Welcome back to the Marmite alphabetacy!
The legacy you either love or hate- or are completely indifferent to- or
somewhere in the middle.
Moving swiftly on, in the last chapter Hiro and Yaeko had five
children: Iracebeth, Isildur, Ichigo, Iago and Ichabod. Iracebeth
decided that the heirship was her birthright and became determined
to claim it and Iago took a trip to a house that he would never
“C’mon! Move it!”
Their shoes slapped against the tarmac as they ran, filling the empty
backstreets with an echoing, irregular rhythm like the palpitations of a strident
heart. Breathing heavily, they slowed slightly , reeling in their legs as they
rounded the corner and then back to full speed as they made the turn.
And barely noticing, if at all, the quiet chink of the vase hitting the ground.
But someone else did.
But they continued to run, giving no indication that they had heard
“I’m talking to you!”
The three boys skidded to an abrupt halt, turning back and walking towards the
insolent stranger; they couldn’t let that tone slide.
“What?” snarled the one in the middle, spitting on the ground before him and
looking up with a contemptuous stare.
“I’m glad I managed to get your attention.” said the boy, his voice
confident and aggravated. He stood in an assertive stance with his legs
apart, positively radiating self-assurance as he glared at them.
“Now listen up you pond scum” he yelled with a scowl, “Do you see
Without looking away, he swept out
his right arm, pointing to the toppled
vase and, with this simple gesture,
implying bodily a fury that weakened
the confidence they usually took for
granted. The middle boy had to fight
to keep the edge to his voice as he
“Yeah, so what?”
“Good,” said the boy with a smile that
only made them more nervous. “First
question: What do you think that is?
You- the dark haired one- answer!”
“Uh, m-me?” his voice trembled despite
himself as his brain whirred in search of
the answer that the menacing redhead
wanted to hear. “I-I guess somebody left
those fl-flowers for some kid who- who
got killed here?”
“Correct.” he replied, narrowing his eyes
even further. “Now the next question:
why is the vase lying on its side?”
There was a heated silence for a few
“I-I guess one of us knocked it over when
we ran past.” blurted out the boy in the
“You guys catch on fast.” he growled. “Now go and
apologise or the next time the flowers will be for you!”
“Or what?” said the third boy, speaking for the first
time. “Are you gonna make us?”
Unlike the others, he had kept his composure and
strode threateningly towards the orange-haired
stranger, cracking his knuckles with sharp clear sounds.
The boy folded his arms and
allowed himself a rare smile.
“Think you can take me blondie?”
He appeared faintly amused as the
other boy continued to stride
towards him, curling large flat
hands into fists.
“Well okay then,” He stretched
his calf muscles, casually, almost
lazily, seemingly undaunted by
the impending confrontation.
“Shut it carrot top.” the other boy
growled, now close enough to
see the stranger’s infuriatingly
calm face in greater detail.
The boy’s eyes glinted as he moved with the ease and speed of an
accomplished fighter, spacing his feet further apart and bringing his arms up
to his chest, pale fists coiled and ready.
“I think it’s time you learned a little respect for the dead.”
And then he made his move.
The blow to his gut seemed to not only force all the breath from his body, but to remove his
lungs. Doubled over and choking, the boy didn’t notice the fist speeding towards his jaw until
he felt the impact. Lights flickered tauntingly before his eyes as a powerful kick swept his legs
from underneath him, a final punch to the chest caught him in midair as he tumbled
backwards and extended his horizontal trajectory.
And then it was over, after a fleeting eternity and he coughed breath back into his chest. His
sight returned and he saw the pale blue of the evening sky above him, tinged with red in the
His arms trembled as he
propped himself into a seated
position. He looked up and,
seeing the orange haired boy
standing over him, hurried to
“Have you got anything to say
for yourself?” the other boy
asked, seemingly not even out
“I- I’m s-sorry man,” the edge to
his voice had disappeared
completely. “I’m sorry okay? Just
leave me alone.”
He moved back towards the
other two, shuffling with all the
speed he could muster and
“What the hell happened?” asked the
dark haired boy; he had never seen his
friend lose a fight before- let alone so
“Let’s just get out of here.” the fear was
still evident in his voice.
The other two agreed hastily and the
three boys hurried out of sight.
He watched them leave before
turning with a sigh.
“That oughta teach them
something.” He looked over
towards the toppled vase.
“Sorry about all that, I’ll bring you
some new flowers tomorrow.”
