Pairing: eventual!Onew/Jonghyun, maybe more later
Summary: Jonghyun comes upon a street magician who performs a lot more than simple card tricks. He traps people in a world of magic and places curses upon them the moment they arrive. Jonghyun meets Taemin, Kibum, and Minho, three people who, like himself, are cursed. Taemin's soul has been torn to pieces, Kibum is turning into a fox, and Minho dreams of a city underwater. Jonghyun himself is paralyzed by moonlight. They must break these curses to escape the magician's dreadful world, but that's easier said than done.
A/N: I've had this idea in my head for ages. Tell me what you think!
It was a very gloomy day in the middle of winter. The sky was overcast and everything and everyone Jonghyun passed seemed to lack any form of life. People were just empty shells that ran about, doing their errands and not stopping to say hello to a friend they happened to pass on the street. No one wanted to be out when there were threats of rain from the sky.
Jonghyun sighed as he wound his warm, knit scarf around his neck to keep warm; his jacket was barely doing enough to keep him warm. He hated winter the most out of the four seasons of the year. He very much enjoyed the warmth that came with spring and summer and missed it when it disappeared during fall and winter.
“Gather here, everybody!” someone called excitedly from down the street. Jonghyun’s ears pricked up at the only sound of life that he had heard since he left his house about an hour previous. Subconsciously, Jonghyun was curious. As a result, his feet began moving in the direction of the voice. “Come on, come on! Don’t be shy! I’m here to perform magic to brighten your gloomy day! It’s free of charge to watch!”
Jonghyun snorted a little and debated turning around to avoid another failed magician. The streets were full of similar acts. Most of them were easy to figure out because they all had the simplest tricks. Jonghyun himself had pointed out the flaws in certain performances before. But still, something was pulling him towards this newcomer.
He found the source of the voice once he had come upon a large circle of people. Jonghyun nudged his way into the circle to see what was going on. At that very moment, the boy decided to take a fall over thin air. On the way down, the cards and dice and feathers fell from his sleeves and pockets. The poor boy landed flat on his face. People all over the circle laughed at him. He had certainly brought a little joy into their eyes, but it was not what he had promised.
He got up with a goofy smile across his face. He did not seem to be too embarrassed by what had just happened. It was as if things like that happened to him all the time. As Jonghyun watched him walk around a bit longer, the boy’s wobbly legs seemed to hint that it did.
Once everything was picked up off the ground, the boy stood up straight and Jonghyun got his first real good look at him. He was probably around Jonghyun’s age, but he was just a little taller. He had a slightly chubby face and hair that came just to his ears. But the most striking feature the boy possessed was his eyes. They were a sort of violet that seemed to find Jonghyun and lock him in place even when the boy wasn’t really staring at him.
“Alright, folks,” the boy called loudly. “I’ve had enough of these silly illusions and sleight of hand tricks! I have something that will really knock your socks off!” The crowd didn’t appear to believe him. Some laughed, others just started to walk away, and yet, still others wanted to see what he had left to show them. “First off,” he denote with a simple raised finger, “I need to borrow someone from the audience.”
No one stepped forward to volunteer. After about half a minute of waiting, the boy began scanning the circle himself for the perfect person to help him with his trick. His bright violet eyes landed on Jonghyun. Jonghyun shivered ever so slightly when the boy smiled in his direction.
“How about you?” he asked politely. But to Jonghyun, it was very clear that he was given no choice in the matter. The boy skipped forward and grasped Jonghyun’s hand before he could respond. He was pulled towards the center of the circle and then released. “I’m Jinki by the way,” he told Jonghyun, by way of an introduction.
“Jonghyun,” he answered.
Those violet eyes disappeared when he smiled. “Well, Jonghyun, all you have to do stand there for a little bit and I’ll make you disappear!”
“Disappear?” Jonghyun questioned. He didn’t believe a word of it. There was no way this boy could make him disappear without telling him the secret to the trick. But he wasn’t telling him anything, so he figured he might as well just let the poor kid fall flat on his face figuratively this time instead of literally. He crossed his arms and waited.
“Close your eyes,” Jinki ordered calmly. Jonghyun did as he was told without a second thought. It was as if he was on autopilot. “When I count to three, I’m going to snap my fingers and you will disappear. No one will be able to see you.” The crowd around them seemed to be still with curiosity. No one was laughing anymore. The wind wasn’t ruffling any articles of clothing. It felt like everything had disappeared from the world.
A strange sensation ran up and down Jonghyun’s spine and something buzzed in the back of his head.
The buzzing became stronger and more persistent. It was almost an itch on Jonghyun’s head, but his arms were glued to his side and he was not able to reach up to itch it.
Run, something whispered in his mind. Run.
Then Jonghyun felt himself falling. Falling, falling, falling, down, down, down into some kind of abyss. He forced his eyes to open, but he couldn’t tell the difference between eyes closed and eyes open. Everything around him was completely black. There was not a speck of light in the distance. He did not know where he was and he did not know how he got wherever he was, he just knew he was in trouble.
Finally, he landed with a hard thud on something. Grass. He was lying on grass, his arms spread out at odd angles as if he were broken. He couldn’t move. The wind had been knocked out of him. He tried to take in deep breathes, but they only got caught up in his throat.
He stared upwards. He had fallen from the sky. There were stars dotting the heavens above him. They were everywhere he looked. Then the bright moon caught his eye. He wondered if it had always been that bright.
He did not dwell on that question for long. A mischievous laugh came from somewhere above him, but no one showed their face to him. He had a sinking suspicion that he knew who it was anyway. His suspicion was confirmed when the laughing voice spoke.
“Welcome to my world, Jonghyun. Let’s see if you can defeat me before the magic here tears you apart.” There was another entertained laugh before Jinki spoke more. “By the way, when you disappeared, those funny people thought it was just grand! We should do more shows together some time.” Then the voice disappeared and Jonghyun was left alone.
“I tried to warn you,” a dead, monotone voice said a distance to Jonghyun’s left. He tried to turn his head to see who it was, but he was paralyzed. Instead, the figure came over into his line of sight. It was a younger boy. He was beautiful almost to the point where he looked feminine. “I’m Taemin,” the figure introduced himself. But he didn’t say any more. It was as if he had nothing to say and didn’t want to say anything either. He just stood there, watching Jonghyun stay still in his paralyzed state. He did nothing to help him and nothing to harm him.
It remained that way until the moon disappeared behind a set of clouds. Once the moonlight was gone, he was able to sit up and move around.
“That’s your curse,” Taemin’s monotone voice said from his side. Jonghyun stared up at the young boy with questions in his eyes. “Everyone who comes here has one.” He lifted his head barely enough to stare Jonghyun in the eye. Jonghyun flinched back when he saw the kids eyes. There was absolutely nothing in them. No spark of youth. No joy for life. No sadness. No anger. No color. They were just black. Empty.
“Are your eyes part of your curse?” Jonghyun asked, unsure if he was dreaming or if her was still in some crazy form of reality.
Taemin didn’t answer. He just walked down the path that Jonghyun had just noticed existed. “Hey! Wait for me!”