The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans. Chapter 3d.

The following days and weeks proved to be busy enough to keep everybody’s mind set on the task. Little John worked on his relationship with Soraya while Fuyuki spent most of his time collecting plants and roots with Old John. His worries eased, he could focus entirely on his own goals. He has learned a lot from his venerable host and protector. He took up again his artworks and whenever he had time, he took a horse and visited several artisans to watch them working and to talk about their craftsmanship.

Fuyuki fit easily into the community due to his pleasant personality and charm. He also met Soraya and they got well together even from the beginning; she was a nice girl, totally in love with Little John. Fuyuki couldn’t be happier for his younger friend; it looked that he has finally decided to give away his heart. For the first time in weeks, they talked leisurely, uninhibited like nothing happened before. As days were almost entirely filled with events, keeping him locked on the subject, the evenings and the nights were testing hard Fuyuki.

He made a habit of walking out and staying for hours under the starlit skies, thinking about Yoshiasu. He missed him so much that it hurt him physically. He used to cuddle up in the deep grass and cry for hours like a lost and abandoned child. Old John knew about his torment but he could not ease it. He just hoped that Yoshiasu might come back in time, before anything irreparable happens. A slight sadness was slowly enveloping the sensitive young artist, making him more vulnerable. Though he kept his hurt carefully hidden, it followed him like an invisible cloud.

Little John’s wedding was scheduled for mid-October so both the youth and their families were busy with the organizing. It seemed that the young man matured quickly to meet all the requests put up by his new life. Fuyuki discreetly stepped aside from his friend’s life not wanting to disturb the events. Yet Little John always kept an eye on him; he sensed that Fuyuki was crumbling from inside. He wished to comfort him but he was afraid that it would end in disaster. Despite his oncoming happiness, Fuyuki’s magic was still a powerful magnet for him, carefully hidden but quietly smoldering like the fire hidden under the ashes.

October descended over the land, painting the surroundings with shades of crimson and gold. The autumn sky with its crude blue gave an even more powerful background to that bright flow of colors. The days were still pleasantly warm and the nights were clear and crisp.

Two days before the wedding the friends of the groom and the bride decided to throw (each of them) a bachelor party. They were all in high spirits. Little John came to invite Fuyuki to join the party. Fuyuki was surprised and somehow at loss; he wasn’t a bachelor and the boys were all younger than him. He didn’t know how he would fit into such a place. But looking at Little John’s bright and happy face he just couldn’t refuse him. Later, he turned to Old John for advice.

-You are his best friend, you have to be there-said the old man thoughtfully. I understand your concerns but I’m sure that you’ll make the best decisions. Anyway if something bothersome happens, just drink this. It’ll help you out.

Fuyuki took the small bottle and thanked him. When the sun dropped behind the horizon, Fuyuki left his horse at the stable and entered Little John’s house.

The party went on cheerfully and noisily and foolishly as ever when so many young guys are involved, drink, food and music included! The boys were slightly disappointed since they couldn’t get Fuyuki drunk; he politely declined the alcohol and stuck to non-alcoholic drinks. He didn’t want to dress up in girl clothes to trick Little John though all the boys agreed that Fuyuki was fittingly beautiful. Fuyuki chuckled and said he has tried once and that was enough experience for his entire life.

Everybody wanted to hear the story so they kept on nagging him until Fuyuki gave them a humorous recount of his dressing up in kimono.  They all laughed with tears and greatly enjoyed Fuyuki’s company. Little John watched quietly as the air sparked around his friend. He watched intently the photo Fuyuki had on his phone showing him dressed in kimono. Weren’t those unmistakable deep-amethyst eyes, neither him, nor the other boys would’ve believed that the girl in the photo wasn’t genuine.  They all made great fun of it and of themselves…The spirits rose higher and higher around! After midnight some of the guests fell asleep and were carried to some rooms; others were still holding erect and having the time of their lives…

Little John called Fuyuki  to get out; they both needed the fresh air. They found a quiet and remote spot and sat on the grass, watching the moon rising higher and higher. A cold breeze rustled through the thinning foliage and the fading grass, making Fuyuki shiver. A strand of hair fell on his face and he pushed it away; as he looked up he found Little John gazing at him intently.

Before anything could have been said, he found himself on his back in the grass with Little John over him, kissing him passionately. Fuyuki moaned “Oh, gods! Yoshiasu…Yoshiasu…” Little John pressed his lips against his; trembling Fuyuki closed his eyes and gave up any resistance.  As they caught some breath, Fuyuki pleaded:

-Little John…please…you know I can’t resist you…please…his voice was soft and emotional.

Little John lift him up and carried him into a small bedroom of the house, far from the happy crowd. He placed Fuyuki on the bed and locked the door; like the water rushing over a broken dam, all the restrained, hidden emotions built up inside both of them burst out and swept them entirely. Little John undressed Fuyuki and they made love over and over again till exhaustion. As Fuyuki’s moans and cries subsided and the darkness of the night faded away, Little John became more frustrated and restless. He desperately squeezed Fuyuki while his voice broke:

-Why?! Why has this to end like this?!

-Because this is the right thing to do-murmured Fuyuki. We are like two comets incidentally colliding; each of us has its own orbit. We don’t belong to each other. All we have is this unhappily messed up friendship, but still it’s more than nothing…

-Can’t you love ME?-cried out Little John painfully.

