Strange Dreams, Chapter 4
Age Rating: 7 +
I awoke the next morning with a slight headache, and a burning desire deep in my gut for understanding. I stood before the bathroom vanity and sighed, softly running a hand over my long red waves. Short and blond? I just didn't see how it was possible. I swallowed hard then, thinking suddenly of Michiru. Remembering that I had left her at the hospital. I tensed, ready to race over there, but what would I say? I could still hear her voice, soft as silk and wispy, "I knew you would come."
I washed my face vigorously with cold water and gripped the sink edge. What has happened to my world that used to be so calm? I looked at myself in the mirror and forced a smile. I couldn't let anyone know about this, that I knew. They would all think that I had lost my mind. I turned from the sink then and wandered out to my living room and kitchen. Hell, maybe I had. I plopped on my couch but instantly jumped off of it, like something had burned my skin. A loud voice screamed in my brain. "Michiru," I whispered, repeating the word blaring in my head like a bad heavy metal song. "I have to go see her." I headed back into my bathroom and turned on the shower water, scalding hot to chase away the insane chills that were pouring down my spine.
Refreshed and ready for anything, I dressed for riding and headed down to the shed. My motorcycle looked as eager as I did to get moving, and move we did. As I wandered the halls of the hospital with a bouquet in hand, I struggled with the questioning voice in my head. "Shut up," I whispered to the nagging pounding sensation at my temples. I found her room easily and stepped it, and nearly fell to the ground. She was sitting up and eating.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I'll..." I turned to leave but she stopped me with a gasped objection.
"No please, stay!" Her eyes were wide, as if afraid. I smiled faintly and set down the bunch of multi-colored roses next to her.
"Allow me to introduce myself," I swallowed the choking knot in my throat. "I'm Tenoh Haruka." I took her hand and gently brought it to my lips. She smiled up at me and blushed faintly.
"I never got a chance, to... that was you yesterday, wasn't it? I wanted..." I gently pressed my finger to her lips and smiled in the most loving way I knew. I hoped it came across right. I glanced behind me and noticed a chair, then pulled it up next to the bed. I sat in it, still holding her hand, and scanned her face as if to memorize every curve, nook and cranny. Everything I wanted to say just sounded so stupid and contrite, I kept silent and watched her eyes. When it became all too clear that one of us should speak, I finally cleared my throat.
"How are... you feeling?" Yeah, that seemed safe and a good place to start. Why did my voice sound so funny?
"I'm better, thank you." She tore her eyes from mine then and stared down at the bed. She then hesitated, and rose them up even with mine again. "Why did you save me Haruka?"
I swallowed and glanced down myself, my head reeling and spinning. I shrugged and smiled faintly, the answer coming easily once I allowed it to. "I couldn't stop myself from saving you," I said, and hoped it made more sense to her than it did to me. The stark whiteness of the bed sheet took me then and I stared at it intently.
A pair of thick-heeled shoes began to make their way into the room. A tall and mysterious Japanese woman stood just inside the doorway.
"Oh good, you're both here. Listen, I need very much to speak with you both, and this is the best time. The only time." Her eyes flew to the door and she moved to it, shutting it quickly. "I'm Meioh Setsuna, but my name is not important. I'm here to tell you that I know what's going on, and that we have a big problem on our hands. I..." She was cut off as a slew of men in business-type suits swarmed in then, completely unheeding the closed door. Cameras flashed, angry voices grumbled and yelled into cell phones and Setsuna and I were pushed out of the room. The starlet's crew had arrived to remind her that she was an idol and was too good to speak with people such as ourselves. The tall woman's eyes narrowed and she spun on her heel and quickly charged away.
"What a strange person," I said quietly to myself. I looked longingly to the door for a moment before hearing a voice within cry out.
"Haruka!!" I charged back into the room. Michiru was writing furiously on a scrap of paper. "Here's my number," she said softly as I elbowed my way to be by her side for one more moment. "I want to hear from you soon. I'm sure I can find some time away." I nodded and smiled, looking for a second at her lips. The urge to kiss her was so strong it was like a slap to the brain, but I pulled back, winked and was gone again.
My heart hammered in my chest as I made my way down to my motorcycle. There on the seat was a simple envelope. I looked around and didn't see anyone hiding anywhere as if waiting for me to read it, so I popped it open and read.
The future for you and your beloved grows darker by the second. A cloud of unimaginable evil is headed your way and I fear, that if you do not find the Pure Heart Crystals soon, there may not be anything that can change your fate.
As is the Flow of Time,
P? I shook my head and stuffed the note in my pocket. One could handle only so much insanity in such a little span of time. I didn't see or feel anything when I left, which is surprising because just as I pulled out of my parking spot, a bright flash of purple light flashed right beside where I had just stood.
Somewhere in a dark room, a man laughed wickedly and as he cradled his humming and throbbing new creation in his hands.
"At last," he said softly, "Now our search begins." He looked up and motioned to the woman standing in the doorway. She nodded, beamed and walked into the adjoining room to prepare. As the Professor's newest creation took flight out into the darkness, with a silent flash of light she was by it's side, flying toward their target.
The Shinto shrine sat quietly in the darkness of the evening while Rei dutifully swept the top stair.
"Done," she whispered to herself. A sudden sound caught her ears. She flicked her head up and opened her mouth to scream, but it was too late. A shadow was pressing her against a tree and the whole world was going dark.
"For the Crysssttaaalll..." the darkness hissed. Rei struggled and closed her eyes, focusing on her friends.
"Hear me," she prayed. She concentrated on Usagi's face, visualizing it as clearly as she could. "Hear me! Help me! USAGI-CHAN!!" She pushed with all her mental might. With a snarl the creature drew back and hissed, a string of dark energy snaking out from it's core and planting itself in Rei's chest.
"Your energy drew me here, you must be the one we're looking for!" The red-headed woman stood up on a branch in the tree Rei was pinned against. Her mind swam with confusion and pain before she very quickly and blessedly blacked out.
Usagi fell out of her chair and gasped loudly. "Luna, call the others, we have to get to the temple! I think there's something wrong with Rei-chan!" Luna, in her child form, quickly nodded and began dialing senshi phones. Usagi dressed as quickly as she could and grabbed her jacket before heading out the door. She only prayed that she and the others wouldn't get there too late.