The Calm & the Storm II
Riku was bizarrely calm the whole ride, despite the boat constantly threatening to flip over and water poured in. It was almost as if Kiera was the only one recognizing the danger. But she was determined not to be afraid. She only wanted to make sure her brother was safe. Riku was wise for his age, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of doing something foolish.
There were two other boats strapped to the island’s dock when they arrived, bouncing wildly up and down.
“Sora’s boat! And Kairi’s!” Kiera exclaimed.
“Come on! We gotta hurry!” said Riku, “the raft is on the other side of the island!”
They sprinted as fast as they could. They were now drenched by the pelting rain. Kiera’s sandals were soaked with water and squished like a rubber sea cucumber. Just before they reached the raft, Riku suddenly stopped. He looked up. Kiera was horrified. A giant hole, formed seemingly with dark magic, had formed above them and swirled menacingly over their heads.
“What the heck is that!?” Kiera shrieked.
Then, she cried, “Riku! We’ve got to find Sora and Kairi and make sure they’re safe!”
Riku didn’t budge. He just stared up at the sky, in awe of this foreign phenomenon.
“Riku, come on!” Kiera pleaded.
She grabbed his hand and yanked his arm, trying to get him to move. But he dug his feet into the wet sand, firmly. Something was wrong.
Kiera whirled around. It was Sora.
She let go of her brother’s hand and ran towards her friend.
“Are you okay? Where’s Kairi?” She asked.
“What!? I thought she was with you guys!” Sora exclaimed.
“I don’t know, but something wrong with Riku! He won’t listen to me!”
Her voice trembled with fear. Riku would always do unusual things, but this time, he seemed entranced, hypnotized, deaf to the ear of his sister. Sora grabbed Kiera’s hand and squeezed it, expressing to her to not worry. Kiera nodded, insuringly. Sora turned to Riku.
“Riku! We’ve got to find Kairi and get out of here!” Sora called.
“The door…has opened” Riku finally announced.
“The door has opened, Sora! Now we can see the outside!” exclaimed Riku in a monotone-type excitement.
“Something’s wrong with you, Riku!” Kiera cried, “You’re not thinking straight! We have to find Kairi and get to safety! Don’t you care!?”
“Kairi’s coming with us!” Riku snapped, “Once we step through, we may not be able to come back. We may not ever be able to see our parents again. There’s no turning back! This may be our only chance! We can’t let fear stop us! I’m not afraid of the darkness!”
“Riku, this is crazy! Please!” Kiera continued to plea.
Then, Riku held his hand out to her.
“Come with me Kiera, we’ll never get another chance at this.”
“This is crazy! Kiera, we’ve got to go!” Sora shouted.
Kiera wanted to take his hand, but fear struck her. She attempted to take his hand in order to pull him out of his foreign trance. However, a dark portal, almost as frightening at the last one, formed under Riku’s feet. He was unmoved. It began to swallow him up, then Sora and Kiera.
Tears were now pouring our of her eyes as she pleaded one last time. Riku didn’t move. He was calm, acting as though he was in full control, but Kiera and Sora were too simple to understand. Kiera’s body went limp. She felt a strange smoke fill her lungs and she couldn’t breathe. Her vision faded.
“Kiera! Your keyblade! Take it!”
Suddenly, there was a shimmering light. Her eyes flashed open. Control returned to her. Solid ground was under her feet. She jolted forward. She was holding something in her hand. She gazed over. A weapon, with a hollow, carmine red, heart-shaped hilt, and stretched into swirling silver and pink, ending with a half moon-edge and star. It was shaped like a key.
“In your hand, take this key,
So long as you have the makings, then through this simple act of taking,
It’s wielder you shall one day be,
And you will find me friend, no ocean shall contain you then,
No more borders around, or below, or above,
so long as you champion the ones you love.”
Kiera whirled around. Sora too, grasped a keyblade in his hand. It shimmered. His had a firm yellow hilt, stretching a steel rod and ending with a crown-shape blade.
“What’s…What’s happening?” Sora gasped.
Before Kiera could answer, there was a warping sound. She whirled around. From the ground came dark, hunchbacked, ganguly creatures, charred black with beady yellow eyes. Instinctively, Kiera swung her keyblade behind her and went into a fighting stance. They started out few, but soon, they swarmed the island.
“Sora! Look out!”
Kiera lept over Sora, backflipped, and slashed Dreamseeker through the monsters behind her friend. They poofed into black smoke, and crystallized, red hearts shimmered above them and rose into the air.
“Kiera, how did you-?” Sora began.
“We can take them! Just watch out for their claws!” Kiera warned, “Sora, where do you think Kairi could be?”
“How do I know this?”
“I have an idea! The cave! Let’s go!”
Kiera nodded, and took off to follow Sora.
Kiera remembered the cave. It was dark and quiet, with only the sound of the wind blowing through its crevices, making strange groaning sounds. This was where Sora, Kiera, and Kairi would scribble on the walls with chalk and coal. Kiera didn’t have as much artistry displayed as the rest of her friends. Her antithesis was a picture of a star charm, composed of seashells, and a hand stretching out to a silhouette of a figure, shaped like a young boy. It was full scale and took a lot of space, unlike Sora and Kairi’s. Riku never drew anything. Unlike his friends, he had no such talent.
