The Darkness Within

By Kasuto of Kataan

Chapter 2: The Possession

      Yes, it was working. Daimanius's plan to take over Link was working. He would use Link's dark side against him. The dark side that every person possessed, but that which most never saw. Daimanius was weak, his power was nearly zero. But that didn't matter, Link would destroy himself. That was the plan.

      A tugging startled Link out of his near-trance. He felt something tugging at his arm. The fishing line. A fish had finally taken the bait. Link tried to think of an easy way to reel this fish in. His arm was broken, so he couldn't really use two hands. This fish was a fighter; it was hard just to hold on to the reel. Then Link got an idea. He made sure that the line was locked so it wouldn't extend any further, and he began to walk backwards. Instead or reeling the fish in, Link would drag it out of the water. After walking a few yards, he saw the fish flop in an out of the water. It was a large catfish that must've been at least ten pounds. This would be plenty for two people. The catfish flopped and jumped wildly as Link pulled it onto dry ground. Link swore that he heard the catfish hiss or growl, but maybe it was his imagination. Fish don't make noise, do they? He pulled the reel back a little more so the fish couldn't jump back into the water. It seemed to flop and struggle forever. After five minutes, the fish was finally still. Link reeled the line in while walking towards the fish, so as not to put too much stress on his injured arm. Link put the rod between his left arm and his side, and picked up the fish with his left hand.
      Link turned around and began to make his way back to Saria's house. He wondered how Zelda was doing. When Link reached Saria's house, he removed the fish from the hook and leaned the rod against the house. He walked in the house, holding up his fish. "Look what I caught!" Link said, proudly displaying his catch.
      "Oh wow!" Saria exclaimed. "Here, come see what Zelda did." Zelda was standing by the oven with her back to Link. Saria went up to her and whispered in her ear. Zelda turned around. Her face and dress were splotched with flour, and she had a large grin on her face. It looked like a bag of flour exploded in her face, but Zelda seemed content.
      "Look what I made for you!" Zelda said gleefully. She picked up a plate with some strange object on it and showed it to Link. The thing was a light-brown colored, amorphous blob. It looked like…bread? This thing didn't look like any loaf of bread Link had ever seen before.
      "Um, what is that?" Link said, pointing to the blob on the plate.
      "It's bread, silly," answered Zelda, still smiling. "Saria showed me how to do it, because I didn't know how. I think this is pretty good for a first try, what do you think?" Link managed a smile. "Is that the fish you caught?" Zelda asked, looking at the fish Link was holding. Link nodded. "That's a big fish! Did you…gut it yet?"
      "No…" Link said. Why would Zelda want to know if he gutted the fish yet? "I was going to go outside and do that right now."
      "Can I watch?" Zelda asked. Saria's stomach turned at the thought of Link gutting a fish.
      "I guess so," Link mumbled. "But why would you want to? When Saria watched she got sick. I don't want you…getting sick all over me." Link remembered when Saria had vomited all over his clothes; she had never been so embarrassed. Link picked up a wooden cutting board from Saria's counter and took it and the fish outside with Zelda following. He couldn't believe that Zelda was going to watch him gut a fish. He walked to the nearby pond fed by a stream that everyone used for washing clothes and bathing. Link set the cutting board on the ground and laid the fish on top of it.
      "What do we do first?" Zelda asked, wide-eyed.
      "Well, I usually cut the head off first," Link answered as he removed a dagger from its sheath on his belt. He never thought he'd be explaining this to someone. Link quickly cut the head off the fish and pushed it to the side. Strange…he felt something when he cut the head off the dead fish. He wished that the fish were alive so he could make it suffer. Yes, he would love to see this animal suffer. He thought of what it would be like to do the same thing to another animal, like a dog or cat. It would feel so good to hear an animal scream in pain. It would make him feel so powerful.
      "I said, what do we do next?" Zelda shouted into Link's ear. He was startled out of his daydream. What were those thoughts I just had? Thought Link. Was that really me talking? I would never want to make any animal suffer, what's wrong with me. I have to answer Zelda's question or she'll get suspicious.
      "Oh…sorry," Link mumbled. "Uh…next, I take the insides out of the fish and then cut it into pieces to cook." Link sliced the fish open and removed the organs inside. He then cut off the tail and sliced down the middle of the fish. He cut the fish into two large filets, leaving behind the various organs and backbone. He held up the two clean fillets. "See, now we can cook these and eat them right away. The good part is that you don't have to pick bones out of it."
