Re: Whispers in the Dark
Author’s note: Sorry for confusing chapters—alas, they are my past time. Thanks to my grammar nazi/beta who has once again saved the day, and thanks to reviewers who rock my socks off.
Scourge’s Note: Um. So. If any of you have done any medical research, you’ll realize that that doctor later in the chapter has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. He’s actually quite a good doctor, but no one in Light’s world is particularly gifted when it comes to our definition of modern psychology. Please forgive him.
Disclaimer: I don’t own The Darkangel Trilogy or Death Note. If I did, all this fan-fiction would be dedicated to myself and I would be rich rich rich.
WHISPERS IN THE DARK
“Why Does the Apple Fall?”
“I shall tell you the tale of the Maiden-Eater,” she told him, and began.
-The Darkangel, by Meredith Ann Pierce
He was always an odd child, something quietly tolerated and steadfastly ignored by the small community, but they all felt that, in one way or another, the Yagami boy was different.
Some blamed it on the child’s genius—on the mind evident from before the boy was too small to walk—that kept him far ahead of other children. His small, pudgy fingers would trace objects within a room, arranging them in what manner suited him best. His vocabulary expanded to the point that even the learned adults had trouble following him, and he had actually begun forcing himself to tamp down on the sophisticated, confounding elegance of his words. An extraordinary child, they proclaimed with glee. A child to be proud of.
And for some that was enough.
But most, the honest ones, contented themselves with the simple belief that Light Yagami was not entirely human—that even while he lived, ate, and slept among them, he was more distant than the stars who slept quietly in heaven; a silent observer of their own lives, and nothing more.
They had no evidence to support this conclusion. They had no facts; nothing but an unspoken truth that was passed from a line of ears and thoughts to each of them. When they felt Light’s eyes on their backs, they would stiffen and shudder, and, turning slowly, they would find him standing behind them, a small, comprehensive frown on his rounded face. It was in those moments that the town’s people knew in their hearts that the child had never been one of them, and that like the stars, he would never be close enough for them to touch… no matter how brilliantly he burned.
And for that, they were grateful.
I do not know much of Light Yagami’s childhood
I never pretended that I did
But knowing the way the world spins
It could not have been remarkably different from my own
“Light? Are you listening?” asked the elderly woman gently. To the spider on the wall she looked just like any other human—black hair, dark eyes, and incredibly dull. Her lips were puckered into a slight frown as she looked at the child sitting in the front row of the room, but even to the young arachnid, the expression seemed to be missing a piece of itself—there was no disapproval, no judgment; nothing but the distant knowledge of a deed that needed to be done.
The boy she addressed opened his mouth to respond, then closed it and simply nodded once.
Still unsatisfied, the elderly woman wrapped her knuckles against the desk in the front of the room. After a brief stretch of silence that should have been disapproving, she spoke: “Could you please explain, then, exactly what you were drawing in your notebook?” There was a twinge in her eyes that showed nature kicking in, moderating her choices. For all her rights, she could say nothing that would directly harm him.
The boy stiffened; his eyes turned downward, his smudged hands moving instinctively to cover his work. Waiting patiently, the woman smiled down at him. Whether the gesture was meant to be reassuring or intimidating—she was walking a thin line, her instincts screamed, although she could not hear—the smile had no effect, for when the boy finally removed his hand, he seemed to be no longer interested in hiding it.
The other children giggled nervously; after all, were they supposed to draw in their notebooks? Why had Light done it, then? They had not been told to; they were supposed to keep their notebooks neat.
High-pitched, as usual, the eight-legged creature noticed in annoyance, moving to escape the laughter that followed the young boy everywhere.
“Oh, Light, this is a lovely picture of….” The teacher trailed off, looking blankly at whatever was on the page. The boy did not turn his head from the window, focused as he was on one particular piece of rubble perched on the sill. She continued to stare at the coal scratchings in confusion, her brow wrinkled in concentration. The soft giggles died down, replaced now by small, unsettled mutters. Each of their small, dark heads whipped around to the other, all the while keeping their eyes on the one still child.
Finally defeated, the teacher looked down at Light slowly and asked the inevitable, “What is it exactly, Light?” She set the notebook face-up on the table, looking once more at the picture portrayed. The boy looked up slowly, his brown eyes wary; his fingers tapped nervously under his desk as he evaluated the situation.