“Thank you,” said the ghost,
smiling at him as she stood on the
corner that her life had ended on
two years previously.
“I think I should be able to
rest peacefully now.”
“No problem.” he replied
calmly, bending down to
place the vase upright once
more. “You deserve to be
able to rest in peace.”
“Most people can’t see me
in the day you know.”
“I know.” he answered,
“What’s your name?” she
asked him, tilting her head
to one side curiously.
“Thank you, Ichigo.” she
He nodded in response
before turning and walking
Ichigo couldn’t remember how
long he’d been able to see
spirits- or rather, how long he’d
been able to interact with them
in a way others couldn’t. Not
everyone could see them, but
his entire family could as far as
he was aware. But Ichigo’s
abnormality was that he didn’t
just see them at night, he saw
them constantly- and not just
the ghosts of the dearly
departed; he could see other
spirits too. What’s more, he
could interact with them in
ways that others couldn’t and,
consequently, when he was
younger, he’d had several
friends who were spirits
without him realising it.
One of his closest friends had
been the ghost of a girl named
Christy. He was only around eight
or nine when they became friends
and didn’t yet fully understand
how to distinguish spirits from
Christy had simply stopped coming to play
with him. This had confused him at the
time, but he had plenty of other friends
and he was easily distracted from this
mystery. It was only when Ichigo was
older, and had achieved a greater
understanding of his spiritual sensitivity
that he realised that she was a ghost and
began to truly wonder what had
happened to her.
The Elephant Club didn’t normally give prime slots like a Friday night to bands as obscure
as The Dunedain, but a certain Mr G. Marmite had put in a good word for them- he and
the owner went way back. And anyway, things were going pretty well- at any rate, the
crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The end of an overly elaborate guitar solo marked the song’s climax. There was
enthusiastic applause and even a few whoops and whistles- but a crowd of under three
dozen was never going to generate much noise. But this was how bands got started and
they launched into another song before it could dishearten them.
Here it is again yet it stings like the first
Seems it never ends, Double nickels on
I thought we were friends, I guess it
just depends who you ask
These feelings tend to leave me with a
hole in my chest
A hole in my chest
Now the time has come I just wish
I could erase
All the damage done to your
name and your keepsakes
It's only just begun, it's been fun,
we were blind, deaf and dumb
There's a party in my closet
calling all skeletons
Where did you go as the lights
Look what's become of me
I've grown to love your
Do one more pretty please
Now the time has come I just wish I
All the damage done, all this pain,
all this heartache
It's only just begun, it's been fun,
we were fucked up and numb
There's a killer on the corner and
he's looking for love...
Ichigo arrived late and found his twin
sitting at the bar, watching their older
brother strut around the stage,
screaming into his mike as he played.
“So you decided to turn up then?” said
Iago, having to shout over the noise.
“I got caught up in something.” he said
“Oh I’m sure you did.” As ever, Iago’s
tone was difficult to read.
Ichigo ignored him, turning back to watch
“How are they doing?”
Isildur now appeared to making love to his
“It’s difficult to say.” said Iago dryly.
Ichigo listened for a while, “Hey,” he was
audibly surprised “this song is actually
“Well Faramir and David write
everything. Isildur’s just... Isildur.”
“Someone has to be the
frontman,” sighed Ichigo as
Isildur’s current guitar solo
entered it’s third minute. “And
somehow I don’t think he’ll mind
A thought occurred to him. “How’s
Ichabod; I left early this morning so
I didn’t see him.”
“Ask him yourself,” Iago smirked.
“He’s over there somewhere. Last
time I saw him he was talking to a
guy named Big Johnny. ”
“WHAT?” Ichigo followed his
twin’s gaze to see his little
brother slap dancing happily
amidst the crowd.
Ichabod caught sight of him and,
smiling gleefully, began to push his
way through the audience.
“Why is Ichabod here?!” Ichigo
yelled, unable to understand
his twin’s apparent lack of
“Because he followed me.”
Iago replied, as if he were
explaining something to a
“He’s eight Iago! EIGHT years
old and you just let him follow
you to a rock gig in a seedy
“I can’t see what it has to do
with me.” said Iago, taking a
sip of his drink.
“What do you mean?” Ichigo was utterly exasperated and increasingly angry “It has everything
to do with you! Anything could happen to a little kid wandering around here by himself. You’re
his brother for God’s sake!”