      "Oh, that was interesting," Zelda said, looking at the remains on the cutting board. This wasn't that gross, she didn't know what Saria's problem was. "What do you do with the…leftovers?"
      "Well, I usually just dump them by that tree over there, and some animal comes by and eats it," answered Link, pointing to a tree. Link walked over to the tree, dumped the trash, and walked back to Saria's house. He set the two fish filets on the counter and put the cutting board into a sink of soapy water. "It's Saria's turn to do the dishes," Link said, giving Saria wry smile. She playfully scowled back at him.
      "So Link, do you cook the fish yourself?" asked Zelda.
      "Yeah," he answered, checking to see if the fire in the stove was hot enough.
      "He can cook food on a fire okay," Saria added, "But if he tries to bake something in the oven, he'll burn the house down." Zelda giggled.
      "I can't wait to see how it tastes," Zelda said. Link hoped that he wouldn't botch this attempt at cooking. Except for baking, his culinary skills were decent. The stove in Saria's house was actually a grill. The fire was covered by a grill of iron bars. Directly above the stove was a large ventilation hood that led to the chimney. The fish filets sizzled as Link plopped them onto the hot grill.
      "These shouldn't take too long," Link said as he took a seat at the table, keeping one eye on the stove.
      "So, how often do you cook?" Zelda asked.
      "Usually everyday. Since Saria doesn't eat meat, I usually just cook for myself. I can grill things pretty good, but I'm terrible at baking. I don't know why I can't bake…I mean, baking and cooking on the stove are kinda the same thing right? I guess I just have bad luck when it comes to baking things, I'm just not good at it. Maybe I'm better at cooking on top of the stove because I can actually see the food cooking…" Zelda interrupted Link's ramblings and pointed to the stove. "Oh yeah, I forgot." He walked to the stove and flipped the filets over before they burned.
      "You were saying?" Zelda said.
      "Um…" Link mumbled. He'd lost his train of thought again. That happened a lot when he started babbling. "What was I talking about?"
      "You were rambling again," Saria said.
      "My Linkie-pooh doesn't ramble," said Zelda. "He just has a lot to say." Zelda liked the way that Link babbled when he started talking. Maybe he was because Link was so much like herself. She thought it was cute when he started talking endlessly about things. They usually took turns doing that. Link would prattle on about something, and when he got tired of talking, Zelda would take her turn prattling.
      "Did anyone tell you that you two are so cute together," Saria commented. Link and Zelda looked at each other and then glared at Saria.
      "No, not really," replied Link. "What do you mean that we're 'cute' together?"
      "You know what I mean," said Saria. "You two are made for each other, don't you know that?" Link and Zelda did know that, but no one ever told them that. "It's like you both know what each other is thinking." Saria didn't know how close to the truth she was. Link and Zelda had an empathic connection; they knew each other's emotions. "Do you know how much Zelda likes you, Link?" Link knew. "You should see the way her face lights up when she talks about you. And Zelda, the same thing happens with him. I'm sure people probably say that you two are too young to know if you really love each other, but I think you do. I can tell." Saria was right, again. She was always very perceptive.
      "Yeah you're right," Link said. "It's just that no one's ever said it like that before."
      "I think your fish is done," Zelda said, breaking everyone's pensive moment.
      "Oh, yeah…I think you're right," Link said, walking over to the stove. He removed the filets from the hot grill and placed them on separate plates. Saria took a large bowl of salad she prepared and placed in onto the table. Then she placed the warm loaves of bread on the table next to the salad. Link brought the two plates of fish to the table and placed one at his and Zelda's spot. Finally, Saria brought a pitcher of milk to the table that she'd gotten twenty minutes earlier. Link was the last person to sit down at the table, and Zelda gave him a pouting look.
      "Aren't you going to have the bread I made for you?" Zelda asked.
      "Oh…yes, I forgot." Link stood up and retrieved the plate with Zelda's "bread" on it. He sat down and looked at the strange thing on his plate. It didn't look like bread, but it might taste okay. Looks weren't everything. At least it wasn't burnt to crisp like Link's failed attempt at baking. Zelda had an expectant look on her face; she was waiting for Link to eat it.
      "Go on," Zelda urged. Link removed a small piece from the loaf and put it into his mouth. It didn't taste bad. In fact, it tasted fine. Zelda wasn't bad at baking. Link couldn't understand how the bread took on such an odd shape, though. "Oh you like it!" Zelda said gleefully. "I'm glad you like it because I was worried that you might not want to even touch it because it looks so weird." She looked at the fish on her plate. Zelda grabbed a fork and ate a piece of the fish.  "Ooh. This fish is good. You're a good cook Link; did anyone ever tell you that? I like this place so much better than the castle because at the castle I have to act like a little princess. Well, I am a princess, but I don't like being one. It's so nice to live simple like this. Have you ever seen how many forks are at the table in the castle? Five! I don't even know what they're for, but Impa says it has something to do with etiquette."