-Please, don’t make it harder than already is. I have given you all that were mine. Don’t ask for more. I’m sure that if we’ll ever meet in another life, we could be an item…

Fuyuki stood up and took the small bottle; he drank it out quickly. Little John watched him worriedly.

-What was that?-he asked. Fuyuki what are you doing?!

-It’s my…salvation-whispered Fuyuki. Old John gave it to me. Please- he said and his voice trailed. Could you take me home now? Please…

He was slowly drifting away; he was exhausted, body and soul. His eyes were closing and he was barely conscious now. He whispered:

-I’m…sorry…

His breath became even and shallow. The potion was already affecting him. He fell into a deep sleep. Little John watched him for a few moments: the lovely face, the trembling eyelashes closing over starlit eyes, the delicate curve of the neck, the slender body resting peacefully…He dressed him up quickly and took him in his arms, carrying him out. The morning was breaking above the ragged rim of the mountains. Little John took his horse and holding close the sleeping Fuyuki he proceeded towards Old John’s hogan. The old man was already waiting outside. They carried Fuyuki inside and laid him down. Old John covered him with a blanket, touched his forehead and whispered a few words. He let the young man sleep and took Little John out.

-Go home now and sleep it over. You have your own duties to fulfill. Act like a man and make us proud.

Little John opened his mouth to say something but he just couldn’t; he swallowed hard.

-Don’t worry; I’ll take care of him. I’ll mend what you, foolish youth have broken. Come back later but only when you are ready. This is a brand new day and a new beginning; walk proudly on your way! There’s no room for more mistakes.

The young man jumped on his horse and quickly departed.  Tears built up in his eyes and he cried in the chilling morning wind. By the time he arrived home he was calm and composed; his carefree childhood ended abruptly. There were people counting on him; he wouldn’t want to let them down. Fuyuki cured him from his maddening obsession; he owed it to him beyond words…

The wedding went on cheerfully; Fuyuki couldn’t attend. Old John kept him in a deep sleep while he struggled with a high fever and mostly delirious state. The old man watched him closely; he made some incantations from time to time, gave him to drink special liquor and soothed him when he cried out in his sleep, tormented by heartbreak and nightmares.

Little John came the fourth day, completely changed. He was another man; he was calm and settled. He waited for Old John to come out, greeted him with deep respect and handed him a present from his new family. They talked about the wedding a little then he asked about Fuyuki.

-How is he?

-He’ll be fine. He’s still sleeping.

-Grandfather…Little John’s voice was serious. Why can’t I forget?

-The spell was put to protect only the innocent-him. You should remember, you owe him that. He has given up everything for you. You are a man now, you have to take responsibility for your deeds.

-I know-he sighed. I’m worried about him.

The old man gave a nod.

-So you should; he is your best friend. You can go inside now; he’s awakening. He remembers nothing but be careful. It is your turn to protect him. One more thing; tell me, are you happy with your current choice?

-I couldn’t be happier, Grandfather-answered Little John. It’s just that I keep wondering what was all this: some kind of madness? I can’t think it was; Fuyuki really is an unparalleled person who touched my life.

The old man smiled slightly.

-It wasn’t madness; it’s just life with its peculiar sense of humor. You were so eager and restless that you’ve opened two doors at the same time. You wanted both of them so when it came to choose, your friend gave up himself to quench your thirst and put you back on your track.

-Thank you-murmured Little John. I thought the same but I needed your wisdom to clear it.

He stepped inside and watched his friend slowly awakening. Though he looked a shade paler than usual and thinner, Fuyuki smiled when he saw him. He laughed softly:

-You see? I’ve told you that drinks and bachelor parties were not my specialty. I’m sorry that I missed your wedding. I have something for Soraya.

He took out a small silk pouch and opened it. There was a beautiful butterfly on a delicate silver necklace. It was handmade by Fuyuki special for this event; Little John was touched. He helped up his friend and embraced him affectionately. During the following days Fuyuki recovered completely; Little John brought Soraya to the hogan and they spent some pleasant days together. She once said, on their way home:

-You know, I was wondering. Your friend Fuyuki is so beautiful that were he a girl, I wouldn’t had a chance to make you even notice me.

-You’re probably right-chuckled the young husband and kissed her lovingly.

( “Almost”-said a small voice in his head; he grinned and dismissed the thought.)

Two days later Yoshiasu arrived unexpectedly; he had finished his assignment two month earlier. Leaving Fuyuki behind for such a long time proved to be more than expected even for him. The same sense of loss gave him the necessary boost to finish his part of the task. Fuyuki fled into his arms; with his love around he regained his sense and balance. He became the same radiant young man they all loved and admired. Old John was even happier to see his protégé back to his old self; the pain and torment were forgotten; only the magic and the mystery of his inner self deepened around his unspoiled beauty.

Yoshiasu and Fuyuki spent the remaining two month on the spot; they’ve helped Old John relocate his belongings to his winter residence. They worked with the community on educational programs and arts. They kept close with Little John and his new family. They indulged themselves with as much nature as they could and it was Fuyuki’s turn to teach Yoshiasu to ride much to Little John’s amusement. They even established a riding school for children and adults and Yoshiasu created a special page on the internet about them.

