The Beginning of the Shadow: Part Five
"Kamia?” Zee prodded the Shadow Shoyru.
“What?” Said Shadow Shoyru was leaning lazily on their frequented bench, a paw resting lazily on the side of the bench.
“Are you alright?” Zee asked in concern.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Kamia frowned. She knew what Zee was going on about.
“Cause, you know… yesterday?” Zee prompted.
Kamia sighed and turned to look at her best friend.
“Zee. I’m sorry.”
“If it’s about yesterday, then there’s no need to apologise…” Zee trailed off, seeing the look on Kamia’s face.
“It’s not about yesterday. Zee, best friends are supposed to tell each other everything right?” Zee nodded. She still hadn’t told Kamia hers. Maybe this was the right time? Was fate finally giving her a chance?
Kamia took a few deep breaths, but was unsure of how to continue. Finally, she decided to just be blunt. “I’ve been keeping a secret from you.” Zee winced slightly. That usual sharp and yet blunt tone. Yep, it was Kamia alright.
“I… Me too.” Zee finally found her voice and owned up.
“So, who starts first?” A quick reassuring smile somehow found its way onto Kamia’s face.
“Uh… I’ll go I guess.” Zee looked around to make sure that no one was eavesdropping, before lowering her voice to a whisper.
“I’m with the Defenders. I… I have a power. I can teleport.” Zee mentally prepared herself for the tirade that she knew probably wouldn’t come. She knew her best friend well, but sometimes, there was just that slight improbable chance that things could go haywire.
Well, that certainly wasn’t the response Zee was expecting. Zee second-checked herself. No. Wait. That was exactly how Kamia would react.
“Zee? I know. The same name? The same shape and colour. Even the same species. Zee. I know I have my moments, but I’m hurt that you think I’m that dense. You’re not exactly Little Miss Secret. Not to mention all those times you had to bail on me, and then the Defender Zee showed up on newspaper the other day, slightly later after my best friend Zee disappeared.” Kamia was close to sending Zee an incredulous look. In a way, Zee’s secret didn’t, no, couldn’t come close to hers.
“You knew? And you didn’t even tell me? You had me freaked!” Zee shrieked as Kamia tried to stifle her laughter. Her smile soon fell off, however.
“Okay. Zee. I… Well… How do I put this?” Kamia regained her serious tone.
“Whatever it is, I promise I won’t judge. No, that’s not true. I’ll probably judge. Well, I’ll try my best not to judge. Cross my heart.” A paw was placed on her chest. Kamia took in a few deep breaths and slowly exhaled.
“Zee. You know the Shadow Bandit?” Zee nodded. Her first thought was ‘Oh Fyora. How could I not realise? They look so alike. Fyora help me. Kamia, please don’t tell me you’re the Shadow Bandit. Please don’t be the Shadow Bandit. Please. Pleasepleasepleaseplease.’
“I… Basically, I created her.” ‘Pleasepleasepleaseplease… Oh good. Wait. What? Created.’ Zee’s mind slowly whirled. She blinked. Then…
“What!?” Zee shouted, only to be shushed by Kamia.
“I have this weird power. It’s like, whatever character I write about comes to life… Shadow Bandit was my first actually. And my only one so far.”
“Is… Is that why you stopped writing?”
“Yeah. I was afraid. Afraid of myself. I swear, no one should have this power. And to think that Shadow Bandit is just an unfinished work.”
“Mika Nightshade, author of ‘The Shadow’?” Kamia stiffened slightly before relaxing.
“Yeah, that’s me. How did you hear of that book?”
“Lightning Lenny. Borrowed it from some rich collector.”
“I knew I should’ve removed all of them.”
“Are you really that scared of yourself?”
“I gave you your injuries.”
“You didn’t. Shadow Bandit did.” Zee corrected.
“No. I did. I created Shadow Bandit. And you know what? Sometimes I want to start writing again, to change her character or something. But the scary part is that once I write, it can’t be reversed. Just image. All I need is to write something wrong, and I might cause Shadow Bandit or someone else to lose their life. That’s why I’m too scared to pick up a quill again.”