“I figured he didn’t need me to be his brother with Super Ichi around.” Iago said bitterly,
adopting a sickening girlish voice. “In fact, he only wanted to come because you were going to
“You can be a total bastard Iago, you know that?”
“Yeah, well we can’t all be as
perfect as you can we Ichigo?”
Ichigo scowled at him
incredulously, completely livid
but lost for words.
Ichabod had managed to force
his way through.
Ichigo swallowed hard, trying to
suppress the anger he knew would be
present in his voice.
“Hey Ichabod,” he tussled his little
brother’s hair. He appeared to be fine
but anything could have happened to
him for all Iago seemed to care.
“Isn’t this great Ichi?!” Ichabod
beamed, wide eyes sparkling.
“Yeah, it’s brilliant.” he replied
distractedly. The surge of relief he felt
had only intensified his anger towards
Iago, but he didn’t want to argue about
it with him right then and have Ichabod
think it was somehow his fault.
“C’mere,” he sighed, bending down to
hug his little brother.
“We’re going home.” he said forcefully,
glaring at Iago.
“Do we have to?” asked Ichabod
sadly. “Don’t you want to meet my
“Maybe some other time.” he put a
hand on Ichabod’s shoulder, turning
him gently towards the door. “We’re
going.” he said pointedly, intending to
leave Iago behind.
“I’ll come with you.” meeting Ichigo’s
glare with a smirk.
Where do we go from here?
The words are coming out all
Where are you now when I
Alone on an aeroplane
Fall asleep against the window
My blood will thicken.
I need to wash myself again to
hide all the dirt and pain
'cause I'd be scared that there's
And who are my real friends?
Have they all got the bends?
Am I really sinking this low?
My baby's got the bends - Oh no
We don't have any real friends -
No no no
Just lying in a bar with my drip
talking to my girlfriend waiting for
something to happen
I wish it was the sixties
I wish we could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that
something would happen.
Where do we go from here?
The planet is a gunboat in a sea of
And where are you?
They brought in the C.I.A.
The tanks, and the whole marines
to blow me away
To blow me sky high...
The Dunedain collapsed onto the
sofas backstage, exhausted by
“Well,” said Isildur happily. “I
think they liked us!”
“Yeah...” said Faramir hesitantly.
“But didn’t you think that it was
a bit...” he let out a sigh. “I mean
they were slap dancing. Are they
“Meh,” said Isildur, grinning
“They want to be entertained.”
“Yeah... But- oh I don’t know.”
“It was a bit lame.” admitted David.
“Lame?” laughed Isildur “Surely
saying ‘lame’ is much lamer.”
“Well then saying that saying
‘lame’ is lame, is lame.” David
“Well then,” Isildur began, but this
was too much for his moderately
drunken brain and he gave up.
“Yeah, you’re right.” he agreed.
“Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion
that we only got this gig because
two thirds of the band are Godric’s
Marmite’s grandchildren.” added
“Ugh,” moaned Isildur. “We are
never going to be taken seriously.”
“We’ll just have to stick at it” reasoned Faramir “We can’t really get anywhere until
we’re at Uni anyway.”
“You’re right,” agreed David. “And that’s not too far away.”
“You realise Mum is gonna freak?”
sighed Ichigo as they approached the
“Is Mummy going to be angry with
me?” asked Ichabod, suddenly upset.
“Oh definitely.” Iago answered,
grinning cruelly as Ichabod’s lip
began to tremble.
“Of course she won’t be mad at you Ick,”
Ichigo scowled at his twin. “You haven’t
done anything wrong.”
Ichigo pushed open the door, not
bothering to hope that his mother would
somehow not have noticed that her
youngest child had disappeared from the
He was right not to get his hopes up.
“WHERE in the name of Paul Gray
have you BEEN?”
“You know where we were.” said Iago
“Okay,” growled Yaeko “Let me
rephrase that; What the HELL did you
think you were doing taking Ichabod
“Jesus, Mother. Put some clothes on.”
“I am dressed like this because I awoke
in the middle of the night to find my
youngest child missing and have been
too busy TEARING MY HAIR OUT to
squeeze in a wardrobe change. How
your father didn’t notice- I got back late,
‘Is Icky in bed?’ I said. ‘Sure is’ said Hiro.
Sure is my arse!”
“Although I can’t really blame him, because I never, NEVER would have imagined that
you could be so IRRESPONSIBLE.”
“Mom, I-” began Ichigo, but his twin cut across him in a half amused, half exasperated
“What? He’s fine isn’t he?”