The two returned to the city after Christmas to spend the New Year’s Eve with their friends from there.

“This was close-said the first one. We almost lost him…The old man saved us with his unexpected knowledge!

“I’m sorry-said the second one. I’ve promised I’d be careful but this turn of the events took me by surprise…That young man gave such a strong push on the cycles that he unbalanced everything we’ve so carefully planned!

“You cannot mess with humans! I’ve told you, some of them are quite unpredictable…So is this young guy. You’ll see, he’ll create us some more problems in the future. And since the Child is affected to…we have to be careful!

“I’m …sorry. Help me; this Child is a real handful.”

They stood silent and preoccupied. They still had a lot of work to do and things were slipping out of their hands.

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The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans.Chapter 3. In the mountains (3a)

Ch.3a

Yoshiasu and Fuyuki had long before decided to spend their summer vacation in the mountains. They rented a car and a cabin in a very remote place, close to the one of the Native counties. The place was wild and almost untouched, so they’ve  found great joy in discovering  brand new spots of unharmed beauty.  The first days in the mountains went on eventless: it was just them and Mother Nature in all her splendour. Although after 3 or 4 days they’ve lost communication with the outer world due to a huge solar flare, they were not concerned. They had enough provisions and they knew that communications would be fixed sooner or later.

 But problems strike when they are least expected; at first,the trip started well and the weather was fine. They ventured far enough but there were no reasons to worry; not until Yoshiasu slipped on some rotten leaves and lost balance. Instinctively he grabbed a branch but he also closed hand over something/ somebody unhappy about that. The tiny creature bit the hand that came upon it and ran away as the man gave a cry and released the branch. The small red bite mark was sore. In less than an hour the pain grew more intense and the hand became red and swollen.

Suddenly Yoshiasu felt sick and was sweating profusely. Before they could realize what was really happening, Yoshiasu lost consciousness, leaving Fuyuki scared to death and desperate. They were in the middle of the wilderness and Yoshiasu looked badly. Fuyuki calmed down and tried to take some measures. He laid down Yoshiasu on a higher ground; he put his coat over him and the rucksack under his neck. He garroted the swollen hand to stop the poison to diffuse in the bloodstream. He made a mental notice of the place and descended to the nearby rivulet to look for some plants.

He was so absorbed in his search that he didn’t notice the old man that was approaching him. He only became aware of his presence when he heard him call out:

-Are you looking for something? Can I help you?

Fuyuki looked up and stared slightly confused into the wrinkled and suntanned face from which two piercing black eyes were fixing him. On the other hand, the old man himself looked surprised at the flushed young face with wide, worried eyes.

-Could you help me?! My friend was bit by something and now he’s lost consciousness…Please!

-Was it a snake?-asked the old man.

-No! Rather like a small spider but it fled before we could see it. Help me, please! I’m afraid that I might lose him…

They both hurried to the place where Yoshiasu was lying. His condition was the same. The old man studied the hand and the bite mark and mumbled something. He then made a quick decision; he took Fuyuki and they fetched some materials for a stretcher, tied Yoshiasu on the improvised transport facility and they proceeded downhill.

Old John Whitefeather was very old indeed and during summer he lived here alone in his hogan. He had a few sheep and some horses but his main activity was that of medicine-man. From spring till late autumn he was collecting herbs and fruits for various healing potions and ointments. That da,y he was out collecting some plants when he spotted the franticaly searching young fellow. Since tourists were scarce on this area, an instinct of a lifetime told him that this particular person was in trouble.

The spider bite wasn’t lethal but it was nasty; it was both painful and persistent and it looked like this young man was overreacting to some of the poison components. Old John offered to help and thus he learned that the two young men were a couple and that they were in vacation. Old John was surprised to see the amount of strength that fragile looking young man could put up to help his companion.

While preparing an ointment and some herbal tea, he took a closer look on Fuyuki. Almost everything about this young man was deceiving: he was an almost feminine beauty, with very unusual lavender-blue eyes; he was slender and well built but looked fragile and vulnerable. He was soft spoken but he wasn’t tiring or complaining about anything. He had no eyes but for his suffering companion but he had a sharp attention to everything Old John was saying. So despite the first impression that he was made of glass and that he might shatter  any moment, he proved to be calm and resilient and deeply dedicated.

Old John cleaned the bite mark, put an ointment and  he bandaged the swollen hand, showing Fuyuki how to do it. It was Fuyuki’s task to change the bandages until the hand would return to its normal aspect. While Fuyuki guarded Yoshiasu, wiping the sweat from his face, Old John made a strong tea from a concoction of herbs and roots and let it cool. The dark-brown liquid was having a strong smell and an even stronger taste; but for Yoshiasu it was the only hope to overcome the poisoning.

Every fifteen minutes Fuyuki forced down his throat 2-3 spoonful of the tea. This went on and on, day and night until the redness subsided on Yoshiasu’s hand and he’s got back from the unconsciousness. The first thing he saw, opening hazed eyes on the world after days of struggle, was the thinned face of Fuyuki and his worried eyes.

-What happened?-he whispered. His throat was sore and dry and his head was still heavy.

-You’ve been bitten by a nasty little thing when you fell on the slope. Luckily this gentleman found us and cured you, getting you back from the shadows-said Fuyuki, his voice trembling from the sudden emotion.

