Tale of Souls Chapter Three
“Come in, this better be good – you’re meant to be in your college level classes today.” Izuchi motioned for the two of us to come in. This guy still doesn’t look familiar, though I swear to you his hair looks like a cheerleader pom pom in magenta pink. This isn’t the 80s, why he’s wearing a mullet of sorts i’ll never know. The black is the longest part in the back, and he has … mutated looking ears. He’s too skinny for rugby, so is this the not so human shit that everyone has put into my head?
“I have proof of that stuff you keep telling me isn’t happening.” Lily squished her eyebrows and made a serious face for a super serious situation. “This is six weeks worth of – “
“Ugh this again?” Izuchi frowned, “Shiro, can you handle this, I need to go to a meeting.” He grabbed the guestbook and slammed it on the desk nearest to him and rolled his eyes at Lily. He strut passed us, and snarled at me as he walked by. “Stop meddling in shit mickey, these kids don’t need your bullshit.”
“So what’s this that is in front of me?” A softer tone, blonde hair down to the ears, a strangely maroon scarf underneath a blazer over a 90s metal band t-shirt. “Oh! The data you’ve collected.”
“Don’t look so surprised Shiro, Izu doesn’t want us to look into it.”
“That’s because he’s got the wrong lead,” Shiro grinned, and tapped his nose a bit, “Sore wa himitsu desu!”
I blinked for a minute and pointed at Shiro, and kept blinking. I guess I’m dumbfounded to say the least.
“Do I have to spell it out to you pup?” Shiro was trying to insinuate something that I didn’t even understand – let alone get why Izuchi brought it up.
“Lily, my dear – the data you’ve collected means a lot. The thing is that Izuchi doesn’t want you to know, or understand why it’s there. I can’t explain it all right now, but in time you’ll figure out the puzzle.” Shiro smiled, and looked through the data and looked at me. “When you come back, what is one thing consistent?”
“I only remember the last three times it happened, that guestbook makes it look like it’s been every hour on the hour.” I scoffed.
“You’ve always had the past and the future laced in your veins, but part of that is entirely my fault – or rather an aspect of me that is at fault.” Shiro twitched for a moment, which normally would be inconsequential but – it was relevant in how he was discussing the subject. He’d twitch when saying ‘an aspect’. “ As said a moment ago, there isn’t a lot of what I can lead on right now without causing harm – but you’re correct in a lot of your findings. You shouldn’t have that photograph… Can you return it to me? Terrin was trying to be a sneak and go through the offices for information – only to fail miserably.”
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” I scratched my head, it seems like the notion of going back and forth has now been nothing more than pages in a comic book. “Hold up, why.. Why am I here again? What the hell did you do now?” I stared in discontent (much to my internal dismay of almost watching a TV from miles away) – straight at Lily and snarled.
“I’m done, I’m not putting up with you when you’re like this.” Lily snarled back and walked off, “I’ll be in class if you need me.”
“You don’t remember what you were in here for at all?” Shiro blinked, raised an eyebrow and raised the guestbook and waved it towards me. “I mean you seemed so deeply interested in a bunch of pages that had to do with you.”
“Buncha-this, Buncha-that, she’s always coming up with reasons i’m doing this or that – or the other thing. That guestbook was only just another stupid lesson in how she just needs to pay attention to her studies.”
“What if…” Shiro ran his fingers through his hair and smirked, “What if i told you you’re not the only one, and that you have been doing exactly what’s in these pages.”
“Shut up mouse, you’re the asshole hopping around here – Stop trying to push it on everyone else.” Something was wrong with the way I acted back then – but because I’m not able to control what i’m saying, seeing or doing and it’s all reverting and I’m a million miles away… It’s all getting cloudy and like it’s setting back in like making jello. Only the jello’s some form of irregular cloudy rubbery compound used for construction.
“You can’t seem to see what I’m saying dogchild. These pages document something, but you’re denying them. Are you too far gone at the moment to see? Are you returning before you’ve even been here for five minutes?” Shiro’s mystery puzzle was giving me a headache, but the me that was watching this as if it were TV wants to answer – but I can’t. He’s right, and he’s not going to be able to explain it well enough for my young, dumb and stubborn mind. “You’ll thank me someday for questioning you again, even if it’s not me entirely.”
“What are you talking about?” I raised my eyebrow and looked at the clock, I was late for class but they already knew that. I wasn’t interested in going to a class that had nothing for me at the time. Pieces missing, future stories writing themselves behind these eyes.
“Your probation officer called the other day” Shiro grabbed a piece of paper with a typed message on it, and started to read it off to me. “Justin’s probational hearing is next week, and his presence is required. We hope that he’s been progressing in his educational classes you’ve enrolled him in.”
“So?” I scoffed, I started nervously kicking at the carpet, staring at the cream colored walls.
I started to nervously pace my eyes between the two clocks between each wall, the three different calendars on the walls, and posters educational, recreational and informative of the past between everyone. If I had a clue, I’d learn to behave more.
“So? It would entirely help your plight if you stopped tormenting yourself and others. For you to be able to stop being held to a tight regime that you can’t seem to process, you’ll need to progress. You’ll need to move forward. Without that guestbook data, that is – without that sort of notion behind you – You generally need to work harder.” Shiro sighed and handed me the piece of paper and smiled. “You’ll also need to stop yelling when people have things that are inquisitive and important to ask of you. There’s always something important in someone’s mind, and that data Lily has may not be important to Izu, or you – but it’s important to her.”
