Chapter 3:

Trouble on the Horizon

One Wish They Never Wanted


The duo got to work quickly, for it was a Saturday morning and slightly busier than usual. (Amelie had to teach him a few things, but it was fairly straightforward.) Strangely, Takuma found himself liking all the mundane work despite the fact he owed it all to the fairy.

Speaking of the fairy, she'd hidden in his jacket and was there to chat with him in the otherwise empty break room.

"So how do you like it? The reversal spell, I mean. This sort of spell's my specialty, so it was no big deal." The fairy twirled a lock of hair around her finger absentmindedly as she took in the state of the place - its round wooden table and few fold out chairs showed neglect, almost as if begging for pity.

"It's alright, but why are you so insistent on being around? The way you act, you're basically a mosquito." When Takuma took a swig of water from a glass he'd retrieved, the fairy lashed out with her right foot, sending errant sparks of magic flying to the postered walls. The motes dissolved and straightened out the paper.

"I'm not a mosquito! I'm Ember!" she cried, her hand finally dropping from its position in her hair after a moment's hesitation.

The boy sighed as he realised he hadn't even learnt the fairy's name, despite having been acquainted with her longer than Amelie.
----
Sunday was break day, as it was typically for businesses, so it was back to the usual grind of "wake up late and watch anime all day".

"What's with you?" Ember growled softly as her wings, crinkled from sleeping on top of one of the manga towers, straightened themselves out with little pops and snaps. She rubbed her back gingerly as she complained, "Don't humans have a life?!"

"This one doesn't," he mumbled, ensconced in his multiple blankets like a caterpillar. Turning away from her, he took her silence as a sign he could go back to sleep.
----
The days went by uneventfully and slowly. That is, until Amelie confronted Takuma in the break room after work one day.

"The truth of the matter is," she slapped the table with an open hand, causing both to reverberate slightly, "it's almost time for us to graduate." There was something sinister about how she'd used the word 'us' instead of 'me'.

"Yeah. So?" Takuma, his work leather messenger bag slung over his shoulder, raised an eyebrow at her.

"That means valedictory! The final big celebratory dinner before exams! Why did you choose to miss out on all that?!" Amelie's face was now red from getting worked up as she backed Takuma up against the wall. "I checked with my classmates. You really were part of my year level but you left school in the middle of the year."

"If I can leave, then why can't I?" The boy avoided her expectant gaze, being unable to see through the fog Amelie had made on his glasses, but she turned his face towards her.

"It's just too weird! You don't just leave in your final year." She stepped away from the wall once she realised how close they were to each other, and Takuma took this opportunity to clean the lenses.

"I-If you're asking why I left, then forget it." Before the boy could put the glasses back on, Amelie snatched them up. Takuma's face fell when he squinted and found out she was smirking.

She was forcing him to tell his secrets, but the way she was handling her coercion was already way too similar to the experiences he wanted to forget...

"Fine, but I need my glasses back after this..."


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