Yoshiasu slowly turned his head towards the other shape; the old, sun beaten face of a venerable Native man, with intelligent, intent black eyes was looking benevolently down on him.

-Welcome back among the living, young man-he said in a deep, throaty voice. You’re back on track; in less than a week you’ll be as  good as new.

-Thank you, sir…whispered Yoshiasu. I never thought that something  so small like that could knock me out.

-I’ve told you: it was small but nasty and it had no sense of humor-said Fuyuki with a playful smile. You have to rest and eat to get back your strength. Luckily you don’t have to eat my cooking; Mr. Whitefeather is cooking delicious meals. All I do is watch and learn; maybe there’s some hope for me in the cooking area…he chuckled.

Old John watched from the corner of his eyes their conversation. It became obvious for him that they were sharing a special relationship; there was a communication beyond words in every gesture and in the lights flickering in their eyes. No matter how unusual it looked to him, love was clearly and visibly connecting the two young men. Old John made a mental note and left them to enjoy each other’s company.

The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1h)

Chapter 1h.

 

On the other side, Fuyuki was growing more and more concerned about the publicity around him. His talent paid well and people grew increasingly curious about the identity of the emerging artist. The fact that he was rejecting the interviews and kept secret any personal data just added to their curiosity. It was a constant game of hide-and-seek with the press; Fuyuki couldn’t come out because of his fear that his past might catch up with him and shatter his fragile happiness. He kept his anxiety and bad feelings hidden from Yoshiasu; his lover was working hard and they both cherished the moments spent together. As Angela was spending her own moments of happiness, Fuyuki turned to the only person he trusted beside his friends: detective John Harrows. He visited the detective at the police station once or twice, confessing him his fears and desperately trying to remember something useful from his past.

Things turned  bad after a few persistent journalists/paparazzi followed him and took some snapshots. The photos were published by a nationwide journal and “The Butterfly Artist” got all the publicity he didn’t need. Yoshiasu was angry; Fuyuki was still very vulnerable. They both agreed  on asking for the detective’s assistance to keep a discreet eye on their home. By the end of May, Fuyuki called the detective and complained about being stalked. For almost a week, somebody was following him; he couldn’t spot him but the feeling was strong and the young man was desperate.

The detective took him seriously but he couldn’t attend Fuyuki right at that moment,  so they agreed that he would pay a visit at home  next morning.  Arriving at the building, the detective had a bad feeling; he took the stairs two by two and found the apartment door cracked. With  the gun in one hand he stepped in cautiously; the house was empty and Fuyuki was nowhere to be seen. But the bedroom was ravaged and there were blood stains and some body fluid scattered over the bed cover. The detective called for the crime lab and then put out a phone call to Yoshiasu.

-Mr. Tanaka –he said in a restrained voice. You have to come home; I’m afraid  Fuyuki has been abducted.

***

The man at the door was Fuyuki’s worst nightmare: Father. Jack Roger was a well built, powerful man in his early sixties. A former soldier in his youth, also an amateur boxer, he was a bully. He’s been an abusive tyrant all his life and a constant tormentor for the mild and sensitive Fuyuki.

The young man’s heart sank as found himself face-to face with Father; all the horror built up and locked away in the depths of his memory washed over him and he wasn’t able to make any move. Jack Roger pushed him back to the house and slammed the door behind. He threw a short glance around then he turned his attention to Fuyuki.

-So-he said venom filling his voice. You thought you’ve escaped from me. How unwise…I saw your pretty face in the newspaper! I came as soon as possible to collect what’s mine…

Fuyuki collapsed on the bed, tears filling his eyes.

-What do you want from me?-he asked in a broken voice.

-Dress up and get back to work. You still have unpaid debts. Have you forgotten that you belong to me?

Roger pushed Fuyuki on his back and stripped away his clothes. The young man fought back but Roger slapped him hard.

-You won’t disobey me!-he hissed and forced himself upon Fuyuki.

The pain tore him from inside like a knife and Fuyuki cried out in agony. As the response was even more brutal, Fuyuki passed out.

Hours later he woke up hurt and dizzy in a dark room; he was tied to the bed. After moments of confusion memories came back forcefully; his whole body ached and his lower lip was split. The air around was stale and smelled like a cellar. He quickly guessed that the room was somewhere underground. He couldn’t do anything; at least for the moment he was helpless.

Father came and untied him, leaving him a few moments to stretch his limbs. He then grabbed him by the elbow and dragged the reluctant young man along a dimly lit corridor. They climbed a row of stairs and got…into the old house. Again and again memories came back and Fuyuki shuddered. Father pushed him in the shower, handing a set of clean clothes. Fuyuki undressed and started the water; he stood under the brisk flow and closed his eyes. Panic erupted from his inner self and he burst into tears, sobbing helplessly. Shaking wildly, he could hardly wash himself. It took him almost half an hour to calm down and get dressed. Leaving the shower he found some food set on a table but he was unable to swallow even a morsel. He hid his face in his hands, trying to scrape up some hope to survive to the oncoming ordeal.

What was about to come was  even harder to bear than before. For twenty years he  had just scarce hopes that he might be an individual and not just an object used at will for others pleasure. But now…now he was loved and he was in love. He became a PERSON, only to find himself stranded in a nightmare.