“And it’s a bloody good job he is Iago, because if something had happened to him, SO
HELP ME GOD, I would have-”
“I-I’m sorry Mummy,” whimpered
Ichabod as fat, glistening tears
began to well up in his eyes. “I’m
really- I didn’t-”
“Oh Icky,” Yaeko’s voice had
instantly sofened, shedding
decibels by the bucket load. “It’s
not your fault. Come here,”
Ichabod ran to his mother, who bent
down and wrapped her arms around
him tightly. “ You didn’t know,” she said
quietly, stroking his hair. “Just don’t
disappear on me again okay?”
Ichabod pulled away and nodded
mutely, a small smile on his tear stained
face. “Now off to bed okay?” He gave
his brothers a sympathetic look and
hurried up the stairs.
“Fortunately for you two, I feel a sore throat
coming on.” said Yaeko, her voice stayed
quieter, but regained it’s menace. “And this
whole ordeal has made me realise quite
how much you all mean to me- so we’ll put
this behind us. But I hope you realise quite
how disappointed your father and I are.”
“yeah, yeah. ” Iago said, beginning to walk
“I love you y’know.”
Yaeko watched him walk away,
shaking her head and sighing.
“Mum,” said Ichigo, hurriedly. “I
didn’t know- We left as soon as
I realised Ick was there.”
“It’s okay Ichigo,” she smiled
sadly at him. “I know he must
have left with Iago; it’s not your
fault- and you brought him
home straight away. It’s just-”
She sighed again.
“I feel like I’m constantly yelling at Iago.
It makes me feel like I’m picking on
him- and I know it’s just that he does
more things that warrant a bollocking
than the rest of you, but I still- and I
really worry about him.”
“I know you do Mom,”
“Well, off to bed then sweetheart.”
Ichabod had always adored Ichigo.
He was someone to admire,
someone to confide in, someone
who would stand up for him.
And Ichigo had immediately accepted this
role, this responsibility. It wasn’t that he
didn’t get on with his other siblings, he just
had a special bond with Ichabod. Ichigo had
always been a solemn child, but Ichabod
could always make him laugh- a thing others
struggled to do.
And Ichabod was a shy child, sensitive
and often naive- not at all suited to the
harsh reality of life. Which was very
unlike his idol. Ichigo seemed to have
always known more about the cruelty of
the world around him than someone of
his age should. It was an impression one
got simply from a brief conversation
with him, or even from looking into his
eyes. Iago, also gave of this sense of
awareness, but he bore it in a different
way- it had made him bitter and afraid.
Ichabod was widely adored by the family, in the way that youngest children often are.
He was interested in science, and Hiro was eager to impart all that he had learnt from
Farnsworth to him. Isildur, who was so often out of the house at gigs or parties, spent
hours playing with him whenever he was home. Even Iracebeth who, in her
determination to become heir, could often be hostile towards her siblings, had a soft
spot for him and Ichabod was always willing to be her audience when she practiced a
Iracebeth had already ascended as far as she could, at her present age, in
the political career track and was eager to begin studying at University.
However, she had decided she would attend with Mirana, her best friend,
and would therefore wait until she was ready to move on .
Hiro and Yaeko felt truly blessed, but (as is
the case with many people) this only made
Yaeko more prone to worrying.
“Do you think the kids are okay?”
Hiro smiled affectionately at her.
“What makes you say that?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” sighed Yaeko. “It’s just,
Iracebeth is so hell bent on being heir, and if
she doesn’t win I don’t know what she’ll
“do, and Isildur’s wearing himself out with
gigs every night, and Ichigo seems so serious
all the time and I never know what he’s
thinking and I worry about what seeing ghosts
all the time does to him, and Ichabod doesn’t
have many friends and I worry about him
being bullied, and then there’s Iago! I worry
about him most of all. He used to be such a
sweet little boy- and I know you’ll say it’s his
age- but it seems different somehow, and-”
“Have I ever told you that you worry far too much?” said Hiro, pulling his wife closer.
“Well you do. Iracebeth will realise that there are more important things than the heirship,
Isildur knows what he’s doing and Dad has people ‘in the biz’ looking out for him. Ichigo is just
Ichigo. He’s strong but I know that he’s not too proud to ask for help if he really needs it and if
Icky does have any problems, he’ll tell Ichigo long before he tells us and his big bro will we more
than capable of sorting most things out- if not, he’ll come to us. As for Iago... I really think that
this might just be a phase. He does seem to have changed and I can’t think why, but I think
we’re just going to have to keep an eye on him. I'm sure there’s nothing seriously wrong.