He answered softly, carefully, judging every word he spoke. “Judah, the darkangel.” He traced the outline of the drawing with a fingertip and his eyes glazed over as he spoke. The spider noticed with its multiple eyes how far away the child looked from the rest of the room—how out of place he seemed among the other humans.
“A dark angel? That’s hardly….” And the flicker sets in; the spider does not know what it is, but it is there and it is not natural. “Are you feeling well, Light?” The woman blinked slowly and again her dark brow furrowed—Light, as he was called, frowned, but did not reply. The teacher, tapping her feet impatiently, opted to answer for him.
“Well, since this brings us to the topic anyway…. Light, would you like to share what you know about dark angels?” The teacher stepped away from the boy’s roughly-carved wooden desk and backed towards the front of the room, where a single white board stood. Once again, the boy did not speak. He instead stood and followed her path towards the front of the classroom and turned towards the confused faces.
Never eager, never pleased; when Light stood before them, no one remembered what to think anymore.
But as usual for the classroom and the spider, the boy seemed uninteresting and dull. What they did not see was the web of thought lurking behind his eyes, eyes that were never tainted with the binding calls of the genes; they did not see the amount of judgment put into each word, each expression—the fact that he was deliberately making himself boring so that they would not listen… so they would not catch him. So they would not look at him again.
“Darkangels are inhuman monsters who suck the souls and blood of young maidens and are, essentially, the cause of evil in today’s society.” Once again, his small, pale fingers slowly traced the dark face of Judah, encompassed by twelve black wings, making the figure seem thin and fragilely pale in comparison.
“Light, thank you, dear. You can sit down, now.”
The boy slumped down in his seat and once more began to trace the dark angel. The teacher, oblivious to his lack of attention, went on to teach about the controversial subject.
“Light is right; dark angels are great winged creatures who live high in the mountains to the north. Every year they come down to spread chaos upon the world. They are very bad, very nasty creatures who aren’t kind to small children.” The teacher smiled, noticing a small hand raised in the air. She pointed to it “Sakura? You have anything to say?”
“My daddy says that dark angels don’t exist. He thinks it’s silly to believe in them.” Sakura blushed and lowered her hand, ignoring the ever watchful presence of the boy sitting just behind her with his eyes still tracing the contours of his drawing, but his ears listening to every word.
Another hand shot up, waving about wildly. The teacher pointed to it, saying, “Go ahead, Toru.”
“That’s not true! My mommy saw a dark angel! She was walking home one day when all of the sudden a flying man came by and swooped over her. She said that she’s never been quite the same since!” The classroom exploded into noise as each student made sure his or her opinion was heard. Theories flew across the small room like paper air planes in the midst of a storm.
Dark angels came from the heavens and had wings made of stars.
Dark angels came from the earth, like moles, causing their skin to be pale as bone.
Dark angels were, in truth, the dead risen from their graves to spread poison and sickness among the living.
The spider was perhaps the only one in the room to notice when Light Yagami’s head lifted and his note book closed softly. The boy stood, examined the excited mass, then left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
The idea of origin was a lie
A lie those people desperately wanted to hear
because to hear that someone had not set darkangels upon them
It would have been more than they could bear
“What is evil?” asked Light Yagami at dinner on a seemingly insignificant night. He tapped his fingers against the table as he awaited an answer. His family blinked, looking at each other worriedly.
“Light, why do you want to know about evil?” asked his fretting mother, whose brown eyes had long since been lined with wrinkles. Beside her sat his father, who had, after working several years in the center of town, moved outside to take up a farm.
“Everyone talks about it. All the other children talk about it—their parents, and the people in town, too. And yet, no one ever says what it is. No one defines it and no one seems to be able to define it. I would like to hear your opinion on the subject.” Light sighed and leaned back in his chair, looking at his chop-sticks dolefully while he granted his parents the chance to glance at each other nervously before answering him.
“Remember your neighbor Takeshi?” Light’s father stroked his mustache in concentration, clearly trying to find the words to explain this in terms his strange son would understand.
“Yes. He was killed. A tree hit him?” the boy mused, remembering the teenage neighbor who had not come home at the end of a windy day. His family had grieved for the entire night—was that considered evil? The loss of life?
“Well, that’s your answer Light. That’s what evil is.”
“So then, darkangels create trees to fall on people? Or do they cause the trees to fall? Do they cause death? Is that why they are evil?”
“Dark angels? Who’s been talking to you about dark angels?” demanded his father as he spit out a half chewed piece of bread. Light’s mouth closed and he once more examined the wood grains on the table.