As Father walked in, Fuyuki shut his mind; he stood up and followed him at the end of the corridor. He entered, shut the door and sat on the bed. The smell around him made his body cringe. Beyond the scent of the burning incense, he could detect the well-known acrid smell of sweat and sex. He took a deep breath to calm down while the door cracked and a stranger entered the room.

Fuyuki complied with his demands avoiding to look into his face. He  shut off his spirit as the stranger took over his body.  He’d  lost the battle between his body and mind over and over again, day after day, night after night until his shattered spirit became just a shimmering light in the night of misery.

Locked up in the underground room, he cried for hours until his stomach revolted. Father forced him to eat and ended up tying him down to the bed to prevent him from killing himself.

On another location a young man was pacing up and down in his hollowed location. Space suddenly dilated around him and from one end to the other of the house there was only a void of dead silence and loneliness. For the first time of his adult life Yoshiasu was completely shattered by the sense of loss. The flat that was once his home was crushing him down with its emptiness.  He roamed around the house over and over again, touching every item that belonged to Fuyuki. He took out the drawing of “The Lost Butterfly” and watched it intently like he was trying to get in touch with his lost love.

He could barely eat but forced himself to do it in order to preserve his strength and the sharpness of his mind. He wasn’t going to give up on Fuyuki but the pain of losing him, the faceless fear of not knowing his whereabouts were cutting deep.

At night he fell into bed completely exhausted but moved on Fuyuki’s spot. He forcefully shut his eyes recalling the soothing warmth of the slender body cuddled in his arms. And he cried, broken and helpless with no one around to soothe him except maybe the faint scent of wildflowers left by his lost butterfly.

The Lost Butterfly-revised (1a)

Chapter 1a.

Yoshiasu  decided to let him rest.  He stood up and left to look for Fuyuki’s doctor. He found him in the office.

-Good day, doctor. May I ask à bit about the young man I’ve found in the park? I’ve just learned his name :Fuyuki.

The doctor was taken aback.

-How did you manage to find out his name? He wasn’t speaking to any of us, no matter how hard we tried?

-I guess he remembers me saving him. Anyway, I would love to know about his condition, if you can share with me.

The doctor looked at him thoughtfully, then sighed.

-I admit I didn’t expected such an interest from à mere stranger but since the patient seem to trust you, it’s fine with me. The detective working on his case called me previously and asked me to help you. Maybe with some conjured effort, we can crack this case and help this unfortunate youth.

-I feel some kind of responsibility for him-said Yoshiasu, sensing the disbelief in the voice of the doctor . I must confess that finding a person of my age in such a situation shook me profoundly. Can you tell me something about him?

-I can assure you that his life is not in immediate danger-said the doctor.  He has no internal injuries but he is badly bruised and most of all, there are proofs that he’s been subjected to torture and he’s been raped repeatedly. My opinion is ,that even after he recovers from his physical injuries, he’ll have problems in recovering from the constant abuse. I’ve sent my observations to the police and they are searching for those responsible for these atrocities.

Yoshiasu was shocked by the doctor’s recount ; not that he couldn’t imagine what caused the extensive bruises he had seen covering Fuyuki’s body. But hearing it delivered so bluntly just added to the horror of the facts. He stared into the nothingness for a moment, then turned to the doctor, questioningly.

-So…what happens  with him if police cannot find his relatives? Do you think he could manage by himself?

-No-said the doctor, shaking vigorously his head- I don’t think so. He’ll be probably sent to some sort of asylum. He’s a total mess for now; but recovering in a  caring and secure environment might help him to get back on track.

Yoshiasu stood up with a small sense of relief.

-Thank you for your time, doctor-he said, shaking hands. I’m going  back to him, in case he’s awakening…

Fuyuki was half dazed when Yoshiasu returned but he became alert as soon as he sensed him entering the room. He even sat up in bed and watched Yoshiasu peeling off an orange and handing it to him. Fuyuki took the fruit and stared at it just like a child who had never seen such thing before. He smelled it carefully, then gave an inquisitive look to Yoshiasu. The young analyst watched him in disbelief; Fuyuki didn’t know what an orange was. So he gently took it back, tearing up the slices. He then took a slice and bit it while handing another to Fuyuki.

The young man watched him intently, then tasted the slice of orange. The sweet-sour juice exploded in his mouth, taking him by surprise; Fuyuki made a funny face, making Yoshiasu laugh. Fuyuki swallowed the orange and laughed too; he laughed almost inaudibly but he was surely enjoying himself. The rest of the orange quickly disappeared and he whispered “thank you”. Life and color were gradually turning back to him. There was even a new spark in those incredible eyes. Yoshiasu was wondering where this out of ordinary guy could come from. He definitely wasn’t from the neighborhood; Yoshiasu had a good memory of  faces and Fuyuki wasn’t in the“data base”. Probably those who dumped him in the park thought that  it would be more difficult to identify the corpse. Yoshiasu shuddered at the thought of a lifeless body; he turned to the very much alive young man and asked him:

-Fuyuki, don’t you remember your family name or the name of a relative?

A sharp pain crossed Fuyuki’s face; he averted his eyes as he shouted:

-No!!!