“Nobody’s explained it to me, it’s just a book with numbers and dates in it.” I wasn’t lying, though in a way I was.
Shiro, and of course the soulbond inside of him – Michael Gabriel Williams, they both could see past the foam, the rubber, the concrete and the communication barrier that they’re working on breaking down. I seem to remember one of Mike’s last dying wishes, or at least the half that wasn’t attached to Saitou at the time – was to leave a gift. A gift of being able to communicate without breaking the laws of space and time. A dangerous gift.
“You know full well the future exists, but your barriers are up.” Shiro stood up and looked in my eyes and put his hand on my shoulder. “Us walkers are well aware that it takes a while for our gifts to work properly. I can see you, and -”
“What… are you smoking Shiro?” I raised an eyebrow.
The problem was, Shiro was a ‘walker’ not just from his soulbond, who could move between times and store things between space and time. Shiro was a telepathic, telekinetic walker, the kind that could and would walk the beaches, exist with the rest of the world. Mike? He was losing his mind from his third ability, to bond his soul to others – it wasn’t just the gift of a walker, he was willing to give himself up to protect those around him. Thus he bonded with Shiro at one point, and why there’s always two conversations with him. I knew about it then, but it just used to frustrate me to no end.
“I’m not. I’m aware you’re unable to see the forest through the trees right now. It’s normal.” Shiro put a hand under my chin carefully and tilted my head upwards a little. “I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re on edge. I know you’re not even sure why you were in prison, so your probation pisses on everything you’re working for. You haven’t even processed why you’re more than one. Trust me, just trust me – We’re here for you.”
“I am pissed off, I am frustrated – I am confused. One minute I’m asleep, the next I’m walking in here without a clue.” I growled, I do respect Shiro – but I am frustrated. Inside and out.
“It’s because you’re not naturally a walker, and we had to go back far enough to plant it in you. You didn’t always have the same kind of visions. You used to just have nightmares about the future, and you’d short the electrics out and we’d have to get the electrical guy in for the umpteenth time between you and Lily.”
He’s talking about the time she was in the hospital nearby, and she had a vision of the future it seemed like. But I fell to the ground like I had narcolepsy and didn’t remember a damn thing. Yet there’s ten different versions of that rolling around in the background, because the multiple timelines, multiple universes theory isn’t just a theory anymore.
“So this has to do… Why didn’t anyone just remind me?”
“Because you get confused, you throw a tantrum and you anger Lily.” Shiro shrugged as his left eye shifted to iced, soft yet almost a baby blue. “Your sister is your only lifeline to your future right now. She’s keeping the data so you don’t forget when it’s important. Whatever you CAN remember at times – make sure you tell her, because you’re getting better at walking – but you’re still crawling. We’re running out of time kiddo – and your brothers can’t wait much longer.”
“Brothers?” At this stage in my life I wasn’t sure, nor was it even a notion in my mind that I wasn’t more than two. The only person who calls Lily my sister is Mike, and he’s a loud, proud walker who will flaunt his ability and spoil the story wherever he can to get ahead for the battle. I mean, I am aware fifteen miles away behind the barriers while I watch TV like a child eating breakfast. Except that the barrier seems to be on a perpetual motion machine, and if it stops like it’s been doing recently – crawling and walking won’t happen.
“You haven’t… Ah, I’m a bit ahead of myself. Fuck. Sorry.”
“Mike, can you WARN me before you go FULL walker mode on me? I’m aware of your abilities and how you and Shiro both are the same kind – but You’re talking weirdly. You’ve been trying to tell me things I don’t even understand, let alone remember. Either write me a goddamn note next time, or get someone to take the blocks down in my mind that you all put up when I came out of Jail so I wouldn’t turn into some sort of monster.”
Mike was my mentor before I went into jail. We were in and out of different places in the world depending on where we were needed. A renegade, a rebel force. Yet because I was in jail for something I didn’t do – Izuchi and Shiro both placed a ton of bandaids on my brain before I fell apart. So even if I tried to rip the elastic based bandages off – the mickey mouse ones, the pink spider ones – the superman, batman and coca cola ones – I’d ruin my chances of fixing everything.
“Those blocks aren’t there because you’re a monster, they’re there because we haven’t had time or resources to rearrange the puzzle that your mind turned itself into when we found you. Those blocks became double, triple and quadruple as we’ve had to take you out of situations to teach you things. Your probation officer knows nothing of this extra ability we’ve given you, and you’ll know soon enough about your ‘brothers’ – but you’re a walker now, don’t block it out.”
“I’m, I didn’t.” I sighed, “I’m sorry, I didn’t – I don’t. I didn’t know.” I scratched my head for a moment and sat in the chair in front of Shiro’s desk. “ This walker thing, it’s why i’m falling over and missing shit this time?”
Shiro laughed, opened his drawer and passed me a pack of cigarettes like it was nothing more than candy. A gas station bic lighter, and the secretive ziggy ashtray he snagged from storage after my mother left my father.
“Here, I know you’re trying to quit and I’m not trying to enable you – but you’re struggling, and you just need to chill. No, that’s not a code for 420.” Shiro smiled, “ Yes, it is – and Izuchi isn’t happy about it so he’s trying to deny it. The problem is that Izuchi is – well eventually sadly part of the problem. There’s a million and one things to this war, and we’re just trying to put all the pieces together. We won’t win perfectly, but we need to restore things before we can even get back to the final fight.”