“Kamia. You’re a great writer. You can think of something.” Zee reassured.
“Thanks. Tell that to my hand. It’s like a severe case of writer’s block, but more… you know.”
“You’ll get through it. How many people even get to publish their work?”
“It wasn’t finished.”
“Reminds me. Why would you publish an unfinished work anyway?”
“It had some sort of spell. I just had to write to the end, and the rest would magically appear.”
“I guess that sort of explains it.”
“Yeah. So what now?”
“It’s not like anything has changed between us, right? I vote we go and get something to drink. The Coffee Cave, that’s the name, right? Has some great drinks. We haven’t been there in ages!”
Kamia smiled. “Thanks Zee. Let’s go.”~
Lumina lurked around the roof of the building, watching and occasionally listening in to Kamia and Zee. She smiled when the both of them walked off. Looks like things were finally going right for Kamia. Lumina felt happy for her. Really, she did. She was part of the reason Kamia stopped doing what she loved in the first place, the least she could do was to guide Kamia’s best friend.
Lumina lay down and mused for a while. Maybe someday, she could pose as Kamia’s twin and go out. Until then, it would be better for Lumina to lay low while Shadow Bandit wrecked havoc. Sure, she was someone’s creation, but she was still her own person. That meant she could have her own dreams and passion. Right?
But for some reason, a negative feeling was tugging at the back of her mind. She didn’t know. Would she really be able to have her own feelings, or did she have to follow everything to the book, to whatever Kamia wrote? Sure, Kamia had stopped writing, so she was now free in a sense. She wanted Kamia to write again, but another part of her didn’t want to. She was selfish. Wanting to sacrifice Kamia’s love for her own freedom. But everyone was born to be selfish, weren’t they? Even Kamia stopped writing in fear of her. But that other part of her wanted Kamia to write again. To be stuck in a stalemate, it was uncomfortable, but in a way, due to how Kamia’s story had progressed, she was free.
Lumina sighed. She really was stuck. Maybe after all this was over, and Kamia was willing to write again, she could convince Kamia to let her have a happy ending, to be free. Like the wind. Lumina frowned. In truth, while she was satisfied with her shadow powers, she wasn’t happy. She would rather have control over the wind. To experience at least a little freedom, freedom that the wind possessed. But she knew that Kamia wouldn’t do that. Unless a loophole could be found, but the powers granted to her would last until she kicked the bucket. Maybe if she did die, she could somehow convince Kamia to let her be a part of the wind. No matter how small, she just wanted to experience the freedom that the wind has.
Yes. Lumina decided. That would do. There. Now her life would be laid out, to do things the way the story would go. But for now, she would just look at the clouds. And enjoy the freedom.~
What Shadow Bandit had planned was logical. Except for one flaw. She was a character in a story book. She was alive. And she would always be, as long as the writer doesn’t kill her off. But she was the main character of the story. And as we all know, Kamia wouldn’t kill her. Lumina was in a sense, an annoying sister to her. Even if Kamia passed on, as long as Shadow Bandit does not die in the story, Lumina would never die. That was the tragic tale fate had in store for the created Shadow Shoyru. She would never die. She would remain alive and well, in the prime of her health. She couldn’t die, she would have no weaknesses found in this world. She would essentially, remain in the shadows of the night. Forever.
With great power comes great responsibility. Kamia never knew the extent of her power. If this power had fallen into the wrong hands, a person could easily create a loyal and undefeatable army to take over the world. This was what most villains like Dr. Sloth lacked. True power. Enough to shake the world off its axis, to frighten everyone into submission. But this power resided in a Shadow Shoyru, who was sipping her tea casually while talking to her best friend.
Kamia was a person with great potential. But she never took the risk. She lived a peaceful life, and was content to let her life remain that way.
This is the untold story of ‘The Shadow’.