He buried his face in the blanket, his body shaking as he started to cry. Shocked by the sudden change in reactions, Yoshiasu tried to calm him down; but Fuyuki curled up in fetal position and kept sobbing wildly. Yoshiasu decided to call à nurse. She came quickly.  Assessing the situation, she returned with a calming injection but things weren’t going smoothly. The sight of the nurse with the needle in her hands made Fuyuki jump. Eyes rounded in horror, he fled the bed but collapsed on the floor after a few steps. He cuddled there screaming:

-No!!! Please, don’t…don’t hurt me! I’ll do what you want! Please…-his voice trailed and ended in sobs.

Yoshiasu and the nurse were shocked. It was very clear that Fuyuki was re- living one of the previous brutal events he had been subjected to. The nurse put aside the injection and turned to Yoshiasu:

-I think it would be better if you’ll try to calm him down. He seems to trust you. I don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on him. She silently left the room, closing the door behind her.

Yoshiasu kneeled next to Fuyuki and touched him lightly.

-Fuyuki…Fuyuki-he called in a soft voice. Listen to me. I’m here with you and I won’t let anybody hurt you. Fuyuki, can you hear me?

He gently rubbed the shaking back of the young man until the sobs subsided and then stopped. The tension eased in the curved shoulders and Fuyuki sat up slowly, turning his face towards Yoshiasu:

-I’m sorry-he whispered. Suddenly those memories came back…

Yoshiasu helped him up to his feet. They were almost the same height. Fuyuki seemed a little bit smaller and thinner than him. Yoshiasu was tall and well built with a bony structure and slender muscles. He was a good swimmer and spent most of his free time roaming the natural sceneries. Fuyuki’s body felt fragile under his firm hand but the young man was slender and gracious. Yoshiasu helped him back into the bed and sat on the rim to be closer to him.

-I am sorry for questioning you. I should have known that you had not ended up like this by accident. But you have to know that the police would ask the same from you sooner or later. They are trying to trace down the perpetrators.

Fuyuki sighed.

-I know-he murmured. But I’m not so sure that I could ever face them…-his voice trembled.

Yoshiasu grabbed his hands.

-Fuyuki, look at me!- he said. I’ll be here for you whenever you need it.

The young man raised his head and looked into his eyes. The deep violet pools were filled with pain and sadness.

-Will you?- he whispered. But…it’s too much. Why? Why would you help me?

Yoshiasu’s dark- brown eyes looked back intently.

-I cannot explain it but I KNOW that this is what I WANT. Please, let me help…

-Thank you…murmured Fuyuki and feebly squeezed Yoshiasu’s hands. As he relaxed, his eyes slowly closed and he fell asleep.

Yoshiasu watched him sleeping. With his delicate face, the black strands of hair falling around, the fragile, tortured frame Fuyuki reminded him of a butterfly with shredded, torn wings. He rose to his feet and took the road home.

The Lost Butterfly -revised. (1)

Prologue: A confession.

 

“ We were here for almost a cycle studying you from a safe distance when I had a dream. Somebody touched me, trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes and saw him. He was beautiful but looked sad.

-Release me-he whispered. Please! I’m choking…

-Who are you?-I asked in amazement.

-I’m inside you…Let me go…I need to fly…Please!

As I watched his luminous eyes I felt something moving inside me. I woke up suddenly; he was the first Child who asked to be born. It never happened before; that’s why we decided to give him this special assignment: to be born human.”

 

CHAPTER 1.

It was a mid-October morning with long streaks of chilling fog crawling over the glossy layer of dead leaves piling up under the trees. The sun was just a sick, pale spot in the twirling grey atmosphere.

The alleys of the Central Park were almost deserted; only a few courageous ones were taking on their daily routine of jogging. There were also some sleepy dog owners on a short stroll with their pets and some early workers shortening their way through the crooked shapes of the trees in the park.

Despite the desolate air of the early hour, Yoshiasu Tanaka, a 28 years old computer analyst who lived in a flat nearby, enjoyed to take a short walk before starting work. It was a moment of silent reflection spent in the middle of this priceless natural spot trapped in the core of the huge city.

Yoshiasu left the alley and walked slowly through the dense cluster of trees and bushes. He liked the soft rustle of leaves under his feet, the way the smooth brown carpet gave in under his weight, the yellow leaves swirling graciously in the autumn wind and the bitter-sweet taste of the mist in the air…He emptied his mind and let his inner self float adrift into blissful nothingness. Only his peripheral vision saved him from tripping over the dark-brown mass of dead leaves right in front of him. His foot touched something compact inside the heap of leaves and that feeling made him stop and take a closer look. It wasn’t a tree-root ‘cause it felt softer. Yoshiasu bent and cautiously scattered the leaves from the surface and …he almost fell backwards. A human hand appeared. It was a slim hand with long, delicate fingers and it looked lively. Yoshiasu swallowed hard then touched the hand. It was cold but soft; he checked further and felt the wrist hidden into the leaves. There was a faint movement under the cold skin; the heart of someone hidden in was still beating. Yoshiasu frantically pushed away the leaves, trying to dig out the buried person.

After some frenzied moments he found a badly bruised young man lying unconscious on the ground. He was alive but it looked like his life was hanging on a thread. Yoshiasu took off his coat and covered the injured young man and quickly dialed 911. He then turned back to him and tried to warm up his hands and get him back to consciousness. The young man moaned and stirred under his touch. Yoshiasu bent closer and asked him:

-Hey! Can you hear me?

