The Fading Spark
Beneath the clear blue skies of Tokyo, amidst the bustle of the city, was a woman, walking with what passers by assumed was her dog. The woman, a tall mysterious beauty wearing a black sun hat, paired with sunglasses and stylish designer boots, which could barely be seen below her long beige trench coat. Her dog, rather, the dog that walked beside her was a golden retriever. A happy, adolescent pup, who obediently walked in pace beside the woman with no collar or leash.
Everyone they passed had their eyes caught on them, amazed to silence as they walked on, completely unaware of the conversation the dog and woman were having within their minds.
“Look, Kanna, he's cute,” the dog’s high pitched voice filled Kanna’s thinking space as it pointed toward a sharp looking young office worker sipping coffee. But Kanna didn’t reply. The dog quirked its mouth and stuck its nose in the opposite direction. This time it was an older, mature looking man, jogging in a tight, form fitting jersey and slacks, who made eye contact with Kanna. “Unless you’re more into silver foxes, he’s a good catch.”
Kanna ignored the thought and faced forward, speed walking ahead of the dog. The puppy was forced to run after her as they turned a corner, where Kanna was standing there, looking down at the dog with contempt.
“Did I go too far with the teasing again?” The dog whimpered, widening its eyes at Kanna until she sighed and rolled her own.
Would it kill you to stop concerning yourself with my love life, Trimy? Kanna thought back to the dog, continuing their walk.
“I am a being of pure love and compassion. Trimy Explained. I would die if I were to stop caring about my best friend!”
Best friend is a bit of a stretch, Kanna interjected. Making Trimy’s jaw go agap, and dropping its head low. I’m kidding. I appreciate it, but I need to find that special someone on my own time.
“Right, right,” Trimy agreed. “But if you never take a chance at what could be, you’ll never know what will be.”
Trimy’s sudden spout of wisdom annoyed Kanna just a bit. She never really thought seriously about something as superficial as finding a significant other. But then again, in the past fourteen years, not much else has been on her mind besides her work as a Magical Girl. As keeping the peace between the magical and the non-magical halves of their world was of a bit more importance.
Momo Kanna was in fact the last remaining member of her team of magical girls, the Hanabi Buso. And since its inception, Kanna had only ever seen herself as a second fiddle to her friends. Kanna looked across the street at a park in the center of the city, where she not only saw herself immortalized in a statue of bronze, but also her former teammates, of the now retired Hanabi Buso. The statue sat on a pedestal with four of them, including Kanna posed with their magical armaments protecting their leader.
Kanna took her eyes off the monument and turned to the ordinary city around her, as that was exactly why she and Trimy were out and about today. Trimy was still playing at looking for more suitors for Kanna than potential dangers. And for once, Kanna’s shoulders relaxed, thinking back on how infrequent monster attacks had been as of late. Nor has there been a freak of the week to disspoil the peace of everyday Tokyo. Again she looked on at the memory of her and her friends in their younger years, a symbol of hope for the people of japan, and the world, a time long since past.
But that alone made Kanna genuinely wish for something to go wrong.
It didn’t need to be anything grand, She thought. A cat stuck in a tree, an ice cone dropped on the pavement? Anything! And then she heard it, a cry of terror.
Kanna and Trimy turned in the direction of a woman’s cry and instantly saw the news broadcast on the TV through a store window. The image displayed was on a helicopter view of a supernatural and frightening scene. A monster, cloaked in a black sleek robe of tentacles was levitating water and a boat filled with terrified civilians high in the air. And while all the onlookers around her gasped in horror, watching the broadcast helplessly, Kanna's shoulders went from tense to lax again, as if she had gotten worried over nothing, and smiled.
“Kaiyo Omo has attacked again!” The Newswoman announced. “The victims this time are now floating over the Sumida River. The military have already mobilized to intercept the monster but are unable to breach the space Kaiyo Omo is occupying.” Kanna looked closely and saw the faint magical ripples of Kaiyo Omo’s magic barriers in the air, where army helicopters were struggling to approach.
