This has been a pretty incredible journey so far for Jonah and Tidus. There is something shifting inside Jonah. When we left them last week, Tidus had gone back to his side of the island to get gardening tools. Let’s see how they’ve progressed.
Days passed by and Jonah spent hours working alongside Tidus. His skin was covered in welts from the stinging nettles, and a large angry wound covered the back of his right hand where he’d accidentally brushed against one of the venomous flowers. But, they managed to clear a decent sized area for planting.
Tidus had suggested a poultice of mud and herbs for healing. Again, Jonah was amazed at the boy’s knowledge. Tidus brought vegetable seeds from his side of the island along with a variety of flower seeds.
It made Jonah happy that Tidus spent days on his side of the island. Bit-by-bit, the boy brought more of his things, and Jonah had even constructed another smaller hut for him.
Shock rippled through him when Jonah realized that he hadn’t cast a glance toward the mainland or scanned the horizon for the boat in days.
Slowly but surely, he worked on clearing the land and himself.
After hours of digging, hoeing, planting and watering the rows of seeds in the makeshift garden, Jonah stretched out and opened “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”
Tidus dropped down beside him. “Will you read out loud?”
“Okay. Sure,” Jonah replied. “Chapter 6. ‘We can now begin to take responsibility for all of who we are, the parts we like and the parts we dislike. At this point, you don’t have to like all of your aspects; you just have to be willing to acknowledge them to yourself and others. There are three helpful questions you can ask yourself. Have I ever demonstrated that behavior in the past? Am I demonstrating that behavior now? Under different circumstances am I capable of demonstrating that behavior? Once you answer yes to any of these questions, you have started the process of owning a trait.’”
Tidus interrupted. “If you ever want to talk about anything, Jonah, I am a good listener.”
Jonah stared at him. “Yes, you are. But, I don’t think I could ever tell you all the things I’ve done. I don’t think you could handle it.”
“I am a kid, but in some ways, I’m really not. It’s all very strange, I am sure, but I’ve just kinda’ stopped aging. I experienced a lot with my mom and dad. Stuff that would make your stomach turn. Before we were banished from the mainland, people came in large groups determined to kill us and all of our kind. But our magic was stronger than their hatred and they never succeeded. I’ve seen my father remove a man’s skin without ever touching him. I’ll never forget the screams. I bet you’ve never seen anything like that.”
“You’re right, Tidus. I’ve never seen magic like that. I’ve only seen what magic I could create with my hands and it was all based on fear. I had to make people fear me so they would respect me. I was the king of my turf.”
Tidus poked at the ground with a stick. “What’s the worst thing you ever did?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it.” Jonah cleared his throat. “I’m beginning to wonder if I really want off this island anymore. Now that you’re here, and we’re making it better, maybe I don’t want to go back to the mainland.”
“One thing I know, Jonah. We are both being tested. I can feel my father watching me from somewhere. I know he’s alive, but I don’t know why he doesn’t come and get me. Maybe I’m supposed to be here with you and these poor forgotten creatures that roam this island. You know they weren’t always this way, the Weilderwolves. They mutated into what they had to to survive here.”
“Are you talking about the fanged beasts?”
“Maybe that is what I will do. Mutate.” Jonah spat on the ground. “If your father is alive and watching, then we need to show him the best of both of us. I’ve never cared about being the best at anything before except stealing, bullying and even killing. But, now I have a strong urge to be something better.”
Tidus spread his long webbed fingers out in front of him. “I can’t ever go back to the mainland. I would be tortured and probably killed.”
Jonah growled. “Not as long as I’m alive.”
A long minute of silence passed between them.
“Do you think you could start teaching me your magic, Tidus?” Jonah asked.
“I…I don’t know,” Tidus stuttered and his eyes glowed. “I’m not sure it is allowed.”
“There’s only one way to find out.”