He repeated his question a few times before getting any answer. Finally, the young man opened his eyes and looked into Yoshiasu’s eyes, much to the latter’s surprise. Though those eyes were clouded by pain, they had the most unusual color: a deep, velvety violet just like the petals of the forest violet in early spring. Thick black eyelashes were underlying those intent, troubled eyes. A wide purple scratch was covering almost all of his left cheek and his black hair was matted and filled with leaf scraps. There was freshly dried blood on his bruised lower lip. His clothes were torn and ripped apart, uncovering older or more recent bruises all over his body.

Yoshiasu was shocked by the extent of the injuries and of the fact that this human being was deliberately buried and left to die. He took out his handkerchief and gingerly wiped away the blood from the young’s lips and the dirt from his face. He felt him shivering under the touch.

-The ambulance will be here in any minute, hang on; you’ll be fine- he said in a reassuring voice. He then took again the young man’s hands and rubbed them to warm him up. He felt the other one gripping his hands. He looked back into his face.

-Don’t be afraid-he said and smiled. I won’t leave you.

The injured man sighed and closed his eyes. Right then the paramedics arrived and took him into their care. In a few moments the police arrived to and questioned Yoshiasu about his finding. They took pictures of the place and of the victim and agreed with Yoshiasu about a further meeting at the police station. The ambulance departed in a hurry, the sirens ripping off the seemingly peaceful atmosphere of the park. Yoshiasu slowly turned back home, his mind trying to asses the recent events.

Fortunately for him, he was very busy at work so he had to adjust to something more peaceful and tangible throughout the day. He left his office, declined some invitations for a drink and headed home. He felt exhausted and he was still shaken. He undressed and took a shower and sat on the bed with a Coke in his hand. His mind wandered back to the morning’s events…He took out his cell phone and dialed the number of the Central Hospital. He asked about the injured young man brought in during the morning. He was slowly recovering-they said-but he wasn’t speaking yet so they weren’t able to contact any relatives. No, he had no papers to indicate his identity but the police was working on the case. Yes, he could visit him if he wanted; they hoped that a familiar face could bring a breakthrough in this case. Yoshiasu thanked for the information and hung up. He lay down in his bed, fixing the ceiling while his mind wandered.

After a while he sat up again and dialed the police station number and asked to talk with the officer in charge with the young man’s case. He asked for permission to visit the victim the next day. The detective agreed, expressing the same hopes that Yoshiasu’s sighting might bring up some positive development in the victim’s behavior. The young analyst slept badly all night. Those painful, violet-blue eyes were haunting him even in his dreams. He woke up troubled and restless; only after a shower and a full mug of steaming coffee was he finally ready to begin another day. He finalized his work earlier and asked for the next day off.  He then left for the hospital. He bought a few oranges at a store and hurried up the stairs. The receptionist was aware of his coming so she helped him quickly to the “John Doe’s” reserve.

Yoshiasu saw that the young man was sleeping so he did his best not to disturb him. He put the oranges on the table next to the bed and sat on a chair and looked close at him for the first time. The young man was in his early twenties, no more than 25.  Despite the scratches and the bruises on his face, he looked handsome. It was an almost feminine beauty; an oval face with large eyes, a straight, thin nose and nicely curved pink lips. His shoulder long black hair was thick and silky and his skin, wherever was not bruised into bluish tones, looked smooth. The hands resting on the blanket were long, with delicate, mobile fingers- the hands of an artist, a musician or a painter perhaps. Resting on the hospital bed among tubes and beeping instruments he looked fragile. Yoshiasu felt a pang in his heart. He stood up and turned when he heard the young man stir in the bed. Yoshiasu turned and found itself peering into the same mesmerizing violet-blue eyes.

-Hey. You’re awake. I came to see how you are – he said. Can you speak now?-asked Yoshiasu.

The answer was a muffled, pained mumbling but it was at last a small result. Yoshiasu patted the young man’s hands and followed:

-I’m Yoshiasu. Yoshiasu Tanaka. Do you have a name? We couldn’t find any paper indicating your identity…

The young man closed his eyes for a moment and it looked like he was searching his memory for an answer; he finally opened up his eyes and whispered:

-Fuyuki…

-Hm. It’s a beautiful name and it suits you-said Yoshiasu with a smile. Is that all you can remember about yourself?

The answer was a small nod. Fuyuki closed his eyes and he fell asleep in an instant. He was still very weak and the effort of remembering his identity exhausted him easily.

Connected by the Moon-Wild Woman illustration

Wild Woman, Wild Woman

  Let me chase you under the Moon,

  Under the light of star-chandeliers!

  Your breath, like ghosts in flight,

  Fading into depths of night…

Wild Woman, Wild Woman

     Beast of beauty,

     Rolling laughter of the thundering spirit,

     Keep running

     As my shadow follows you with hungry heart!

Wild Woman, Wild Woman

     The hills and forests have frozen

     In the silence of your absence,

     Emptiness filled with sorrow

     My Secret Garden,

     While the gates have rusted

     In crimson pain.

Wild Woman, La Loba

    Come back and run with me!