Figures, Trimy thought in her head. Kaiyo Omo is at it again. The two shared a look before Trimy sat down and gave her a nod, content with waiting here while she went off to save the day.
Kanna moved quickly from the crowded sidewalk to an empty alleyway. Double checking that no one was near, Kanna whipped out her blue scarf with one strong pull and it sparked and straightened into the shape of a sword. Stabbing the ground she ignited her inner spark, recalling the feeling of the firework fire that gives her power to transform her beige overcoat and black sun hat violet and her sunglasses into a bright pink. When she lifted her sword again it reverted back to its cloth like motion as she twirled it around herself, ready to teleport. But out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a little girl staring at her from the edge of the alleyway.
The little girl’s eyes went wide with amazement as she knew who Kanna was supposed to be. But Kanna, her expression relaxed, held a finger to her mouth to tell the girl to keep this a secret. The little girl nodded eagerly, and Kanna teleported in a blinding flash of blue fire and sparks.
Now Kanna could hear wind in her ears and the distant shouts of the Newswoman in awe as she described her entrance.
“This just in, Hanabi Ryu is here to save the day!” she heard the Newswoman say, just before Kanna whipped her scarf back into its sword form.
“Meddling again, Magical Girl?” Kaiyo Omo muttered. His voice had a familiar echo to it, and sounded deep, as if muffled by water, only giving her a glance of attention.
“That’s “Magical Woman” to you, Squid Lord.” Kanna quipped. She put her hands on her hips and watched the army withdraw from the air. Nodding, she looked back to the news helicopter to do the same before turning back to Kaiyo Omo. “I don’t think I have to tell you to put the boat of nice people down, do I? Or are you going to throw it at me like Lion Lord would?” Kanna was a lot happier than she thought she’d be to see a familiar foe, the leader of the Osoroshi Kadame. Kanna tried to keep her excitement in check, but couldn’t help but smile as Kaiyo Omo chuckled.
“Still calling me a squid?” He said, lowering his hands and tentacles to set the boat and water back in the river, his full focus now given to Kanna. The people on the boat looked back up at Kanna, teary eyed but reluctant to leave her sight.
“Hurry on out of here!” She began saying to them. “Things are about to get-” But a screeching hiss cut off her words as she dodged the first laser shot from Kaiyo Omo. Circles of magic swirled around his tentacles as he continued to thrust them forward and fire.
Deflecting the next two lasers with her sword, Kanna tried to fly closer to him for an attack. But Kaiyo Omo, the Ocean Lord, inhaled and belted a sonic boom of a roar, launching her back. Squinting at him through the powerful gust of wind and force, she saw a gold and rusted necklace around his neck.
“Lion Lord’s armament!” she realized, and quickly checked her ears for damage.When she found some slight bleeding she flipped backwards and whipped the air around her with her scarf, coming to a stop. “Using other magical arms from your fallen comrades, smart. But I have those too.” She said, reaching into her coat and pulling out two metal wings. She placed one over each ankle of her violet boots and suddenly found footing with the air beneath her.
“Hanabi Armament: Rocket Boots!” she shouted. Sparks from the bottom of her boots exploded and propelled her forward faster than Kaiyo Omo could fire his next volley of lasers. And by the time she was upon him, Kanna had wrapped her scarf around her fist, made it take metal form, and planted her fist fist square into his chest. Kaiyo Omo went flying backwards. And with her newly found speed, Kanna dashed past him and wrapped her scarf around her foot, and kicked him skyward. Kaiyo Omo could hardly think before he found himself face to face with her again, but this time with her scarf around neck, her coat open and revealing her true uniform, a beautiful short kimono, patterned with violet blossoms, striking black lightning and purple leggings. But what had truly captured his attention was the cannon she had aimed square at his chest.
