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   Chapter 5 Into his last wish, I accept the offer

The Matchmaker who can see the red string of fate By phoenixhyperion Characters: 7154

Updated: 2021-04-26 19:40


ALICE

"I don't want revenge. It's a waste of time." I said and resume my place in my kneeling spot.

I'm thinking of leaving but I have nowhere to go. Except here. He is my home. This is where I belong to. This is where I'll die.

[And you think kneeling there is not a waste of time?]

"He is my world. So my time solely belongs to him."

A distortion in the air and he sprouts at my side. Glaring at me.

[So you'll throw your life? Just like that?]

I opened the book and scan through the pages. At first, it was all blank. My drawings completely wiped out. I started seeing red. Rage surge inside me like blazing fire. But it stops... then recedes to oblivion when Kenneth's face appeared. I pursed my lips in relief. I ran my finger at his image. Black inky hair, electric blue eyes. My drawings doesn't have the lush of colors he always had.

Because that's one thing I can never capture.

[You want to meet him right? This beloved human of yours? Then accept my offer. Be the Master of strings. Can't you see how much it favors you? Strings are the act of Fate. They control people's destinies, their future, their entire lives.]

His voice started to rang in my ears. In a very unpleasant way. I sharply turn my head at him.

"You keep saying it's power, but can it bring Kenneth back? Can it change his destiny? Rewrite his life? Make a different future? It can't, right? Because he's dead. He's no longer here. And you have no control over his fate because he no longer belongs to this world."

I paused to catch my breath. I haven't been riled up this far for so long my voice can't keep up with my bottled emotions.

"So stop saying I should be the Master of Strings. I have no use of it. If it can't bring him back then it's useless."

[But I told you in the other side, I can arrange for the god of death to make a room -]

"I don't care. I want him with me. In this world, with both warm human bodies to touch, not floating holographic ghosts."

[Souls!]

I ignored him. I stared straight ahead. People say my brain is missing a big chunk of its part. People say I'm defected in the ears. No matter what they say I won't listen. No matter what they do, I ignore. I found our conversation with this person meaningless. No point to talk. My time to explore the depths of my mind is all I have. The world I put up with him smiling by my side is all that I need to live.

***

In the distance, I heard a cry. Of a boy. A little boy's voice cut off short, blown by blunt force on his gut.

I don't how I know. But I just knew.

[Oh crap.]

My eyes perk up. I didn't know this man with crimson eyes is still here. Sighing and counting stone. The book of strings, also known as my sketchbook, is now nothing but a strange heavy weight in my fingers.

[Hey, Alice. You listening to that?] He said. Still grouping five stones in one. My eyes are set straight, but I watch his fingers move in peripheral vision.

[That boy will die in four hours and thirty seven minutes.]

I drop the sketchbook I clasped in my hand. Just to hear the word 'die' shatter my makeshift world into thousands of pieces. Tearing the peaceful square room I used to live in with Kenneth. Capturing a thousand shots of memories, a hundred moments in time, back when I was still lively, and he was still warm beside me. Vivid images that stayed in cage, frozen hopes for the happiness of a lifetime hovering in dead space, a whirlwind of tortured regrets slice through my soul.

I can't forgive. I can't forget. What happened to Kenneth. He died because of me. I dreamt he will die beside me. Thou

sand times I played it back in my mind. How I can change that 'moment'. How I want it to end, not having him dead. I want it. I want him. I want him smiling to me. Again. One more time. I'm going crazy. Give him back. One guttural cry and my senses are pulled into place.

[Tick tock. It took forty five minutes to break you away from your illusions, Alice. You're really nuts huh. Just so you know, it will take less than three hours for the boy to die.]

I scampered to my feet. And all strings broke loose to tie me down in place.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"What are you doing?" He asked back.

"I want to save him. Let me go."

He smirked. He wiggled his finger at me while clicking his tongue.

[You don't get it do you? How this cycle of life works.] He flicked his hand and the strings pulled me down to kneel. He picked up my sketchbook and flipped through the pages.

My sketchbook. My drawings of Kenneth. My hands balled into a fist, struggling under the hold of strings. I never wanted to show Kenneth to anyone. I will never let others touch Kenneth except me. When he found what he's looking for, he showed me the open book. Writings in cursive black ink scrawled on the white pages. Strange. I don't know where it came from. I can't read. Not because I don't know how to. But because I can't understand which language it is from.

[Death and fate...is interconnected in hierarchical relationship. With death a little lower than fate. You see, Fate dictates what happened to every person's life. Every decision, every circumstances, every thoughts, every actions and how it has ripple effects on everyone around you, all of it is planned and predicted by fate. Coincidence never exists, only inevitable. And you, Alice dear, were blessed to have access to this great fate. You can have control. That's the power strings can bestow upon you.]

He flipped the page.

[The control to decide which path of life will you give to the people around you. Like that boy, even if you try to save him now his fate that he will die today won't change. But with the help of strings, once you try to intervene, his path will be directed towards what you desire...And what do you desire now?]

"I want to save him. I don't want him to die."

He closed the book and inch his face closer to mine.

[That won't be possible. Alone. But if you accept my offer, if you become the Master of strings then it shall be done.]

I hesitated. A part of me screamed this sweet lip service talk is nothing but a sham. A way to fool me. He wants to control me.

"If I become its Master, can I bring Kenneth back?"

[Sorry, no. Once a soul belongs to death. It shall be his. Forever. But Alice dear, you must live your life lending your hand towards the people who need it. Isn't that what your beloved human wants to do? Why he became a cop? He wants to save weak people too. Why not pursue what he left behind? Won't that make him happier than seeing you here slowly destroying your life?]

My heart skips a beat. His face rattled and resurfaced against the broken pieces of my makeshift world. The smile I long to see once again... Maybe he never shows it to me because I'm desperate to destroy myself, opposite to what he wants. Deep deep down I know. He took me in so I could live. He take care of me so I can stand on my own two feet. So that when the time comes he's no longer here... I will do to others...the greatest favor he once gave me.

"Alright. I will accept. I will be...the Master of strings."

AUTHOR NOTE: DO NOT READ THE CHAPTERS AFTER THIS. STILL UNDER EDITING.

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