      "Five forks!" Saria said. "Why would anyone need five forks?" Zelda shrugged her shoulders; she had no idea why they needed five forks. "And what do you mean by etiquette?"
      "Oh etiquette is just a big word that grown-ups use to justify all their weird rituals," answered Zelda. "When people are visiting the castle I always have to follow 'proper etiquette.' They have all these stupid rules for how you're supposed to eat, and how to act. I hate it so much! I wish I lived here so I didn't have do all that stupid stuff. Impa always says I have to do these things because I'm a princess and that's my job."
      "What kind of things do you do?" Saria asked. She was curious as to what the princess of Hyrule actually did.
      "Well, sometimes people come over to see my daddy and they have a big banquet. I have to sit there and act pretty while all these weird people talk to Daddy about things. I have to eat a certain way and I can't talk or anything. And then sometimes we have these big parades and stuff, and I have to dress up in a big stuffy dress and wave at people. Plus, they never let me have any fun because I'm a princess and they don't want me to get hurt. Sometimes when I don't want to do those things I try to get out of it."
      "How do you try to get out of it?" Saria asked.
      "Sometimes I pretend that I'm sick, but that doesn't work well anymore because Impa usually knows when I'm faking it. One time I dyed my hair pink so I didn't have to go to some stupid 'function.' I got in big trouble and my hair was pink for two months, but it was worth it."
      "You dyed you hair pink?" Saria said. She couldn't believe someone would do that. "How in the world did you do that?"
      "I had some paints that I used sometimes, and I had some pink paint so I rubbed it all into my hair. You should've seen the look on Impa's face when she saw it." Zelda lowered her fork to the plate for more food, but there was nothing left. She didn't even realize that she'd eaten that whole fish already. "Wow, the fish is gone. That was really good, Link. Why didn't you tell me that you could cook before? What kind of fish is this anyways? I don't think I've ever had this before."
      "It's a catfish," Link answered.
      "Meow," Zelda said, giggling.
      "No, I think they call them that because they have whiskers, like a cat. Anyways, this was a good one. Catfish don't usually taste that good. Sometimes they taste like mud."
      "Well, you did a really good job," Zelda said as she stood up and kissed him on the cheek.
      "Oh that's so cute," Saria teased. "Why don't you two lovebirds go outside? I'll clean up."
      "Oh thank you," Zelda said. Zelda once again grabbed Link's hand and took him outside. "What are we gonna do now?" Zelda asked, excited.
      "I don't know," Link said. "What do you want to do? There's a whole bunch of things we can do. We could go swimming, or go for a walk in the woods, or…" he trailed off. Zelda looked around and her eyes locked on the pond that Link had cleaned the fish by. A portion of the pond had dried up and left a large pit of mud.
      "Let's go play in the mud!" Zelda suggested gleefully.
      "You want to play in the mud?" Link asked, confused. He never knew any girl that wanted to play in the mud. Link liked Zelda even more now.
      "Yeah, come on! I never get to do anything fun like that at home. I'll race you there!" Link stared at her for a second, and she bolted for the pit of mud. Link ran after her and they both stopped when they reached edge of the mud pit. "We should probably take our shoes off," said Zelda. She sat on the ground and removed her shoes and socks. Link agreed and proceeded to remove his boots and socks. He thought it would be a good idea if he took his cap off, so he removed that, too.
      "You go first," Zelda said. Link slowly stepped into the cool, soft mud. It felt good between his toes. "That's not what I mean," Zelda complained, "jump in!" She pushed Link hard and caused him to lose his balance. He fell face forward into the mud. "That's it, now you've got the hang of it." Zelda walked to Link's side as he was trying to get up. He lifted his body out of the mud, turned around, and sat down. "Wasn't that fun?" Zelda teased. Link wiped some of the mud off his face. The whole front side of his body was covered in the cool muck.
      "Oh, that was a blast," Link said sarcastically. He extended his arm and pushed Zelda. She, in turn, fell over backwards into the mud pile.