But later that night, unable to sleep, Yaeko was unable to ignore her fears and,
as they paraded repeatedly through her mind, a memory from years before
drifted back to her.
“Mum, why does Dad never use his
The question threw her. She and Hiro had
decided not to tell the children about his
ability until they were older.
“How do you know about that sweetie?”
she asked, taken aback.
“Grandpa Godric mentioned it when he
drank that whole bottle of sake that
Grandpa Kaito gave him.”
“Oh... Well Daddy doesn’t really need to
use his power, and it’s very dangerous
“But he could do whatever he wanted to!” he cried eagerly.
“He could make everyone afraid of him and they’d have to
do whatever he said and he could have whatever he
“But why would he want to do that?” she stopped picking
tomatoes, watching him cautiously.
“I dunno,” said Iago, still picking, “Everyone would remember
him forever. It seems stupid not to use it to me. But then, I
suppose people will remember him cos he’s an heir isn’t
She thought about this memory as she did her morning Tai-chi in the greenhouse- an
attempt to improve the spiritual harmony of their cucumber plants. The thought of it
unsettled her and in the end she cut the session short.
She wanted desperately to heed Hiro’s advice and to dismiss it all as the imaginings of
her overly anxious mind- but she could not bring herself to do it. She was sure there was
something wrong with her son and the idea that she could not help him tortured her.
She knew for a fact that Iago suffered frequent night terrors. He thrashed in his sleep,
sometimes murmuring indistinct words, sometimes groaning, or even screaming.
He would never discuss these dreams with her, claiming not to remember them after
waking. But she could not suppress the lingering doubt that told her he was lying.
“I do believe that it’s my lucky day.” grinned Hiro as he slammed his cards down on the table.
“Oh you are kidding me,” groaned Isildur looking from his father’s hand to his own and then
letting them fall dejectedly to the table. “How are you so good at this?”
“Weekly poker nights with Ando and your Uncle Horatio,” he said happily, pulling a mound of
chips towards him. But you’ll get better son, it’s in your blood. Did you know that your Great
Grandmother Farnsworth was once thrown out of a casino for counting cards?”
“No! Are you serious?”
“Mmmm hmmm,” said Hiro. “She was only eighteen. Of course, by 22 she was already far too
senile to be able to keep track of the numbers.” He sighed. “Say, shall we go out tonight? A nice
family meal to keep your mother happy?”
“Yeah, sounds good.” agreed Isildur “But we’ll have to wait for Ichi and Iago to get home”
“Hey, can you here that?” he asked his twin, who stopped beside him.
“Can I hear what?”
“That noise. Can you seriously not hear it?”
“Evidently.” Iago narrowed his eyes and then continued to walk.
“Don’t you want to check it out?” called Ichigo.
“What? The imaginary noise?” Iago replied without turning round. “I think I’ll give it a miss.”
Ichigo headed in the opposite direction to his brother, towards the unsettling sound.
“What the hell-”
The noise was like nothing he had
ever heard; his ears tingled as the
bizarre sound grew closer.
He took a step towards it, but stopped as a
small boy dashed into sight, panting and
sobbing as he stared, with terror in his
eyes, back in the direction he had come
“Hey kid,” Ichigo called “Are you okay?” The
boy did not turn look at him but Ichigo
realised suddenly that he was a spirit,
which simply made things more confusing.
What does a ghost have to be afraid of?
The boy seemed unable to tear his
eyes away from whatever was
approaching him- the source of
the otherworldly noise that sent a
peculiar sensation through Ichigo’s
“Please,” the ghost boy sobbed
“Please, don’t. Let me go- please,”
“What is it?” called Ichigo, louder this time.
But still the child gave no answer,
continuing to whimper and tremble as the
noise grew closer.
Ichigo walked towards him, intending to see
for himself the source of the boy’s fear but
he froze despite himself when a cold voice
“You’ve run far, little boy.” The thing-
whatever it was- moved towards the
child and into Ichigo’s sight. It’s voice
seemed to undulate, moving
between contradictory tones and
lingering in the evening air like
“P-please” begged the boy “Don’t.
Leave me alone.”
“After I’ve spent so long chasing you?”
laughed the creature as the ghost began
to wail in fear, covering his face with his
Ichigo felt something tighten inside of
him. He would not just stand by and let
that, that thing do whatever it planned to
do to the boy.
