Figments of Imagination (Prologue)

By Carter Tachikawa

(Welcome readers to my first dark and not-quite-as-cutesy anime/manga. Note the PG-13 warning: that means there is swearing, more violence, some sexual references (not a lot though), and things you will not find in my other anime/manga "Pandora's Shadows". For those of you who've read that, welcome back. Those who are new, I hope you enjoy this. I struggled to come up with a good title for this. I really did. Since no one entered the contest, I figure that I better do something soon. If anyone does have a better title, please tell me. I hate the one I gave it. Well, without further ado, let's begin)

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(Past, an unknown time and place...)

~Love is fleeting, flying forever through my fingers.~

Kellan frowned at the verse he had just written. This was *not* what he expected a respected poet like himself should come up with. His poems were more powerful and honest than any other writer out there. He wrote about lovers, nature, and life itself. He knew what to write to make people laugh and what words would make a person weep. When he was angry, he demonstrated it through his work. Because his poems were filled with so many emotions and beautiful images, he became famous. Maidens and lords admired his unique style and his ability to motivate an audience. More than anything, they loved his romantic poetry.

~As I sit, watching the air shift its fingers through your hair
Flames of desire grow larger, wanting to love you till the end.~

However, due to the war being fought outside of his home, love seemed to be the last thing anyone wanted to think about. Kellan's poetry seemed so happy and cheerful these days, not reflecting the reality they once had. But he couldn't help himself. It was because of the damn war being fought. A war between two kingdoms, trying to see who will overpower the other. It was the typical story of a war, which bought conflict in between the happy beginning and ending. This war wanted Kellan to write about strife, anger, and the pain it caused. It wanted poems of angst, aching hearts, and broken dreams.

*Which I will not write unless I wish to.* Kellan reminded himself, scribbling down another verse on the scroll. There was a little smudge of ink on the corner but all in all, it was clean. This was where his newest love poem would be written.

~Angels turn an envious shade of green when they catch me
Dreaming of a building glorious future with you~

A shout outside broke his stream of concentration. Damn those soldiers! Couldn't they keep their mouths shut for a *few* minutes? Kellan wanted nothing but some peace to write his poem. The sooner this silly war was over, the better he would feel. And perhaps the world wouldn't complain about his love poetry anymore.

~Tears running down your face, I see you're frightened
You do not wish to live and you do not wish to die~

*I do not like that line.* Kellan told himself. It was no surprise. These days, he didn't like any of the lines he wrote. They seemed so trite and ludicrous. It made him appear as if he were an amateur, desperately trying to write a poem but failing miserably. He expected better from himself. He expected perfection.

~Sorrow is bittersweet and fear is uninvited
Always twisting the truth known as love~

Damn!

The poem was horrible and he knew it. He was losing his talent, the words slipping away from his mind and fingers. The feathered quill he used to write with kept scratching stupid lines on that browned sheet. He just didn't have the power to write a good poem anymore.

"To hell with this." Kellan muttered, very uncharacteristically. He pushed his ink well and quill aside, crumpled the brown sheet up, and set the clump in the corner of his writing desk. There it stood, next to his lamp with the small flickering flame that wanted to die. He had used that flame to burn the last couple of poems he'd written. The smell of burning paper was satisfying but it failed to spur any inspiration in him. He just couldn't write a poem, happy or sad.

*Perhaps I should try to write what the other poets are writing.* Kellan thought, catching sight of his reflection in his own window. A pleasant man of twenty-one with soft yellow hair and ice-blue eyes, he looked much older now. Those eyes of his now had dark circles under them from lack of sleep and writing. His lips dry from not drinking or eating for the past few hours. The war had changed him. From an innocent poet to an old man, the war had changed him.

With a sigh, Kellan picked up his quill again and dipped it in the ink. Taking out another browned sheet, he tried writing some sorrowful verses. Maybe it was time for a change after all.

*No!* He scolded himself. *I refused to sink there! I will *not* do something that will please anyone except myself.*

It was this stubbornness that left Kellan in his present predicament. He refused to change.

There was another shout and sounds of clinking outside. Kellan looked up and smiled bitterly. The war sucked the inspiration to write love poetry out of him. He would not be afraid or shocked if that same war decided to end his life right now. Being dead was better than being uninspired.

It was far better.

*Is there where my life is leading? When poetry is no longer appreciated unless it reflects reality?* He asked himself. *If only I had the power to create a force, warriors, anything to stop this evil. I would stop people from hurting one another. I would do it on my own.*

Something rammed against his door. Then there was a sharp knocking. Kellan smiled once again. He did not need to ask who was at that door. He knew very well that those damn aristocrats and their upper class values from the enemy's side had found him. He knew very well that he was wanted from trying to express something not allowed on either kingdom. He knew very well he was in danger.

Yet all the same, he didn't give a damn.

Kellan was a wanted man all right, which was why his home was now buried down here where the war was taking place. People hated his poetry and wanted him to die for thinking beyond reality. He didn't need to interpret the angry screams from outside. He knew what they were all saying.

Hang, Kellan. Hang because you broke the law. Hang because you think more than you should.

"Bastards." Kellan muttered but didn't try to run away or open the door. It was only a matter of time before they came for him. Those angered humans who had lost their love of art were going to kill him eventually. They found him right now. And before he died, he would laugh in their faces. He would laugh for he knew free expression would be reborn once again. He would laugh because he would find the power somehow to bring such stupid and wicked people down. He'd find that power in eternity.

*Come and get me.* He sent them a mental message as the door was broken down. Still smiling, he watched as they kept breaking through. He was not afraid.

*Come and get me, you bastards. I have not left my spot.*

TBC…

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(Ah, that's the beginning. No, the place and time hasn't been revealed. It's not that important yet anyway. It will be but later on. I know it's not much but bear with me, it's only the prologue. You'll meet the other half of the cast later and you'll exactly where my story is headed. So read and review, I write faster when you do! (Ugh, I'm like Kellan now. My poetry sucks:( Oh well, you know what I mean. Later.)