“Good to see you again, Squid Lord,” Kanna said.
“It’s Ocean-” She pulled the trigger, the force of the explosion cut him off and rocketed him downward as he plunged into the river below them. The sparks and fire bounced off and moved around her. And as the smoke cleared she buttoned up her coat again and posed, the fireworks canon slung over her shoulder.
Cheers from all around her erupted from the bridges and the dry land around her. The people of Japan were shouting her name and cheering with fists held high.
“She’s done it again,” said the Newswoman from the approaching helicopter. “Another fantastic display from Earth’s final defender from the forces of evil!” Her words suddenly sounded muffled to Kanna as she felt an unwelcome presence enter her mind.
“We aren’t so different in that I believe…” The voice that Kanna was hearing came from the river below. She saw him clearly, Kaiyo Omo, the Ocean Lord, looking up at her silently beneath the water’s surface. “The last two of our kind, who do battle for Causality’s sake. But there will surely be others when the two of us finally fade from the minds of the people, to take our place.”
Leave before I make you leave! Kanna thought loudly back to him.
“Agreed, I got what I wanted today,” He held up a sleek iron cube in his hands. It was a dormant armament. Kanna flinched, ready to chase him for it before he wagged his finger and pointed down the river. One of his tentacles had been stretched all the way to the boat from before, glowing with eldritch magic in a threat. Kanna held herself back just a moment as the Newswoman started to approach and ask her questions.
“I’ll see you again soon, Magical Girl. Enjoy your “victory” while you can…” And he was gone. Faded into black mist, flowing down the river. The battle was won by Kanna, but the war went in Kaiyo Omo’s favor.
“Hanabi Ryu?” Said the Newswoman. “Are you alright?” Again, another troubling question to Kanna. She forced a smile and put the cannon away.
“Sorry,” Kanna started. “There is somewhere else that I need to be, bye!” She then whipped her scarf around her faster than the Newswoman could protest.
Kanna found herself again in the alleyway where she came from. Snapping her fingers she canceled her magical form, returning her outfit to its original bland colors and walked back out into the streets of Tokyo. She failed to spot Trimy anywhere, but assumed she probably had some cosmic business to attend to. Then, she felt a vibration in her pocket, and pulled out her phone, booming with texts from her friends.
Ayako-Senpai: Good Job Girl!!!!
Sakura-Chan: Dang, beat me to it. Good fight! Thanks for using my Candle Cannon!
Ayako Liked* Sakura-Chan’s text.
Hana: You go Kanna!
Kanna smiled a little from them, finally feeling a little bit of genuine praise from her former Magical Girl comrades. But even in the loneliness Kanna felt from being the last remaining member of the Hanabi Buso, Kanna lifted her head up high.
So what if she was fighting alone? She knew people who truly appreciated her efforts as the last Magical Girl. But when her eyes looked up to the skyscrapers of Tokyo, she saw nothing but advertisements and videos depicting a particular time of year.
Valentines Day… Kanna thought. And as she looked around her, all she saw were happy couples, playfully flirting with each other and radiating genuine happiness. Kanna turned to the window of a shop closest to her and pushed a loose hair back into place. And when she looked past her reflection She saw the outline of a wedding dress over her trench coat. She took off her hat and sunglasses. She imagined herself wearing it, a pure white dress on her wedding day, her long black hair hanging in contrast.
“Would you date Hanabi Ryu?” A girl in a group of high schoolers said, passing by.
“No way! She’s gotta be forty by now.”A boy in the group said, laughing with the rest of their friends.”She’s probably married to a CEO of some company, living comfortably anyway.”
“Yeah, who cares!” Others echoed.
Kanna stared daggers at them, dawning her sunglasses and hat again.
“I’m just twenty-eight.” She said to herself, pulling out her phone again.
Ayako-Senpai: Are you still meeting us at the cafe???
Kanna sighed, and typed up a quick reply.Kanna: Omw!