He sprinted forwards, skidding to
a halt between the creature and
“Leave him alone.” Ichigo
growled, struck suddenly by the
dark hole in the thing’s chest
that seemed to suck light into its
“You can see me?” it sounded intrigued.
“How interesting... You’ll be dessert.”
It smiled- a smile that made Ichigo’s
stomach turn- and took a step towards
But just then there was a cry from
somewhere above them and all three of
them turned in surprise.
The woman landed lightly on her feet, straightening up and assuming an elegant but
She swung her sword with a level of ease and proficiency that suggested years of
training, holding it vertically in front of her.
The creature hissed at her, its eyes
“What infuriating timing.”
“Move the boy,” the woman yelled in
Ichigo’s direction and, though his gut
instinct was to help with the fight, he
pulled the child away. The boy
sheltered behind a dumpster, shaking
Ichigo turned back just in time to see the woman swing her sword through the air; he
thought for a moment that it seemed to leave a trail of light behind it.
“Bakudō number 39, Enkosen,” she said evenly, drawing a circle in the air with one hand.
The thing began to growl at her, stalking closer with increasing momentum.
She moved with speed that surpassed the ability of Ichigo’s eyes. The next thing he
knew, she was several feet closer to the creature, standing side on. It growled again
at its attacker, louder this time and Ichigo recognised the sound that had led him into
this unreal scene. It began to run towards her and the woman raised her sword,
bringing it round in a blaze of blinding white light that conquered Ichigo’s vision. It
was all he could see-
Ichigo woke from an uncharacteristically
deep sleep with a throbbing headache.
Bleary eyed, he took a fuzzy glance at
the clock on his bedside table.
Strange, I don’t normally sleep this
Letting out a yawn that the MGM
lion would be proud of, he stretched
his arms but let them fall abruptly to
his sides when he realised that he
was fully clothed.
What the hell-
He even had his shoes on.
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, wondering vaguely why he was dressed as he was.
He tried to think back to when he had gone to bed the night before, but could not remember
doing so. The most recent thing he remembered was walking home with Iago... Then hearing
that noise and following it and...
The surreal events of the night before came back to him like a punch in the gut. Ichigo went over
the memories again and again- each time it seemed more ridiculous and yet he only became
more certain that it had actually happened.
“I’m telling you it was not a dream.” Ichigo
said firmly at breakfast that morning. “It
happened. There was the ghost of a little
boy, and this- I dunno, this thing chasing
him, and then this woman just jumped
down from- from somewhere and she had
a SWORD, and then she was moving and it
was running at her and then there was all
this light and then-”
Noticing their expressions, he gave up.
“It happened.” he repeated, scowling into
“Maybe you should stay home from school
today Ichigo.” suggested Hiro. “Just have a
“Why don’t you believe me?” Ichigo cried.
“I believe you Ichi,” beamed Ichabod. “If
you say it happened it happened.”
“Thanks Ick, at least you’re reasonable.”
his little brother positively glowed with
pride for this praise.
“Do you believe him Mom?” Ichabod
“Well-” she began hesitantly.
“But it’s not like Ichigo to lie is it?” Ichabod
Yaeko thought about this for a moment.
“You’ve got a point there.” she admitted.
“Exactly,” said Ichigo “You accept
that I can see spirits- why don’t
you believe me about this?”
“What do you think Iago?” asked
“I think it’s absolutely
absurd.” replied Iago, curtly.
“I don’t even believe in
“But-” said Ichabod,
confused. “But I thought you
could see spirits too Iago?”
“Just because I can see them doesn’t
mean I have to believe in them.” he said in
the same tone. “I’m in permanent denial.”
“But-” Ichabod screwed up his face in
“Oh leave him alone Iago.” laughed Yaeko.
“Didn’t you see any of this honey?” she
“No.” he said, without turning to
look at her. “Like I told you, I came
home after Ichigo wandered off.”
“And you couldn’t hear the noise
he was talking about?”
“No, because I’m not insane.”
Ichigo ignored him.
“Thanks again for coming
Ysabell,” said Hiro.
“It’s no trouble,” she smiled.
“We’ll be happy to help if we can
won’t we Mort?”
