERE!”
I gulped, for one – I had no kleenex around so we’re all using our sleeves to wipe our noses and eyes. For two, Matt’s heavier than his brother and he runs and jumps a lot more than his brother. For three, I’m nowhere near ready to watch a video of my former self’s last days. How do you even process this?
How do you process that you’re one of five individuals, and four of you are split off from the core – and the core’s dead and gone and not by her own hands? How do you even tell your parents this? I mean for 17-18 years of my life this – the person we’re about to watch on screen was all four of us. All five of us were of one mind.
We were of one body.
How the hell do you explain that to anyone? We just automatically say we’re siblings because we don’t look like direct twins, each of us share slightly different traits. There’s nothing about our situation that’s normal anymore. None of us have been human for years now, and that’s a disturbing thought as it is.
Not disturbing. No, we’re proud of what we’ve all become – and we embrace it – but change can cause minor trauma. It’s like building muscle – you’re tearing and shaping something and it heals as it creates more strength. We’ve had that happen as we’ve changed, dealt with more of this worldly bullshit – we’ve embraced the change. You just have to handle the small quirks of trauma that come with the change.
Yet, this sort of radical change – the one about to show in front of us – it’s far more than trauma. You’re talking 17 years of your life being erased and no way of bringing it back. Proof of purchase down the incinerator. None of us with a DNA test these days could prove that Lily’s who we once were. We’ve all experienced different things in life, become something else to be something else.
“Papa, i get kleenex?” Luke poked Rana in the arm as he watched us using our sleeves and sometimes each other’s shoulders.
“Yes Lucas, i think your Uncles stash some in the hall cupboard. I think Psilas stole the last box that was out for dirty disgusting reasons.” Rana rolled his eyes and then pointed to the hallway.
Within moments Luke came out with several boxes of kleenex, all unopened. They fell onto the floor, and he fell over backwards onto his behind. Of course, like most kids do – he got hurt, so he started crying. Which was awkward because it triggered him into adult mode. He looks like the human replica (despite not being entirely human himself) of what Kristoff did just an hour ago.
“I hate it when he does that, it’s weird enough seeing all of us cry like babies cause we’ve lost someone. Now I have to deal with my clone/child crying like a baby as an adult because he fell on his ass.” Kristoff snorted back his tears, cleared his throat and got up and walked over to Luke who was sitting crying like – well a four year old, because that’s really his age range. “Ok mini-me, you can get up now.”
“What?” Luke looked up at Kristoff and shook his head and realized he’d switched into adult mode by accident. “Sorry.”
“It’s ok, you were trying to get kleenex and forgot how much you were carrying and fell over. It was – ok still is cute. It’s just minorly jarring when you look exactly like I do bar what I look like right now.” Kristoff helped Luke up and helped grab the kleenex boxes and walked with him back to the couch. “Noah, move it – we got one more adult on the couch. I refuse to be an ass and call you Ryan if you’re out. It’s not fair on you.”
“S’ok, i’m used to it mate, but uh – you got room for all of us? I mean you and your son are gonna make it quite cramped.” Ryan, well – Noah in this case, looked back over to me and moved closer to me and let the other two in.
“YES HE HAS ROOM, DAD IS NOT THAT FAT.” Luke yelled at the top of his lungs, and tried to sit on Kristoff’s lap only getting shuffled to the side.
“No, but if you’d lay off the burger king when you’re in adult mode I wouldn’t have to get knee surgery.” Kristoff carefully nudged Luke to the side. “I love you kiddo, but holy shit you’re heavy.”
“LUKE LUKE ME TOO?” Matt grinned.
“No, you’re on my lap now you’re not changing to adult mode on purpose – i don’t care if you’re a rail like Rana. EVEN RANA will kill my knees. You can do adult mode if you wanna sit on the floor or in one of the chairs.” I scoffed and poked Matt lightly in his waist and continued to lightly scritch the kid’s head. “Your choice, but no killing my knees.”
“I stay put.” Matt smiled. “I like your lap!”
“Ok Rana you can press play, we have like enough kleenex for a motherfucking army now.” Noah grabbed two boxes knowing that he was backseating through a past version of Ryan, and had not only younger Ryan’s emotions to handle – but the original Wolf, Matthew’s emotions to deal with.
“Matt, can you pass me a box? We can share.” I quietly whispered in Matt’s ear, trying to get him to grab a box. The exception to the situation was he was picked up off my lap and replaced with a box of kleenex. Turns out, Rana needs his child for emotional support.
“No, we’re waiting for Psilas and Sai. I texted them a minute ago, because I don’t want them to miss out.”
“We’re missing Yasuo.” Noah looked around. “And what about Aura?”
“Do you want the electricity turned off?” Kristoff darted a look at Noah for a moment and growled lightly.
“No, but what about Yasuo?” Noah raised an eyebrow, trying not to raise a fist at the same time. There may have been a middle finger or two in the process.
“He’s with Mike in the lines, he’s probably sadly already aware of all of this.” Psilas walked in with his younger self and his father, Saitou with him. “I hope you don’t mind, I brought myself with…”
“Psi Psi!” Matt bounced while on Rana’s knees and motioned for Psilas to sit near them. Rana of course being on the nearest chair to the couch.
“I’ll sit on the floor but dad can have younger me, just so I don’t have to act like I’m his long lost uncle for a minute or two.” Psilas set his younger self on my lap and slouched down on the floor between the chair Psilas was on and the couch.
“What no room for me honey?” Sai raised his eyebrow at me as he patted Rana on the head. “Or am I relegated to the other chair?”
“You’re either the other chair or the floor, now hurry up Rana’s about to start the video.” I sighed and held Psilas’s younger self close. I realize this is traumatic even for the younger three, but there’s something important in this video for all of us. Though Kristoff’s right, we bring Aura in here and we’ll get yelled at for not having her favorite cartoons on and she’ll also turn the electricity off and damage all the whiteware. I can’t tell you enough that her anger and frustration isn’t something she picked up from Ryan – the way she does it is entirely like her Grandfather and Yasuo.