When they reached the back of the cave, there stood Kairi, front facing towards the mysterious locked door that they found years before.
“Kairi!” Sora exclaimed.
Kairi didn’t respond at first. Something felt wrong. She turned around, slowly. Her face was as white as snow. She looked half asleep, struggling to stand, as if someone had sucked the very soul out of her, leaving only a husk behind.
“Oh my gosh! Kairi!” Kiera gasped.
“Sora…” she stated, tired and monotone in a zombie-like tone, weakly motioning towards Sora.
Suddenly, the mysterious door flew open. Darkness burst out of it, including dozens of beady eyes. The force sent Kairi tumbling forward.
“Kairi!” Kiera shouted.
She summoned her keyblade, somehow creating a barrier of sorts. There was a loud whoosh! Kiera glanced over her shoulder to make sure Kairi had safely reached Sora. However, when she went to look, Kairi was nowhere to be found! Sora had his arms spread wide. He looked up at Kiera, horrified, and confused. Suddenly, the shield broke! Kiera tumbled backwards. She heard Sora shout her name, then felt the impact of hitting someone. Her vision blurred out, and darkness shrouded over her.
Kiera had ran right into Sora, and the hoard of monsters sent both of them soaring out of the cave, and back onto the beach. The two tumbled and rolled before coming to a stop. Sora groaned and pulled himself up. He saw Kiera two feet away, stomach facing the ground, and eyes closed.
“Kiera!” He exclaimed.
He ran over her and turned her over.
“Kiera? Kiera! Come on, wake up!” He cried, “Kiera!!!”
He heard a rumbling. Slowly, he turned around. Out of a pool of darkness, rose an even greater monster than the others they had seen. This one had a hole in his chest shaped like a heart, and long dreadlocks composed of pure darkness floating over his face. Sora gasped.
He remembered such a monster. For he had a dream the day before where he fought a creature just like it. He managed to beat it, but it resulted in a black mass swallowing him whole. He summoned his keyblade. He glanced at Sora, his heart sinking. Then, he announced with determination:
“Don’t worry, Kiera. I’ll keep you safe!”
He looked back up at the monster, with eyes of fury.
“I won’t lose you too!”
Kiera turned around to see Riku.
“Yeah, Riku? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I just…wanted to give you something” said Riku, “I…feel kind of stupid about this, but…Better late than never, I guess…”
He handed Kiera a bag, not as elaborate or decorative as her other gifts. Nonetheless, Kiera took it curiously and excitedly. When she looked in, and pulled out what was inside, she was shocked. The first thing she pulled out, was a star, made of five, thalassa shell-shaped, red and silver objects, and a peculiar symbol in the middle.
“Oh yeah! I forgot! Since ~~~~have Mark of Mastery exams tomorrow-“ Aqua reached into her pocket and pulled out four star-shaped charms, all different, gleaming colors, “-I made us good luck charms!”
“Woah! ~~~they’re beautiful!” Kiera gasped.
A woman with blue hair tossed one to each of her friends. Kiera caught the red one.
“Yay! My favorite color! Thanks!” Kiera exclaimed.
The woman grinned. She glanced back up at the sky.
“Somewhere out there, there’s this tree with star-shaped fruit, and the fruit represents an unbreakable connection. So as long as you and your friends carry good luck charms shaped like it, nothing can ever drive you apart. You’ll always find your way back to each other, no matter what…”
“Oh! I forgot!”
He suddenly reached into one of his pockets. Kiera watched in surprise. Ventus pulled out a small red box.
“For me?” Kiera asked.
He nodded. “Yeah, it was meant to be a present for when you became Keyblade Master. I want you to have it anyway.”
Kiera beamed. “Thanks, ~~~~!”
Slowly, she opened it. Her mouth dropped in awe. She lifted from the box, a golden chain, in which hung a shiny locket with interwoven hearts on the front and tiny-leaved branches.
She turned to him.
“Thank you. I’ll cherish it always!”
She looked up at Riku.
“How did you-?”
“When you washed up on our island…” Riku confessed, “I sort of…took them off of you. I thought maybe…they would’ve given us a clue as to where your from. Then I was afraid you’d get mad at me for taking them if I gave them back…”
Riku looked away, angry and embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, I was just a kid, and I didn’t know better. Will you forgive me…Kiera?”
Kiera looked at him, then grinned.
“Of course I forgive you!” She exclaimed.
Riku glanced back at her, surprised.
“I’m just glad I didn’t lose these-!”
Kiera put the gold necklace over her head. The locket glimmered in the lamplight.
“-I get the strong feeling these are really important to me-” she ran her fingers around the edges of the Wayfinder, “-I just wish I could remember why…”
She glanced at Riku, and gave him a big hug, giggling.
“Thanks Riku! You’re the best big brother ever!”
Riku chuckled, wrapped his arms around her, rested his head on hers, and closed her eyes.
“Happy birthday, Kiera.”