“Of course, her husband replied. “So
how long has Ichigo been able to see
“We’re not really sure,” Yaeko replied apologetically, as if
she were concerned that this would lead them to judge
her as a poor mother. “When they started- Ichigo and Iago
that is- they didn’t realise that it was ghosts that they
were seeing. “It was only when we found Ichigo talking to
someone we couldn’t see one afternoon that we found
out that they could do it. Iago has never really taken much
interest in it- they irritate him more than anything and we
thought that was perhaps the healthiest approach. But
Ichigo was exactly the opposite- and now he says he’s
seeing other things and...” she trailed off. “We don’t think
he’s lying, but it seems...”
“Don’t worry,” said Mort reassuringly. “We
understand- and it certainly sounds like he’s
developing some sort of ability.
“But we called Dr Suresh- that is, the doctor
who helped Hiro with his power and-”
“Oh not that sort of ability.” said Ysabell. “It
sounds like he’s developing something more
along our line if you know what I mean.”
“You mean, he’s going to be a Shadow
Hunter like you guys?” Hiro asked.
“Oh that’s just one of many
possibilities,” she replied. “There is
test he could take, if he was prepared
to, that would assess his skills- it’d see
what kind of powers he possesses and
give him an idea of what he could do
with them if he wanted to. And Iago
would of course be welcome to take it
“Would you recommend it?”
“It’s entirely up to them. Why don’t you
talk to them about it and the you can-”
but she was cut off by the sound of the
front door opening.
“hey guys, I’m home.” called Ichigo
casually as he strolled into the hall.
“Oh,” he said, stopping as he
noticed the guests. “I’m sorry, I
“Don’t be silly,” smiled Yaeko. “I
don’t suppose you’ll remember,
but this is Mort and Ysabell.”
He walked over, ready to shake
hands with them both but was
trapped in a tight hug before he
knew what was happening.
“I haven’t seen you since you were a
baby,” she laughed. “Look how you’ve
grown; I feel so old!” She released him,
stepping back and staring at him silently
for a while. “Oh yes,” she said, beginning
to walk around him. “I’m definitely
sensing something here. What do you
Mort gave Ichigo a firm
handshake then joined his wife,
staring at him intently whilst
circling slowly. The effect was
really quite unnerving.
“Mmmm hmmm,” said Mort
thoughtfully. “There’s definitely
“Uh, Mom,” said Ichigo “What’s
“We’ll get out of your way,” said
Ysabell, walking over to stand
beside her husband. “Just give us
a call if you need to,”
“Thank you,” said Hiro and Yaeko
together, getting up to walk
them out and leaving Ichigo
Iracebeth sent her ball screaming down towards the nervous pins. “C’mon,” she
muttered, “A little to the left- now straigh, straaaiiigght...”
“OH YOU ARE KIDDING ME!” she shouted, outraged as the ball curved suddenly to the right,
hitting only four pins. She seized another ball and sent it flying after the first before the
machine had even lowered to replace the pins. Those that remained toppled with a
mournful clatter. “That’s more like it,” she smiled, her anger had evaporated.
After all, this was her party, thrown to celebrate the fact that she would soon be leaving to
study at Shiz University.
“You really suck at this Faramir.”
she said, without cruelty- it was
simply an observation.
“Yeah,” he said, watching his ball
roll along the gutter. “Sorry about
“Oh don’t worry” she said brightly
“It’s why I like playing against you;
I always win.”
Iracebeth had chosen to have a bowling
party because it was something she
deeply enjoyed. She enjoyed it because
she was better at it than anyone she
Especially Gabriel, her cousin and
Faramir’s older brother who was by far
Iris had adopted a highly serious
“You can do this ball.” she
whispered “If you don’t get at
least a spare, you will have let the
team down, you will have let me
down, but most of all, you will
have let yourself down.”
Yaeko, on the other hand,
was just winging it.
And, in typical Yaeko style, was doing very well simply by chucking her ball in the
general direction of the pins.
“-so I’ve decided that I want to take the
test.” finished Ichigo. Hiro and Yaeko
had explained it to both twins,
stressing that it was entirely up to
them. Iago muttered something about
them wasting his time, returning to his
room to do whatever he did in the long
hours he spent there, but Ichigo had
asked for some time to think about it.
“That’s brilliant news,” smiled
Ysabell “I really think that this is
the right thing for you to do
Ichigo. It’s clear that you have
great potential- but, once you get
your results, you can decide
whether you want to pursue that
it. It’ll be completely up to you.
It was only a matter of time
before the smustling began.
Heffalump and Quartz
started it, but soon almost
everyone had joined in.
