Fire Petals Chapter 8

Licenzaire La Croce

By Edenne

*The other kids are ignoring me. No, not again . . . they're all going down to the beach to set off fireworks and no one even told me. They don't even act like they know I'm here . . .*

The five-year-old Seifer Almasy leaned on a cool, hard stone window sill, watching the tiny orange flicker far below him. There was laughing, giggling, the sudden whines and sobs of a certain blond little boy. "We're gonna get in trouble . . . . I'm telling! I'm gonna tell on yoo!"

"Go back to bed cwybaby." The skinny blonde-haired girl down there stood up and put her hands on her hips.

"Yeah! Go away crybaby Zell!" A tinier girl looked over at him and pulled on her boy-cut brown hair, twirling it between her little fingers.

"Cry-baby-Ze-el, cry-baby-Ze-el!" another began to chant. All but one of the others soon joined in. The blond boy turned and ran back up the stone steps to the orphanage, unable to handle their jeers. Seifer looked down at them all and laughed. Seeing the little chicken cry always cracked him up.

He then found a pair of silent grey eyes staring at him from far below. He squinted and stared right back: Squall.

Seifer held a sort of angry, intense staring contetst for a while, but it was soon interrupted by a thud and a squeak behind him. Whipping around, he found that stupid Zell boy bawling his eyes out on the bed. Looked like Zell didn't know he was there. Seifer walked over to him and kicked him in the side, causing a little squeak and more sobs to emit from him. "Shut up." he demanded.

"Leeme lone." Replied the boy.

Seifer kicked him again, harder this time. Zell coughed and tried to hide his tears, but it wasn't working. After one more kick, he managed to hold his breath and keep quiet long enough for Seifer to walk away, the words "That's better." Echoing quietly behind him.

Swirling colours mixed with pain as Seifer returned to where he belonged. He instantly let go of the orb, and it fell onto his chest with a tiny thump. Opening his eyes, he recognized the white ceiling of Odine's lab, the last thing he'd seen before he'd closed them. An evil, satisfied grin spread across his face.


"I see you've gotten the hang of it."

Seifer turned his head to see Mayaden's black and red robes. Sitting up, he rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. "Uh . . . yes, I guess so." He closed his eyes to think for a second about what had happened. *The chicken wuss . . .Squall . . .My childhood?*

"What did you do?" Mayaden asked him, doubting that he would have accomplished anything important on his first try.

"First I was in another guy, Zell's head. I could barely control him. My presence just put him in a bad mood. I couldn't control Squall either. I could only talk." He replied, disappointed and a little angry. "You lied . . ."

"I did *not* lie. I didn't know what would happen. Besides, this was your first try. You *will* do better next time." She sat down on a chair beside him.

"I don't know how to *do* it."

"Well," Mayaden handed him a piece of paper, "You had better figure it out because I'm expecting you to gather the correct information by the end of this week."

"*What?*" Seifer's eyes widened. It was a list of a hundred or more things she needed to know. He couldn't believe this.

"Doctor Odine tells me it will take twice as long for you to accomplish anything, but I think you can do it. As I said, I believe in you."

*I can't do it. I'll never . . . she wants too much from me. . .*

Suddenly there was an icy hand around Seifer's choker and Mayaden's arctic eyes only a few inches from his own.

"You *will* do what I ask." She said. He could feel her cold breath on his lips. She was so close. The hand around his choker began to twist, tightening, suffocating.

"I . . . I will . . ." Seifer managed to say, willing to tell her anything to escape her death-grip. She was surprisingly strong when one thought of her frail appearance, but the magic she posessed stronlgly made up for it.

*I have to do this. I can't disappoint her. She'll be so mad at me . . . *

Her hand was still twisting, still suffocating. Then, she suddenly threw him to the gourney with insane strength. His body hit it and then rolled off it, and he smacked his head off the floor. With a hand at his throat, he gasped in breath after breath. Mayaden walked around to the other side of the gourney, staring down at him.

"You are a disgrace." She muttered, "You will never be disrespectful to me again."

Seifer looked up at her, but remained silent. *What did I do?*

Mayaden only chuckled evilly and left with short silent strides.

After a few minutes, Seifer pulled himself to his feet. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know how he'd manage to do what Mayaden asked in the allowed time or what she'd do if he didn't. He began to make his way out of the lab to the elevators, staring at the floor, angry and frustrated.

*It's always been my dream to serve a sorceress. Now that I am . . . . I don't want to be.*

He stopped suddenly. That thought had never crossed his mind before. *Is this no longer my dream? Fuck, I'm so confused. I don't know what to think.* Just then, a guard bumped into him. He grabbed the front of the man's shirt and threw him against a wall, making a loud, sickening thud. The man slid down to the floor. Seifer had knocked him out.

"Serves ya right," Seifer muttered, not giving the man another glance as he headed for his quarters.


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