      "I'm gonna get you now!" Zelda said playfully. She grabbed a handful of mud and lobbed it at Link, hitting him squarely in the chest. What ensued was a fierce battle between Link and Zelda, using clumps of mud as weapons. The two repeatedly pushed each other into the mud and dumped it into the other's hair. Link and Zelda couldn't remember the last time they had so much fun. After about ten minutes, Saria came outside to look for them. She saw Link and Zelda hurtling muck at each other and walked over there to see what was going on.
      "Are you two having fun?" Saria asked. Link and Zelda suddenly stopped and stared at Saria, as if they were caught doing something bad. They were completely covered in mud from head to toe. They looked like strange brown creatures from another planet.
      "Yeah were fine," Zelda said holding up a handful of mud.
      "Don't even think about it!" Saria said, slowly backing off. Zelda decided not to make Saria mad, so she threw the mud at Link instead. Saria decided to leave them alone.
      "I think we've had enough fun," said Zelda, throwing one more dirt clump at Link. "Let's go for a swim in the pond." They both stood up and wiped as much mud off themselves as they could. Then they both ran and jumped into the lake, making two huge splashes. "This is fun, we can wash our clothes while were still in them!"
      "You are fascinated by the simplest things," Link said. He submerged himself underwater and tried to get all the mud off his hair. When he came back to the surface, Zelda was smiling at him.
      "You missed a spot," she said, splashing him without warning. Link splashed back, and for the next few minutes, they relentlessly splattered water on each other. When they finally tired of splashing each other, they stepped out of the water. Their clothes were really heavy when they were soaked with water.
      "What now?" Link said. Zelda shrugged her shoulders. "We need to dry off. Do you have extra clothes?"
      "Uh-huh. I brought two dresses with me. I can change into one in your house." They both walked, soaking wet, to Link's house. When they had almost reached it, Link saw Mido approaching them. Oh great, Link thought, here comes Mido. "Who's that?" Zelda whispered.
      "That's Mido. He thinks he's in charge of the forest," Link said. Mido approached them with his usual smug expression.
      "Link. Who's this person?" Mido asked. "You really like bringing strangers into the forest, don't you?" he said in a condescending tone. Link was starting to feel angry now. Not his usual tired-of-Mido's-attitude anger, but something deeper.
      "This is Zelda," Link said, trying to be calm.
      "Oh, the princess you're always talking about," Mido commented mockingly. "She doesn't look like a princess. And why's she in a Kokiri dress? She obviously not a Kokiri." Link was starting to get angrier. He tried to contain it. "She's a poor excuse for a Kokiri, just like you." This was it. Link had had enough with Mido. He was going to pay for his words. The darkness in Link's soul came to the surface. Link was filled with rage now. Link let the rage take over, and he lunged at Mido.
      "I'm going to kill you!" Link bellowed. He knocked Mido onto the ground and jumped on top of him. Mido was so scared by Link's reaction, that all he could do was try to shield his face. Completely consumed by blinding rage, Link began to pummel Mido with punches. All Link could see and feel was the desire to kill Mido. His bloodlust wouldn't be fulfilled until he beat Mido to death. Mido removed his hands from his face and tried to grab Link's arms. Link took advantage of this and planted a fist on Mido's face. Link punched again and again and again, each impact harder than the last. Mido's face was covered in blood. Blood flowed from Mido's broken nose and from his split lip. Another fist landed on Mido's jaw and it broke a tooth loose. Mido could taste the blood in his mouth; he prayed that Link would stop. But this wasn't enough, the punches weren't enough. Mido wasn't dead yet, Link had to try something else. He wrapped his hands around Mido's neck and began to squeeze. Before he could squeeze harder, he felt something pulling violently at his back.
      Zelda and Saria were trying to pull Link off of Mido. A sudden impact on Link's left cheek jarred him out of his insane rage. Saria had smacked Link with her palm. Link let go of Mido and Zelda dragged him away. Saria knelt by Mido, who was bruised and bleeding, but still conscious.
      "What did you do!" Zelda screamed, almost in tears. What had happened to him?
      "I don't know!" Link screamed. He was distraught and completely disoriented. Why did he just do this? It wasn't Link attacking Mido, it was something else. Something had come up from inside him and taken over his body. Link had no control. He could only watch as his body pummeled Mido. Zelda tried to approach Link and comfort him. He shot up and glared at her. "Leave me alone!" he shouted. "Don't come near me! I don't deserve your pity!" Link turned around and ran away from the whole scene. He pushed through the crowd of Kokiri children that had gathered around Mido. All Link could do was run. He ran as fast as he could, but he didn't know where he was going. He thought he heard Zelda yelling after him, but he wasn't sure. All he wanted to do was escape. He had to keep running.

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