“Come on Ichigo,” cried
“Er, no thanks,”
“Aww come on”
“Do you not smustle Ichigo?”
asked Louise, a friend of his
“Because I have too
much self respect.”
Iracebeth, “Bitchy Ichi!”
“Can you believe we’re
going to University? In
TWO DAYS Rassy?” asked
Mirana, her excitement
overriding her usual
“It’s insane isn’t it?” Iracebeth
squealed, hugging her best
friend. Just two days and we’re
out of here.”
And sure enough, soon she
was there. All grown up and
settling in to her political
science major. She felt at
home immediately, laughing
at dormies, schmoozing
secret society members...
University life was great.
In addition to Mirana, her cousins
Isis (Helena and Demetri’s
daughter) and Isseult (Hamlet
and Gail’s daughter) had started
University at the same time as
Iracebeth and were also living in
And so too were Coco and
Vivienne, Gok and Fernando’s
She and Mirana remained as
close as ever. Mirana was
studying Economics and
hoped to find a job in the
business career track after
Iracebeth couldn’t see how she could fail to
secure the heirship. She was successful, hard
working and ruthlessly determined. It wasn’t
even as if her siblings had expressed any real
interest in it either.
In fact, Iago had even pledged his support.
“Oh you should definitely be heir.”
he had said in his usual calm voice.
“You’re by far the best of us for
“Well obviously,” she agreed.
“Yes, it’d be a disaster if one of the
others got it. Can you imagine
Isildur as heir?”
Iracebeth giggled in amusement-
Iago did not laugh, but smiled.
“It’s be an utter shambles. But
you’ll have to be careful, the others
might try and take it the heirship
“But it’s mine!” she sat up in
alarm, her voice growing angry.
“I’m the eldest! It’s mine!”
“I know it is,” his voice was still
calm. “Of course it is- and I’ll
support you. But be wary of the
others, you can’t trust them.”
It was a thought that troubled her.
She had always assumed that she
would claim the heirship
unhindered by her siblings- by
anything at all in fact. Iracebeth
had certainly never considered that
they would dare to plot against her.
Iago was right, she had to be
She pondered her situation,
frowning as she lounged on the
tired sofa, but was unable to
concentrate on her troubles due to
the blaring stereo that ‘the strange
clown dormie ‘, as she knew him,
had just switched on.
She jumped over the back of the sofa, her eyes burning.
The dormie halted his slap dance. “Uh,” he said nervously as she stormed towards him. “M-
“If you don’t turn that off RIGHT NOW I will shove so much cotton wool down your throat that it
will come out your arse like the tail on a playboy bunny.”
“And if you EVER you slap dance with such blatant lack of rhythm and finesse again it would be
wise to do so whilst wearing brown trousers and a shirt the colour of blood – UNDERSTOOD?”
Ichigo sat in a long, wood
contemplating the nature of the
test he was about to take.
Beside him sat a dozen or so
others, all around his age,
waiting for their name to be
“I’m so nervous,” said one girl,
fidgeting in her seat. “I just know
I’m going to mess this up.”
“I know how you feel,” said the
boy on her left. “I don’t know
what my Dad will say if I don’t do
“Isn’t it just a test to see what kind
of abilities you have?” Ichigo
asked. “I didn’t think it was about
“Well obviously they’re going to assess how
good we are.” said the girl next to him in a
slightly patronising tone.
“They won’t waste their time with us if
There was a quiet whimper from further
down the line. Ichigo frowned, and was
about to respond when the door they were
waiting to pass through opened.
“Ichigo Marmite?” said the
woman who had stepped into
the corridor, looking up and
down the line.
“That’s me,” he stood up and
she signalled for him to follow
her into the room.
“Hey Ichigo,” called the boy
who had been next to him.
“Give ‘em hell.”
Ichigo looked back and nodded
And I’ll end this chapter with one of the pictures I shot for the boolprop Hallowe’en
screenshot competition, staring dear old Farnsie.
I didn’t fit as much into this chapter as I had hoped to, but if I didn’t end here it
would have been about 280 slides and would have taken a lot longer to be
published. I hope it was at least vaguely enjoyable and thanks for reading.
GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEE SOME FUNNY ICHIGO PICS
SONGS BY ALKALINE
As the chapter was largely focussed
around Ichigo, there was a high yield
of funny pictures- and one
He’s in character for the first pic but
spectacularly OOC in the next two.
I’m not sure what to make of the one
on the right.
I do think it’s sweet that he does his
Mum’s favourite dance move though.