    Let’s stir the wind that sleeps in the grass,

   Let’s splash the pool of shining stars,

   Let’s catch the Phoenix, bold and bright

   Before it takes flight into the light!

Wild Woman, Wild Woman

  Kin of my soul,

  Echo of my untamed inner beast,

  Wake up! Wake up!

  Dark waters of oblivion are surrounding you…

  Remember me, Wild Woman

  Never let me go…..”

Opening poem for my story, Wild Woman.

The drawing depicts the main characters: Kay and Sage. This is the first illustration I drew for the story. The Moon connecting them in a love that stretches through the corridors of Time is seen at the bottom of the drawing.

As usual, the illustration is made in color pencils and paper.

Walking a Dream-waking up in someone else’s dream (7)

Chapter 7.

 

She rushed out the door, not sure about what would be outside. After all, it wasn’t her in command in this dream. Or was she?

“ Use your imagination…:” was ringing in her head and she thought of a large, open meadow of poppies, gently sloping towards a patch of forest in the distance. In her mind, she opted for daylight, hoping that she would more easily trace Tyler running wild. Tyler was the one who embodied mindless fear and she was determined to slow him down and try to talk some sense with him.

Her feet delved into the carpet of grass and the blazing red flowers swayed aside gently, leaving her to run freely. The girl was following the hidden trail of footsteps left by the bulky man. Her mind’s eyes were constantly detecting the imprint of angry touch in the ground. Soon , she saw his dark frame with its glowing outline moving forward in short, heavy jumps. He noticed her presence after a while and stopped, turning back.

-What?!-he shouted at her. What do you want?! Why are you following me?!! You said you don’t want to remember me! Go back then and leave me alone! Aarrrgh!!!

His feral growl sent a shiver through Kai’s spine. Tyler raised his hands in despair and flames erupted from the tip of his fingers. He smashed his fist on the ground, setting the summer grass on fire, then he resumed his run. A wall of flames and choking smoke rose in the air, startling the girl. The wave of scorching heat pushed her back and she staggered and fell on her back. She summoned a rain cloud and the pouring rain extinguished the fire. Kai stood up, assessing the situation: a large , black, smoldering trail cut in the colorful meadow showed the way of Tyler. Swallowing her tears, the girl rushed to catch him from behind.

No, I don’t remember you…The one who echoes inside me has a light that I feel so close to me…But if Joren speaks the truth, I must embrace you too, Tyler because you are part of the whole of the same person!”

   I was running breathless, my heart threatening to break out of my chest and my own anger was gone. Tyler’s frightening violence wasn’t scaring anymore. I knew that I have to win his trust, no matter how crazy that might sound. That boiling rage was  in fact his vulnerability. I could see him a few steps ahead, banging and smashing trees and bushes, bringing havoc in this imaginary world. He knew I was there, close to him. If only I could read his mind….

-Tyler!-I’ve heard myself calling. Please, stop and talk to me! Help me to remember….-I pleaded, hoping to reach him.

   He turned abruptly, ready to fight me but I wouldn’t budge. I stared silently at him , holding his gaze. As the fire of madness was slowly subsiding, I recognized the dark brown eyes I knew already well. Tyler tilted his head incredulously.

-You want to remember….me?-he asked in a husky voice. His eyes narrowed in distrust. -Why would you do that?-he continued, watching me closely.

    I breathed out with a sigh. “ Don’t screw it, girl!” I thought. “ Listen to your heart!” I did.

-Because one cannot love the whole until it learns about the parts. It would be a lie and That would only lead to more pain and deception. Please, let’s stop for a moment and talk. I want to understand. I want to remember you.

      He scrutinized me for a while, fighting with his long worn mistrust, shadows running wild over his face. But his eyes were gradually clearing  and his gaze was softening, pushing back the flaming madness. His whole body was convulsing, torn apart by his inner conflict, his fist clenching, his chest heavily rising….then subsiding with painful sighs. Locked inside the fragile human frame, a wild ocean was rising with thundering noise, pummeling the shores of the tormented soul. It was an epic battle I was witnessing and all I could do was to embrace him in my mind, holding him close with all my might, hoping to make that tempest subside. It did, eventually. Tyler slumped on a heap of grass, muttering:

-The constant fights brought the marriage to an end and fragilized Jordan’s inner balance.Heshe was very much attached to her father but she was left with her mom. Over the years, the crack between child and mother deepened, growing into a dizzying depth. On the tip of that accusing finger, still haunting our host’s day and night, there’s evil determination for control, triggering each time the deep seated conflict between the two of them. I was born out of that: I am Jordan’s shield and revenge-he concluded, his voice now only faint whisper.  

 Kai watched as Tyler’s contours were fading with each word. In the end, as the echoes of the man’s voice were fading into the wind, all that was left on the heap of grass was a small, peacefully sleeping child. The girl picked him up gently and carefully moving through the sea of poppies spotted grass, she returned into the house. Joren was waiting for her in the door. She led Kai in  the hind room and they both tucked the little boy in bed. Kai placed à kiss on his forehead  before leaving.

-Sleep well, Jordie….-she murmured. You’re safe.

Early in the morning, she pensively ran her fingers through the strand of hair with burned tips.Ignited by Tyler’s anger, the flames have left a clear mark, reminding Kai that Jordan’s dream and  her reality were merging into a new one.