“No one has—I just wondered….”
“Light, are you feeling well?”
Light’s chocolate eyes lifted from the table towards his father, and all at once Soichiro felt that inhuman gaze pierce his soul with the confirmation that this was not his son seated across from him.
“Yes, Father. I am feeling perfectly fine.”
The strange thing about humans was not their ignorance
or their intolerance for differences
It was the way they could not seem to see consequences for their actions
The Third Law of old no longer exists in the human world
in the human mind
“Hmmmmmm. I hesitate to make a determination. I haven’t seen a case like this since… ever.” The middle-aged man stroked his salt-and-pepper beard thoughtfully, his dark, crow’s-footed eyes shining brightly. Before him sat a small, rather gloomy Light Yagami and next to the boy stood his father, who had paced the floor for the past half hour in anxious anticipation of the doctor’s diagnosis.
“I am still not quite sure what he has—” the man trailed off, twirling a finger in his beard, “—perhaps some variation of… what was it… the medical disorder found books from recent archaeological digs? Anti-social personality disorder? Yes… that would explain much… but it definitely would need to be coupled with… ah, malignant narcissism and Ausperger’s Syndrom. I’ve searched records—only a few cases like this have been recorded, and each doctor went to the old books.” The man’s eyes shone with excitement. “Personality disfunctions aside… has he always been this pale?”
“Yes—no matter how much time he spends outside, he just never....” The two men talked loudly, unaware of the child’s constant attention and the brown eyes that flicked from speaker to speaker, taking in unseen details. The doctor nodded slowly, surveying the boy who now looked at his shoes with distaste, counting the minutes as each one brought him closer to departure.
“I see…. And he seems unusually thin,” remarked the doctor, who turned to rummage through various silver objects. He pulled out a large magnifying glass and moved it towards Light’s face.
“He doesn’t eat much… we can’t persuade him to touch his food. He just sits and watches his food. At first, we thought it was a phase, but he hasn’t grown out of it.” Soichiro glanced down at his quiet son, his face revealing all the worried thoughts that harassed him at night. Still the boy said nothing and remained with his head directed firmly towards the floor.
“Light, your father says you do not talk to people. Can you tell me why?” The doctor bent down to the boy’s eye level, trying to get a hold on the brown eyes so different from his father’s.
The child lifted his head to meet the man’s gaze and spoke in a soft tone, “Nobody listens. Why should I talk if they do not listen?”
“Of course people listen to you, Light—people always want to hear what you have to say. People are worried about you; they want to know what’s wrong. You have to tell them what is wrong.” The older man stopped talking and waited for the boy to respond. At first, the child said nothing, staring straight at the aging doctor as he juggled the hazards and benefits of his options.
“You do not want to hear the answer. No one wants to hear the answer.”
Light Yagami as a child was
in other words
a complete and utter lie
A make believe thing placed upon the child I knew so heartily no one dared to tell the difference.
Quite ironic, really.
People feared him, abhorred him, and as time went on, the strain upon the society was too much for any one man to bear. The boy seemed less and less like others as the years passed; where before his prodigious method of existence was declared as a phase, it was now considered a flaw, something not quite right. His eyes were too narrow, his hands were too thin; his skin was far too pale. The seven-year-old child was the closest thing they would ever get to an anomaly, an oddity in their symmetrical lives.
Luckily, or perhaps, unluckily, for them the boy was quickly taken off their hands by something far more sinister—a creature that, to his peers, only existed in legends and other such folk lore. They would only have to deal with the child for seven years, eleven months, and approximately twenty eight days.
Regardless of what the individuals considered, whether this was a blessing or a portent will never be known, for if there was one thing that Light Yagami had mastered in his life, it was living in a world of gray. He was neither one thing nor another. In a black and white world, he was perhaps the only contradiction that existed—the only variable stubbornly refusing to blend into another shade.
If this event had never happened, Light Yagami may never have grown into the monster he became as his sorry life progressed. He may never have left that small town he grew up in, moving to the outskirts of the community, barely seeing the light of day. He would not have done a lot of things, had the fates woven him a different tapestry.
But as it is, he did not take that path; he instead walked down the one less traveled, and for him it made all the difference.
R is for reviewing
E is for the eccentric authoress begging for reviews
V is for V because V for Vendetta is awesome and all who oppose are shamed
I is for ice cream because it tastes good
E is for exciting poems meant to waste your time
W is for waste of time as in that’s what this "poem" was
Read the poem and review, folks.