Yellow and More Yellow

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I was horrified as I stared at the beautiful-grotesque figure. It was almost like an optical illusion. At first I could only see a strikingly handsome man, with clear, mint green eyes and a perfect smile.

This had been going on ever since Lindy had left for class. I had merely picked up the book and opened it to a random page before discovering it.

But the more I stared, the more the face became deformed. Now, the mint green eyes looked almost black-it was almost as though holes had replaced the eyes and the man's once perfect smile looked more like a sneer.

No matter how much I wanted to look away, I couldn't. I was in a trance. I finally managed to tear my eyes away from the portrait and read the description underneath:

The ifrit are one of the most ancient species of jinn in history and yet, out of all jinni, very little is actually known on the ifrit. The ifrit are incapable of feeling emotions and generally prefer to avoid the human race. Ifrit possessions are rare and the only way known of killing an ifrit is sealing it shut in a bottle and burying it ten feet underground for one thousand and one nights. But be wary for an ifrit is as cunning as it is handsome.

The passage ended. I wrinkled my brow in confusion and flipped the page. In great big letters it said, The Mahaj Jinni.

I turned back to my original page. Where was the rest of the passage on ifrit? Surely there had to be more? All the other passages on types of jinni were very detailed and lengthy. I tried to find the index of the book, but it turns out there was no index. I sighed. I tossed the book aside and snuggled into my covers.

I tried to fall asleep but I couldn't, I couldn't get the fire out of my mind. And now the stupid passage on ifrit only added fuel to the fire. I needed some tea. Grumbling to myself, I got out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen.

I glanced at the clock; it was nearly seven-time for Lindy to come home. Surely I couldn't have been staring at the deformed face for three hours! I rubbed my eyes and looked at the clock again. My fears were confirmed.

Angrily I pulled out a mug and slammed it onto the counter. I took out my pot that I only used for tea, and filled it up with some water to set it to boil. Then I busied myself with trying to figure out where Lindy had kept the cookies.

The tea hadn't even been able to simmer when I heard the jingle of keys and then the sound of the door opening. Lindy was home.

She slammed the door shut and collapsed onto the couch. I stood in the doorway of the kitchen and said, "Hey Lindy."

"Hi," she muttered back.

"How did the chem test go," I asked.

Lindy snorted, "Do you really need to ask?"

"That bad huh," I said.

"Well Ivanko is always the worst. He gives out awful tests," Lindy replied.

I simply rolled my eyes, "You say that every time yet you always do fine."

Lindy didn't say anything, she just glared at the wall.

"Come on Lindy, you did fine. Besides I need to show you something, Lindy," I began

"Yeah," Lindy said distractedly.

"No, like you should really see-"

Lindy's phone began buzzing. Fumbling around in her bag Lindy retrieved her phone and looked at her text. She stilled and suddenly began turning pale.

"What's wrong," I asked alarmed. Lindy just shoved the phone at me. I skimmed over the long text and a chill ran down my spine. How could I forget? Mr. Milligan's funeral was tomorrow.

____________________________________________________________________

It was freezing despite the bright early morning sun and the wind was as violent as ever. Lindy stood next to me as we stared at the stone engraving. The heavy scent of flowers still lingered in the air from the service.

My black dress fluttered around my legs and the hairs on my arms stood on its tips. I glanced over at Lindy. Her eyes were still filled to the brim with tears and her nose was an alarming shade of red. She was taking this really hard.

In her sheltered life, Lindy never understood pain. Sometimes I envied her; I wished that I could be blessed with that piece of ignorance. I had no tears for Mr. Milligan, I had no tears for anyone. My tears had dried up a long time ago.

Awkwardly I slung an arm around Lindy and whispered, "It will be alright."

Lindy sniffled and managed a weak smile. "I'm sorry," she said, "I just didn't think someone could die this way." I nodded and patted her shoulder. All the people had long since dispersed, not that there was a grand turnout anyway.

"We need to go now Lindy, the auction is about to begin," I said as I gave Lindy a nudge. Lindy didn't say anything else so I took that as permission to guide her back into the funeral home. Halfway to the the house, Lindy stopped walking. I tugged on Lindy's arm but she refused to budge.

"Lindy," I said.

"No, look."

"What?"

"Who is that?"

I followed Lindy's finger and found that she was pointing to a man who was holding a bouquet of yellow lotuses. Carefully he placed them in front of Mr. Milligan's tombstone.

"I don't know Lindy, but I think he wants to be alone," I said.

Lindy nodded slowly and together we made our way back to the funeral home leaving Mr. Abbas Milligan to rot deep underneath the soil. But the man also confused me. He was carrying a bunch of yellow lotuses. Lotuses, yellow ones, signified revenge.

______________________________________________________________

"Six hundred. Six hundred, anyone, anyone else? Going once. Going twice. Sold to the young lady in the red," the speaker boomed.

I shifted in my seat and glanced around at the crowd. There was a handful of people who had shown up to auction which was a lot more than had turned up at the funeral. It was almost as though no one had known Mr. Milligan's Fine Arts and Crafts existed much less Abbas Milligan himself.

Yet, the newspaper had claimed that Milligan's had been around for over forty years. How could that be? Even I had never noticed Milligan's till about well a few weeks back. How did Mr. Milligan even run his store for so long if he didn't have any business and he sold practically everything for fifty cents? And most of his things were pretty valuable considering nearly everything was being auctioned off at high prices.

"Alright, next we have another set of books on more greek mythology," the announcer began, "Bidding starts at five hundred dollars. Do we have any bids yet?"

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Lindy stiffening. Her fingers were clenching and unclenching into a tight fist. I frowned and whispered, "What?"

Lindy didn't reply. Instead she appeared to be looking for something-no she was looking at something.

It was the yellow-lotus man, he was angrily speaking with another man in a grey suit in the corner of the stage. He shoved a finger at the other man's chest and and then smiled, almost as though he was gloating. 

The man in grey stalked off, it appeared he was muttering profanities under his breath. A couple of minutes later the man in grey came back with a stack of books. He shoved them in the arms of the lotus-man and then impatiently held out a hand. The lotus-man gave him a slip of paper and disappeared backstage.

What just happened? I looked over at Lindy and she looked just as confused.

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